- Buyer's Guide
Titanium. The metal of the gods.
In fact, when titanium was first discovered back in the year 1791, the element was literally named after the mighty Greek Titans, immortal giants of strength and knowledge who ruled the cosmos. Fitting. If you’ve read any articles written by me before, you know I’m obsessed with this awesome, almost magical, material. It’s incredibly strong and it’s incredibly lightweight. It’s super durable and should last several lifetimes as well. Of course we all know you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Ti gadgets are much more expensive than their steel and aluminum cousins. This increase in cost is due to its expensive raw material pricing and due to the technical and physical difficulty it requires to machine it into useful form factors. So generally speaking, titanium EDC products will always cost more than using another metal.
While sometimes steel and aluminum are great options to use, there are some of us (like me) who want the whole world to be made of titanium. Titanium cars, titanium cereal, titanium tshirts, titanium pillows, etc. Since that dream may be a bit excessive, I can at least start with an all titanium EDC quiver, so everything I come in contact with on the daily is titanium. And that’s exactly what I have done here.
Over years and years of research and trial and error, I’ve found what I consider to be the perfect “All Titanium Everyday Carry”, consisting of: Pocket Knife, Flashlight, Wristwatch, Pen, Key Organizer, and Pocket Tool. For what it’s worth, there are several titanium wallets out there, but I prefer my Bellroy Slim Sleeve leather wallet.
Chris Reeve Knives
Sebenza 25 (now called the “Inkosi”)
Chris Reeve makes arguably some of the best, if not the best, knives in the world. The Sebenza is considered the benchmark of “gentleman EDC folders”. Classy looks (non-tactical/aggressive) yet a highly functional tool. Back when I first discovered the benefits of carrying a folding pocket knife in my EDC (knives are a tool, not a weapon), I quickly discovered the Sebenza. And then I quickly discovered the price. At $450, I found the price almost comical. Even though I really wanted it…what could a $450 knife do that my $50 knife couldn’t do? Then I talked myself into a knife that cost $110, made with better blade steel and featuring a stronger lock. After carrying that $110 knife for a year or so, I convinced myself that a $220 knife would be better for what I wanted, more durable, with a steel that would keep an edge longer, etc. And so on and so on. The whole time, I’d still go back and drool over the Sebenza.
Long story short…after several upgrades, I finally justified the cost and haven’t looked back since. In fact, I spent more money buying other knives on my journey to the Sebenza than if I were to just have bought it from the beginning. Buy once, cry once. The Sebenza 25 is CRK’s 25th anniversary edition of the Sebenza, which Chris invented back in 1987. The Sebenza 25 is considered the best in class for a reason…or several reasons.
The blade steel is the best of the best, made from stainless S35V (titanium sadly makes for a horrible blade material). The 3.6″ long stonewashed drop point blade shape with large hollow grounds is perfect for everyday carry tasks. The handles and pocket clip are made from a blasted matte finish 6AL4V titanium, utilizing dual side thumb studs, with a Thor-like strong frame lock, a buttery smooth action, and made in USA. Not to mention, it just looks handsome. Some folks collect these pieces of functional artwork and store them away untouched in safes, which is cool if you’re into that. I use mine hard and daily. This is the perfect knife, if you ask me (and many others).
Learn more about the Chris Reeve Inkosi here (formerly called the “Sebenza 25”).
Flieger Mk. I Titanium
This is an all-star list, so here’s another heavy hitter. The Flieger Mk. I by Muyshondt. Muyshondt Electric Torches have been called “the best flashlights on earth” by many flashlight addicts (“flashaholics”). For good reason, too. The attention to detail that Enrique Muyshondt (owner, founder) puts into his works is nothing short of obsessive. This guy thinks about products in a way that Stanley Kubrick thought about his movies. Every single detail is considered, then reconsidered. You can find Enrique’s passion throughout his products even on the internals, which most of his customers will never get the pleasure to see as they’ll never need to disassemble their reliable torch for any reason. For what it’s worth, I’m lucky enough to call Enrique my friend (we met through Instagram), as he happens to also reside in Austin, Texas where I live. Though it wasn’t proximity that was the primary factor for our friendship. We legitimately became pals over many long discussions about design philosophy…and maybe a few dozen plates of delicious Japanese cuisine. Take a look at some of his thoughts on design philosophy over at his blog (“Products Have Souls” and “Quality & Manufacturing“). His most recent addition to his collection, the Flieger Mk. I Titanium, is the pinnacle of his journey into electric torches (until he someday reveals his next brainchild, I suppose). Holding the Flieger is like wielding a small lightsaber. I often take this out of my pocket simply to admire its perfect stonewashed 6AL4V finish (also available in turned and brushed finishes). While it is a fantastic object to fondle for hours on end, which I admit I’ve done, it’s also a serious performer.
The electric torch turns on via my favorite clicky push button of any flashlight I’ve handled. This all titanium shrouded button sits nicely below the tailcap of the monocoque casing, requiring only one hand to activate and allowing for very balanced tailstanding. The different modes include 1 lumen (400 hours run time!), 25 lumens, 100 lumens, 500 lumens, and a sun-like 720 lumens (2 hours run time!). The most impressive part? The color of the light is a beautiful warm light, similar to what actual daylight looks like instead of a harsh blue LED light like most other lights provide. This light comes from the magic inside; gold plated electrical contacts, Muyshondt’s own rechargeable protected 3400mAH 18650 lithium-ion cell (it can also accept one protected 18650 cell from other brands, two CR123 cells, or two 18350 cells), the photons effortlessly shining through a double anti-reflective coated super hard sapphire crystal, and protected from water and elements with his custom made O-rings.
Yes, in comparison to tiny keychain flashlights (which I used to run in the past, similar to my upgrade process with the Sebenza 25), the Flieger may appear somewhat large. And no, it does not contain a pocket clip (though he is developing a handsome leather sheath for EDC). However, after carrying this torch every day for weeks, I realized that I never carried a flashlight in my pocket for EDC via a pocket clip and I don’t prefer carrying a torch this way anyway. The Flieger nearly disappears in my pocket next to my iPhone 7. Often I forget it is there until I need it, having to double-check several times a day to make sure I didn’t leave it behind. It IS one of the smallest flashlights in its battery class, after all. If you insist on a smaller form factor for an EDC flashlight, Muyshondt also offers the mini-sized Aeon Mk. III Electric Torch and the micro-sized Maus Mk. I Electric Torch; both are equally as impressive as the Flieger (we’ve got reviews coming for both of these as well). Ultimately, the Flieger Mk. I Titanium is my favorite flashlight that I have ever owned.
Learn more about the Muyshondt Flieger Mk. 1 Titanium here.
Redux & Co.
COURG Zero-Hour 39mm
I’ve been searching high and low for a reasonably priced minimalist automatic all titanium wristwatch for many years now. I’ve found plenty of great alternatives; such as an all titanium watch with a quartz movement, a “titanium finish” (steel) watch with automatic movement, or an all titanium watch with automatic movement that costs as much as or more than a luxury vehicle. But I’m a peculiar type of individual and a substitute for what I wanted just wouldn’t suffice. Then Redux & Co. seemed to have crept into my apartment late at night and listened to my dream, revealing several amazing titanium watches back in 2015 through a Kickstarter campaign (though I admit I only discovered their brand by accident via Instagram in early 2017). The COURG (short for and pronounced “courage”) is a clever mixture of a pilot’s watch and a diver’s watch, blended into one handsome form factor. The minimalist design is something I truly appreciate, with a simple 3-6-9 hour interface on the face sitting inside the grade 5 titanium case, rated for 20 ATM (200 meters / 600 feet!). The movement inside is a super stout and reliable SeikoNH35A (21,600 bph, 41 hour power reserve) which boasts 24 jewels. I opted for the no-date version, which keeps it even cleaner and more Dieter-Rams-esque. Plus, when it comes to automatic watches, if I don’t wear it for a week, I always forget to reset the date.
However, with this watch, I haven’t taken it off my wrist since I strapped it on via the military-style NATO Zulu ballistic nylon strap. I was seriously impressed when I found that the strap also had matching titanium hardware, which I did not even consider when I first started lusting after this watch. They also included a handmade in Brooklyn, American black leather strap (with the same titanium hardware), in case I choose to swap it out for the nylon NATO and “class it up” for a particular event. Makes me daydream about being James Bond undercover at an evil villain’s cocktail party. Some more impressive features in this seemingly simple timepiece: the 90-teeth unidirectional bezel for timing important activities, the matte black face (if it’s not titanium, it should be matte black…always), the super bright blue RDXb1 luminous paint on the hands/numbers with C3 green second hand, and the 39mm case seems to be the perfect size for easy readability without being annoyingly oversized.
Lastly, because it is made of titanium, it is the lightest watch in its class. As someone who has recently started getting into watches, I seriously appreciate this weight factor. This watch is an amazing option for your EDC; whether you’re in an office, undercover as a spy, rock climbing a 5.15c, flying a jet over Mongolia, diving for hidden treasure, or just sipping a whiskey in the backyard.
Learn more about the Redux & Co. COURG Zero-Hour 39mm here.
Big Idea Design
Ti Arto Pen
I only recently considered carrying a pen for EDC somewhat recently. Then, I saw the light…err,
writing on the wall ink on the paper. Now, in my back pocket I always have a pen stored inside my Bellroy Notebook Cover with Field Notes notebook. In the past, I actually reviewed one of Big Idea Design’s smaller products, the XTS Titanium Pen + Stylus. But that was 3 years ago and they’ve come a long way with improved new products to round out their collection. While I loved the XTS, it required a bit of modifying to get the Space Pen refill to fit properly. While that wasn’t an issue for me, I could see how it might not be for everyone.
Then came along the Ti Arto Pen, “the world’s most refill-friendly pen”, allowing for 200+ refills without any hacks, modifications, or spacers (like the XTS required). And since I love Space Pen refills, I had to give the Ti Arto a try. Sure enough, it fit the Fisher Space Pen insert I had dropped in with ease. It also fit in my second most favorite refill, the Pilot Hi-Tec-C. Of course, I love this pen because it is a solid piece of grade 5 titanium, with a screw-on titanium cap, and an adjustable titanium pocket clip. But I also love it because of its clean minimalist design with raw machined finish. This pen is both subtle and a bold statement. The fact that the only external branding is a “Ti” inside a box, a nod to the periodic table, is a major bonus in my
Actually, I recently had a meeting with some folks at NASA about a potential collaboration project. Afterwards, when we were casually talking and wrapping up, two of the NASA employees came directly over to ask me about the pen I was using that they spotted across the room earlier. I was happy to tell them about it and the fact that it could accept a Space Pen refill. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one of these pens ends up in space or on the surface of Mars once we begin our eventual colonization.
Learn more about the Big Idea Design Ti Arto Pen here.
Keys. We all have them. We can’t avoid them. And they all jingle. Unless you have a KeySmart. It took me a long time to figure out my ideal key organizer solution. I wrote about a few different options before on here. I tried out many different designs from many different brands and then I finally found KeySmart. Basically a Swiss Army Knife for your keys. Smaller than a pack of gum, keeps all your keys right where you want them, and eliminates jingle 100%. Both sides are made from titanium with a minimal laser engraved logo on one side (though you could flip it over if you want the unbranded super clean look).
Since I converted to the KeySmart solution a few years ago now, they have released a variety of clever tools that fit between the two Ti slabs, such as a thin USB drive, ruler, wrench, golf divot tool, and more. While I personally only run keys in my KeySmart (5 keys to be exact…I’d carry less if I was able to), I do often think about adding another gadget or two.
There isn’t much more to say about this genius key organizer and that’s exactly what I love about it. It’s simple, affordable, and has worked flawlessly for me since the day I got it. I highly recommend this device.
Learn more about the KeySmart Titanium Edition here.
Ah, pocket tools. There are nearly infinite options to choose from. Some of my favorite brands include Atwood Knife and Tool, Big Idea Design, County Comm, Tec Accessories, and more. You can find anything from prybars, to tiny keychain rulers, to miniature grappling hooks. I have gone through dozens of these tools over the years. And then dealt with the dreaded pocket jingle and a gorilla fist sized ball of heavy gadgets and keys. It took a while to revise my kit down to its final form, as minimal as possible while maintaining maximum utility. I discovered the highly coveted Munroe Knives Mega Dangler (which I wrote about previously), handmade by Deryk Munroe in his shop from 100% titanium. This is one simple and wildly clever bit of kit in my collection. And I’ve used it every single day since I first picked it up.
It has a primary purpose, which you might be able to guess from the name, as a “dangler”. Meaning, you can add your keys or pocket tools to the bottom of the Mega Dangler (through the two holes via split rings or clips) and they hang vertically in your pocket rather than sitting in a big bunch at the bottom of your pocket. I used to run a small Leatherman and a small keychain flashlight from the extra hole, but have since removed them to cut down on bulk. But even with these two gadgets added on, since they hung vertically inside my pocket instead of at the bottom, they were very easy to carry on the daily. This dangler idea alone is enough to consider owning one. But that’s not the end. It also functions as a bit driver, a prybar, a semi-sharp cutting edge (opening packages, for example), a flathead screwdriver, and most importantly, a super well functioning bottle opener.
The only issue? You might have some trouble picking up a Mega Dangler for yourself, as Deryk makes them in small batches. You can email them on their website to check availability or search for a used version on some popular gear forums out there on the web. Do beware of knockoffs though, as they are subpar in execution and performance. Get yourself a Mega Dangler, you won’t be disappointed.
Learn more about the Munroe Knives Mega Dangler here.
Don’t you just love the look of an all titanium everyday carry quiver laid out together?
Do you have any suggestions or edits for your version of the perfect “All Titanium Everyday Carry”? Let us know in the comments below.