What happened to 'strike anywhere' matches?

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Not that long ago, you could go to any store in town and buy those wooden 'strike anywhere' kitchen matches. Not a single store seems to be carrying them today and the clerks just give me a blank stare and don't know what I talking about.

I know Scary Gary was encouraging his follows to stockpile them a while back but I don't need (nore have room to store) a $40 case of them - I simply want 3 or 4 boxes.

So what's the scoop here? Is anyone else having difficulting finding these?

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), May 06, 1999


Arnie, they are illegal in many (not all) states. Too great a potential for mischief.

-- De (delewis@inetone.net), May 06, 1999.

Illegal? Surely you jest? When? Where? What!?

What kind of reasoning is this based on?

They'll sell me a fully automatic, large magazine match (i.e. a Bic lighter) but they won't sell me a 'strike anywhere' match? I feel like I've been asleep for 20 years..

Rip Van Rimmer

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), May 06, 1999.


I too have been vainly searching for these little gems. Aside from y2k, I camp & backpack alot, and having to tote the "strike on box" matches is a royal pain, since you have to either take the whole box, or cut out the "strike" part of the box and carry that. I haven't seen the "strike anywhere" carried in grocery stores in my area for at least 2 months. I am now experimenting with alternative portable surfaces that will ignite the "safety" kitchen matches. No luck so far, just alot of wasted matches. I will post if I find something that works. Any ideas?


-- Spindoctor (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), May 06, 1999.

Arnie, I found them at Smart & Final (real small version of Costco) in San Jose. A 3 box package with 250 matches in each box for $2.39. HTH, Rich

-- Rich Miller (rmiller2@ix.netcom.com), May 06, 1999.

The reason you have to use the side of the box on those safety matches is that there is a chemical on that part that has to be combined with the match to cause it to ignite. That is not just a rough surface on the box side. Strike anywhere matches have that little extra tip on them that will ignite from just friction. Anyway, you might want to check in with some hunting and fishing stores, rod and gun stores. I have heard that some of them do carry those matches. It seems the problem is one of transporting them from the factory to the stores. They are listed as "hazardous material" now (thank the government for that) and shippers put a lot of restrictions on them. But of course, ammunition is also strictly controlled in shipping, so maybe the factory is able to combine their matches with such other hazardous material shipments to gun shops.

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), May 07, 1999.

The short wooden in a box kind will strike on your hiney if you are wearing tight fitting jeans. (I watched the boys do it last night when they were lighting the barbecue)

-- marsh (armstrong@sisqtel.net), May 07, 1999.

Some years ago a fellow where I worked talked about his growing up in South Carolina. He said he and his buddies would fill a short 1" pipe with matchheads, close both ends with nipples, fasten the pipe on a little wooden raft, take it to a fishing lake they knew about, float the raft and let the wind take it out from shore a bit. Then they'd stand back in the woods and shoot at it with 22 cal. rifles. Eventually somebody would hit the pipe, the match heads would ignite, the pipe went Boom, and they'd go out to collect the stunned fish.

-- Shocked (I~tell~you@shocked.edu), May 07, 1999.

Arnie, I've noticed the same thing around here. My husband has been able to find some at a local grocery chain Crest's in MWC,OK. I've bought what I thought were "strike anywhere" but didn't pay close enough attention and when I got home and looked at them more closely, they were the "strike on box" kind. Since then, I've been checking the matches down the match-charcoal-fluid,etc. aisles at the supermarkets and notice that they have been strike on the box kind. Will check what kind Walmart supercenter has next time I'm there.

-- Barb Waltrip (awaltrip@telepath.com), May 07, 1999.

Thanks, Gordon.

I suspected that the white tip on the strike-anywhere matches were some kind of phosphorus compound, but I didn't want to mess with that sort of stuff on my own. Thanks for the info. I'll keep looking. Arnie, keep your matches dry!


-- Spindoctor (spindoc_99_2000@yahoo.com), May 07, 1999.

The supermarket I often go to hasn't had them the last two times I was there, but they do usually have these matches. The brand they carry says "Ohio Blue Tip Matches - Strike Anywhere Kitchen Matches" on the box.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), May 07, 1999.

I have NO problem finding them here in Cleveburgh.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (rienzoo@en.com), May 07, 1999.

"They are listed as "hazardous material" now (thank the government for that) and shippers put a lot of restrictions on them.

Oh that's rich. The same government that ships the anthrax virus via Federal Express (with no warnings or handling precautions attached) treats matches with greater caution. I'm serious. Got that first hand yesterday from someone with access to Federal Express shipping records. Oh well, that's our government for ya. Penny smart and pound foolish.

-- David (David@BankPacman.com), May 07, 1999.

They went on strike.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 07, 1999.

How many ya want and how much are ya willing to pay? We got lots around here.

No mystery. Liability lawyers 'strike' again.

Look, set aside a few boxes of them. At 250 matches each they will last years if you are careful. Then go out and buy a few handfuls of butane lighters. You now have fire for life.

-- Art Welling (artw@lancnews.infi.net), May 07, 1999.

Ohio Blue Tip and Diamond "strike on box" matches are available in grocery stores down here in Georgia. They are strike anywhere matches, even though it doesn't say so on the box.

-- Jill Dance (jdance@mindspring.com), May 07, 1999.

Just one more comment about the strike anywhere, Ohio Blue Tips. When Gary North posted that item about them, way back, I called the company with the numer GN had provided. Got a real nice lady there who said they were having real problems with finding shippers for their product. Apparently, some shippers will move them, other won't, or some put so many restrictions and extra fees on them that the Ohio company didn't use them. She said they were working on trying to solve the problem. So I imagine you will see them in some areas, but not others, depending on which trucker is will to carry them to the area that he is making runs to. Simple as that. A fine product, been around for years, but has now run afoul of safety regulations when they want to move the product across state lines.

-- Gordon (gpconnolly@aol.com), May 07, 1999.


Isn't Crest "wonderful" for getting supplies at? I live in MWC, and have purchased alot of my stock from there. You have to check frequently, as they do not advertise their sales. I have bought many things there for anywhere from .50 to 1.00 off the other stores. Last time I looked at Walmart, the did not have the matches, but Jumbo Sports had small boxes of them, as well as the waterproof matches, but that was some months ago.

Do you live in MWC?

-- (cannot-say@this.time), May 07, 1999.

my local grocerie store had them as long as I can remember.but now,they sell out every week(hmmm)so I buy a box every time I buy food (supplies not withstanding)I dip the entire box in parafin for waterproofing,I've got about 50 boxes and I'll keep buying them

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), May 07, 1999.

Glue medium sandpaper to anything, a piece of wood, etc and strike the matches on that. Works fine. Ohio Blue Tips are the best!

-- charlie (cstewart@ime.net), May 07, 1999.

It's been a while, but what I have read in several places is that either the match or the strike surface needed to have some phosphorous in order sufficiently to lower the ignition temperature to enable simple friction to 'light' the match.


-- Jerry B (skeptic76@erols.com), May 07, 1999.

Dear Cannot,

No, not located in MWC but live in the OKC area. Like to do shopping in different places around metro for best bargains and less notoriety. Wall's in Shawnee is a real good bargain bin for sundries,bandaids, vitamins, etc. Just watch the expiration dates on stuff but very CHEAP. Garage sales season is starting up again and my hubby, kids and I are big garage saler nuts!! Good bargain hunting to ya!

-- Barb (awaltrip@telepath.com), May 08, 1999.

I ordered Strike Anywhere matches from Coleman's Surplus Guide, 1-888- 478-7758.

-- Junior (Junior@Duck.NC), May 08, 1999.

Get a magnesium fire starter block for fire for the rest of your life.

-- Will (sibola@hotmail.com), May 08, 1999.

Will, I appreciate that suggestion. Where does one get that?

-- Wallflower (y2kwallflr@aol.com), May 08, 1999.

They banned the matches cuz' my buddies and me are pyros and misfits lol so easy answer

-- Vladimir The Evil (iranianbombmasta@yahoo.com), December 26, 2002.

I heard that if you take one of those strike on box matches and strike on a dollar bill it works just as good.

-- derek (linx1347@yahoo.com), March 02, 2003.

I just read the same thing, but it seeems to not be true, due to me trying it....

-- Craig (antipodeanist@hotmail.com), April 26, 2003.

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