I have found the quality of these matches to be far less than they used to be. One strike out of three or four matches is very common. I will no longer buying these matches.
The last couple of boxes of Swan matches we bought were of a quality which was definitely inferior to previous boxes of Swan matches we have used, albeit a few years ago. The striking surface is noticeably poor and the matches also were reluctant to ignite. We had a successful flame with every third or fourth match. It made us think that the matches were fake but seeing as they were bought in a Tesco supermarket this was probably unlikely.
Swan Vesta are the original match box company. They were first made in 1883, initially known as Swan wax matches but settling on the Swan Vesta name in 1906. They are the UK's number one match and have been for over 80 years.
Swan Vesta matches are shorter than conventional matches and this has made them popular with smokers as the matchbox is small and convenient enough to carry around in your pocket or bag, without having to draw out large unwieldy matches every time you fancy a smoke. They were known universally as 'The smokers matches' until we became much more conscious of the effects of smoking and advertising on smoking became frowned upon, they are now known as the original.
Swan Vesta matches are made in Sweden from sustain ably grown aspen trees, which is reassuring. They come in the iconic yellow matchbox with a green box and a white picture of a swan on one side of the box and a red box with the white wording 'Swan' on the other. This is a cool box and really has maintained its original routes whilst keeping its identity after a long period of time.
I buy these irregularly to light candles (Generally during electricity cuts or on birthday cakes) and other items in the home or for camping trips as a support mechanism (not sure what I'd do with them, but it feels reassuring having them and a torch), I buy them because my dad always used them for smoking, I love the look of them and the convenience, they are cheap and easy to store and reliable, I can always easily light candles and don't have to worry too much about the light getting out of hand. They are small but light things perfectly and are a great little performer.
You can buy a box of matches for around 32p at Tesco or a 4 pack for £1.20, you get around 50-60 matches in a box so this is great value, a box lasts us ages and doesn't let us down.
The plus side of these matches are they are very cheap, easily available in any newsagent or supermarket and convenient to carry around. The down side nowadays is that due to their size they have to be very well hidden in our house as they are the perfect size for our toddler to play with if they were to get their hands on them.
Overall these look cool, my Dad still uses them and has done for 45 years, whilst I've bought them simply because I presumed they are the best. No longer the smokers best friend, these are a slightly better multi-purpose tool nowadays in an era when lighters or bigger matches reign supreme.
I don't smoke or have an open fire so I only tend to use matches from time to time but because I like to light candles often I do still get a fair bit of use out of them. I really struggle with lighters (I think I'm the only person who does lol) and so I've always had to use matches instead and my favourite brand of choice are these ones.
I bought a pack of 4 for £1.20 from Tesco although you can also buy a single pack for a little under 40p in smaller corner shops. Obviously I prefer the pack though as it is essentially the same price but I manage to save myself the effort of going out to get more in future.
The match strikes really well and I haven't had to do what I do with some other brands where I'm having to desperately keep striking over and over to light it. Usually one or two will do the trick. Immediately you hear the 'swoosh' sound and the match blares up and is ready to light something. It doesn't burn too quickly which is great for me as the issue I have with lighters are usually that I swipe my thumbs across the flame so I'd like to avoid that as much as possible.
The pack is small and easy to carry about if you're using them on the go like out in the garden for a barbeque or bonfire. The matches themselves are about 3.5-4cm in length and easy to hold onto. The side of the yellow box has a strip to strike the match against but you can also do that against any rough surface and I have with a brick wall for example when outside in the garden. I do prefer to use the edge though just because it is easier, however after a while it does lose its friction and becomes more difficult to light some matches.
Overall these are excellent matches I would definitely recommend. They work well, there's plenty in the box (I think around 80) and are easy to just pop out and use at your convenience. The price is also excellent and you get great quality for your money's worth.
Like most households I'm sure, we always keep a box of matches in our kitchen drawer. These are used mostly for lighting candles and the fire. We always buy these Swan Vestas matches in our house, probably because they are a well known brand.
These matches come in a distinctive yellow cardboard box. The box has a green square with a picture of a white swan on the front, and also a red square with the product name in white writing. There is a strip of red sandpaper up the side of the box which you can use to strike the matches. The matches are held in a push out cardboard tray. Each box of these matches contains 85 wooden matches with a pink tip.
Each of these matches is around 1.5 inches long. To light it you simply strike it across the sandpaper bit on the side of the box. I find these matches light really easily, 9 times out of 10 they will light on the first attempt. This is a change from other cheaper matches that I have used in the past that take numerous attempts to light! These matches can also be lit by striking them on any rough surface, for example a brick wall or a rock.
These matches are quite sturdy and I have never had any bother with them breaking, which is again a problem I have encountered with other brands of matches. Once lit, the matches will stay alight for a good few seconds. They burn down quite slowly, allowing you sufficient time to light your candle. The flame on the matches is a reasonable size. Using these matches it is easy to light most candles provided the wick is within easy reach.
These matches cost 32p at Tesco for a box of 85. I think this is a reasonable price, one box lasts for ages. Whilst there are other matches available at cheaper prices, I think the little extra that you pay for these Swan Vestas is worth it, as they are a high quality match. I give these a full 5* rating along with my recommendation. Thanks for reading/rating and I hope you found my review useful.
Product: Swan Vestas Matches
From: Local Newsagents
Swan Vestas Matches have been around for as long as I remember, I can clearly remember my granddad using these to light his cigarettes out in the back yard when I was just a little girl.
The Swan brand began back in 1883, these were finally christened "Swan Vestas" in 1906 and by the 1930's Swan Vestas had become Britains best selling match. The brand is now owned by the Swedish match company.
I buy my Swan Vestas Matches from my local newsagents for the price of just 32p. The box as the noticeable red, white and green colouring with the famous white swan logo pictured at the front. There is a sandpaper strip down the side of the box to enable to strike the match.
The box contains 86 matches, these are approximately 1.6 inches with a bright pink tip. These should be kept out the reach and away from children and it is recommended that you should always strike the match away from yourself.
The main reason I use the Swan matches are to light my candles. I love candles and have quite a vast collection, especially of the Yankee candles and these matches are perfect for lighting these with just one strike.
I've also used these matches for lighting birthday cakes and also to light our barbeques. The matches always strike and light the first time and they also stayed lit for a good amount of time.
These are fabulous quality and are great sized matches which I would definitely recommend and will continue to keep on using.
Dooyoo Stars Rating: 5/5 Stars.
===Why I Got This===
I suppose there are some households these days who do not need or use matches, but most homes need them occasionally for one use or another - even if it is only for when the power is cut off and we have to revert to candles.
The Swan brand began in 1883 and the matches were finally called 'Swan Vestas' in 1906. By the 1930s 'Swan Vestas' had become 'Britain's best selling match'. The brand is now owned by the Swedish Match company.
'The Original' Swan Vestas.
In cardboard box with the matches in a push out tray.
Yellow box with white swan and writing on the front and also red and green logos.
Sandpaper down one side of the box for striking.
By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen.
Average contents per box is 85 matches.
Made in the EU.
The box states that Swan also sell: cigarette papers, filters, lighters, pipe cleaners, rolling machines and lighter gas and fluid.
Matches are 1.5 inches and with a bright pink tip.
WARNINGS - keep away from children and always strike the match away from yourself.
£1.20 for a four pack of boxes at Tesco.
As a family we use matches for various purposes, and although we do have one of those long gas lighters I always like to have a few boxes of matches around the house for ease of use. We have no young children around any more so I do not have to be paranoid about keeping them in high places.
Firstly we have a log burner in the kitchen so this frequently needs relighting and so if the gas lighter is not to hand I always try and keep a box of matches in the kitchen as well.
As some of you may know I love my Yankee candle wax tarts and have a couple of burners around the house so I like to have a box of matches handy for them too. Also in the summer husband will either be having bonfires or else fiddling with his old B.B.Q. in the garden so matches are always being asked for. With the weather we have been having lately you always need matches and candle to hand in case of power cuts.
I tend to buy most of my shopping online with Tesco and buy these matches in packs of four boxes. These tend to last me a good few months then, though my candle burners tend to use them up the most as I mostly light them daily.
With Swan matches you know you are getting a reputable brand and one that will work every time - I have never had a problem with this product - well apart from a self inflicted one by keeping a box in the bathroom for my candles and them getting soggy and damp!
These are reasonably short matches, or as I would say a standard size, and were originally intended to light cigarettes. These days they are not marketed for the cigarette smoker as such as so few people are smoking now and they are now marketed as just 'The Original Swan Vestas. These are not Safety Matches and can be struck on any rough surface and will also burn out of doors.
I find them perfectly adequate for lighting my little tea lights around the house. Being shortish they are obviously not designed for lighting many candles all in one go or for lighting a jar candle once it has started to burn down, and for those purposes I would use either the long gas lighter I have or the specially designed long matches.
Some boxes of cheap matches do not always work or the heads will fly off, but you can trust the Swan matches and they will continue to be a staple product in our home for many years to come.
Apparently named after Vesta - the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family. Her presence was signified by a sacred fire.
===Would I Recommend?===
I used to have what my daughter called a 'fire stick' for lighting my scented candles. Sadly, that died a death a little while back and I've not replaced it, preferring instead to simply strike a match. It's cheaper than having to keep refilling the lighter with lighter fuel.
The matches I prefer to use are Swan Vestas. They are a good price and very good quality. My dad used to be a smoker when I was little, and I can clearly remember him using these particular matches to light his cigarettes.
I buy my Swan Vestas matches from my local newsagent and a box of 85 matches sets me back about 32p. I consider this to be pretty good value for money. These matches look and work the same as any other standard match does. Size wise they are about 3cm in length, including the tip. I use the side of the box to strike the matches but I'm told by my hubby that they strike just as well on other similar hard surfaces such as exterior walls, stones etc. He's used them outside lots of times for lighting bonfires in our back garden to burn garden waste.
They are a favourite brand of mine as I always think that the little match itself is made of strong wood and it never snaps like some matches can do. I am also impressed by the fact that they always strike first time, every time. Quite often with some matches, you can find yourself having to keep on striking them over and over again until finally the wood starts to split and then break off.
These matches are good quality and the flame when it the match does strike, burns large and bright. I use them not only for lighting candles but we've taken them with us on camping trips and setting fire to my husbands regular bonfires in our back garden.
I consider these to be one of the better brands of everyday household matches I've used and I really do recommend them.
I am a smoker as well as having a love for scented candles so tend to have sources of ignition on hand at all times. When it comes to smoking, then lighters are far more economical than candles but when lighting candles I prefer to have matches on hand. One of the brands of matches I buy on a regular basis is Swan Vestas which are made by Swedish Match UK and cost around 30p for a box of 85 matches.
Each match is made of wood, around 3cm long with a pink tip. These are "strike anywhere" matches which means that as well as using the side of the box to ignite them you can use any rough surface such as a stone or wall. I have found that the matches almost always light first time if you strike them firmly against the side of the box; using a more wishy washy strike can lead to parts of the head crumbling off and the match not lighting at all. It is a fine art, use too much pressure and you can snap the delicate wooden match; too little and ignition will fail.
These matches are handy to have around, each match burns for a few seconds before the flame reaches so far up the wood that it shall burn your finger. If you look closely you can see the oil from the wood leak from the inside of the wood to the outside and slowly burn up. The time that the match is lit gives you ample time to light a cigarette or light a standard candle; these are not ideal for reaching down into a candle jar as your fingers would soon get burnt. If Yankee jars are your thing then it is best to invest in some longer matches or even a long taper to do the job properly.
These are decent quality matches; so good that HM Queen Elizabeth the second has seen fit to grant them the royal seal of approval. I wonder what Auld Lizzie uses them for? Does she have a secret smoking habit that we don't know about or does she simply hand them over to the servants to light her fires for her?
Another use for matches is to neutralise the odour of a flatulent dog. I look after Beinn on a regular basis and he has a rather unfortunate habit of passing very smelly wind at the most awkward moment. Lighting a match and letting it burn down seems to remove that smell from the air.
Swan Vesta are not my favourite match, that particular honour goes to Scottish Bluebell but they are good enough for everyday use.
We don't tend to use matches as much these days. None of us smoke and the cooker and fire have automatic ignitions but we always leave a packet of matches in the cupboard. They tend to come in handy for BBQ's and lighting birthday cakes.
The match we use is the one that we have always used and that is Swan Vesta. The Swan brand began in 1883 when a local match company in Liverpool Collard & Kendall started making the matches - originally out of molten wax on a wooden stick. Obviously this changed.
The box is rectangular and a lovely Yellow colour with a swan on the front and the wording Swan Vestas - The Original.
Sadly the factory no longer exists and the matches are made abroad.
The matches themselves are quite small and fiddly. I wish they had made them that bit longer. I've lost count of the times I've burnt my fingers lighting candles on cakes. However they are reliable and always strike well on the side of the box. Obviously because of the size of the matches they do not stay alight long.
For those who prefer to use matches instead of lighters I can highly recommend these. They cost anything from about 30-40p for a box or you can buy multi packs at a higher cost. Just be careful with the children.
Copyright stebiz 2012 - also on ciao.co.uk
I always keep an emergency stash of candles and matches both upstairs and downstairs in the case of a power cut. I would hate to be caught out and not have any way of getting light if it happened in the night. The emergency matches upstairs are these Swan vestas matches.
I actually got given my matches from my mum but they are available to purchase from places like supermarkets and corner shops. They normally cost no more than 40 pence a box and can be bought in multipacks.
The matches come inside a rectangular matchbox which is of the same design as all other matchboxes out there. It has two striking pads on both of the long lengths of the box. The other two ends can be used to push the tray inside the box out so you can get to the matches inside. The matches themselves are approximately 4cm in length, these are mainly a wooden handle with a tip on the end that is used to strike against the side of the box to get the match alight.
The amount of matches inside the box is fantastic and when you first start using them it's a little tricky to get a match out of the tray singly, I used to pick up a couple at a time and just put the other ones back inside. The striking process is pretty easy and I find that the majority of the time the matches will work with the first strike so you don't have to worry about faffing around trying to get it lit. The striking sides of the boxes are of a good quality, however with the amount of matches inside the box, the striking surfaces wear away before you have a chance to use all of the matches which deems some of the matches useless unless you use the striking strip of another box but then that strip will wear away even quicker. The flame appears for quite a while and you can light a few candles with one match and then it just burns out, no burnt fingers with these!
Although the problem with the striking strip wearing away quite quickly is a bit of a pain, I'd still recommend these matches, they stay lit for a good amount of time, have loads in each box and are very cheap. I think they are great value for the money paid.
Swan vestas matches always remind me of my dad. He smoked for about 30 years all throughout my childhood and these were the matches he used. He doesn't smoke now thank goodness but I shall forever associate this brand with him. Just one look at the box and I am reminded of so many things about him. I now use these matches around my home, mainly just for lighting candles as I do not smoke but they are the first ones I reach for on the shelf and continue to use as they are good quality matches.
According to an article I read, "Swan Vestas is a brand name for the most popular brand of 'strike-anywhere' matchescurrently available in the UK. Shorter than regular pocket matches they are particularly popular with smokers and have long used thetagline "the smoker's match" although this has been replaced by the prefix "the original" on the current packaging."
Their website tells us a little bit more about the history of these matches. "In the very beginning (or in 1883...) 'Swan wax matches' were first produced, and later superseded by 'Swan White Pine Vestas' which were intended to appeal to smokers in particular since they burn better in open air. In 1906 the matches were finally christened 'Swan Vestas', and by the 1930s they'd become Britain's best selling match."
The box has a very familiar look to it. It is yellow with red lettering and design on it with a green portion where you will find a really nice drawing of a swan. They have quite an iconic look to them and by the looks of things this design hasn't changed much over the years.
The matches have always worked well for me. The head of the match is always quite thick and strikes and lights first time and I can always light my candles well, even when the wick is quite low down. The strike pad lasts well too and doesn't completely wear down before I have finished all the matches in the box.
An iconic brand that I will continue to use.
I generally use matches to light candles around my house, I have no need of them for anything else such as fires or a gas stove. I have always kept a box of Swan Vestas matches in a kitchen drawer for emergencies as well, such as a lack of lighter in the house.
Swan Vestas are made by House of Swan and are a leading producer of matches and also smoking paraphernalia. The brand was started in 1883 and by the 1930's the Vestas had become the biggest selling match in the UK.
The Swan Vestas matchbox is the usual shape and size that you would expect of a box of matches. It is rectangular in shape and quite thin, with approximate dimensions of 8 cm by 4 cm and a depth of 1 cm.
The box has a rough strip on one side of the box that is used to light the match. The box if the Swan brand colours, being bright yellow with red and green colours on top of this. The design is simple, with a swan image and the text 'The Original Swan Vestas' written on the front. There is also safety information written on the box.
To get into the matches you simply slide out the tray that is inside the main rectangular box, this tray houses the matches. The tray is flush with the box and so you don't have to worry about it sliding open too easily and spilling the matches onto the floor.
The Vestas Matches
The matches are small and thin wooden sticks, with a pink tip which is where the flame is ignited from. The matches are about 4 cm in length and sit horizontally in the box. To light the match you simple take one and strike it across the outside rough strip of the box, remembering to close the pack before you strike it to avoid any accidents.
The ingredients in the match along with the 'sand' like surface generates a heat when you strike it, this
heat then causes one of the ingredients in the pink tip to ignite. As a safety measure you must strike the match against the special strip, or else it will not light.
Swan Vestas have the ability to burn in open air with ease, there is nothing more frustrating that lighting a match and having it go out before the flame takes to the wood! The time of burning is about 10-15 seconds before you start getting your fingers burnt.
A box of these costs about 32 p in supermarkets and newsagents and you get about 80 matches per box. Great value and quality matches.
KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN.
STORE IN A DRY PLACE
Most weekends when we are at home, which is a lot more since having a child (!), we put our fire on as soon as the colder Autumn weather begins. Alongside the fire, I like to have candles lit up around the room to create that added warmth and cosiness. My husband has always got me to purchase the longer matches in the supermarket to use in the fire but for quite a while my local Tesco stopped selling these longer matches and the only ones in stock were these Swan Vestas, which currently cost £1.20 for a pack of four, which is very good value. With my husband running out of the longer matches at the time I had no choice but to give these a go even though I knew they were going to be a lot smaller than he needed.
The Swan brand of matches has its origins in Sweden and is linked to the cigarette market, with it supposedly being a popular choice of match for smokers. Neither my husband nor I, nor none of our friends or family smoke so I cannot confirm if this is the case. I didn't purchase these for that purchase. The Swan brand of matches is pretty distinct in terms of the colours of the packaging and the Swan logo.
Like most matchboxes one of the sides of the box has striking surface to allow you to easily light the matches contained in the box. The box itself is pretty well filled with matches, but this is where I found a slight problem. By the time I had went through all the matches in a box, the striking surface had started to wear a bit thin and so when I was getting to the end of a box I had to use the striking surface of a new box which is a bit disappointing. It really isn't made to last the whole box of matches.
These matches aren't the longest in size as you can tell when you hold the box. They are ideal for lighting small candles and tealights and you could light a few before having to blow the match out. However, I found them to be no use when I was getting to the end of my Yankee Candle jar when I really needed a long match again. My husband also moaned everytime he had to use them for the fire, as they simply weren't the right size to encourage the fire to get going, and he had to use more of them.
Eventually my local Tesco started re stocking the longer matches and my husband was content again. To be honest, although these matches are ideal for lighting little candles and tealights around the house they have a poor striking surface that simply doesn't last long enough to get you to the end of all the matches in the box, which in my view is a design flaw. I would purchase these again to have for tealights if there were no other matches available, but when this isn't the case, I wouldn't bother.
When buying matches to take camping, I have found recently that it is better to pay for quality rather than buy the cheapest ones in quantity. I recently went camping with some cheap matches and soon found they weren't up to the job. A trip to a local shop and I came back with these, a good quality brand that should offer more prospect.
--- The Packaging ---
The matches come in a simple cardboard box that measure 8cm x 4cm x 1.5cm in size. The box is red, yellow and green in colour which is the colours that you will find on most Swan products. It also makes the box very eye-catching and easy to find when looking through rucksacks. The front has the Swan logo and product name. The rear has the barcode and an advert for there cigarette papers. On one side there is a rough strip to strike the matches and on the other side there is some safety information.
The matches slide out from the box in a cardboard tray that holds approximately 85 matches.
--- The Matches ---
Each match is made of wood and is approximately 4cm long with a pink tip on the end that is what ignites when striked against the rough strip on the box. I find that these matches are a little longer than the cheaper ones that I have used which I find is useful as it means your fingers are a little further from the flame and the match can burn for longer before it has to be extinguished.
In still and windy conditions I found that these matches will light quite easily, however in windy conditions, the flame is quickly extinguished unless protected. This was a great problem when trying to light a Chinese lantern in the middle of a very windy field! When protected or used in still conditions, the flame is strong and large enough to be able to be used to light many things, such as candles and gas stoves. The flame burns slowly down the match which gives you plenty of time to light multiple items with one match.
--- Where to Buy ---
Swan matches can be bought from any good corner shop or anywhere where they sell cigarettes as they are usually sold alongside cigarettes. They can cost anything up to £1 a pack in my experience.
--- The Verdict ---
I've had no faults with these matches so far as they light much better than cheaper versions and none of them have snapped when trying to light them. The pack is not waterproof, however if kept in a bag it should stay dry enough to be used in all weathers. If you want a good box of matches for most uses then I would recommend these, however if you want a set of matches that will light and stay lit in the worst of weather conditions, then I would recommend purchasing all weather matches that are more expensive, but will stay lit in strong wind and rain.
I am going to give these 4/5 as on the whole they are very good matches.
Thanks for reading.
This review may also appear on my blog and on Ciao under the same username.