UST Blastmatch and Sparkie Review

UST’s Blatsmatch (pictured above) and little brother, the Sparkie, are sparking firestarter devices engineered for reliable strikes with each effort. 

Price: $16-$19

The Blastmatch comes in two colors, black and orange, and are allegedly made in the USA.  There are Blastmatch-type-firestarters found for a few dollars each on eBay which are made in China.  We bought one.  The Chinese version is functional but of lower quality and who knows is possibly contaminated with lead but certainly with the blood of Tienanmen Square so buy American whenever you can. 

Does it work?  Like blueberry pancakes, it does!  Gripping it correctly to engage the striker takes a few attempts but after that this thing is off to the races and totally functional with one hand.  It takes a firm surface to press the end against for maximum effectiveness, which is also where your tender should be.  We are not sure pushing the tip of your sparking device down onto your tender area for resistance is always practical but in many cases this is probably doable with some extra planning. 

Is that fuel gel in your packet or are you happy to see me?  Yes, the fuel gel only takes a few shavings so even the single, small packet that comes with the starter will probably last you an entire trip.  It is quite effective stuff and we were impressed with it.

PROS:  One handed operation possible, ease of use, consistent results and awesome fuel gel packet.

CONS:  Mashing it down into your tender area is not always practical, it is a bit costly and beware of Chinese knock-offs.

Overall:  The Blastmatch and Sparkie both function well with a few minor drawbacks.  Although the Blastmatch generates more sparks and has more flint for more uses, the Sparkie is highly functional and probably a better value for those who will use the device infrequently.

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