Everyday Carry

Whytanium: 4 Practical Properties of Ti

Authored by:
Mikey Bautista

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In the first installment of the Carry Smarter: Titanium series, I talked about products that best showed off the aesthetic qualities of Titanium. As a material, it’s often understated but never underrated. Its cool shine and feel in the hand galvanized an entire industry of gear.

If Titanium were all about the looks, we'd see it in jewelry or accessories and call it a day. Instead, Ti has found its way into such incredible applications as aerospace engineering and prosthetic implants. So what exactly are the qualities that make Ti so versatile?

1. It’s light, but not too light.

Although there are many materials lighter than Ti, none of them match Ti's balance of strength and weight. Thanks to its high density-to-weight ratio, it provides necessary strength without adding bulk.

Leatherman Charge TTi

If anything can benefit from light weight without sacrificing the strength for heavy-duty tasks, it's a multitool. Leatherman makes some of the best multitools in the business. Using Ti for the handles on the Charge TTi lets them to cram tough tools into a portable package.

BUY ($149)

2. It’s hypoallergenic and corrosion resistant.

Not reacting with human skin makes Titanium a great choice for jewelry and other accessories. Naturally, the apparel industry has been quick to reap its benefits as a material. Even better, its high resistance to corrosion means wearable items can withstand both human and natural elements better than other metals can.

Oakley Titanium Crosshair Sunglasses

Oakley has been pushing the limits of performance eyewear for four decades. It's only natural that they pick up on a material as useful as Titanium, putting its best properties as a wearable metal to use in their Crosshair model.

BUY ($249)

Citizen BM7170-53L Titanium Eco Drive

There are many Titanium watches on the market, but few put style, technology, and features together the way Citizen has for the BM7170-53L. It uses Ti for its case and bracelet, maximizing its light weight and non-allergenic qualities in a daily wrist companion. A solid set of components are also encased in the watch, including Citizen's energy-saving Eco Drive technology, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and 100 meters of water resistance.

BUY ($263)

Vargo Titanium Folding Spork

Rust and corrosion resistance make Titanium excellent for products that make human contact. If it's something you put in your mouth out in the wild, you'd want something that didn't come with an extra serving of iron. Vargo has a whole line of Titanium products fit for outdoor use. Their foldable spork would be a valuable, portable addition to your outdoor food prep kit.

BUY ($15)

3. It has a low elastic modulus (it’s springy!).

Also known as Young's modulus, this property describes the rigidity of a material. Titanium having a low modulus offers flexibility and movement while still maintaining its shape. This would explain how Ti is both "soft" yet still strong, and able to excel where other metals would be too brittle or incomparable to Titanium's weight or resistance.

Ti2 Titanium Wallet

A money clip is a perfect application of Titanium's low elasticity modulus, as it also emphasizes the metal's light weight. This creates a wallet that can hold all your cards and cash (down to a single bill!), yet retain its shape after constant use. Ti2's minimalist wallet is 25 grams of Grade 5 Titanium goodness, and will surprise you with just how light and effective it is at holding your essentials.

BUY ($35)

4. It strikes a balance between function and form.

Titanium is not always the best at what it needs to do. It's not the lightest metal, nor the strongest. It's not the best conductor of heat, nor is it the most scratch-resistant. What makes it so desirable as a material is how it's able to combine its strengths as listed above, perform well for its purposes, and – as I explored in Part 1 – look damn good while it's doing it. Simply put, no other material can boast such a useful set of properties while still being somewhat affordable and attractive.

Zero Tolerance 0560BW

Zero Tolerance doesn't mess around when it comes to heavy-duty materials. Overbuilt performance is the hallmark of their knives. This Rick Hinderer design with an upgraded BlackWash blade finish is one of the company's flagship models, and one that definitely benefits from Titanium's exemplary strength-to-weight ratio. Sporting a hefty 3.75" ELMAX blade, machined G-10 scales, and a solid Titanium framelock and lock bar stabilizer, the 0560BW is a beast in the wild but still a beauty in your pocket.

BUY ($260)

Klarus MiX7 Ti AA Flashlight

Thanks to the strength of Ti, Klarus were able to shave off even more weight in this version of the MiX7. While its aluminum counterpart bore a cylindrical body, this takes on a sexier, svelte form factor. The MiX7 also packs some attractive features into its polished finish, such as 180 lumens off a single AA cell and a side switch for activation, making it suitable as a keychain light.

BUY ($59)

You should be all caught up on Titanium now that we’ve finished covering its pros and cons and illustrated examples of gear that make best use of its qualities. While it isn’t perfect, if you've ever handled Ti in the flesh, you would understand how easy it is to overlook its technical faults. Stay tuned for the third part of the series where we recommend some affordable and widely available Ti options to get you started on your own Ti EDC.

Have you ever carried any Titanium tools? Have they stood up to the test of being your daily drivers or do you prefer other materials to get the job done? Let us know in the comments below!

Items Pictured in the Header: OBSTRUCTURES Pry/OpenTi2 Design Para-BinerTi2 Design TechLiner ShortySuperior Titanium Mini ViperSpyderco Leafstorm

Mikey Bautista

Director of Everyday Carry Operations

About the Author
Mikey Bautista is an everyday carry (EDC) expert who has been working with the EverydayCarry.com team for nearly a decade, starting out with interest in EDC as a hobby and ending up as a writer for the site in 2014. Through the years he’s led the site in editorial content and writing about products across every category, from knives to bags to flashlights and everything in between, as well as discovering, bringing exposure, and building bridges with many brands in the industry. Today he is Director of Everyday Carry Operations for the site, leading the editorial team and managing day-to-day operations.

He has lived through many personal and professional lives, spending nearly a decade in the workforce management industry, a minor career in gaming, and has lent a hand with entrepreneurial efforts back home in the Philippines. He has also been an active participant and helped build a number of significant social communities online, both for EDC and his other hobbies.

Mikey has been at the cusp of gaming, technology, and the internet since the ‘90s and continues to lend his experience, expertise, and authority to all his pursuits. When not online, in a game, watching movies, or speedrunning his next hobby, you’ll find him in the gym, taking care of his pug, and talking at length about EDC with anyone willing to listen.

Discussion (15 total)

Thomas Rick ·
I think this can be done to other metals, but another pro to titanium is anodizing. I have a Benchmade 51 balisong with exposed blue anodized jewel titanium liners and they're stunning to look at. With anodizing, titanium's color options are magnificent.
Mikey Bautista ·
That's a great point! Anodizing on Titanium is quite unique and beautiful.
localizer ·
Great stuff, many thanks!
Ashley Mather ·
Love the carabiner in the top image!
John B. ·
I've been seeing those carabiners for awhile now....must have one!!! Ha!
Colton ·
I agree! Who makes it?
Nicely done Mikey!
Mikey Bautista ·
Thanks, Dom! :D
Matej Fedorišin ·
What is the knife on the cover picture?
Paul Rifenburgh ·
My weatherman Charge TTi has been my daily carry for some years now and the convenience of the light weight and strength are what have kept it there.
Chris Szaroleta ·
"Whytanium" is just clever. Another great installment in this series, Mikey!
Mikey Bautista ·
Thanks Chris! Looking forward to your series also. :D
1 more comments