The Best Fire Pistons Out There

wooden fire piston

This Tool Works in Any Weather Conditions! I Highly Recommend The Model #1 from The List Below (See End of This Article)!

A fire piston  (also known as a slam rod starter or a syringe) is the most unusual, survival, fire-starting device everyone should always have at hand! It has ‘ancient roots‘ since it’s been used for thousands of years in many different ways!

However, the central principle is always the same – a pressure of compressed air will create extreme heat that will ignite a piece of kindling.

The standard versions that are currently available on the market are set up to use a variety of different materials, including kindling, char cloth, scrap wood, newspaper and flash cotton.

IN THIS ARTICLE You Will Discover:
  • The Structure of Fire Piston
  • Way How This Process Works
  • 5-Step Guide to Use These to Start Fire
  • 5 Best Models I Was Able to Discover on Market Right Now!

The Simple Structure Ensuring High Effectiveness

The construction of fire pistons is composed of:

  • Hollow cylinder – A body of material that is typically ranging in length from 7.5 centimeters to 15 centimeters (3 to 6 inches). Its bore also reaches about 6 to 7 millimeters (a quarter-inch) in diameter, sealed at one end and open at the opposite.
  • Sealed piston – The body is also fitted with the characteristic piston, topped off with a circular seal that’s air tight.
  • Firm & comfortable handle – This part allows you to place a firm grip! You will be able to strike a larger surface quickly without causing yourself pain while the cylinder remains braced against a firm ground. This part can also be completely removed.
  • Small notch – The piston also has a notch on its face, where you will be putting your tinder or other material for ignition.

In the past, fire syringes are known to be made from wood, animal horns, bamboo or lead. However, in recent times, companies make these usually from metal, various reinforced plastics or woods such as barring lead!

Special Process of Air Pressure & Combustion

Although these are simple tools, it is crucial to know how these will work when during your use for successful ignition:

  1. Rapid compression – During the first step of forcing the piston into the cylinder the air within this tool becomes quickly compressed.
  2. Heat increase – The first step causes the interior’s temperature to rise above 260 degrees Celsius (500 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Ignition of tinder – The sharp increase in temperature causes material within to ignite with a visible flash (that can be seen if you have a transparent or semi-transparent model).
  4. Quick removal – As next step, you need to withdraw piston from the cylinder quickly – before the ignited material depletes its limited oxygen supply and burns out!
  5. Starting the fire – Last but not least, you should transfer the ignited fabric into a nest of kindling you need to prepare in advance.

You should follow this advice for a 40% increase in effectiveness:

The burning material should be fanned or blown to help ‘introduce‘ and spread the heat to other stuff, eventually creating a stronger flame.

My 5 Most Favorite Models You Should Consider Getting Your Hands on!!!

(Click on the title to collapse)

Model #1 - TERA-Light I by Wilderness Solutions

Model #1 - TERA-Light I by Wilderness Solutions

TERA-Light I by Wilderness Solutions

Product specifications:

  • Length – 4.25″
  • Diameter – 1.0″
  • Weight – 4.40 oz. / 124 g.

First model I want to share with you is called TERA-Light I ($64.95). It was developed by a company called Wilderness Solutions and manufactured in the USA.

Being made from 6061 aluminum, this tool is light, so you will have no problems keeping it in your pocket.

Under the cap, you can find extra spare O-rings! Not only that, you can choose from 3 different colors, including black, silver or red.

Innovated models with extra features you have to see:

  • TERA-Light II ($69.95) includes even hidden firesteel as a secondary (backup) method to start a fire!
  • Tri-Light with survival pod ($84.95) version includes not only the hidden fero rod but storage capsule (for your tinder) and solar lens to give you three completely different ways to create flames outside as well!

Model #2 - The Hickory Fire Piston by Campfire Piston

Model #2 - The Hickory Fire Piston by Campfire Piston

hickory campfire piston

The second model on this list I want to share with you is called Hickory Fire Piston ($25.75). Made by a company called CampFirePiston, this product features Buna O-ring seals to allow for tight and efficient air compression.

This product has been created in 2 main versions: Hickory wood with Dark Walnut stain ($25.75) or Bubinga wood ($37.50). The wood itself is just a covering, as both cylinder and piston are made from 6061 Aircraft Aluminium.

What is more, each product comes in a package with Char Cloth, 2 extra O-rings & How-to instructions!

Model #3 - FireLight Plexiglas Fire Piston by Wilderness Solutions

Model #3 - FireLight Plexiglas Fire Piston by Wilderness Solutions

FireLight plexiglass fire pistons

The third model on this list is called FireLight Plexiglas I ($52.95). It was developed by Wilderness Solutions and manufactured proudly in the USA!

Being made from Plexiglas, it comes with light weight so you will have no problems carrying this model in your pockets.

Because this model is transparent, you can observe the whole ignition process. Thanks to this great feature, you can quickly learn how fast you need to press with your hand and how fast you need to remove the piston from the cylinder to get the perfect tinder.

What is more, you can choose from 3 different colors, including clear, amber or firefly green!

Innovated models with extra features you have to see:

Model #4 - The Vulcan Fire Piston by Numyth

Model #4 - The Vulcan Fire Piston by Numyth

numyth vulcan fire piston

The fourth model you should consider getting your hand on is the Vulcan ($39.95). It is created from an aluminium alloy by Numyth company, so it is very light.

However, you will not be able to wear it out quickly thanks to the ultra sturdy anodized type III coating that comes in 2 different colors: ember orange and granite gray!

What is great about this model except its small weight is its removable cap on top that allows for watertight storage capsule and double piston O-rings. Not only that, the bottom of the tube is removable as well for proper maintenance and cleaning.

As an added value to your purchase, you will get zippered plastic storage pouch together with instructions for use, extra spare O-rings, and lubrication!

Learn more about this product & user reviews here…

Model #5 - 2nd Generation by Wilderness Solutions

Model #5 - 2nd Generation by Wilderness Solutions

Wilderness Solutions 2nd Generation

The last product I want to share with you is called 2nd Generation ($65.00). Made in the USA, it features O-ring seals together with pressure relief valve and brass tipped shaft.

What is more, it is made mainly from 2 materials: exotic cocobolo wood (CB) or lustrous buffalo horn (BH). However, you can choose additional designs if you decide to make a custom order.

You can choose from 4 versions:

  1. Standard model (CB – $65.00, BH – $85.00)
  2. Lanyard model with extra Latigo leather neck (CB – $70.00, BH – $85.00)
  3. Tinder carry with attached buckskin tinder pouch (CB – $75.00, BH – $95.00)
  4. The convertible (3 in 1) with all of the above (CB – $87.00, BH – $97.00).

Although these models are more expensive than other on this list, they are beautiful. So if you have extra money to spare, I recommend you to get one as soon as possible.

About Jim Worthersky

Hi, my name is Jim and my motto to live by is: Hope for the best while prepare for the worst. My hobbies are swimming, hiking, hunting, scouting & crafting.


  1. A bit pricey for them, but I don’t know much about these type of tools. But, if I want to survive out there in case of an emergency, I suppose I could use something like this. After all, it’s best to think ahead of time than get it the last minute.

  2. I’ve never used fire pistons before, but I check them out now. I always thought the best way was to just use a stick, some wood and something that can catch fire. But this sounds like a lot more practical these days.

  3. I got a fire piston some time ago, and I am very happy with it. Took me a while to learn to use it, but it takes me a while to learn most things.

    • Well, these tools need some time and effort to master but once you did so, then you gain faithful & reliable companion on your journeys!

  4. Fire pistons have been my go to device to start fires. I just find them more practical and useful than other methods. I will give some of these other fire pistons a shot, they look quite good.

  5. I’ve used fire pistons my whole life, they work so well and I find them fairly easy to use. They start a fire up without any problems, and it works great in cold climates, as well as wet. At lest for me I can get a fire going most of the time.

  6. I’m very tempted to make my own fire syringe and see how good of a fire it can start. I better go look for a tutorial on how to make one. 😉

    • Hey Jake, actually you just gave me a great idea for and article. So hopefully I will upload it soon!

  7. I’m very interested in the Numyth Vulcan fire piston. Going to purchase it up very soon. I never used a fire piston before though, so I hope I like it.

  8. I have an old vintage model my father had given me. He actually made it when he was a kid and kept it until I was in my 20s, gave it to me and I still use it on camping trips. I always have it on my person just in case.

  9. I didn’t know there was so many different fire starter tools out there. I knew of some, but I never even heard of the fire piston, than again I don’t know a whole lot about anything to be honest. I suppose I could learn a few things these days.

  10. I’ve used my fair share of fire starting tools, and I will say that fire pistons work really well at starting a fire. I’ve used other methods, but it’s clear that it’s my favorite method. I think it’s the overall easiest way too, others require more work as it seems.

    • Well, to be honest although these pistons works great, I still prefer fire-steel instead of this.

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