Traditional American Small Business.
We've been making fire starters for years now and have used the same raw materials suppliers right from the beginning. We wanted to make a completely USA made product. Imagine our distress when we discovered that there are no ferrocerium rod (also called ferro rod or flints) manufacturers in the USA. In fact they are only made in two places - China or Europe. We looked into the prices and quality of Chinese flints.They were MUCH cheaper but the quality was poor. We got samples from three separate manufacturers and discovered that if you buy in bulk they would cost less than a dollar per flint - sometimes much less. But when we tested these flints they weren’t very effective in starting fires. Later I discovered that there is very little Rare-Earth-Metal in a Chinese flint, and Rare-Earth-Metal is what gives you the hot sparks. Additionally one fifth of the Chinese flint was made with plastic! At that point we dropped China as a potential source of fire starter flints.
The same story is true of magnesium rods. After the start of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) that began in 1993 many companies departed the USA. The last company to leave that extruded magnesium (forced the magnesium metal through a die to create a specific shape) was relocated in Mexico. We had a choice of of purchasing extruded magnesium from China or Mexico - we chose Mexico.
Most of the fire starter industry (95%) use Chinese flints - because they are so cheap. In most cases the whole fire starter is made in China where labor costs are only 10% of US labor costs and they routinely work longer hours.This means sky high profit even with $10 fire starters. There is also an atmosphere of mild fraud associated with fire starters. What I mean is that many companies use European brand names or a favorite one is “Texas This or Texas That” when most are entirely manufactured in China. If you want to know if your brand is made in China go to ALIBABA.COM and search for fire starters and you will most likely see it there. Manufacturers rely on the fact that many people who purchase their product will throw the fire starter into their back pack or bug-out-bag and never use it. Never find out if it works well or not.
The best flints in the world are manufactured in Europe. The company we use is based in Altohfen, Austria. The man who started this company in 1903 is the guy who invented the modern ferrocerium flint. This company has 100 plus years of manufacturing experience, superior technology and make the best flints in the world. They are not cheep. The concentration of Rare-Earth-Metal in the flint we use is 76% (As opposed to Chinese flints at 17% Rare Earth Metal).
We use high-resin-content hardwood for our handles, American made hardened steel strikers, American made 550 paracord and 95% pure magnesium from Mexico. The process of “extrusion” - which is simply putting a groove in the magnesium is no longer done in the USA. The groove in the magnesium is where the flint attaches.
I don’t know if our Fire-Fast fire starters are the best in the world. But my we have done everything in our power to make them so. We want you to use the tools we manufacture and increase your fire starting skills. Become proficient, some day it may save your life.