Titanium vs. Stainless Steel Rings

Published April 12, 2010 | Updated June 12, 2015

Both titanium and stainless steel are popular for men's wedding bands because they can maintain their look for a lifetime. Titanium rings and stainless steel rings are both durable and stylish, but which metal is right for you? This comparison of stainless steel and titanium will help you choose the best men's ring for your lifestyle and wardrobe.

Titanium and Stainless Steel Rings:

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  • Titanium Is Known for Durability

    Titanium is three times stronger than stainless steel and never tarnishes or rusts. Titanium jewelry generates an oxide layer over time, which is not as strong as the titanium underneath it. The oxide layer on a titanium ring can be scratched, though a professional polishing will remove this upper layer and show the unscratched material underneath.

  • Stainless Steel Is Known for Scratch Resistance

    Stainless steel is not as strong as titanium, but it has a higher degree of scratch resistance. While durable and bright, stainless steel jewelry is prone to rust and requires occasional upkeep.

  • Cost Comparison

    Stainless steel is plentiful and easy to work with, making stainless steel jewelry typically more affordable than titanium jewelry. Titanium is not an expensive material, however, especially when compared to platinum and gold. Many people find both stainless steel and titanium rings an affordable jewelry option.

  • Engraving Is Possible, But Not Easy

    Engraving plays an important role in personalizing rings, particularly wedding bands. Both stainless steel and titanium rings can be engraved, but it is more difficult than engraving gold and silver, and some jewelers may not provide the service. Laser engraving techniques are the best choice for engraving stainless steel and titanium.

  • Resizing Is Difficult for Both

    Stainless steel and titanium are both extremely hard and very difficult to resize. Additionally, rings with inlays or stones cannot be resized. Purchasing a new titanium or stainless steel ring is usually the best option when the old one does not fit.

  • The Myth of Emergency Removal

    It is rumored that titanium and stainless steel rings cannot be cut off in an emergency, but both are easily removed using special tools carried by emergency medical professionals. The high strength of both materials makes it extremely unlikely for them to become bent out of shape and require cutting.