Originally Posted By: JerryFountain
The flint and steel replaced the older methods instantly, and was itself replaced just as quickly by matches when they first came out. Those first matches were a no where as good as what we have today. Why some insist on going backwards, I do not know.

Keep in mind that, while a ferrocerium rod and striker are known as a flint and steel, they are not the same flint and steel used prior to matches.

A real flint and steel is a somewhat difficult fire starting method, as it typically requires char-cloth or tinder-fungas to catch the ember (as the sparks aren't hot enough to readily catch most material on fire).

A ferrocerium rod produces sparks that are much hotter and can readily catch a lot of substances on fire. This actually was invented in 1903, which is newer than even strike-anywhere (1898) and safety matches (1844).

For me, the advent of ferrocerium has pretty much caused the match to fall out of favor. This is because I find the ferro-rod and striker to be just as effective and more durable/weatherproff than matches, and I find matches to be less practical than lighters (which contain ferrocerium).

The other thing to keep in mind is that a typical ferro-rod and bic lighter can both start about 3,000 seperate fires. That would be a lot of matches to carry if each match can only start one fire at best.