Top 25 Best Fire Starters – Survival Strikes And Sparks
We may be long past the days of candlelight and handmade fires for survival, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come prepared for the unexpected.
Field-tested fire starters not only provide you and your loved ones with safety and assurance in times of duress, but are practically effortless to carry in a bag or car, or likewise stash in a knapsack.
Outdoor enthusiasts and wilderness experts will no doubt stress the importance of a reliable fire starter. A sturdy and dependable magnesium or ferrocerium fire starter can withstand the elements and guarantee a much longer span of performance than basic matches or plastic pocket lighters. Ideal for starting fires to provide warmth and cooking, fire starters can also be used to signal for help in the event of an emergency.
Basic but compact, fire starters are available in tough-tested materials that carry as light as a keychain, all the while providing up to 12,000 strikes. Other fire starters come equipped with built-in rescue whistles, survival guides, and various utilities. Most fire starters boast corrosion-resistant components, allowing them to stand up against rain, sleet, snow, and extreme humidity.
Whether you are a frequent hiker, camper, or all-around explorer of unknown terrain, or simply wish to reinforce your household against unwitting disaster, a superior quality fire starter is sure to keep you in good stead for years to come. After all, the man who holds the means to produce fire at any given moment is nothing short of superhuman.
Best Fire Starters
1. Bayite Survival Ferrocerium Drilled Flint Steel Fire Starter Ferro Rod
For people who like to take one thing that can perform multiple tasks, this is an ideal tool. This Bayite 4 inch drilled ferro rod fire starter is small and portable, measuring at only four inches in length, great for putting in a pocket or bag to take anywhere. Attached to it is a 9 foot paracord, providing a handle for the fire starter and an emergency paracord if the need arises to cut it off the fire starter.
2. Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter
A lanyard is included since this Gerber Bear Grylls fire starter is intended to be carried wherever it is needed. A waterproof storage container is included for allowing a fire to be started even after a rainstorm. Ideal for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, there is an integrated emergency whistle on the lanyard. To use the fire starter, the unit must be pulled apart. Each part is attached to the lanyard at all times to prevent components from disappearing.
3. Uberleben Zunden Survival Ferro Rod Fire Starter
A handcrafted handle can be found on this cool bushcraft Uberleben Zunden fire striker. The design is ultralight and comes in three thicknesses to offer a greater number of strikes. This fire starter is intended to create a spark in any weather and at any height a fire is needed. Included are also paracord and a 6-in-1 scraper tool that can also be used as a map scale, straight edge, hex wrench, ruler and bottle opener.
4. Holland Lightning Strike Fire Starter
The entire assembly of this Holland Lighting Strike Fire Starter resembles a marker and comes in several metallic colors. Constructed from aluminum, it is both light and durable. The tool contains a striker that can be stored in the tube and features a waterproof storage container for keeping collected flint dry. The striker is attached to the cap, creating a two piece assembly. It can be carried in a bag or pocket for easy transport. Good for campers.
5. Zippo Mag Strike Fire Starter
With a plastic body and a ferrocerium striker rod, this Mag Strike tool from Zippo has a distinctive look. It features a triangular handle to give a user greater leverage for striking. There is a small blade included to strike the rod. The rod is stored inside the casing and the blade is locked on the outside of the cap. The ferrocerium is kept dry in the casing and the construction materials are able to resist corrosion.
6. Exotac Nanostriker Xl Ferrocerium Fire Starter
This Exotac nanoStriker XL ferrocerium striker is a small and portable fire starter that is both light and durable, convenient to hike and camp with. It can be hooked to a key ring or put in a pocket making it an excellent choice for any gentleman who wants to EDC it. The starter rod can create a spark even when wet to start a fire after walking through wet terrain all day. It offers multiple colors, including black, orange, green and silver, to allow for a choice in personal expression.
7. Campfirepiston Hickory Fire Piston
This CampfirePiston fire piston operates on a physical phenomenon that heats up a chamber when pressure changes rapidly in a tube. Constructed of a wooden exterior and a metallic interior, this tool is designed to reduce hand pain when high pressures are quickly applied to the handle. Great for people concerned with wear from striking a fire starter, this tool only requires something to place in the chamber to ignite. Great tool for many tasks.
8. Exotac Firerod Ferrocerium Fire Starter
The Exotac FireROD fire starter is designed to be carried along with a knife and is easily able to be taken on a camping trip or hike. The 6061 USA machined aluminum handle comes in several colors to add a little flair to the design. With a waterproof storage container, this fire starter can be taken through wet conditions and still keep the tinder dry, a great feature for creating a fire for drying off after it rains or crossing a river.
9. Exotac Polystriker Xl Ferrocerium Fire Starter
This USA made small tool by Exotac has a minimalist design, but manages to get the job done. The handle comes in three colors: black, gray and bright orange to give a personal feel to the fire starter. The design allows for striking, even when wet, and the material chosen allows for 10,000 strikes. This fire starter was intend to be portable, offering a wrist strap for easy carrying while keeping your hands free for other things.
10. Se Fs374 All Weather Emergency Fire Starter
A detachable ball chain allows for this SE FS374 all-weather emergency survival fire starter to be hooked to a bag or keychain and taken anywhere. It is designed for being in a pocket, constructed fo magnesium in the shape of a rectangle. It is both waterproof and weatherproof, good for keeping the flint dry. This means a fire can be started even if the conditions are wet or humid. A great option to have ready for campers and hikers.
11. Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel 2 Army Fire Starter
For the user that wants variety, this Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel 2.0 Army Fire starter can be stored and taken anywhere it is needed to be used. It is compact in size and comes in three colors. The design of this fire starter is intended to allow it to spark for 12,000 strikes at 2,980 degree C, even when in high altitudes or in low temperatures, making this a good choice for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. It practically guarantees a spark, regardless of weather conditions. There’s also an emergency whistle in the handle.
12. Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel 2 Scout Fire Starter
This is a durable Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0 Scout fire starer comes in many bright color options from orange to green and beyond. For survivalists out there, this tool was designed by the Swedish Department of Defense, and is used by many soldiers in armies around the world. It is small, can be stored anywhere, and comes with an integrated whistle and wrist strap. When it comes to durability, the Scout lasts for 3000 strikes and sparks at 3000 degree C even while wet. As a bonus, you’ll find a built in whistle on the handle of this survival fire starter.
13. Relefree Magnesium Fire Starter
This Relefree Fire Starter is highly durable, constructed of a magnesium alloy containing seven different types of metal that allow the fire starter to be used 20000 times. Strike it with a knife and a spark will be quickly made to ignite hay, twigs, and other items regardless of the weather conditions. Small in size, it can be stored or carried anywhere it may be needed and is safe for transporting in a car or bag.
14. Sahara Sailor Survival Magnesium Fire Starter
Not only does this work as a fire striker, but it also has other functions built in including a scraper and the ability to be used as a glass breaker for self defense. The Sahara Sailor magnesium survival fire starter kit works whether dry or wet. Rubber gaskets are on the ends of the connection points to make a watertight seal. Being small and portable, there is also a keychain hook to attach keys and hang off of a bag.
15. Smith & Wesson Fire Striker
Looking for a durable fire starter? Look no further than Smith & Wesson’s survival kit. This simple tool has a ferrocerium rod connected to an elegant handle. That is all you need with this fire starter. A lanyard is attached to the handle to allow it to be connected to a key ring or strapped onto a bag, though it is small enough to be placed in a pocket. Great for taking on hikes or camping.
16. Uberleben Lumen Glow In The Dark Fire Starter
A user is sure to know where this tool is in the dark, since this Uberleben Lumen striker features a glow in the dark handle. The striker is made out of ferrocerium, great for starting a fire in any weather condition or at any altitude. Also included is a small ruler that can be used as a map scale, scraper, hex wrench and bottle opener. The two tools are tied together by a shock cord lanyard.
17. Ultimate Survival Technologies Blastmatch Fire Starter
This Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch fire starter is great for one handed use and can spark a wide variety of tinder types. A rotating bar allows for the strike point to change, making this a great option for those concerned with the wear of their fire starter. There is a protective lock to prevent against accidental sparks, since it can spark three times hotter than a normal match, whether dry or raining. It comes in bright orange or black.
18. Aurora Fire Starter
This lightweight Aurora fire starter looks like a stylish accessory, having an outer shell made of aluminum, magnesium, and steel that glimmers in the light. The case contains a rod of ferrocerium attached to the cap. This can be removed from the protective casing, then struck against the integrated blade on the bottom of the case. Though a lanyard is not included, there is a whole in the cap to attach one to make this portable.
19. Boker Plus Fire Starter
Great for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, meet the Boker Plus 090778 Fire Starter. This is the perfect choice for users needing an all in one tool. In addition to the striker rod, there is also a ruler that can be used as a map scale, bottle opener, scraper and hex tool. The case of the striker rod also has an integrated compass and a non-slip design. Everything is connected on a chain lanyard which can be attached to a bag.
20. Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Fire Starter
Built to be small, there is a paracord lanyard for attaching the tool to a keychain, zipper or bag. The ferrocerium rod has a rubber cap and the case is made of aluminum, making this a durable case. The Gerber Bear Grylls Compact fire starter is lightweight, so a user won’t notice it when they go hiking. The case can be struck against the rod to generate a spark, making this fire starter a self-contained tool for building fires.
21. Ultimate Survival Technologies Spark Force Fire Starter
Compact in design, this UST Spark Force fire starter can be placed in a pocket or in a bag, ideal for hikers and ultralight backpackers. The case comes in one color, bright orange, that is highly visible. The case design offers flint protection to prevent accidental sparks while on the go. It is designed to work with a wide range of tinder options, which can be stored in its cap. Sparks can be made regardless of weather conditions.
22. UST Sparkie Fire Starter
For those looking for a small tool, this option from UST is able to be used with only one hand. The Sparkie fire starter can spark a fire even while it’s raining, great for going on hikes with. It is able to precisely aim its sparks, creating sparks that burn three times hotter than a normal match, to be sure that the fire starts exactly where desired. This tool won’t be missed since it only comes in a bright orange plastic casing.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
Get 15% off using the discount code NEXTL at checkout
Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather Watch
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.