Smith’s Natural Tinder Maker with Fire Starter

The Natural Tinder Maker with Fire Starter from Smith’s is one of those products we would have liked to reviewed during the summer, or maybe even for National Preparedness Month. But it’s so popular, they were sold out. When Smith’s was finally able to provide one for review, we realized it would make a great last minute stocking stuffer. So here it is in December, and well worth the wait.

Smith’s Natural Tinder Maker with Fire Starter

If you have trouble getting a campfire going, this is for you. The package contains a striker and fire starter steel, along with a tinder box that looks like a little cheese grater. An easy to follow instruction sheet explains how it all works. It took us all of about five minutes to set a small pile of shavings on fire. Even a novice can do this.

Fresh made tinder

Simply use the blade of the grater on a stick or small branch, to create your tinder. And don’t be fooled by the small size – the sharp grater really shreds wood. Dump that tinder into a pile, with the twigs and branches you have gathered. Use the striker and fire starter to make some hot sparks, which will catch the tinder on fire the first or second strike, just about every time. That’s all there is to it, and it takes no time at all to master.

A minute later…

We like Smith’s for their smart designs that are priced right. The Natural Tinder Maker with Fire Starter has an MSRP of $9.99, but I think it’s worth even more. While the size is a bit larger than a lighter, the fire starter and striker both fit inside, with the blade turned over so you don’t get cut. This makes it compact enough for any backpack. Better yet, it is not at all affected by water. And if the wood at hand is wet or damp, just grate the top layer off, until you get to the dry stuff. It’s all attached to a lanyard, and the lid snaps in place firmly, so it won’t be easy to lose. For $10, you have a waterproof and nearly foolproof way to start a fire, that will take years of use to wear out. And for the price, you can afford to give them as gifts, as well as keep a few around the house. Head over to and enter your ZIP code to find their nearest retailer.

– Brian

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