Introduction: How to Make Strike Anywhere Matches

Picture of How to Make Strike Anywhere Matches

You will need: Safety matches (with matchbox), sanding paper, a small container, something to stir with, a pair of pliers, a tube or a D-cell battery, and water.

You will also need something to lay the matches on, like a the edge of a table or this CD case that I used.

Step 1: Sanding of Phosphorus

Picture of Sanding of Phosphorus

Sand off the phosphorus on the sides of the matchbox (striking surfaces) and put the powder in the container.

Step 2: Put on the Phosphorus

Picture of Put on the Phosphorus

Put a few drops if water in the container and stir well. Take the matches, one by one, and dip them in the mixture. Then lay them on the edge of the table/CD case.

Step 3: Cover the Phosphorus

Picture of Cover the Phosphorus

When they're dry, take some new matches and squeeze off the heads with the pliers, then pulverize the powder with the pipe or battery by pressing it down and rolling it over the powder and then put it in the container (if you're using the same container, be sure to wash out the leftover phosphorus). Add a few drops of water and stir well. Then dip the matches in the new mix so that you cover the phosphorus already on them and let them to dry again for a while.

Step 4: Test

Picture of Test

Step 5: Warning

Please be sure to wash your hands after making these matches, phosphorus is toxic.


JamesY23 (author)2016-02-13

Okay, you know you can buy strike anywhere matches, don't you? You do not have to go through this. Buy a bunch of them and store them in dry boxes, containers. I've been reading many of your posts and I can't help but wonder why you make so many simple things seem so complicated.

THEMONEY (author)JamesY232017-04-02

Buy some of those "strike anywhere" matches you speak of and try to strike them on a rock or the seat of your pants.

OH2BIO (author)JamesY232016-06-25

Well. These are not available in Finland either. I think that these amay be banned in EU, but not sure. I'd like to buy those but it's not possible to ship them from the States to Finland. At least it is very expensive because of strict safety regulations.

artenlor (author)OH2BIO2016-11-15

That's sad because strike any where matches are one of the ingredients in the orginal Molotov Cocktails that were developed in Finland, you should complain based on a historical and patriotic interest.

OH2BIO (author)artenlor2016-11-15

As far as I know, Finnish Molotov Cocktail had 12cm long, 60 second Storm Matches (Bengali Stick), not strike anywhere matches. Those would have been really dangerous. There were two sticks. The other was a spare one if you didn't have to throw the bottle on the first time. These Bengali Flares were stiked using matchbox striking surface.

DiabolicusR (author)JamesY232016-04-22

Somehow, I think survival after civilization's fall will be quite simple for you, hmmm?

DIYWEAPONS (author)JamesY232016-02-18

I hope you realise james that many countries do not produce strike anywhere matches.

Benjizee (author)DIYWEAPONS2016-02-19

Like Nigeria/ West Africa for instance

davidthefrog (author)2016-11-15

hi! to be clear what the article is about is turning 'safety matches' into friction matches, its not the Victorian recipe for 'strike anywhere matches' , so they wont strike on your silver or gold vesta cases ('match safe' if you're reading this in American.

Well it's not the Victorian recipe (victorian matches were extremely toxic), but.....maybe these might? I know they will strike on the seat of your pants. That said, they are way more dangerous, as they are extremely volatile.

Cole Rorich (author)2015-11-01

could you could use metholated spirits instead of water to reduce the drying time?

3nertia (author)Cole Rorich2017-01-25

Not sure the phosphorous would dissolve in alcohol

f1dd13r (author)2016-09-18

fantastic I am going to try this. I was just looking at the cost of buying some on ebay and it was ridiculous..£3 for a few little matches

davidthefrog (author)f1dd13r2016-11-15

buy swan matches at your local Morrisons for £1 per 4 box pack.

agis68 (author)2015-11-26

interesting issue...thanx for spread it. Anyway you can take phosphorus also from a dozen of things we use...(fertilizer containing Ph, Bones take any bone and just polverized it (not very old thow), If you have any old TV smash the screen and collect the Ph etc). If don't like after drying the head of some matches drop down use with water glue mixed with water....and get the best result....Also making the matches cover them with aluminium foil (all of them). The reason is simple....these matches are really sensitive in heat and shakings.....enjoy

gaieb (author)2015-05-29

Interesting, but where do you get the

lmaccaskill (author)gaieb2015-08-09

Did you attempt to read the directions?

Step 1: Sanding of phosphorus

Sand off the phosphorus on the sides of the matchbox (striking surfaces) and put the powder in the container.

RobleyM (author)lmaccaskill2015-10-27

I had to look closer also. The instructions say that, but it appears on the picture that you use the matchbox as the sanding tool to remove phosphorus from the block in the picture.

wwwapexmatchcom (author)2015-09-16

it's so simple. Buy dont try this at home...

wwwapexmatchcom (author)2015-09-16

harmonious1 (author)2015-04-06

That is inGEENyous!! I LOVE it. It made me so mad when I found out they were not letting us have strike anywhere matches anymore. It used to be they were just called "matches" cuz we had never heard of "safety matches". We just knew we had to be careful and not set our hair on fire.

ufpsc (author)2014-12-31

As for the safety issue I am sure that e-bay has plastic match containers somewhere in camping gear. They are round watertight and usually orange in color

kevanchristian (author)2014-10-22

Wow awsome! thanks for the warning cause I would never habe nown that

JohnS22 (author)2014-10-02

Thank you, this I ll put with my 'Fire Bugs', while they aren t quite like yours, they are a definite need to know prep.

namraps (author)2011-05-31

You can buy strike anywhere matches at OSH (Orchard Supply)

veeguy (author)namraps2014-02-06

You do realize people from all over the planet Earth use this web site, right? I have been in a *lot* of places but I don't recall a OSH store in Nairobi Kenya or Capetown South Africa or Quito Ecudor, certainly not in Hanoi or Kiev either if I remember right.

djthe.cow (author)veeguy2014-09-08

they're not in Australia either

benny8025 (author)namraps2011-05-31

i cant

Pure Carbon (author)2014-02-21

finally I can make my own, thank you

dracothered (author)2011-05-29

This is cool, but I find it easier to go to e-bay and buy a couple boxes of strike anywhere Diamond Matches...

Zovits (author)dracothered2011-05-29

Sorry if I'm mistaken but it seems to me as if you were missing the point of this whole DIY-thing. Of course it's easier to buy stuff, but it's usually cheaper, more fun and more satisfying to make stuff yourself.

hellstudios (author)Zovits2011-05-29

actually, in this case i believe it would be cheaper to buy the strike anywhere matches on ebay.

veeguy (author)hellstudios2014-02-06

You should invest enough time to read the already left comments before saying the same comment that that was already addressed TWICE!

benny8025 (author)hellstudios2011-05-29

i dont think so,but it's less work.

puertojake (author)Zovits2011-05-29

you are not mistaken, and i agree, if the feedback other commenters are putting up is "its easier", or "ill buy it elsewhere", i see no point of them reading this, or even visiting this site. it seems like they are just trying to be conceited " "heads and unfortunately theres just to many of them trolling...i wish the "be nice" policy was enforced...and i mean whats up with the plug, work for any particular match company do ya?

dracothered (author)puertojake2011-06-01

Hey I wasn't trolling or making a plug for a company. I just said I find it easier for this type of thing to buy them. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't keep this in the back of my mind if I couldn't get those matches any more.

You are assuming to much by my comment I made... Also to clear up why would I go to e-bay to get strike anywhere matches is because I can't get them locally (some think I will hurt myself with them).

Besides I thought it was a cool DIY...

puertojake (author)dracothered2011-06-01

ok, then, but i hope you see how i may have taken that tone to mean it was somehow unappreciative of the effort. I see by your concern and clarification, that you do appreciate it, so i apologize for implying it was troll like. I have had past interactions in the diy where the stated intention of authors was to call something stupid, unnecesary, or otherwise "uncool", and perhaps i am a bit sensitive to it. but since you did start with "its cool", its the "but" part that ruined it for me.

so fair enough...

benny8025 (author)puertojake2011-05-29


ARJOON (author)Zovits2011-05-29


bpfh (author)dracothered2011-05-30

Swan Vesta matches in the UK...

Hey, remember that in my country, no one has ever heard of strike anywhere matches (except for me and a few others that browse the net and went to the US). Which means no one sells them, which means this is the most useful instructable anyone here can... use.

Since when do people goto eBay for Matches! Forget buying at your local store or forbid maybe buy from a friend who sells them. Jerk-Economics!

oilitright (author)2011-05-29

OK the author gets an 'atta-boy' for the effort and a hearty keep up the good work. OK the grammar and spelling might not be perfect but it is understandable. If I were the author I might want to edit it to say where the phosphorous is coming from and maybe go buy a zippo which is one of the things I never leave home without and I don't smoke. A zippo if the most reliable foire producing device I've found that fits in my pocket.

veeguy (author)oilitright2014-02-06

Zippo's are great and I always carry my 45 year old stainless steel model, but if your life is going to depend on lighting a fire, I'd strongly suggest a magnesium bar with a built in flint and striker. Zippo's run dry, are susceptible to getting wet, need tinder and rarely, the sparker wheel can break. If the wheel does break, Zippo will replace/repair it free, but that won't keep you warm in the woods if lost.

zer0vector (author)oilitright2011-05-29

I'd say a Bic lighter is lighter, cheaper, and probably even more reliable than a zippo. If you don't use a zippo for a long while, the lighter fluid can dry up, that won't happen with a Bic.

oilitright (author)zer0vector2011-06-09

OK I see your point, but a bic can leak out and stays in the land fill forever and I don't have to buy another one when it's empty. Zippo will definitely light in conditiones where a bic will never light and when it does light the Zippo is a lot more fire. And don't overlook the coolness factor Zippo cool, has character and history, bic, not so much. I've seen more then a couple Zippo lighter collections with valuable specimens, can't recall any bic collections.

benny8025 (author)zer0vector2011-05-29

But matches cannot explode like a BIC. When my father went to school he was told that a man once got killed useing a lighter

benny8025 (author)oilitright2011-05-29

Just read under the picture

MandalorianMaker (author)2014-01-07

real cool ill try this soon

DIYerr (author)2012-01-21

While I find the discussion about safety during storage to be completely valid, what's life without a little excitement. ;)

If you are really concerned about them igniting in your pocket or during storage/ transportation, one option is to dip the heads in melted paraffin wax, and then let them dry. To use, scrape the wax off the heads, and then light as usual. This method also waterproofs the matches. If any wax covers the matchstick, it will slightly increase the time it takes for the flame to get to your fingers (think of it like a candle).

Great instructable, benny.

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