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TBS Fatboy Ferro Rod – Review

TBS Fatboy Firesteel Review

The TBS Fatboy Firesteel (Ferrocerium rod or ferro rod.) is solid ferro rod at ½ inch (12.5mm) in diameter and 4” (101 mm) long, including the handle. It comes from TBS Outdoor, the makers of TBS knives.

(Click on the difference between a flint and steel and ferro rod to learn more.)


Out of the bag, the first sparks.

TBS ferro rod

Okay, I admit I was pretty excited and couldn’t wait to go camping to test out the TBS ferro rod. But I wasn’t due to go bush until a few days. So I did what every responsible bushcrafting and camping adult does and try to make a fire in the house from sparks. (I did do it over the sink in the house.)

After scraping off a bit of the black protective coating, the ferro rod sparked easily. Later on outdoors, I tested the ferro rod with the tried and tested cotton balls (In this case cotton pads.) and Vaseline.

The Fatboy showered sparks and ignited the tinder well. I also tested it out on some cattails and stringy bark with plenty of sparks.

TBS Fatboy ferrocerium rod


The handle.

The Fatboy ferro rod handle is easy to grip with the whole hand. Or if you like chocking up on the rod and using a short strike with the scraper, the handle and rod are comfortable to hold because of the size. The Fatboy model comes in a fluro orange handle. The orange model makes it easy to see if you put it down or falls out of your gear.


TBS ferro rod tinder


Ferro rod scraper. (Striker.)

The scraper is good size that is easily held. Which is important for ability to start a fire in cold weather or wearing gloves. Most factory scrapers are too small, but the TBS scraper is easy to use. While using the spine of a knife like a Mora knife is fine, a dedicated scraper is easier to control, normally generate more sparks and generally safer.

The scraper also has a bottle opener and measuring ruler, map scale and hex nut spanner. Initially I thought having extra gadgets on the ferro rod scraper wasn’t necessary, but it doesn’t interfere with anything and it is already incorporated into the scraper.

TBS Ferro rod

The lanyard that connects the ferro rod to the scraper was a bit short for me. But this is a trivial issue and obviously isn’t a deal breaker, as I was going to replace the lanyard with a length of jute. (Twine.) The jute can be used as emergency tinder for fire lighting.

Some people might replace the lanyard with some Titan Survival, SurvivorCord which has a strand of wax coated jute for fire lighting in the para cord.

The TBS Fatboy would be a good addition to any fire lighting kit for a bug out bag, or bushcraft gear. The solid rod will last a long time with plenty of strikes. (On a side note I haven’t checked it out yet, but the TBS Outdoor has a fire lighting kit in a leather pouch that look nice.)

Ferrocerium rod.

Overall the TBS Fatboy is a good composition of ferrocerium and will create plenty of sparks.