Billfodl vs Cryptosteel vs Cryptotag Comparison


If you recently set up a crypto or Bitcoin wallet, you probably know that you MUST back up your seed phrase.

The three largest steel backup companies on the market are Privacy Pros’ Billfodl, Cryptosteel, and Cryptotag (Zeus).

If you aren’t sure which one to choose, then look no further. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about Cryptotag, Cryptosteel, and Billfodl’s backup devices so you can choose the right one for you!

Key Takeaways

  • All three companies provide a reliable way to back up your crypto wallet's recovery phrase.
  • The protection offered by each is of similar quality.
  • To determine which device is better for you, have a look at the design for each backup device and decide which you think you'd prefer.


billfodl capsule and cassette

Cryptosteel offers two kinds of backups - Capsule style and cassette-style.

Billfodl only offers cassette style, and it is based on Cryptosteel’s open-source design, with some differences (they call them ‘improvements’, but I’ll let you decide that for yourself).

Cryptotag offers three different versions of their stamping-style backup device, but we are only testing the most popular here: the Cryptotag Zeus.

Cryptosteel Capsule

cryptosteel capsule in box

Cryptosteel Cassette

cryptosteel cassette in box

Privacy Pros’ Billfodl

Privacy Pro's Billfodl in box

Note: 316 steel provides slightly better corrosion resistance than 304, while 304 steel provides slightly better heat resistance. That said, both of these steels should perform perfectly fine under both conditions for most users and the differences are minimal.

Cryptotag Zeus

Cryptotag Zeus in box

Our Steel Wallet Picks

  • billfodl logo
    • Highest grade steel wallet
    • 125% money-back guarantee
    • Lots of accessories to up your security
    • Recommended by Ledger
  • cryptotag zeus
    • 6mm-thick titanium
    • Waterproof, fireproof, corrosion-proof, hacker-proof, bulletproof
  • ledger logo
    Cryptosteel Capsule
    • Second backup from Cryptosteel
    • Sold by Ledger
    • Different from cassette styles

Packaging and Box Contents

Now let’s take a look at what’s inside the boxes!

Cryptosteel Capsule Packaging

cryptosteel capsule packaging

The package consists of:

In the tile tray, you’ll find several tile bowls (i.e., 26 letters, numbers 0-9, special symbols), as well as separators and fasteners, all labeled and secured in their respective spots on the tray with a sturdy lid.

The sheet of stickers can be used to customize your Cryptosteel capsule

The large infographic poster with detailed instructions and information on the product (e.g., the anatomy of the Cryptosteel Capsule, poor vs. good password features, and use cases) is handy for teaching newbies best practices for storing seed phrases.

Some customers might appreciate such detailed information, while others might find a YouTube tutorial less overwhelming.

The package also includes a more simple and illustrated 9-step guide for setting up your Cryptosteel capsule on the fold-out packaging.

All in all, the Cryptosteel Capsule packaging is very sleek. It’s the most sleek and modern of all the devices’ packaging.

Cryptosteel Cassette Packaging

cryptosteel cassette packaging

The package consists of:

The package contains a cassette, character tiles, and a guide to locate character tiles in their designated spots within the packaging.

Customers must sift through all the character tiles to find their desired tile, as there are only 14 containers for all 26 letters, numbers, and symbols.

The character tiles will move and shift during shipping and handling due to the loosely fitted plastic wrap that is supposed to hold all the tiles in place.

The product manual is printed on the back of the package in 5 written steps with corresponding pictures that appear to be hand-drawn.

While the hand-drawn instructions look nice, they are not easy to understand.

To make matters worse, the Cryptosteel Cassette packaging is notoriously not user-friendly. It has a reputation for tiles getting mixed up in shipping because each tile hole is not individually closed. Instead, a thin sheet of plastic wrap is placed over the entire tray.

cryptosteel cassette spilled tiles

After years of complaints, they still have not changed this packaging design.

I suspect they kept this packaging design because they have more or less ignored this product in favor of the capsule product.

Whatever the reason is, it is not fun for the user.

If that weren’t bad enough, Cryptosteel is also still using strange tile organization (A tiles with E tiles, X tiles with J tiles, and so on), as you can see in the packaging image above.

Billfodl Packaging

Privacy Pro's Packaging

The package consists of:

The package consists of a Billfodl, two character tile sheets stamped front and back with upper and lower case letters, and an assembly instruction sheet with simple written instructions and supporting photographs.

In addition, there is a warranty pamphlet and an added informational sheet to remind users that they only need the first four letters of each seed word

Billfodl tiles are uniquely organized.

First, they are in alphabetical order, which makes it easy to find the tile you want.

The tiles also come in a metal sheet where it’s easy to simply push it out with your finger.

Billfodl Tile Punch Out

The sheet design improved upon the old tile tray design, which was very similar to Cryptosteel Cassette’s design. This will be important later on when we talk about the set-up experience.

Cryptotag Zeus Packaging

cryptotag packaging

The package consists of:

The instructional booklet includes the BIP39 wordlist as well as each word’s corresponding number so that you can easily write down the proper number for each word.

That’s where the conversion sheets come in. You can easily record your numbers there first and double-check before committing to punching them into the Zeus permanently.

The earplugs are to be worn while you are punching the Zeus since it can be a little bit loud.

The packaging is very basic and compact, which is all you should care about.



Now let’s cover what it’s like setting up each device.

Cryptosteel Capsule Set-Up

Here is how to set up your capsule:

capsule instructions

There are some issues I discovered while setting up the Capsule.

This is due to the stamped tiles Cryptosteel manufactures.

When tiles are stamped, they warp slightly. If you do not carefully lay them down so they all warp in the same direction, you will not have enough room for 24 words and you will need to start over again.

See the picture below for reference to what I’m talking about.

cryptosteel capsule warped tiles

As you can see in the image, there are 24 words loaded into this capsule, with only the first four letters of each (all you need). There is essentially no room left to fasten the capsule core closed.

Setting up any of these devices once is a chore. For the reasons listed, the capsule is especially cumbersome to set up.

So getting to the end of set-up and realizing you need to start over is very annoying.

On top of that, if you want some letters to be uppercase and others to be lowercase, this problem is unavoidable, and you may be in trouble since you won’t be able to fit your entire recovery phrase.

This is a prime advantage that cassette designs have over capsule designs.

Cryptosteel Cassette Set-Up

Here is how to set up your Cassette:

Note: Like the Capsule, the Cryptosteel Cassette tiles are slightly warped because they have been stamped with the characters.

cryptosteel cassette warped tiles

This makes it harder to load into the cassette. However, this potentially makes it more secure in case of a fire.

Billfodl Set-Up

Here is how to set up your Billfodl:

The sheets make it easier to find your desired character tiles.

The individual character tiles are also easier to load because the tiles are not warped from being stamped.

However, the laser cutting of the letters is not very pretty. Though readable, the engraved letters may not always be centered, which makes the final loaded password appear uneven, like a ransom note with letters cut out of a magazine.

billfodl uneven printing

This is addressed in the latest versions of the Billfodl, though I only had this version available for review.

Cryptotag Zeus Set-Up

Here is how to set up your Zeus:

cryptotag stamping experience

You need to be very careful when you set up your Cryptotag Zeus. If you make a mistake, there is no fixing it, and it will make it harder to read and recover from later on if you need to.

For instance, you can see here that I did not perfectly punch this number:

cryptotag stamping mistake

Is this catastrophic? No.

You could still recover from this easily if you needed to.

However, if you were to make several mistakes that were bigger than this one, you may not be able to recover.

And…unlike with the Billfodl or Cryptosteel designs, you don’t get any do-overs. Once you have made the punch, it is permanent.

That said, of all four devices, the Zeus was the fastest and easiest to set up. However, I have a feeling this ease will cost me more labor later on during the recovery phase.

Heat Tests

Now that we’ve set up all four backup devices, let’s see how well they do under a heat test.

Note: I am forgoing a corrosion test because it would take months if not years for either of these devices to begin rusting, and we don’t have the time to perform that test. That said, the Billfodl should have a slight edge since it is made of 316 stainless steel.

For this test, I put all three devices directly over a propane camp stove fire for 20 minutes on the highest heat level possible. I let the grill warm up until it hit about 750 Fahrenheit (399 Celsius). Cryptotag was tested separately from Billfodl and Cryptosteel since it was added to this page at a later date. That is why the images are slightly different. That said, testing conditions were more or less the same.

steel backup wallet heat test temperature

NOTE: an average house fire tends to be about 600 degrees Fahrenheit at eye level (4), but even hotter at the roof (5). I cannot test fires at roof temperatures, so you will need to refer to manufacturer tests for that data.

stainless steel crypto backup burn tests

cryptotag burn tests

All performed well against heat, with no data loss for any of the backups.

Stainless steel crypto backups survive burn tests

cryptotag survives burn tests

Recovery Process

Now that we’ve tested their resilience to fire, let’s talk about the recovery experience with each device.

Cryptosteel Capsule Recovery

Of all the devices, the Cryptosteel Capsule has the worst recovery process.

Reading the tiles one by one is eye-straining.

It’s also very easy to lose your place and you’ll need to start over again.

One thing that makes it easier is to remove the tiles and lay them out, but I don’t recommend this because if you aren’t careful, the tiles could go everywhere and you will have lost your recovery phrase.

Cryptosteel Cassette and Billfodl Recovery

I am lumping these two together because recovering a seed from them is the same experience (more or less).

You simply open the cassette as you did during set-up and read the words.

The cassette design makes reading the tiles very simple since they are laid out in front of you just like text in a book. This is a nice experience, especially when compared to the capsule design where you can only see one letter at a time.

Cryptotag Recovery

As mentioned previously, how difficult recovery is on the Cryptotag is largely dependent on how careful you were during setup.

If you made a bunch of mistakes during setup, that will cause you some headaches in recovery.

What Can Be Improved


It would be better if PrivacyPros could find a nicer way to engrave the letters on the tiles and center them properly.

As mentioned above, these two issues make displaying the words look kind of funny. Though, they are still legible even after a fire.

Cryptosteel Cassette

Cryptosteel needs to fix the tile organization.

Placing tiles in these random pairs makes no sense to the user and makes finding the tile you want hard.

This is made worse by the bad packaging that lets tiles jumble during shipment.

What you end up with is a bag of tiles all mixed.

Still…the backup works well once it is set up, so still a good product.

Cryptosteel Capsule

For the capsule, Cryptosteel needs to make the whole product longer to account for the warped tiles. That or find a way to flatten them out. Perhaps laser engraving their tiles instead of stamping would be better since Billfodl does not have any issues with warped tiles.

A longer unit would also make it much easier to recover since you would have more room to view each tile.


Cryptotag should look into making the punches bigger and deeper so they are easier to see.

This would require them to make the unit bigger as well, but that may also make setup easier since you won’t have to be so precise about where your punches go.


The Cryptosteel capsule packaging is the most sleek and modern of all the devices’ packaging and overall look.

Billfodl’s tile sheet design improves upon the old tile tray design of the Cryptosteel Cassette and Capsule.

The warped tiles of the Cryptosteel cassette may make it difficult to load the character tiles or fit 24 words into the capsule.

The Cryptotag Zeus was the easiest and fastest to set up, but it’s easy to make mistakes and there are no do-overs either.

Rather than tell you which one is the best, you should decide what is important to you based on price, set-up experience, recovery experience, and other factors.

It’s ultimately up to you to decide what you like and dislike and what is most important to you.

Article Sources

BuyBitcoinWorldWide writers are subject-matter experts and base their articles on firsthand information, like interviews with experts, white papers or original studies and experience. We also use trusted research and studies from other well-known sources. You can learn more about our editorial guidelines.

  1. 316 vs 304 stainless steel - Bergsen Metals,
  2. Billfodl Cassette Set-up Guide - YouTube,
  3. Cryptosteel Capsule Set-up Guide - YouTube,
  4. - Home Fires,
  5. San Francisco Fire Department - Home Fire Facts,

About the Author

jordan tuwiner

Jordan Tuwiner is the founder of He studied computer science at Towson University and holds an online degree in trading & cryptocurrency. Jordan has been writing about Bitcoin since 2015. His work has been featured in The Guardian, International Business Times, Forbes, VentureBeat, CoinDesk and many other top Bitcoin media outlets.

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