Tortoise Gear Returns with Fire Rod for Swiss Army Knife Corkscrews

Tortoise Gear, the company that created the Firefly toothpick firestarter several years ago, is back with the FireAnt, a new firestarting accessory for Swiss Army knives. The FireAnt is an add-on option for nearly any SAK with a corkscrew, and offers some different characteristics compared to the Firefly.

The corkscrew is a controversial element on Swiss Army knives. While some users appreciate having the capability of opening wine bottles in the outdoors, it’s definitely a niche tool for many. Compared to tools like the scissors or knife blade, the corkscrew sees little use. The FireAnt seeks to maximize the utility of the tool: it’s a tiny fire rod attached to a fluted handle that can be screwed into the corkstrew for convenient carry. In principle it’s a similar idea to Victorinox-designed eyeglasses screwdriver that comes on certain models.

The fire rod itself is a proprietary Tortoise Gear formulation, one that they debuted on the Firefly back when it released. According to the company, the fire rod can work with many different tools on a SAK to create sparks, but the wood saw, metal file, awl, or scissors tools seem to work the best. In a big difference from the Firefly, the FireAnt comes with a tinder to catch the sparks it makes. This tinder has the same fluted shape as the FireAnt’s handle and thus can be carried in corkscrew alongside the fire rod itself.

While the main appeal of the FireAnt lies in its firestarting capabilities, it does offer one secondary feature. Like the retrieval tab on the FireFly, the FireAnt’s handle is made from a bright, glow-in-the-dark plastic, which should boost the visibility if the FireAnt or the SAK it rides in is dropped off the trail somewhere.

In terms of SAK model compatibility, the list is a long one. Tortoise Gear says that any SAK sporting the (relatively) new, smooth-style corkscrew will accept the FireAnt. Old models have different corkscrew designs that may prove less cooperative than the modern ones.

This is the first knife project we’ve seen from Tortoise Gear since the debut of the Firefly at the end of 2017. They’re seeking funding through Kickstarter, with a set goal of $16,000 dollars. All FireAnt orders are expected to be shipped to backers by July 2020. The Kickstarter itself is open through April 8, 2020.