I had a chance back in August to get my hands on another excellent fire starting product from Exotac. Back then, the nanoSPARK was at the end of a successful Kickstarter campaign and had just started shipping orders out to the backers. I was really impressed with the product back then and now that they are in full production with an expanded line of products, I can certainly say the excitement hasn’t worn off.

Exotac nanoSPARK - Updated Review

The nanoSPARK is a CNC machined aluminum fire starter that uses a low friction brass flint wheel to ignite just about any tinder you put in front of it. In fact, the product includes 5 pieces of quickLIGHT tinder, which is a cotton material specially treated to burn hot once you hit it with a blast from the nanoSPARK. The best part about the nanoSPARK is that you can hold one piece of the tinder in an internal compartment that unscrews from the flint wheel. This tinder tray is sealed with an O-ring and keeps everything from getting wet, regardless of where you find yourself traveling.

Exotac nanoSPARK - Updated Review

If you’ve ever used a lighter, then you are already equipped with the knowledge needed to use the nanoSPARK. A simple flint wheel creates a spark that you direct towards the tinder. I’ve found that it only takes about one strike towards the frayed end of the quickLIGHT tinder and you have a flame. A small area cut into the side of the nanoSPARK allows you to attach a lanyard, which is useful for keeping it attached to gear or even on a small keychain.

I’ve really enjoyed using the nanoSPARK on outdoor trips as it has allowed me to easily start a fire in half the time as other methods. It is currently offered in Blaze Orange, Olive, Gunmetal, and Black for $26.95 from Exotac.


Author – Rodney Pointer is a former Army Infantryman. After graduating from Airborne School, he was ruthlessly assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana to live out his days as a dirty leg. He served with the 2nd BN, 30th Infantry of the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. Following his deployment to Afghanistan, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Operations. He currently works as a nuclear security contractor.