A box of Penley Strike Anywhere Matches

Penley Strike Anywhere Matches were, by far, the worst strike anywhere matches included in our side-by-side tests to find the best strike anywhere matches available today. They were near impossible to light on any surface except the side of the matchbox they came in.

This brand was discontinued a while ago, though, like many other brands of strike anywhere matches. You likely couldn’t even find them if you tried. I bought some online but have since decided I’ll never do that again.

Instead, if you want strike anywhere matches, I recommend you first search for our Top Pick, UCO Strike Anywhere Matches. Industrial Revolution, the maker of UCO products, told me they were discontinued but that there are still some in Academy and Cabela’s stores:

An email from Industrial Revolution, maker of UCO products, stating that they have discontinued their UCO Strike Anywhere Matches due to hazmat shipping fees

Then, if you can’t find the UCO matches, I recommend you buy our Runner-up pick, Diamond Greenlight Strike Anywhere Matches, which are more widely available in brick-and-mortar stores across the country according to Jarden Home Brands, the maker of Diamond products:

An email from Jarden Home Brands, maker of Diamond brand products, explaining in which stores one can find Diamond products

If you can’t find the UCO matches or Diamond Greenlights, I recommend you look at different types of matches such as waterproof matches and stormproof matches. You could also consider a good backpacking lighter or fire starter.

Who & What Are These Matches Best for?

Unless you’re a match collector, no one and nothing in my opinion. You’re better off buying a different brand of strike anywhere matches or a different type of matches altogether.


For our side-by-side tests, we struck matches of each brand on a number of surfaces to determine how well they work. We struck 10 on each surface and recorded how many lit successfully. Here are our results for the Penley Strike Anywhere Matches:

  • Side of matchbox: 10/10
  • Wood: 3/10
  • Brick: 3/10
  • Rock: 1/10
  • Another match: 1/10

For a simple comparison, here are the results for our Top Pick, the UCO Strike Anywhere Matches:

  • Side of matchbox: 10/10
  • Wood: 10/10
  • Brick: 10/10
  • Rock: 10/10
  • Another match: 1/10

The results of our Runner-up pick, Diamond Greenlight Strike Anywhere Matches, were very similar to those of our Top Pick. As you can see, the Penley matches performed significantly worse.

Other Minor Performance Metrics

While strike-anywhere-ability was our most important performance metric, we did track a few others.

Burn Time

At 39.222 seconds, these matches were a close second in terms of average burn time. The Diamond Greenlights had an average burn time of 39.502.

This makes sense, though, since the Penley matches are slightly shorter than the Diamond Greenlights.

A match from each of three different brands I tested placed side by side to compare length and thickness
From top to bottom, UCO, Penley, Diamond Greenlight

Break Percentage

Out of the 50 Penley matches we struck during our tests, five of them broke. This was the same percentage as the other brands, though, so this performance metric was a wash.

Of course, break percentage is dependent on your striking technique. You might strike more lightly or vigorously than I do, which would increase or decrease the break percentage for you.

Matches Per Box Hand Count

We hand counted the number of matches in two Penley boxes and compared the average to the claim on the packaging. On average, a Penley box had 256.5 matches and the packaging claim was 250. So, we got some matches for free in each box.

The Bottom Line

Don’t buy these matches. If you want strike anywhere matches, search for UCO Strike Anywhere Matches and then Diamond Greenlight Strike Anywhere Matches. If you can’t find either of these brands, consider waterproof or stormproof matches.

What do you think of these matches? Do you remember them as being better quality than the boxes of them that we got?


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