Matches.! The good, the bad and the ugly.

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Aug 23, 2015
Morning gents', let's talk matches!
Alof of us use them when the weather is right, but which ones are 'best', favoured, most used etc?
I've tried a bunch over the years, some of which taste vile, sour, phosferousy and/or are too bloody short and wet! It must be due to the pine sticks they are all made of, they are so full of resin/moisture.
There are an abundance of brands in the shops, mostly safety matches, but the strike anywhere ones I can only seem to find are 'Swan' branded, they are far too short, the sticks full of moisture which pools and they taste kind of chemically even after the head has fully burnt off. Theya ren't terrible though, better than most, but big multi boxes of 'Clipper' branded safety ones are not only cheap as chips, they are longer and burn dryer.
SO what are you using??
Never tried a paper match btw, but the smell of burning paper is rank lol.
thanks is advance!



Preferred Member
Aug 26, 2013
Great Falls, VA
I use whatever the grocery store has, usually 10 small boxes in a package for a couple of bucks. I tend to stay away from safety matches as there is more chemical smell and it burns much hotter. Less likely to burn the rim either way.



Staff member
May 11, 2011
A 3-pack of these are around $5 at my Food Lion (I must show ID to buy matches in MD...).

They work great. The secret to the box making it thru the supply of matches is that I keep it in a small, tupperware container so it doesn't soak up any moisture (mine live out on the patio in the summer, workshop in the winter).
I'm a match guy all the way.



Junior Member
Aug 26, 2015
I'm in Amsterdam and quite a lot of my matches don't light even when indoors. Constant 80+ percent humidity, yay!



Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
At one time I was feverishly searching out some strike anywhere matches,

it's just such a hassle to get them.
I contemplated buying vintage boxes of them,

but those are usually too pricey and the heads are often soft and rotted.
While researching the SA's I came across many lamentations of their passing,

especially on survivalist boards.
Red Bird matches got good reviews.
I just went the easy route and use the Diamonds.

an odd alternative is this thing:

which is really great for bottom of bowl relights,

and it's just fun to use!




Preferred Member
Oct 17, 2013
I have a large box of Redbird strike-anywhere matches (made by the Eddy match co. of Pembroke, Ont.) that sit by the patio door and a small tin full in my pocket at all times but I always have a few boxes of Sea-Dog wooden matches made in Sweden and stocked by my local B+M.



Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
Those Diamond Greenlights Al uses work just fine for me, too. As long as you give it a second for the sulphur to burn off, they leave no taste that I can detect.



Preferred Member
Oct 22, 2013
I can't find anything other than the Diamond matches at MalWart, but I buy the standard. I had a box of the Greenlights and even when I let the head burn off, they still imparted a funky taste, so they were relegated to fireplace duty.



Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
The dollar store has the diamond greens in kitchen size for $1.00 a box. I used to use them all the time after switching from the smaller size.

What I use now is hemp wick and a butane lighter. I light the hemp wick with the butane and I'm off!

Saves on butane and provides the best light I've ever found.

I bought about a 400' roll of hemp wick for cheap and I just pull it off the roll and put it inside a small 'pill' jar with a hole in its lid to allow me to pull it out as I need it.

Hands down, the best light there is.



Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
Swan Vesta matches were at one time the go-to pipe lighting match but they dried up not long after I came into the hobby. We have a full box in the smoke shop junk drawer that I've lit my pipe with a few times. Very long and clean burning, the perfect indoor, sitting in an overstuffed leather chair type luxury.



Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
East Indiana
I miss Swan Vestas so much. Nothing...Nothing burns as well. But I fear with our societies' nanny state mentality they shall not return.



Preferred Member
Oct 12, 2011
Never tried a paper match btw, but the smell of burning paper is rank lol.
Paper match for me! diamond greenlight book paper matches. Let them burn off, and off I go...



Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
In the summer matches are great, the smell kind of goes well with Latakia.
But, come winter I find it extremely difficult to get them to light correctly (sure the chemical striker works, but the wood goes out almost immediately if I don't do things right). At 20-30 degrees below freezing it's actually very hard to find reliable sources of fire, and a bic next to your body is just about the only way to go.

I suppose I've never actually tried warming the matches... Plenty of time for experiments in a few months.



Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
I use the little cardboard or wood ones they sell at Wal-mart and grocery stores. Efficiency trumps proficiency in this case.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2015
I have a large box of Redbird strike-anywhere matches (made by the Eddy match co. of Pembroke, Ont.)
I toured the Eddy match factory in Pembroke, Ontario in July 1970.
I didn't realize it was even still operating.



Preferred Member
Jan 23, 2015
I don't use matches often but when I do it's Red Bird in the small boxes. I like using matches but they don't seem convenient to me when I'm on the go. :puffy:

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