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Lanyard holed Firesteel (Ferrocerium Rod)

Lanyard holed Firesteel (Ferrocerium Rod)

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Lanyard holed Firesteel (Ferrocerium Rod)
The firesteel rod is holed at the end for attaching a keyring.

Thousands of lights!

When you scrape them with a piece of hard steel such as knife, hacksaw blade, or even a key, these emit long lasting sparks of over 3000 degrees.

This is not a toy and is not intended for children. Adult supervision is highly recommended for children and expert advice for the bigger kids!

Confusingly these rods a given many different names; I call them firesteels. Other names they may be given are:

  • Ferro or Ferrocerium rods - Referring to the material they are made from,
  • Magnesium rod - They are not made from magnesium,
  • Modern flint or Flint Fire Starter - They have a resemblance, in use, to flint and steel fire making using natural flint.

Lanyard holed Firesteel (Ferrocerium Rod) Fire Starter

When the rod is struck against the steel, or vice versa, a spark is thrown. Tinder can be used to catch the spark; it should be shredded up and unraveled and formed into a sort of nest, cotton wool also works very well. Put more kindling on top as it catches alight and you can build a fire from there.

What is Ferrocerium?

Ferrocerium itself is a brittle man-made material first patented by Austrian scientist Carl Auer von Welsbach in 1903.

Many brands use a slightly different percentage of each metal as well other added compounds to alter the rods function. For example, some rods are harder than others. Softer rods tend to throw larger sparks in the form of larger pieces of rod and therefore do not last as long.

A Ferrocerium Rod is made from:

Cerium                                 41.8%

Lanthanum                          24.2%

Iron                                     20.8%

Neodymium                          4.4%

Magnesium                           4.4%

How does it work?

When struck, ferrocerium particles rapidly oxidize and spontaneously ignite in the atmosphere, creating hot sparks.

Modern rods use mischmetal which is an alloy of Cerium, Lanthanum, Neodymium and praseodymium. Iron and small amount of magnesium are used to harden the rods.

How do you use it?

Ferro rods come with a black protective coating that must be scraped off before, or during, use. The inside has a bright silver like colour.

A dedicated striker, or the back edge of a knife blade, make good ferrocerium strikers due to being made from a high carbon steel and seems to make the best fire starter sparks.

For beginners we suggest setting up a safe fire area in which to practice striking and fire making. The sparks need to fall onto flammable tinder such as charcloth.


  • It lights quickly.
  • Long lasting (In long term storage clear nail vanish helps).
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Will still work if snapped.
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