Gear related to fire are some of my favorite items to work with and review, which is good considering the ability to make a fire in a survival situation can be extremely important.
When I look at tools for starting a fire there are a few requirements I like them to have. They must be simple to use, easy to transport, waterproof, long-lasting, and above all reliable.
I will be using some of the above parameters in testing out a new piece of gear. Well, it is not exactly new as I have seen this item advertised for a while now. But it is new to me. The product that is being highlighted today is the Everstryke Match by the Family Protection Association (FPA). Let’s start by seeing what this metal match has to offer.
If you are in a hurry, check out the product below:
Everstryke Match Review: Features
A Ferro rod and wick in one package with a small metal clip allows the Everstryke to be easily carried on a keyring or attached to a pack. This metal match is also small enough to be comfortably carried in a pocket.
When struck the Ferro rod produces sparks at 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit and the match flame burns at over 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Ferro rod is rated for up to 15,000 strikes. An O-ring on the match threads helps to keep fuel from evaporating. This combination should keep the Everstryke going and going.
Country of Origin
This product is made in China.
Hands-On Review of the Everstryke Match
The very first thing that I noticed after opening the package was that this match is small, and I mean small.
The container itself measures in at 1 1/2″ x 1 1/8″ which means that this can be easily and discreetly carried almost anywhere.
What to Know First
There are a few things to know before using the match. The first is that the Everstryke does not come with fuel. Fuel will need to be added first.
The second is that like most Ferro rods, the Ferro rod on the side of the canister is covered in black paint that will need to be scraped away before sparks can be produced.
Everstryke Match Instructions: How To Use
The idea of this product quite simple. Unscrew the match from the canister and fill the canister roughly halfway with lighter fluid. Replace the match and tighten it back into place.
Allow the match to sit in the canister for a few minutes to make sure the match wick becomes soaked with fuel. Remove the match and use the metal scraper at the tip of the match to strike the Ferro rod. The sparks produced will ignite the fuel soaked wick.
Once the match is lit it is not designed to hold a flame for very long. I have seen various suggestions on this that range from 5-10 seconds. This is because the match itself does not contain that much fuel and once the fuel is gone, the wick begins to burn.
Field Testing the Everstryke Match
Preparing the match
The first thing I decided to do was to remove the black coating on the Ferro rod. To do this, I simply used the metal tip at the end of the match to scrape away the coating until I was able to produce sparks.
Next, it was time to add fuel. Any kind of lighter fluid can be used to fill the Everstryke although I would recommend only using fluid specifically for lighters.
I used Zippo Lighter Fluid but use whatever brand you prefer.
I removed the match from the canister and set it off to the side. I then began to add fuel through the small opening int the top.
When filling the canister, it should only be filled about halfway to two-thirds of the way full. This is so that fuel does not overflow when the match is screwed back into place.
I found adding fuel to be frustrating because it is difficult to see down into the fuel compartment. This makes gauging the amount of fuel almost impossible. Sure enough, the fuel was at the top of the canister before I knew it.
I used the end of the match to soak up some of the excess fuel before having to dump some out. I then screwed the match back into place and allowed a few minutes for the wick to soak. I used this time to wipe down the spilled fuel on the outside of the container.
Using the Match
After roughly ten minutes I grabbed the match and went outside to try it out. I have seen two different directions on how to use the match.
The first way is to hold the match at a forty-five-degree angle to the Ferro rod and to strike upwards. I do not like the idea of striking a Ferro rod towards my body. I opted for the second method which is to strike downward and away from my body.
I found that the match needs to be stuck very hard against the Ferro rod. It took me several attempts because the match is a bit awkward to handle due to its size.
It didn’t occur to me until I started using this that while striking the match, the fuel compartment is completely open. So I either had to be incredibly careful not to move the canister while striking the match or I had to put my thumb over the opening to prevent fuel from spilling out.
Safety Tip! This is another reason not to strike the match towards your body or in an upward direction. Should fuel spill out, the sparks would be produced right next to the fuel opening. That is not a good combination.
Finally, I was able to produce enough sparks to light the wick. Once I had a flame going I started counting in my head. I got to about five seconds before the size of the flame was drastically reduced in size and the wick started to burn.
I inserted the match back into the canister to resoak the wick. Now, that I had a feel for using it I wanted to snap a picture of the match burning.
I lit the match and set the fuel canister down. Holding the match in one hand I picked up my phone with the other and took a picture as quickly as I could. I only took one picture but apparently, that was too long because the wick became almost entirely burned.
I put everything back together, making sure the match was tightly secured, and set the Everstryke on my table for the night.
Waterproof and Fuel
The next morning I wanted to see if the match had retained enough fuel to be lit again. I shook the container and could hear the fluid sloshing around inside and I was able to light the match.
I then moved on to the waterproof test. Not only did I want to see if the container was waterproof but I was curious if it would float. The sealed container is described as being waterproof so I tossed it into a bowl of water.
The Everstryke does not float as it quickly sank to the bottom of the bowl. After a full minute of being underwater, I removed it from the bowl and shook off the excess water. After a few attempts, I was able to light the match. It does not appear that water made it inside.
Verdict: It’s waterproof
Replacing the Wick?
I found that these metal matches are offered by several different companies and supposedly there is one where the wick can be replaced.
To do this simply use a pair of pliers to pull the metal striker from the match. The striker and the wick should come out as one piece and the wick can be replaced with Zippo brand wicks.
Unfortunately, when I attempted to do this repair, the end of the striker snapped in half and I was unable to replace the wick.
Starting a Fire
Should you decide to use the Everstryke for starting an outdoor fire make sure you have plenty of tinder and kindling since the match cannot be lit for but a few seconds at a time.
It would also make sense to carry extra fuel since the match needs to be resoaked so often.
Best Uses for the Everstryke
Since the burn time of the match is so short I think it would be best used for lighting candles, camp stoves, and highly flammable fire-starting materials.
Everstryke Match Pros and Cons
- Difficult to gauge fuel level when adding fluid
- Small fuel capacity
- The match cannot burn for very long
- Once the wick has burned, it can no longer be used as a match
- Could not replace the wick
- Fluid can spill during use
A reusable metal match sounds cool but I like the idea of the Everstryke more than I liked using it. The canister holds so little fuel and the wick needs to be resoaked so often that it will burn through fluid quickly. Additionally, the O-ring also slipped off several times during use and if lost, this would lead to fuel loss.
Once the match is lit, it can only burn for seconds before having to blow it out. Otherwise, you risk burning the wick, which I did. Once the wick has burned through the match will not function or at least not very well.
The small size of the match is awkward to hold and use, especially when wearing gloves. This would make using the match during cold weather difficult.
Overall, the Everystryke Match was interesting to try out but it will not be replacing anything in my fire kit. If you decide to try the Everstryke you won’t’ be out much as it only costs a couple of bucks. But in my opinion, you would be better off spending that on a couple of Bic lighters.
Do you have any experience with the Everstryke Match? If so feel free to sound off in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!