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Cryptosteel: Capsule vs Cassette - Which to choose?

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So you're looking for a more secure way to store your recovery phrase, but you can't decide between the CryptoSteel capsule and the CryptoSteel cassette? Let's take a look at both together. Welcome back to Woodland Pools. Today we're going to compare the CryptoSteel capsule with the CryptoSteel cassette. Let's jump in. So first thing before we get started, I want to clarify this is not a paid promotional video. We are not sponsored by anyone on this channel, but the folks at Satoshi Labs, the same people that make the Trezor Model T, were kind enough to send us both a CryptoSteel capsule and a CryptoSteel cassette so we could share with you our honest opinions on it.

And they asked us, hey, put together a video, let us know what you think. So that's what we're going to do here. So let's look at the two of them side by side. Okay, so we've got our table here. We're going to compare the cassette to the capsule. For those of you that have seen our video comparing the Ledger and the Trezor, you probably remember this layout.

And so what we're going to compare today is the form factor, like how do they actually feel to interact with them? The ease of entry, like how easy was it to enter the words into the CryptoSteels? The ease of reading those words back when it comes time to actually read our recovery phrase. The versatility in terms of what the different things are that we can do with them. The inconspicuousness of like how when we try and hide them, where can we hide them or store them? The price point and then finally our conclusion on which one we recommend. So let's go ahead and take a look and let's start with form factor.

So let's take a look at the form factor of each of them separately. Starting out with the capsule first, we see this nice cylindrical kind of shape to it. Nice sort of like feel like you can hold it like grip it in your hand if you want to. And the way that we open it is we just unscrew it here, even has a nice sort of satisfying like like unscrewing noise to it. Like I don't know, kind of feels kind of cool. And then just slides open and then your words are here on these little disks that go up and down. That's where you actually store the letters for your words.

When it comes time to store it back again, you just put it back, spin it back again, comes back in really easy. And it also has this like hole here if you want to hang it from a key chain or you want to like hang it up somewhere. And again, really nice and inconspicuous, a thing that you can kind of like store pretty much anywhere and nobody would see it. So the cassette totally different look to it obviously more of like a credit card like wallet kind of setup here. But again, also really, really smooth and really clean. So for this one, the way that we open it is just slide it like this.

And I like that too, a nice like satisfying click to it too. Like I don't know, it just has a cool sort of both of them have a kind of cool, very tactile kind of feel to them. So anyway, so we open it up like this. You can see your first 12 words on this side. And if you have a 24 word recovery phrase, the other words would go here on the backside or you can do 12 and 12. So yeah, very different from the capsule, obviously, but also really nice. So what we'll do here then is depending on which one wins in each category, we're going to use a screen little checkmark.

And and I got to say that even though they're very different for this first category, I really think that the cassette and the capsule both of them the form factor is excellent. It feels really, really nice. I have no preference between them in terms of their look and feel and how it feels to interact with them. I think they're both great. So they're tied in my book for that one. So in terms of ease of entry, if we look at the cassette, the way that you put your letters in for your words is actually in three predetermined rows where you slide the letters in from the beginning all the way to the end.

Now the rows are fit to be almost exactly the same size as the letters. So it's actually kind of tricky to get them in there. And sometimes you had to use a different letter on its side to kind of push them down. And especially the ones at the bottom sometimes were kind of hard to get in there. So it was kind of cumbersome getting the cassette letters in. Not a huge deal, but you know, kind of annoying to really get them in there, make sure they all fit properly. And now for the capsule that was much more straightforward because the letters are actually little disks with a hole through them.

And you just slide those onto the core of the capsule and they literally just drop right in. So adding the letters for the capsule was actually really straightforward and really easy. So for ease of entry, this category definitely goes to the capsule. It was much easier to get the letters in there. They just dropped right in and they were good to go. So now when it comes to ease of reading, that is reading the words back to be able to restore a wallet using your recovery phrase. Let's actually switch over to the overhead camera and we can look at them side by side.

OK, so if we're looking here at our cassette next to our capsule, this is almost sort of a no brainer, right? You can immediately see that just by opening up the cassette, you can see all of your words, a little bit of glare here just from the camera, but it reads really, really clearly in person and you can see all of your words immediately, at least the first four letters, right? Which by the way, is the same convention we did for both of them. We did the first four letters for both the cassette and the capsule.

For the capsule, what you need to do is you have these spacers here that separate each of your words and you have to move the spacer out of the way and then look at one letter at a time. The zoom here isn't really showing the letters very well. You can see them clearly in person, but you still have to literally go and look at one letter at a time like this and kind of fish each one out and say, OK, this is word number one. First letter is G, second letter is R. You see how I'm kind of struggling with it here to drop just the one next letter.

Next letter is I, then E, right? Whereas here, my first letter, I can immediately see AOLN. That's it. That's my first word. So in terms of ease of reading, this one is also a no brainer. But in this case, ease of reading definitely goes to the cassette. Now in terms of versatility, granted, this is a little bit ambiguous. But what I mean by this is that if you have a wallet that's 12 or 18 or 24 words, how easily can you store wallets of different sizes? But also, let's say if you had two 12 word wallets, how easily could you do that? They can both very easily store up to 24 words.

The cassette has the front side and then the backside. And then if you're doing four letters per word, which is what we did here for the 12 words of this one, if you had up to 24, this would fit all of them all the way up to 24 words without a problem. But what I do like about the cassette though is that if you did have a 12 word recovery phrase, let's say for a software wallet or something like that, with the capsule, it would be kind of hard to know where one wallet ended and where the next one began. You'd probably want to get two different capsules.

Whereas with the cassette, if you wanted to store two 12 word wallets, you could just do one of them on one side, one on the other, and it's super clear which is which. And that they're two different wallets. So for versatility, I think in this case, we also probably want to give this one to the cassette. Again, maybe this one isn't necessarily as important to you because if you're doing something that has a 24 word recovery phrase, you're going to use up both sides on the cassette or the whole core of the capsule anyway.

So maybe it's not as important, but I do think it's nice that if you had two 12 word wallets, the cassette can nicely store both. Now in terms of inconspicuousness, right? Like how easy they are to hide, they're both pretty slim in their form figures. I mean, I could easily see where like the cassette you could just maybe slide under something or have it like pressed in between two things. But I don't know, something about the capsule, it just feels so small. You could literally put this anywhere.

I feel like you could just slide this into like, you can slide this like inside of a couch or you could just like just drill out like a core somewhere on a wall and just like pop it right in there. It just feels like it'd be much easier to hide the capsule over the cassette. And also if someone just at a glance saw the capsule, they might think it's just like a tool or something that you just leave lying around your toolbox. Whereas the cassette kind of already looks like a wallet, like you kind of expect as soon as you see it, you're kind of like, Oh, I bet this store something valuable.

Maybe it's a credit card and you know, I don't know. But but it immediately looks like something that looks kind of like a wallet or a money clip or something. So for inconspicuousness for the sneakiness, I think that one definitely goes to the capsule. So now in terms of price, if we look at the two side by side, as of today, when we're filming this, the cassette comes in at 109 euros, so roughly $113. And the capsule is a little bit cheaper at about 82 euros or roughly $85. So the capsule is about 20% cheaper than the cassette.

So if you're really price sensitive, the capsule might be the way to go and you get yourself a 20% discount, but still have the resilience and the reliability of the stainless steel, which they're both made of. So for price, that one will also go to the capsule. So now we put it all together. Form factor, they both feel great. Ease of entry, the capsule is much easier to just drop them in. Ease of reading, the cassette is much more straightforward to look at. Versatility if you want to have more than one wallet, the cassette seems like it might be better for that, but you are limited to only 12 word wallets if you're going to do that.

For inconspicuousness, the capsule maybe is a little bit sneakier in how you can hide it and the capsule is a little bit cheaper. But in terms of when we compare the two, my personal opinion, if I had to pick just one, I would probably go with the cassette. And my reasoning for this is yes, it is easier to enter the words into the capsule, but the entry for a recovery phrase for a wallet, you're probably only going to do one time. The reading is a thing that you're probably going to do multiple times throughout the life of your hardware or software wallet.

So I want something that I can kind of suffer through spending maybe 10 more minutes or something that's kind of annoying to put the letters in. But I want to be able to just like pop it open and immediately see my words and know exactly what they are without having to kind of mess with it and just slide it up and down like that. And yes, the capsule is a little bit cheaper and maybe a little bit easier to hide, but it just feels like the whole purpose of why you'd be getting a crypto steal is because one, you want it to be really resilient to harsh conditions and two, to be able to read your words.

So since they're both made of the same material, but the cassette is so much easier to read, it doesn't feel like for me that the 20% discount in price is worth the loss of the readability. So I think I'd have to go with the cassette. That would be my choice. But what do you think? Do you like the capsule better? Is there another category maybe we should have taken into account that would have swayed it back the other way? Let us know what your thoughts are. And if nothing else, we'll see you in the next video. .



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