I always have a time breaking the Exotica's.... I can snap the Dyinimtes (I can never spell that brand - LOL) by hand, but not Exotica's. In ways it's good, but it's annoying to hunt down the hacksaw to cut some coals.
And your tip is good... but I never use a whole stick at a time, 2/3'rds only. After they are 3/4'ers out, I'll light up the remaining bit if I still want to smoke (which is only every other bowl - Exotica's last when nursed). Otherwise I save them in a zippie. I hate wasting coals, may seem cheap of me, but I have to order EVERYTHING online... and I'm cheap