I can't imagine buying kindling when I have cords of firewood stacked up, waiting for a few pieces to become kindling. I just cut a piece or two of straight-grained wood in half with my chop saw, or chain saw if it's already out, and split it into kindling-size pieces with my kindling cracker. If well-seasoned, hardwood kindling works as well as softwoods for kindling, perhaps better, because it burns longer. Stingy as I am, I do buy fatwood to start the kindling with, rather than mess with newspaper. But I split the pieces into halves or quarters, to make the box start 2-4 times as many fires. I picked up a folding cleaver knife, which are becoming more popular, to split the fatwood. They have thicker, stouter blades. I just rest the blade on the fatwood piece, on a hard surface, and give it a hard tap on the back with with bottom of my closed fist. If your kindling is dry and you stack the pieces loosely, one small sliver of fatwood will get it going. Let it burn down a bit and add your firewood. This method evolved over 30 years of burning wood. I've never been so arrogant as to claim my way is the best or only way, but it works for me.