When you buy either a hardware wallet or create a hot wallet, you will need to set it up with a 24-word recovery phrase. This phrase is the only thing that will help when you lose access to your wallet and would like to access its contents.
This is where a metal wallet comes into the picture. It is an extension of the cold wallet and will help to back up your recovery phrase (also known as a private key or seed phrase).
So even if you lose your multi-currency wallet or forget the password to your hot wallet, you can get access to its contents.
This article reviews and compares two of the best backup tools in the market so that you can make a better decision regarding which one you should invest in.
Billfodl vs Cryptosteel: Price
The Billfodl cost starts at $99, but you can find it on other retail websites with discounts that can give you a 20% discount. You can then own this premier backup tool for $79.99 and not worry about misplacing the paper backup where you wrote your seed phrase.
Cryptosteel Cassette will keep your seed words safe but set you back a cool $149. This is 50% more than the Billfodl, and by the end of this review, you should be able to tell whether the extra money seems worth it to you.
Cryptosteel does have another product called the Cryptosteel Capsule, which is slightly cheaper at $109 but will still be more than the maximum price of the Billfodl.
Billfodl vs Cryptosteel: Build Quality
Ledger’s Billfodl is made of stainless steel so that you don’t drop and break it. The product is also fireproof, shockproof, water, and impact resistant.
It will withstand more than double the temperatures of an average house fire. Its marine grade 316 stainless steel will prevent it from ever rusting, and it can stand up to 1,000,000 volts of electricity without getting damaged.
The Cryptosteel Cassette is a regular steel wallet made from construction steel (AISI 304). It is still fireproof up to 1200 celsius and can bear extreme temperatures. This will make sure that you can gain access to your crypto assets even after a regular house fire.
The company promises that the indestructible backup is also waterproof, impact-proof, and rust-proof. There are no other specifics mentioned about how much of the elements the Cryptosteel Cassette can withstand, unlike other steel wallets.
Some reviews have complained about the tiles not being uniform and having to polish them manually so that they fit into the chassis easily.
To know more about crypto wallets, check Hot Wallet vs Cold Wallet differences
Both these steel wallets have undergone rigorous stress tests at the hands of the company and youtube reviewers. They have come out unscathed, and this was enough to convince me. You can watch these videos if you don’t believe me.
Billfodl vs Cryptosteel: Dimensions
The Billfodl measures about 104 mm X 58 mm X 5 mm (4.1 in X 2.3 in X 0.2 in) and is smaller than the Cryptosteel Cassette.
The Cryptosteel Cassette measures about 106 mm X 60 mm X 6 mm (4.17 in X 2.36 in X 0.23 in) and is just a few millimetres larger than the Billfodl.
The dimensions of both wallets are similar. So this should not factor into your decision about which is the better one. Both of them will keep your seed phrase safe which should be your only concern.
Billfodl vs Cryptosteel: Weight
The Billfodl weighs close to 0.4 kg (14 oz), whereas the Cryptosteel cassette will weigh close to 0.48 kg (~17 oz).
Both steel wallets do not differ much in terms of their weights. Thus, this should not be much of a concern when making a decision about which one to buy.
Billfodl vs Cryptosteel: Compatibility
Both the Billfodl and the CryptoSteel Cassette are compatible with the major hardware wallets and software wallets as they provide private keys with 12-24 words in the seed phrase.
Billfodl vs Cryptosteel: What is in the box?
When you order the Billfodl device, the box comes with the Laser cut marine grade 316 stainless steel chassis, and 300 stainless steel laser engraved tiles.
These tiles contain all letters of the English alphabet, which you can slide into the device according to your recovery phrase. There are a few blank tiles as well to make up for the fourth letter in a three-letter word.
When it is the Cryptosteel Cassette that is ordered, the box contains your steel wallet and a set of approximately 280 metal letters. You can use these letters to spell out your seed phrase on the device.
Unfortunately, the packaging is not up to the mark of the money you are spending on the product. The tile tray does not keep the tiles in place during transit. This means that setting up the Cassette can take an hour or two whereas the Billfodl only takes minutes.
This is one of the key differences between the products.
Billfodl vs Cryptosteel: How They Work?
The Billfodl features a double-sided chassis for you to spell out your recovery phrase. You can use it to replace the sheet of paper you have been guarding with your life.
The first step is to open the Billfodl’s top screw using one of the tiles or a screwdriver and make sure the groove is horizontal. Then you can press down on the bottom spring lock and pull the gate open.
The second step will be to slide in the first four letters of your first twelve recovery words.
New to crypto wallets? Learn about Non-Custodial Wallets vs Custodial Wallets
The third step involves turning the top screw so that the groove is vertical. You can then push the spring lock back into place so that it is secured.
The fourth step starts with flipping the Billfodl and then repeating step two with the remaining twelve words. Once done, you can close the Billfodl and store it.
You now have the first four letters of each of your 24-word recovery seeds in a maximum security device which will not be damaged even if you literally pound it with a hammer.
For setting up the Cryptosteel Cassette, you can follow the following six steps, which are pretty straightforward.
Step one is to open the cassette and fan out the hinged front and back panels.
The second step is to unlock the unit by turning the screw counterclockwise to a horizontal position with the use of a screwdriver.
In the third step, you will release the lever using a tile or a small tool to press the lever inside the long slot.
The fourth step of this process is to keep the lever pressed as you open the frame.
The fifth step is where you enter your seed phrases in such a way that all the rows are completely loaded. You must remember to only use the first four characters of your recovery seed phrase.
The first four letters of a word are all that is required to recover the entire word from the BIP39 word list of 2,048 possible options.
In the case that one word in the recovery seed has only three letters, you can use a blank tile to fill the space. Make sure to use both panels of the device.
The sixth and last step is to close the cassette by shutting the frame and twisting the screw clockwise into a vertical position.
Why do you need BillFodl?
If you have any misgivings about the quality of the product, every Billfodl review touts their lifelong 125% money-back guarantee.
This is how much the company trusts its product and that they are the only backup to offer this unique lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
Billfodl is produced and marketed by Ledger which also makes the famous hardware wallets of the same name. This means that there is already a stamp of approval from the crypto community.
There is also faster shipping with this product and no users complain about any kind of delays in this process. This makes a good first impression and encourages users to buy other such devices from you.
Every Billfodl review also mentions that this product has a better tile organization out-of-the-box which makes the entire process less cumbersome. This whole process does not have any third-party involvement so any major concern regarding a security breach can be laid to rest.
You will also get access to free international shipping if you buy Ledger’s Bitfodl.
Why do you need the Cryptosteel Cassette?
With the Cryptosteel Cassette, you will get free international shipping only if your order is worth $150 or more.
This product and company also have the first mover advantage as they were the first to market with this alternative to a paper wallet.
The Cassette is the company’s best-selling item and beats the Cryptosteel Capsule.
Standardized Tiles vs Hand-written solutions
Such a product aims to make sure that offline storage of private keys is standardized. Adoption is made easier if this solution comes right out of the box, and there is no need to buy new tools for it.
All you will need to do is open the pack, follow the instructions, and then feel safe about your digital coins. Due to its laser engraving and easy-to-read font, the tiles will be readable 1000 years from today.
Your handwriting, on the other hand, might not be legible to your near and dear ones or your heirs. You don’t want your later generations to lose out on wealth because your handwriting is not good, do you?
With these tiles, you can change the words in your recovery seed if you make a mistake or have to reset it in case you lose the Billfodl or Cryptosteel devices.
Can you use Billfodl and Cryptosteel with Ledger & Trezor hardware wallets?
Yes, you can. The Billfodl or the Cryptosteel device only securely backs up the words from your seed phrase.
It does not matter which hardware wallet or online wallet it comes from as long as the seed phrases are less than 24 words long.
In this, both Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets give out 24-word recovery seeds. But there are other wallets like Trust Wallet that only have 12-word recovery seeds.
Billfodl and Cryptosteel both fit the bill perfectly in both cases.
Alternatives Of Billfodl & Cryptosteel
There are not too many differences between the Billfodl and the Cryptosteel Cassette so the obvious question is what else is there to choose from. The market does not disappoint in this respect.
There is a more premium version of both these devices. It is made of titanium instead of the steel wallet mentioned above. What if I told you that its user experience and setup process are also better than these products?
I’m talking about the CryptoTAG, which comes with two titanium plates and a heavy-duty hammer. The hammer is to assist you in literally pounding your new seed phrase into the plates.
I understand that this is supposed to be a Cryptosteel cassette and Billfodl review but the facts remain facts. The build quality of the CryptoTAG is way nicer than these devices. But not everyone can spend $199 for their online security.
If you are wondering what justifies the price tag of Thor ($199) and Zeus ($109), Thor comes with a hammer, 26 letter bits, a bit holder, earplugs, matches, and an anvil in the package. This is why it is the more expensive set.
With either of the two versions, you will have to use a hammer or an engraving pen to stamp or engrave the correct letters from your seed phrase onto the steel wallet. The device allows for up to 48 words to be engraved or stamped.
Just like the other devices in this article, the CryptoTAG will protect your recovery phase as it has an extremely high melting point. The tiles remain legible even after going through these trials and tribulations. The wallet is also tamper-resistant.
Even though it comes with all the needed tools, the wallet is not reusable as the hammering of the tiles cannot be rewound. The setup of the CryptoTAG can make the user prone to injury.
- Cryptosteel Capsule
This is the second generation of a backup wallet from Cryptosteel after the Cassette. The Cryptosteel Capsule is made of grade 304 stainless steel, just like the Cassette.
Its form factor makes the Cryptosteel Capsule slightly more discreet and easier to carry around. This will deter thieves from having their eyes on a small device like this compared to the Cassette that looks like a credit card.
To complete the setup, you will drop tiles into a core within the tube. The idea behind the design is that a form like this will not bend in a fire or under pressure. This will work only if the structure of the Cryptosteel Capsule is more robust.
The Capsule is very reasonably priced, and the beautiful packaging makes it much easier to change the seed. It also makes this device reusable, unlike the CryptoTAG. It is also easier to load than a cassette-style backup like the Billfodl or the Cryptosteel Cassette.
There are a few glaring cons of the wallet. It is not easy to recover your phrase from this wallet as they are stacked on top of each other. In the case of cassette-style wallets, you can see the words at a glance, whereas with the Capsule, you have to individually remove each tile to see the next one.
If in case you forget to put a fastener tile at either end of the main rod holding the tiles, you could lose your seed phrase when you most need it.
- Keystone Tablet
The Keystone Tablet is a new hardware wallet when compared to the others in the list but has a lot of similar features like being fireproof, and corrosion resistant. Just like other hardware wallets, it is also convenient to load and carry around.
This also lacks numeric tiles like the others mentioned in this list so you can’t store your wallet address in it.
One of the biggest pros of the Keystone Tablet is its price of $39 which is much lesser compared to the Billfodl or any of the Cryptosteel crypto wallets.
Possible Pitfalls of Using Steel Wallets
While it may seem that a steel backup is the best way to do autonomous offline storage, you must remember that it is vulnerable to theft.
Even if you write your seed phrase on a piece of paper and leave it lying around for a bad actor to find, you will lose access to your coins.
The point of this product is to have the recovery phrase available to you in case you lose your hardware wallets. You can still get access to your crypto coins and not have to start from scratch.
So even when you get this stainless steel wallet, you cannot afford to forget it at the restaurant or the Halloween party. You need to put it somewhere where no one else can find it.
What you can do is tell your family or loved ones about where they can find this device and access your private keys in the case of your untimely demise.
Steel wallets are supposed to safely store your seed phrase from the elements, including a heavy-duty hammer.
But you should not get one of these stainless steel wallets if you are prone to misplacing things or forgetting them in taxis.
There are very few differences between the Billfodl and the Cryptosteel Cassette, but they make the overall product easier to set up and use. Billfodl has been praised for the build quality of its tiles.
On the other hand, the tiles for the Cassette are individually pressed, which ends up warping their shape. This makes it difficult to set up the device and diminishes the user experience significantly.
The price and money-back guarantee of the Billfodl are also unprecedented. The Cassette does not do itself any favours by pricing itself at $149 for nearly the same dimensions and weight.
For a first backup and if you are on a budget, just start with the Billfodl, as it is a quality and durable device that gets the job done. If you think that the first iteration of a product is the best and does not need to be improved on, you can go with the Cassette
Both devices will make you feel like a true crypto enthusiast. If you have more than $149 invested in crypto, you will need to buy one of these devices to make sure you can sleep comfortably.
Check out how Billfodl and Cryptosteel Cassette compares to other hardware wallets:
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