View Full Version : quick question about Titanium

Mike Drinkuth
02-24-2003, 20:22
In comparing cookware, I'm noticing titanium sets costing a LOT more than stainless steel or aluminum. Sometimes almost three times as much. In many cases it pairs off only an ounce or so. Where's the value. What's the benefit of Titanium that i'm missing?

Lone Wolf
02-24-2003, 20:36
Your missing nothing Mike. It's way overpriced. Don't get snowed into buying it.

02-24-2003, 21:04
Lone wolf as much a i agree that a lot of the expensive crap that gets sold at outfitters is pretty silly stuff...I do have a titanium cookset..got the whole thing... including two pots and the lid fry pan and even that really expensive cup..but it's real lightweight and has helded up now for two hard years and I stay in the woods a good bit...even do a little work for a company called
InTo The Woods. inc ... even though the titanium sets are a Little expensive I'm glad I have mine... some folks cut wieght by just having one pot and sometimes it's Titanium..but I like having the two pots makes it easier on me when I'm making not tea and honey for folks...and I like to do a little "real cooking" out on the trail; and the extra pot comes in handy....

What I would really like to have out with me though is a cast iron griddle and hot pancakes in the AM.. but cast iron is heavy :D

thinking about shipping my cast electric griddle in a boonce to hostels along the way and making pancake breakfast..think that would work in neels gap????

NOC you can buy pancakes so want need it there ...

Lone Wolf
02-24-2003, 21:11
I carry 2 pots also. Both stainless steel that I bought in 1986. I carry a non-stick fry pan too.

02-24-2003, 21:20

Lone Wolf
02-24-2003, 21:25
If the shoe fits...

02-25-2003, 00:44
I worked in the Titanium industry for 5 years and can tell you the stuff is dang near INDESTRUCTIBLE! I use it and have had great service. Stainless..we all know how durable IT is. TI is lighter but cost more. I TRY not to let cost be the deciding factor, but what I want and need. Guess that's why I drive a dually and not that wimpy 1/2 Ton! :cool: Anyway....TI vs SS vs AL......I think it's all a matter of personal preference. Don't fault anyone's choice...........EXCEPT cast iron!!!! (Smokymtnsteve) If ya ever bring the waffel griddle..let me know. :banana

02-25-2003, 02:59
Titanium is fine as long as you work for an outfitter and get gear at a percentage off wholesale, other than that I wouldn't waste your money on it. I paid $20 for my titanium pot, but I wouldn't pay retail for it...it's not worth it.

02-25-2003, 10:50
I love titanium. In some cases, you can get away with using aluminum and go even lighter (such as the soda-can stove).

Pare pounds off with your big three before paring ounces with cooksets...

02-25-2003, 12:34
I'm trying to pare off pounds around my gut first; then I'll worry about saving 5 oz. from a Ti. pot.

02-25-2003, 13:14
Yeah I have a black-bear gut too. It's the juice that powers my big-mileage days! Nevertheless, I could lose about 15 pounds (6'1 230lbs). I like to be around 210-215 (retaining a little pudge). Ate too much this Holiday season!

I've upped my hiking to about 15mi of Snowshoeing a week, lift weights 3 times a week, and have cut down on the General Tso's Chicken Take out (Wimper).

My first week-long hike this year may come in may (if I can get the time off). I'll be thru-hiking the 110+mi Metacomet-Monadnock trail in central/western Massachusetts.

02-25-2003, 13:22
You are missing nothing. TI costs more, weighs a little less than aluminum and is about the same strength.

02-25-2003, 14:14
Actually thats wrong.

Titanium is heavier than aluminum, but much stronger than it. It's also much lighter than steel, and a little less as strong. When building something for durability with lightweight in mind, titanium is definetly the material to use. In most cases it is lighter than the same product made from aluminum, because less material is needed (due to it's much higher strength). In some cases where strength is not needed, aluminum is the best option because it is lighter (ie Soda Can Stoves).

Anyways, Ti is very expensive, but for those wanting to shave 4 ounces here and 5 ounces there (adding up to real pounds, not cutting toothbrush handels), it is a very practical material. I have Titanium alloy Pots, Trekking Poles, and Soda-Can Stove Stand.

02-25-2003, 14:57
I know that TI is stronger than aluminum, but not too much more practically speaking. My ti - pot still suffered a few dents along the way, much the same as what I would expect from aluminum. I am one of the suckers that paid full price for the ti, and I'm glad I did. It served me well for 6 months and it was lighter than any alternative.

I read an article recently on leki's "titanium" trekking poles. The article said that they contained no titanium but just contained less of the same material used in their other poles. The company then named them titanium sice they were lighter than the regular poles. I could believe that since the price is not very different between the two. Does anyone else know anything about this? That also makes me wonder if the "titanium" poles are - in fact - weaker than the makalus. Furthermore - is there a company that makes true titanium trekking poles? It seems they would cost a fortune. Raging Hampster or someone must know something about this.

02-25-2003, 15:18
Leki obviously doesn't have solid Ti poles, it's probably just a little smidgen they alloy with the aluminum. The biggest weight savings come from the slimmer design, not Ti.

Most (Perhaps All) "Titanium" products are indeed alloyed with Aluminum.

I took a couple materials classes during my 3 semesters at UMass for mechanical engineering, and I should drag the books out to throw some numbers up but I'm lazy and going to bed (I work 3rd shift). I can tell you that the materials I'm most excited about are polymers that are being developed. Light emitting fabrics, super-strong polys, and color-adaptative fibers. Think of a tent that could go from clear to forest-green at the touch of a finger, journals and head-bands that emit light, and a 2oz clothing wardrobes, etc. How about an umbrella with solar-cells in the fabric which could power a super-strength ultralight plastic fan for cooling your tent & eliminating condensation. I can't wait to see what we will be hiking with 10-20 years from now!

02-25-2003, 19:53
The Leki Ultra-light are definitely weaker than typical Super Makalu's...any day of the week. I think "flimsy" would be a better word to describe them...but it's questionable how rock solid they need to be to work properly. I would go with the stronger poles personally...and the people at Leki feel the same I can promise you that.

02-25-2003, 21:31
TI tent pegs anyone??

02-26-2003, 08:56
Lets see: My husband is a titanium and carbon fiber fanatic. We had fun shopping for our AT trip, and I'm surprised we didn't get a trail name from how much of the stuff we had. Yes, it's more expensive and about the same weight, but he coolness factor is there :)

4 Titanium Leki Super makalu ultralight poles
2 Titanium MSR cook pots
2 titanium mugs
2 titanium sporks (snowpeak)
6 ultra-light titanium tent stakes
1 Titanium fuel bottle... (later reaplced with a poland springs bottle)

I think that was all....


02-26-2003, 08:59
Oh yeah I have Snow Peak Ti Stakes, and MSR Ti Fork & Spoon.

02-27-2003, 09:02
Hey Skyking this question is for you:
I have a Titanium pot. I inadvertantly put in on the stove with nothing in it. A few minutes later I smelled it and shut the stove off. The bottom of the pot -both inside and outside- is now a bright blue that won't come off. Have I weakened the pot by doing this, and have I made it unfit for cooking by making it toxic somehow?(This is not a pretty looking blue color)

02-27-2003, 18:24
LBJ....Don't think you hurt the pot at all. I will, however, get with the metallurgist where I worked and get their input on the toxic issue.
I can see it now..everybody will now take a blow torch to their TI cookware to get a "pretty blue color"! :)

02-28-2003, 11:58
I'll be waiting for your answer about toxicity of burned pot. i am afraid to use it until I find out. Thanks for looking into it for me.

02-28-2003, 15:01
I can imagine how super-heated Ti is any more toxic than cold Ti. You didn't add anything new into it, and since it isn't an alloy, then you couldn't have changed the chemical structure. You probably just rearrange the atoms to a different configuration.

Titatium is used in biomechanical parts, so it has to be very safe for us.

Aluminum is another story...

Gravity Man

02-28-2003, 15:05
BTW the blue is just oxygen bonded to the Ti (titanium oxide). You can get all kinds of cool colors out of Ti by heating it and cooling it...

Gravity Man

02-28-2003, 16:51
I thought that titanium cookware is a mixture of aluminum and titanium, not pure titanium.

02-28-2003, 18:45
There is a ton of different Ti alloys out there, but I would like that the manufacturer would say Titanium alloy pot, not titanium pot. I looked at MSR's site, and they just say titanium. If it's an alloy, then it is, but I have never seen anything about that. It's true there might be impurities in it (mainly oxygen) that make it less strong, but I don't know that it is an alloy. I just searched around, and couldn't find any other sites that said anything other than titanium.

I did find one site that talked about the fact that the Titanium oxide is a antibaterial agent when exposed to sunlight though! That's interesting (and new to me)!


It also talks about the different grades of Ti

03-01-2003, 06:56
ti is an alloy of titanium with steel.

ti/steel alloy is used where weight reduction is needed and size reduction is aceptable. (thinner pot wall for ex.)

While al/ti alloys do exist it is used in applications were weight must be reduced but size must remain constant.

Walkie Talkie
03-01-2003, 19:40
I just received my TI pots/frying pan and right awy had to cook some meals in it. Because Ti is so strong they make it very thin. Whan I cooked pasta it stuck a litle where the flame was. And whan I attempted pancakes thye cooked where the flame was but not at all where the flame wasn't. I never had this much trouble with my aluminum pans. I will probably continue to use the Ti and learn to deal with it. Has anyone else had the same results?

03-02-2003, 09:25
Different metals disipate heat better than others. I suspect that titanium, partly because it is thin, does not spread heat very well. Consequently, you get the burning right where the heat is concentrated.

It's not a problem for most, because of the type of meals we prepare. Boil 2 cups of water with Liptons, or Mac & cheese, etc.

If you want to do something fancier, then switch to aluminum. The is a little weight penalty, but you should be able to cook the type of meals you want to.

03-02-2003, 12:19
Another thing you can try is adding a squeeze or two of olive oil to the water before you add your noodle/rice stock. Improves the flavor, adds a little much needed fat for thru-hikers and keeps things a tad more "lubricated" inside the pot. Since I started using olive oil for cooking with my Ti pot I notice that clean-up is much easier

03-02-2003, 13:02
I use 2 or 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil when making Liptons.
For pancakes, get a small round sheet of stainless steel. It weighs more, but I bring mine sometimes just for pancakes (on weekend hikes). It weighs only a few ounces, and cleans easy (no lips handles etc). MSR sells aluminum pans with a nonstick coating. You could go with those, but theyre heavy. The key to cooking with titanium is constant stirring, and a real low simmer flame when your not boiling water. I find the non-pressurized alcohol stove to be dead-accurate, better than any 1lb MSR stove.

Congrats on the pots. Did you get MSR or SnowPeak?

03-13-2003, 20:07
LBJ..sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. I've been waiting for an E-mail from Snow Peak but guess they've forgotten me (even after 3 phone calls!) . Anyway, my friend said not to worry. No toxicity....Snow Peak said the same thing. They were supposed to send me a report a college student did on Aluminum vs Titanium. Aluminum "leaks" toxicity continually unless coated. Ti DOES NOT. Also doesn't affect taste. Hope this helps....and your not dead!! :D

03-14-2003, 12:00
Thanks for researching that for me, I didn't think of emailing SnowPeak. I am glad that I didn't ruin the pot($39). After reading the info on that Ti site you sent me to, I am thinking about buying titanium pots and frypan for use at home!
Thanks again

03-14-2003, 18:06
Glad to be of help LBJ. As soon as I can get the report from Snow Peak I'll get it right to you. As for home use..yeah....would love to have a kitchen full of Ti......but did you see the PRICE???? :eek: Jeeeze..I could buy a new truck for what a nice set would cost!

01-10-2004, 15:59
I like the idea of Titanium, but I'm a low-budget hiker, and use an Italian 1.5 liter pot for everything. (forgot the brand. Hunter-green outside, well-done teflon inside. 8 oz. including lid) I even eat out of it, therefore saving the weight of a bowl. I believe that I can probably even make pancakes with it, though that would involve needing a seperate plate/bowl/something. I guess I could use the lid for that, however.

Pancakes are a great idea, BTW. I like Hungry Jack or Aunt Jemima buttermilk complete pancakes, though not as good as the real thing. That would be a great way to add to the variety of trail-meals, which is a large consideration. As much as I like cheese-grits, I don't think that I could eat them for 2150+ miles. :)


01-10-2004, 16:57
What are you doing with these pots that they need to be so dern strong???
Sure they last forever but these days who keeps gear more than a few years before replacing it with the nifty new ultralightweight stuff anyway?! Im with Lone Wolf ,I carry stainless cookwear .My 1qt pot with lid weighs 8 ozs ,light enuff fer me! Besides all you got to do is wait until some other so called miracle cookwear come along and the price of titanium will come down. Streamweaver

01-10-2004, 19:40
Been carrying the EverNew Titanium pot for several years now. Yeah, it's more expensive but that peice of gear is one area I allowed myself to splurge. Weight is everthing and every ounce counts. Added to the weight factor though is that the Titanium heats faster and cools faster than any other pot I have ever owned.

Just my experience ...your mileage (and budget or values) may vary.

01-10-2004, 19:52
aluminum, steel, titanium....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

i got, as a present, several years ago the MSR 5 piece (lite weight steel) cooking set....
very nice....but, since...i've bought a Ti cooking pot & coffee mug & now..............................thats all i take on the trail with me.

'nuff said!

i guess it boils (no pun intended!) down to personal preferences, AGAIN!

see ya'll up the trail in 2004! ;)

bearbag hanger
01-11-2004, 11:29
In comparing cookware, I'm noticing titanium sets costing a LOT more than stainless steel or aluminum. Sometimes almost three times as much. In many cases it pairs off only an ounce or so. Where's the value. What's the benefit of Titanium that i'm missing?
I've been using a titanium pot for about three years now. I got it as a birthday gift, I would never have paid for it. Having said that, I like it a lot more than the non-stick aluminuim pots I was using before. Most foods don't stick to the titanium, although once it does, it very difficult to get off. Food sticks to bare aluminum quite readily, and from what I've been hearing about the toxic properties of non-stick coatings, not sure I would go back to them.

I question the so called weight savings you get. As best I can tell, all the titanium pots are smaller than the aluminum pots they replace. My first reaction (which I kept to myself) when I opening my present was the two pots were way too small to be useful. Thankfully, I used them anyway (it's what men are required to do for their girlfriends) and have found the smaller pots much better for backpacking than the comparitively large pots I use to use. I think if you compare the same sized aluminum pot vs titanium, I don't think there would be a 5 oz savings.

But the real test is - if I lost my titanium pots? Right now, I would replace them with new titanium pots.