Are paper matches really all that bad?

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A_Morley
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Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by A_Morley » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:25 pm

I can remember, back in the day, being cautioned against using paper matches. If you were going to light a pipe with matches, 'twas said to be best to use wooden matches, paper matches being impregnated with all manner of foul chemicals. I tried to avoid using them. As the years have past, I find that I don't care as much, and I'll use paper matches if I happen to have them.

I really don't notice that much of a difference. Not to say that wooden matches aren't neat, but I would be hard pressed to say that paper matches actually taint the taste of the tobacco. As is is, most I the time I just use a Bic lighter.

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by Penrose » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:49 pm

A_Morley wrote:As is is, most I the time I just use a Bic lighter.
Same here. I can't tell the difference. It was the unreliability of paper matches though that had me using them only when there was nothing else. Too often they'd either become too moisturized to use, or they'd deposit a crumb of burning matchhead on my figertip.

Ohio Blue Tips. Now those I really miss!

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by A_Morley » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:53 pm

Penrose wrote:Ohio Blue Tips. Now those I really miss!
And Swan Vestas. Remember Swan Vestas?
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by Penrose » Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:00 pm

A_Morley wrote:
Penrose wrote:Ohio Blue Tips. Now those I really miss!
And Swan Vestas. Remember Swan Vestas?
I don't. How can I have missed these, Holmesian that I consider myself to be?

From Wikipedia:
In popular culture
"Vestas", without the capital, appear in the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze, and finding a half-burned one is one of the clues that helps solve the crime. They also appear in the story The Man with the Twisted Lip, as the professional beggar Hugh Boone pretends "a small trade in wax vestas" to avoid the police. In both of these stories, "vesta" is used as a generic term for "match". The discovery of "an odd vesta or two" made it possible for Richard Hannay to escape confinement in John Buchan's novel "The Thirty-Nine Steps." They are also mentioned in Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves on p. 466 as a personal item that Navidson decides to bring with him into the house.

Swan Vestas matches are also used as an instrument in the off-Broadway and touring productions of Stomp, with the actors alternating between shaking and striking full boxes of matches - with the striker heads removed - to create a musical number.[2]

A pub legend is that swan vestas management paid an employee a large fee for suggesting they put only one striker board instead of two to save money, however there is no evidence for this.

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by Hovannes » Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:48 pm

Paper?
I suppose if that is all I had with me, but---
Either they go out too quickly to give the time to carefully and thoroughly make a good ignition due to some sort of inhibitor,
OR they burn too fast and threaten a more immediate and painful destiny.
Either way, I ain't a fan of paper matches.
Wooden matches, gratis from the local B&M, is the way I fire up.

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by SergeantMark » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:31 pm

If you have very calloused fingers that are impervious to burning, paper matches are fine. The again, I'll find a way to burn myself using just about anything.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by CW Spook » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:33 pm

I found a 30-yr old paper matchbook in my pipe case this week. They were a give-away at the bank I worked in from 72-88. I tried to light my pipe with one the other night. It wouldn't strike. It did burn nicely though, once I touched it off with my Old Boy.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by sugarcane1 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:11 pm

I use these, wooden matches, imco lighter, nimrod lighter, bic lighter in no signicant order. Each does a good job. I would rank the imco best indoors, followed by the matches and bic. Nothing beats the nimrod for outdoors.

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by Gabriel » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:26 pm

The only thing wrong with paper matches is their quick burn time. Back when I used to smoke in the office on occasion (after hours of course), I would use paper matches as the cig smokers had them laying around all over the place. They work fine and I never really noticed a negative taste. I wouldn't want to use them outside, but inside they were fine. As long as you don't mind using several at a time.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by SlowToke » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:00 am

There's all manner of myth and legend in our hobby. Paper matches tainting the tobacco flavors, I fear, is one of them. I don't use them because I don't have access to them but if I did they'd be just fine. These days I primarily use an Old Boy.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by GaryInVA » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:09 am

A_Morley wrote:
Penrose wrote:Ohio Blue Tips. Now those I really miss!
And Swan Vestas. Remember Swan Vestas?
I still have a small stash of Swan Vestas. They are still available on Amazon.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by venator260 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:10 pm

GaryInVA wrote:
A_Morley wrote:
Penrose wrote:Ohio Blue Tips. Now those I really miss!
And Swan Vestas. Remember Swan Vestas?
I still have a small stash of Swan Vestas. They are still available on Amazon.
And at Iwan Ries, it seems.

http://www.iwanries.com/swan-vesta-ciga ... 52C528.cfm

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by Onyx » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:15 pm

SergeantMark wrote:If you have very calloused fingers that are impervious to burning, paper matches are fine. The again, I'll find a way to burn myself using just about anything.
Fold the paper match book around backwards to pinch the match-head against the strike pad. Pull the match through... no burned fingers.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by Pepik » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:17 pm

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by venator260 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:18 pm

Onyx wrote:
SergeantMark wrote:If you have very calloused fingers that are impervious to burning, paper matches are fine. The again, I'll find a way to burn myself using just about anything.
Fold the paper match book around backwards to pinch the match-head against the strike pad. Pull the match through... no burned fingers.

Don't hold the matchbook tight for long though. A few times I've had a piece of sulfur break off, get trapped between the sides of the book, and begin to burn the cardboard. My thumb got very warm, very quickly.

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by FredS » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:55 am

I had not heard that admonition against paper matches and I have not noticed any fouling when I use paper matches. Mrs FredS likes to shop at a local surplus/overstock type store and picked up this package last year. A thousand dependable lights for $0.50 is a pretty good deal if you ask me. Next to a bic, these are the best for using in breezy conditions because I can gang 2 or 3 matches and get a pretty good blaze going. Pretty much every coat, jacket, bag, and pack I own has a few boxes of paper matches in it.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by Hovannes » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:24 am

Good paper matches aren't bad at all, but I haven't seen any of those in the US in decades.
It used to be fancy saloons, restaurants and hotels took pride in their advertising which was imprinted on really good match books.
I think the last book of really good paper matches I had was from the Hong Kong Hotel, and that was in the early 90's.
The ones you get today for free at the Valero or the one's you can buy in stores are horrible and I refuse to use them for anything other than lighting a chimney to fire up the B-B-Q or other jobs where it doesn't take any time to git 'er goin'
Steel wool and a 9 volt is a better light.
Wood is where it's at.

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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by spiritfilled » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:47 am

I use em. When I'm out of wooden matches & my backup lighter is out, I can still get a few books free from the local Casey's. They work good, but I don't use em as a primary lighting source.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by mstg99 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:40 am

My wife keeps several books in the bathroom and encourages me to use them.
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Re: Are paper matches really all that bad?

Post by A_Morley » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:31 pm

Please note: I have been using paper matches to light my pipe all day and I still notice no ill effect.

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