About a year and a half ago I posted something complaining about strike-anywhere wooden matches.
I tend to go through a lot of wooden matches, and the issues I feared with those particular matches didn’t come to pass. The matches were fine. The boxes were shite.
If you’re using “kitchen” matches in an actual kitchen, that “strike-anywhere” feature isn’t very useful. Are you really going to scratch that piece of phosphorus across the face of your cabinets, over and over again? I didn’t think so. Yet the striking surfaces on the box will not survive the 250-300 attempts per box you’re about to inflict on them. They just won’t. Trust me on this, you’ll run out of box before you run out of matches.
Not long ago, I inadvertently stumbled on an improvement.
Matches are important tools to me, and I tend to pay full-price for name-brand tools unless there’s a good reason not to. But I needed matches one day while I was in the dollar store where I do a lot of my food shopping, and I was feeling cheap. So I just bought a package of whatever was on the shelf there. I expected them to be inferior crap, but it was summer and best-quality matches weren’t as critical to my comfort as they are in winter.
To my surprise, they were superior. Oh, they’re basically just matches. Strike them and they light up. And they’re not “strike-anywhere.” But here’s something I hadn’t realized before, or at least hadn’t noticed: Strike-anywhere matches are harder to light, which means you’ve got to bear down, which means that when you always strike them on the box you tear up the box.
These “strike-on-box” matches are much easier to light. Which means you don’t have to beat hell out of the striking surfaces, which means that the box will actually last through the end of its contents. Which is an improvement.