Last Minute Tips for Ematch Makers

Written by Harry Gilliam

Topics: Uncategorized


This notice is to put you on notice that you should notice that July 4th is coming. Sooner than you think. And we researched this to be sure of what we’re predicting. “As far as we know”… July the 4th has come on the same day, every year, since it was invented by King George II back in 1776. Or was in 1789? Or George W.? Whatever.

Now, I am always asked many times around June 30th how come we A)ran out of a particular item and B)“how come you can’t ship it to me in time?”  These are silly questions, silly rabbit.  But we still get asked them between June 30th and July 3rd every single year!  Hah!

One item that we run out of every year, no matter how many more we buy this year than last year, is kits for making electric matches.

If you want to buy ready-made electric matches in the US, you need an ATF license. And, even if you have the license, they’re still expensive. But if you make your own ematches, no ATF license is required. The fastest way to ematch nirvana is to use our ready-made ematch blanks and dip kits. Then just let ‘em dry, and faster than you can say “pop,” you’re ready to go.

Why dip kits and ematch blanks? Well, primarily because they let you make literally hundreds of ematches in just a couple of hours. You can even do it while you’re watching TV. The ematch blanks are really ematch chips with two lead wires already soldered on. The dip kits are exactly the chemicals you need to make 300-500 ematches. They are premeasured, in separate bottles. You just follow the instructions and mix them up in a few minutes. You don’t have to order larger quantities of chemicals than you need, which saves you a lot of money in excess chemicals and shipping. And you DO NOT NEED AN ATF LICENSE to buy or make your own ematches. In fact, the ATF has even sent customers to us for these ematch kits! We ran out of ematch blanks twice in the past 12 months. But the new ones are now available on our web site. On the Ignition Supplies page, order

GN5040 Ematch Blanks, 1 Foot Wires $17.94 for 40
GN5050 Ematch Dip Kit $39.95-enough for 300-500 ematches

Each Dip Kit is enough to make 300-500 electric matches. So, be sure you buy enough Ematch Blanks to make as many finished ematches as you think you will need. Procrastinators, do not jump on this stuff, right away. Naw, leave it for the pyros who prepare for the Mighty Fourth in time.


• Follow the directions in the dip kits to the letter. They work really well if you do exactly what the instructions say. Don’t try to improve upon them, rush them, or cut corners. You’ll just waste your money, time, and materials.

• Don’t forget to buy Shooting Wire, GN5010, to put lead wires on your ematches of the desired length.

• Homemade ematches are not perfect. Your homemade electric matches will not function 100% of the time—they are not as good as the commercially made, but considerably more expensive electric matches. But you can still make ematches which are reasonably reliable, especially if you test them ahead of time.

• Test your ematches. Commercial continuity testers will frequently generate enough test-current to fire your ematches. Instead, use our special, low-voltage Ematch Tester (GN5005) to make sure your matches are good before you use them.

• Don’t Over Dip. It only takes a very small amount of pyrotechnic composition on just the tips of each ematch to make them work. Keep your pyrogen thinned. Big, fat blobs of pyrotechnic composition are more likely to break off or crack.

• Use your Ematch Dip Kit all in one session. After you mix your dip kit contents, it is best to use it all up in one sitting. Two reasons: First, the stuff will eventually dry up if you try and store it. If it does, it’s then useless and you’ll have to throw away what’s left. The other reason is that the dry, mixed composition can ignite from friction. Friction–like that induced from screwing the bottle cap on and off. So the most cost-efficient thing is to use all of your dip kit up all at one time. This is a 2-4 hour project, but one you can do sitting in front of the television watching “Planet Earth” reruns.

Holler if you have questions. We are sitting here twiddling our collective thumbs, awaiting your bleating cries.

Harry Gilliam
Chief Cook & Bottle Washer

3 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. handymanherb says:

    I just ordered the Aluminum Power and the Potassium Perchlorate and will use PVC thiner as the solvent, I ordered enough chems to last for years, if I don’t use it in fireworks to last years for a little more than the dip kit.

    Then I just order the blanks

  2. William Miller says:

    Is there an effective ematch solution with a long shelf life? I live in a rural area and have a storage shed away from anyone or anything, don’t have an ATF license, and would lilke to make my own ematches to save money so that I can buy more fireworks for my show. Thanks for any help

  3. Kim says:

    HELP! I used to know how to make a contact smoke bomb also known as a ninja smoke bomb, I lost the recipe can anyone hel

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