Benefits of matches and hemp wick

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craiginthecorn

Preferred Member
May 8, 2017
1,145
81
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
For awhile now, I've been using wooden matches to light, especially for my initial light. The lower temperature frees me to fill my bowl completely without fearing burning my rim and I feel that I get a more even light. In fact, the majority of the time, I skip the false charring light. In addition, the lower temperature allows me to puff a bit more aggressively without burning my tongue. Does the tobacco taste better as some have claimed? If so, it's a subtle difference.
Recently, a good smoking buddy has introduced me to hemp wick. The beeswax coating gives it enough rigidity to place the flame exactly where I want it, even deep into the bowl for relights.
My friend gifted me a HempLight lighter, which holds a small spool of wick and a mini Bic lighter. You pull a length of wick from the spool through a vertical metal time which extends up the side of the lighter. In addition to providing some support for the wick, it allows you to just blow out the flame then extinguish the ember by pulling the wick back down into the tube. That's useful because the wick will otherwise tend to smolder for a very long time and it's more convenient than snuffing if out with my tamper. Another advantage over matches is that there's no burnt matches to dispose of.
It certainly lacks the elegance of my Kiribi, but the flame is excellent, it's less likely than a match to go out until you want it out, is precise, and may even be slightly cooler than a wooden match. Time will tell if it becomes my new standard, but the initial results are encouraging.

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
1
When I"m smoking at home, I also use matches for the initial light, and then my Zippo for relights.
Although the wick idea is interesting, I"m somehow put off by the fact that you need a lighter to light your lighter :(

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,439
219
The hemp discussion comes and goes with a certain degree of regularity on the site. I prefer not to unduly complicate my pipe smoking with all sorts of affectations. But, if such adds to your enjoyment ... have it.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,931
877
Monterey Peninsula
Yes, matches generally indoors for first ignition, and butane for relights. I don't do a false light, at least not on purpose! The lighting of the lighter is a bit off-putting to me.

 

thomasw

Preferred Member
Dec 5, 2016
863
1
I am a convinced wooden match man and I smoke outside most of the time. Simplicity, accurate, less preparation, maintenance and fairly inexpensive when compared to other lighting methods. I am rather proud of my outside lighting prowess, too, as the West Coast breezes can be present a challenge at times :puffy:

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,813
178
I'm with you Craig. I am almost exclusively using matches now. Especially on the initial light. I will need to try the hemp light technique, I've heard great things and coming from you I can now trust it is the real deal.
Also, matches are much (much) easier to control in the wind if smoking outside. It's counter intuitive, but it's true and you get less pipe rim char with matches.

 

uncleblackie

Member
Dec 20, 2014
280
0
I keep a length of hemp wick wrapped around a bic lighter. I agree with all the advantages you describe. It’s actually faster than matches and more reliable. There’s also no match fumes and smoke to interfere with the taste of the tobacco. For relights, I just use the lighter but the wick is the superior method for initial ignition.
Nothing complicated about it.

 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
2,337
199
I've tried the hemp wick before, in my quest to avoid tongue issues. Heck, I even bought one of these, but didn't really notice much difference in terms of reducing tongue burn. And the lighting of the lighter was annoying.
I might revisit it. I keep a small amount of wick in the car.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,810
5
The wick is fantastic. Soft flame, easily controlled, no smell or taste, easy to extinguish. I used it to light candles in Lodge, too, no more silly barbecue lighter and I can carry it lit for the whole time. I just put it out with my fingers, and it is ready to put right back in my pocket. Not once has my leg caught on fire. Win.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
0
I am intrigued by these hemp wicks...
Where do you guys source them from?
I have never seen these in the flesh.

 

nitemair13

Member
May 24, 2018
268
0
North Carolina
Love matches but they rarely get used since I smoke outdoors and get blown out before I ever touch the tobacco. Hemp wick I've tried and it's useful but I find myself just grabbing my zippo or bic more often than anything. But I love those still days when I can use matches.

 

uncleblackie

Member
Dec 20, 2014
280
0
Simenon, my local B&M stocks the Beeline brand, and I prefer that brand over the others I’ve tried. I’ve also purchased bulk rolls off of Amazon, and that’s the way to go if you decide you like it. I’ll take 10 feet or so off the roll, and wrap it around my lighter. The beeswax keeps it wrapped around and in place very well, and this way it’s always there at the ready if I want to use it.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,810
5
My local headshop sells it in bulk at a nice price. I'm friends with the shopkeep, so it gives me a good reason to visit and something to actually buy to justify our hours of conversation.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,023
0
Diamond matches snuck in a new formulation for the accelerant. They’ve changed the strike pad too and it’s simple to tell the difference. Anyway, if you wa t to burn off the gook before touching your tobacco half the amtch will now be gone, and even then you can’t easily avoid the stuff. Who cares? Well, I’ve noticed to leaves a mouth coating residue which typically is not a sign of good news.
Hemp wick is great. You can grab it from amazon, just be sure it’s 1mm or wider. It has a lower burn temp then a wooden match which make for an aromatic, flavorful smoke....gotta maintain those voiatile oils!
Some wicks drip wax, let ‘em burn a bit before bringing it to your bowl as to avoid drippage :crying:

 

ravkesef

Preferred Member
Aug 10, 2010
2,530
4
Cheshire, CT
I often keep a smoker’s candle going when I’m relaxing in my easy chair or at my desk, and this makes it easy to light the hemp wick. The real advantages of the wick is that it burns at a temperature that is 50ºC lower than a match. For those who are interested, here’s the burning temperature of various methods. The hemp wick burns at

 

ravkesef

Preferred Member
Aug 10, 2010
2,530
4
Cheshire, CT
Sorry, but the software keeps cutting out my post when I try and list the temperatures. But in descending order, they are torch, butane, match, Zippo, wick. I’d love to give you the actual numbers, but they keep getting cut off. A torch should never be used on a pipe because the temperature of nearly 5000ºF is simply too high for wood or tobacco. The biggest jump occurs with butane, which burns at 3590ºF, but if you’re careful not to scorch the wood or tobacco, it’s not an issue. Matches burn at 1100ºF, while a Zippo comes in at 575ºF.
OK—that seemed to work. apparently, listing the temps in tabular form isn’t acceptable to the software. But there you have it.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
0
Thanks for the info, gentlemen. I will see what Amazon has to offer...
I don't know if I want to increase my pipe smoking costs by creating the need for more supplies but I have been annoyed with my brand of wooden matches lately so I might give these hemp wicks a whirl if they burn longer and cooler.