The NATO flint and steel was originally designed to be placed into survival kits, and due to its small size and light weight it lends itself perfectly to this role. Although they are intended as an emergency piece of kit the flint and steel still has a long life. Of course not as long as those 4 or 5 times the size, but each steel is quite capable of lighting several hundred fires in its lifetime.
Although not for sale to anyone under the age of 18, these are ideal to use when teaching youngsters bushcraft, and I myself have been using these for at least 12 years without a problem, and during this time I have got through hundreds because I often give them away to my students.
Back when I first started to use them the build quality was far less superior to the modern version. The flint is thin and as a result was prone to snapping, and for this reason they now have a spinal support to stop this from happening. I have never had one snap on me, but have heard of the old versions doing so. This is a great improvement and one that has hardly made a difference in the weight of the product.
Each one comes with a chain/rope (the one I was sent to field test had a chain) which will vary in length, its not really designed to go around ones neck, but is used to keep the striker (saw blade) and steel (flint) together.
BUILD QUALITY 9/10
EASE OF USE 10/10
LONGEVITY 9/10 (for its size)
Get yours here
CONCLUSION - a versatile and simple to use device, cheap to replace if lost and an excellent addition to any survival kit. They are very handy for teaching use too!
Catch you on the trail