I work for a company that distributes Copper Titanium Non-Sparking Tools.


Pictures of tools https://imgur.com/gallery/G6updO4

Edit 2:

Video of Steel Tool vs Non-Sparking Tool https://youtu.be/cTl97imBaXI

Edit 3:

That is all for me! Thank-you everyone.


Work shirt and business card https://imgur.com/a/cTGv4tk

Picture of some of our tools https://imgur.com/gallery/ngMmCmh

Comments: 495 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

primefun210 karma

How many sparks would a titanium tool spark if a titanium tool could spark sparks?

1stsourceproducts193 karma

Titanium does create sparks. The tool is mostly copper, which has the non-sparking characteristics. 2-5% of the tool is Titanium to add strength since copper is very soft.

escapewa187 karma

This is probably one of the cooler yet underrated ama's of recent.

With non spark tools, say a common wrench, what type of metals are they using that are different from your ordinary say box wrench or Craftsman or snap-on tool?

1stsourceproducts114 karma

Copper alloys mainly. The most common non-sparking tools are Copper Beryllium, Aluminum Bronze, and now Copper Titanium as recently been developed and introduced to North America.

escapewa43 karma

Copper and titanium somehow now mix as an alloy? I'm not sure of the metalogical practices involves here but you have a very very soft pliable metal and then you got extremely hard yet fragile metal. Any ideas?

1stsourceproducts98 karma

That is the secret my friend. It took India DRDO (Defense and Research Department) 6 years and $2 million to figure this out. You can find new articles.

Hardmeat_McLargehuge66 karma

that's actually not that much money for developing a new technology. That or it's relatively simple and they just milked it really good

Aycoth31 karma

That's probably just for the metallurgical part of it. I'm sure each of the tools has it's own r&d budget associated with it as well

1stsourceproducts43 karma

Thats just the figures I was given. Apparently this is a complicated process. It seems as no one else has figured it out.

Wiz_Kalita11 karma

What's the advantage of copper titanium to those alloys?

1stsourceproducts60 karma

1) Beryllium is a carcinogen and can lead to Chronic Beryllium Disease which is fatal. OSHA has recently reduced the exposure limits of Beryllium by over 90%. The have Qualified skin exposure as a route to sensitization. As stated in another response, Apple is no longer using Copper Beryllium in their products. (scroll down to (The Worst Toxins Heading) https://www.apple.com/environment/safer-materials/

2) Aluminum Bronze is only 60% the strength of steel and can break under normal use. Some manufacturers add Beryllium to high torque areas to add strength. Aluminum Bronze is not completely non-magnetic.

3) Copper Titanium is 100% Beryllium free and torque tested at 20% higher than the standards for steel tools.

Negrolicious13 karma

Maybe you can answer this before I ask another question: what IS a spark?

1stsourceproducts23 karma

Getting into some technical information. I've read articles online and not sure I fully understand. Pure steel is combustible in oxygen. Oxidization actually creates a protective layer. It does not combust due to the large surface area. When you chip a piece off, the small piece not oxidized then combusts. But your guess is just as good as mine.

chikfilacup161 karma

What are some industries that require non-sparking tools? And what is the rough price of that crescent wrench you posted an image of?

1stsourceproducts259 karma

Oil and Gas (refineries, pipeline, confined space, drilling)

Chemical (fertilizer plants, breweries and distilleries, ink, glue, paint factories, pharmaceutical factories, Hazard Material Handling (HAZMAT)

Explosives (Ammunition factory and storage, missile assembly, rocket fuel, synthetic fiber manufacturing)

Paint Booths, MRI Machine Maintenance (Some non-sparking tools are also non-magnetic) Railroads, Shipyards

and Firemen (when a refinery is on fire or a tanker trailer flips on a highway)

1stsourceproducts162 karma

Anywhere there is the presence of flammable liquids, gases, vapors, dusts, or materials.

_JonSnow_9 karma


1stsourceproducts34 karma

Yes, and also for their non-magnetic properties at hospitals.

therespectablejc65 karma

Sugar refinery here. Sparking with sugar dust can be.... bad

1stsourceproducts34 karma

Yes, can you verify this explosion is from a spark of a metal tool?

1stsourceproducts72 karma

The price of the 6" Crescent wrench in Copper Titanium retails for approximately $80.00

madeamashup24 karma

Assuming I don't care about sparking, how does copper titanium compare to steel hand tools?

1stsourceproducts97 karma

Lot more expensive. and they are non-magnetic. Other than that, they look cool. They have a burnt look.

I keep hearing a term teenagers are using to describe them. I forget the term but it has to do with scifi and western together or something like that. I've heard it used in relation to our tools 3-4 times now.

aimark4248 karma

1stsourceproducts65 karma

Yes, Steampunk.

HowAboutShutUp7 karma

How do they compare durability-wise to steel tools?

Are all non-sparking tools a titanium alloy like this or are there other materials/price points for this kind of a specialty item?

1stsourceproducts11 karma

So this is a Copper alloy. The tools are 90%+ Copper. The Titanium is for strength.

Our tools are torque tested at 20% higher than the standards for steel tools.

Most non-sparking tools are made from Copper Alloys such as Copper Beryllium, Aluminum Bronze, and now Copper Titanium.

mad_max_rebo97 karma

Hey, I am a high school STS (Skilled and Technical Science) teacher and am really digging this AMA. I appreciate any info about new tools.

My question is, is there an intersection between non-conductive and non-sparking tools? I have a tendency to go overboard when talking about safety (considering I work with high schoolers who think they are invincible), so would this be overkill or would there be an actual market for that type of product?

1stsourceproducts105 karma

Glad you are enjoying this.

So Copper is highly conductive. This is what creates the non-sparking characteristics. The heat transfer allows the "spark" to be a "cold spark" and is not hot enough to ignite even carbon disulfide which has one of the lowest ignition temperatures known.

mad_max_rebo83 karma

My God I am an idiot. Of COURSE copper is highly conductive. Duh. Got a little too exited about new tools to think of a decent question. Thats right, I fanboy'd all over a tool thread.

1stsourceproducts43 karma

" I fanboy'd all over a tool thread."


bat196939 karma

Is there anything I can strike with these tools that will give a spark?

1stsourceproducts116 karma

Technically, any metal produces a "spark" Non-sparking tools create a "cold spark". The temperature of the spark is not hot enough to ignite even carbon disulfide which has one of the lowest ignition points. I think -45 F.

With enough friction, you potentially could create a "hot spark" To pass India's standard for non-sparking tools, your tool is put in a chamber with flammable gases. A steel rod is spun at high speed and hit against your tool. If your tool can last 5 minutes without igniting the gas, it is considered non-sparking.

Theotherjaypi34 karma

Do you have videos of this? How is it qualified in the US?

1stsourceproducts77 karma

There is not a qualification in the US for non-sparking tools. When OSHA was asked about their interpretation if grinding aluminum was considered "hotwork" (Creates sparks) Their answer was, if it creates sparks then yes, if not no. (Cast aluminum is non non-sparking though it is better than a steel tool)

I don't have a video of the test. India's standard is IS:4595-1969

I do have this video.


planktos37 karma

Do these tools resist corrosion in a marine environment?

1stsourceproducts53 karma

Yes, Copper Titanium is Corrosion Resistant.

TeamJim36 karma

Has a customer ever tried to compliment by calling you a Q Ti?

1stsourceproducts59 karma

That is what I strive for everyday. Not yet but one day.

ag1160024 karma

What is the actual cost versus a typical stainless steel tool?

Are there other alloys that are non-sparking? I assume they use more rare metals or they would be more popular.

1stsourceproducts23 karma

I don't know the price of stainless steel tools. They are not normally used in the industries that I sell to. I would imagine Copper Titanium tools are more expensive because Stainless Steel is a weaker.


The metals normally used for non-sparking tools are Copper alloys. The most popular are Copper Beryllium, Aluminum Bronze, and now Copper Titanium.

DvS2123 karma

How's the performance on your 3/4 and 1 in drive impact sockets? Refinery pipefitter here, wondering if these things could actually take me working on some stuck studs or not.

1stsourceproducts24 karma

We recently had a customer who needed 3/4 impact socket. He said his highest torque rating is 250 lbs and when I took this to the manufacturer, he confidently said QTi will be much better than the steel impact socket he was using with brass or bronze inner.

We should deliver the sockets soon.

DvS2115 karma

I'm not talking about a 3/4 socket, I'm talking about a 3/4 or 1 in drive socket. 1 5/8" or 1 11/16" or 2". The guns can run 1000 ft lbs for 3/4 drive or 1500 ft lbs for 1 in drive. Can your sockets hold up to that?

1stsourceproducts28 karma

Yes, I'm sorry. 3/4 drive impact socket. I typed it incorrectly.

Lets trade information privately, I will check with the engineers and get back to you.

1stsourceproducts21 karma

I have asked the engineers. Waiting for a response. It will probably be tomorrow.

gloggs17 karma

What's the difference between the tools you make and the old monel metal ones I'm using?

1stsourceproducts18 karma

The old monel tools are very high in Nickle (around 50%) combined with Copper. Your tool is not non-magnetic and a mostly Copper tool will have better non-sparking characteristics.

I don't know the strength or torque specs of the Monel tools so I can't speak on that. You tool may be heavier but I cannot speak on that with certainty.


What's the failure rate on a non sparking tool? For example: if you run a test on a tool 100,000 times, how often will it spark?

1stsourceproducts23 karma

As stated before, all metals spark, but non-sparking tools create a "cold spark" The spark is not hot enough to ignite carbon disulfide which has one of the lowest ignition temperatures known.

KickYoSanwich13 karma

Does your company make deep well sockets?

1stsourceproducts12 karma

Yes we do.

LockeClone12 karma

I have a titanium 10oz finishing hammer and a glancing blow sparks waaay more than a steel hammer.

Why don't these tools spark?

1stsourceproducts30 karma

Titanium does create sparks. Our tools is a Copper alloy. It is 90% + Copper and the rest is made of Titanium. Titanium is for the strength. Copper is for the non-sparking characteristics.

LockeClone10 karma

Wow, that much copper huh? Copper is so soft.

1stsourceproducts25 karma

Yes, but the Titanium added the strength and secret is how they are combined, which I don't know the process. Copper Titanium is comparative in strength to Copper Beryllium and is torque tested at 20% higher than the standards of steel tools.

Tragedytheone9 karma

I work in the oil and gas industry, I admit I have not seen these type of hand tools in the field much. I would’ve thought it would be something more commonly used. Do you have an idea of possibly what percentage of hand tools being used in the field are spark producing ?

1stsourceproducts13 karma

Out of all hand tools about 1% are non-sparking. That's an estimate.

In the Oil and Gas Industry, I am not sure. I would guess higher.

They should be used in all Class 1 Division 1 and 2 areas and Applicable Permit Required Enclosed Spaces.

Many don't use non-sparking tools because they have used a steel tool and not ignited anything for so long, but it could happen any day.

C0rdt3 karma

The only non sparking tools you normally see in a refinery is a hammer and even then you won't use it often.

1stsourceproducts5 karma

Hopefully one day you don't regret this fact. I have a list of OSHA investigations of explosions, injuries and deaths due to not using non-sparking tools.

RotaryJihad9 karma

Would the tools that you make have been helpful in the Arkansas missile incident back in the 80s?

It was covered in the "Command and Control" documentary on PBS . TL;DR rocket fuel leak, an Air Force missileer dropped a wrench, things caught fire, turned the launch tube into a largeish potato cannon, and sadly killed one airman.

Do these tools have any value to a regular guy putzing around in the shop? For me, I keep breaking tips off of hollow ground steel screwdrivers. Would your tools be more durable or more repairable?

Finally - If I drop a 10mm socket or wrench where does it go?

1stsourceproducts23 karma

I think I know the incident you are talking about. If I am correct, the tool dropped and punctured a hole in the side of the missile. I don't think I learned how the rocket fuel actually ignited. If that is the same incident, our tools will puncture a hole also. If the fire was started from spark from the tool, then yes, our tools would have stopped that incident from ever happening.

Regular guy putzing around. I still recommend non-sparking tools when working on a fuel pump or gas line. A dropped tool or a tool slipping can lead to a spark. I recently heard a story of a man who makes his own ammunition. His grandson had spilled some gun powder. The Grandfather was hammering on a piece of metal and a spark ignited the gun powder on the floor. He now uses non-sparking tools when making his ammunition.

Where does the 10mm socket go? Same place as mine apparently.

RotaryJihad7 karma

Oh hey! Ya'll are just across the river. If someone from the Louisville area purchases from you is it cheaper to ship the tool or pay the $8 in tolls to cross the river and get it in person?

1stsourceproducts10 karma

Yes it is. We deliver (don't know the charge) and allow pickup.

goretsky8 karma


A few questions:

  • Are there any specific handling requirements or use cases where copper-titanium non-spark tool are contraindicated?

  • How much much more (or less) does the copper-titanium alloy weigh than the same volume of steel or beryllium-copper?

  • How did you get into this line of business?

  • What is the coolest thing you have seen your tools used for?

  • What was the most surprising tool replacement you had to do?

  • Have you considered manufacturing any EDC or one-handed pocket tools?

  • Considering Cu and Ti are the atomic symbols for copper and titanium respectively, I feel like you missed an opportunity to call your products "Cu-Ti." (Maybe that's not a question.)

Thank you for your time.


Aryeh Goretsky

1stsourceproducts11 karma

1) Avoid contact with acetylene which can form explosive acetylides, especially in the presence of moisture.

2) If I remember correctly, Copper Titanium is about 3% heavier than steel. Not sure the comparison with Copper Beryllium. Copper and Titanium are both more dense than steel.

3) I worked for a wholesale conveyor bearing distributor. One of their suppliers is the company I work for now. I left the bearing distributor and 2 years later, my company became the master distributors for North America and needed a sales guy. I happened to be looking for a change and they hired me based on the relationship we had formed when I worked for the bearing distributor. I got into sales at a Verizon Retailer.

4) They are normal hand tools so the specialty products have been the coolest, like the Wagon (train car) Valve Wrench. Used to open the valve on the bottom of train cars that carry flammable liquids.

5) Tool Replacement? I sold tools to laser company. They needed the non-magnetic capabilities. They were happy to find something that lasted longer. They were getting 3-4 uses out of an Allen wrench.

6) We are not the manufacturer. We are the distributor. The manufacturer's product is the alloy and then they make products with the alloy. Non-sparking tools are just the first step.

7) Because Cu-Ti is an element name, you cannot trademark it. Cu is pronounced Q. So the manufacturers went with QTi. The Q is the color of Copper and Ti the color of Titanium.

mockmeallyouwant7 karma

What is the durability of a non-spark tool compared to something like a Snapon? Will they last as long under similar conditions?

1stsourceproducts11 karma

This depends on the type of non-sparking tool you are using.

Aluminum Bronze is much weaker than steel. Only 60% the strength.

Copper Beryllium is very strong. I don't know the numbers but it would be about the strength of steel. The problem with Copper Beryllium is it has Beryllium in it and Beryllium is a hazardous material.

Copper Titanium is torque tested at 20% higher than the standards for steel tools, so in most applications, you should get the same life of steel tools.

ringinator7 karma

Can I buy a couple pieces of billet from you? I make jewelry and this would be cool to try.

What % is titanium?

Can it be anodized to different colors?

Can ti/cu be plated? (silver, gold, etc)

If I melt it, does the ti come out of solution?

What temps does the alloy melt at?

Can you cast it in air, or does it need a vacuum furnace like Ti?

1stsourceproducts8 karma

Some of these questions are above my knowledge. The Titanium is 2-7% so it has the same melting temperature as Copper.

Foremole_of_redwall7 karma

How much would a hammer cost? And would I need to use copper titanium nails to ensure a sparkless hammering?

1stsourceproducts13 karma

There are many types of hammers and it also depends on the quantity, who is purchasing (end-user or distributor)

No you would not need to use a Copper Titanium nail. The tool will non spark when it comes in contact with the steel nail and vise versa.

lordtoilet6197 karma

How do you get good at sales? I've never negotiated a day in my life, I want to get the absolute best price for what I do.

How do you get good at technical sales? Books, tips, practice?

1stsourceproducts16 karma

Networking and getting advice from others is always good, but honestly there is nothing like trial and error. I not a big fan of books because everyone has their own style.

My advice be genuine, offer value, and sometimes, and be fair to your customer. Put yourself in their place.

mobius-n-stuff6 karma

I used to work somewhere that used a beryllium copper alloy for this purpose. Thoughts on that?

1stsourceproducts12 karma

Beryllium is a hazardous material and evidence is starting to show that even handling Copper Beryllium can lead to Chronic Beryllium Disease. Apple will not include Copper Beryllium in any future devices. Copper Titanium is the replacement for Copper Beryllium.

Scroll down to "The Worst Toxins" Heading


OS2REXX6 karma

What improvements do the copper/titanium tools have over the beryllium (besides the obvious poison problem)? Are they stronger- do they last as long (copper/beryllium wear out pretty quickly).

1stsourceproducts9 karma

The strength and durability is on par with Copper Beryllium. The advantage is no Beryllium.

Our tools are torque tested at 20% higher than the standards for steel tools.

RichardStinks5 karma

Are there free samples?

madeamashup10 karma

Yeah. I'm thinking of buying a million for my explosive gas business, but I need a complete set with one of every size, to be sure...

1stsourceproducts28 karma

Okay, deal. The shipping and handling is outrageous though.

madeamashup11 karma

Best I can do is about three fifty

1stsourceproducts27 karma

I can get you some tools for $350.

1stsourceproducts8 karma

If is a potential large account, I'm sure we can work something out.

root_over_ssh5 karma

define "large enough" - i work with aluminum powders and will probably need to replace tools relatively soon.

1stsourceproducts9 karma

Send me a private message.

Mewnir5 karma

Interested in business in Algeria through JV ? Wide market, huge demand, low cost raw materials

1stsourceproducts8 karma

Anything outside of North America, you would have to contact the factory directly.

HakunaSomeWhiskey5 karma

Is there a lot of competition or do you pretty much just get orders of tools needed and send them out?

1stsourceproducts5 karma

There is competition. Aluminum Bronze, Copper Beryllium have been the industry standard for so long. Now there is a replacement. These tools were launched in North America this past November.

yik774 karma

Why is copper non-sparking?

1stsourceproducts11 karma

Copper is very conductive. This is what creates the non-sparking characteristics. The heat transfer allows the "spark" to be a "cold spark" and is not hot enough to ignite even carbon disulfide which has one of the lowest ignition temperatures known.

RadioactiveMonk4 karma

Those looks so awesome lucky we don't need non sparking tools since we work with fish, but do you have some more photo's of other tools?

1stsourceproducts9 karma

Here are more pictures.


RadioactiveMonk3 karma

Awesome thanks.

Are these tools as durable as Chrome vanadium tools?

1stsourceproducts3 karma

I do not know. I am sorry.

1stsourceproducts4 karma

I am getting them for you!

acedelaf4 karma

What's your profit margin as a distributor?

1stsourceproducts10 karma

Our profit margin depends on multiple factors.

We are a master distributor so we also sell to other distributors. Volume of order and end-user vs distributor effects price.

DatBuridansAss4 karma

Why did you cover your name on the business card if you were willing to make your imgur username your real name?

1stsourceproducts8 karma

Reddit said don't post personal information. My first post was not allowed without an explanation so that was one of my fixes.

DatBuridansAss3 karma

I see.

Serious question, do you expect this AMA to drive sales?

1stsourceproducts11 karma

If it does, that's great. If not, its fun.

I hope it does.

roadontheshow4 karma

What would OSHA/NFPA have to say about working with these in environments of possible hydrogen and/or oxygen enrichment? Specifically liquid oxygen and hydrogen supply sites.

This stuff requires making everything insanely tight, and CuBe commonly breaks under the necessary torque.

1stsourceproducts7 karma

OSHA and NFPA are for using non-sparking tools around flammable materials.

One of OSHA's qualification for a permit required encloses space is Oxygen enriched atmospheres.

NFPA 30 and 29 CFR 1910.106 Specify if your liquid is flammable and what classification is falls under.

Check your SDS also. Section 2, 6, 7, and or 10 will list some form of sparking safety is necissary such as "Only use Non-sparking Tools", "Removal of ignition sources" or "Avoid Sparks", or the like. Section 2 will have the fire symbol of pictogram.

OSHA will give you a citation for not having and using non-sparking tools. I would be happy to discuss your torque requirements and what we could help you with (we develop specialty tools also) Send me a private message.

jackalsclaw3 karma

Any work with the space industry?

1stsourceproducts6 karma

Our tools are perfect for the aerospace industry such as NASA, SpaceX , Orbital

Lwnmower3 karma

How do Cu-Ti tools compare to Cu-Beryllium tools?

1stsourceproducts3 karma

Cu-Be is a great tool. It meets all the specifications you need in a non-sparking tools except that is contains Beryllium. Beryllium is a carcinogen and can lead to Chronic Beryllium Disease which is fatal. OSHA has recently decreased exposure limits by over 90% and qualified skin exposure as a route to sensitization. Apple is not longer using Copper Beryllium in any of their products.

Scroll down to "The Worst Toxins" headline


Copper Titanium is Cu-Be equal and is 100% Beryllium free.

DNoleGuy3 karma

Are y'all hiring mechanical engineering grads?

1stsourceproducts7 karma

We are just the master distributor for North America. We do not manufacture the tools. They a manufactured in Pune, India.

DongleNocker3 karma

Is there any one type of non-sparking tool that you would suggest a home owner should consider purchasing to use in their home for safety reasons?

1stsourceproducts10 karma

No. The only thing I can think of is working around fuel such as changing your fuel pump or working on gas lines. If you make your own ammunition or doing anything flammable.

Otherwise. No

holydeltawings2 karma

Do these tools relieve pain when being used like copper fit stuff?

1stsourceproducts5 karma

Not that I'm aware. Would you like to purchase one and test it out? ;)

Drureos1 karma

While non sparking they would still be conductive yes? As an auto sparky working on batteries and live wires would be nice to stop welding spanners

1stsourceproducts1 karma

Yes, they are highly conductive.

[deleted]1 karma


1stsourceproducts2 karma

Again, this depends on the material of your non-sparking tool.

Copper Titanium is torque tested at 20% higher than the standards for steel tools. Our tools should last as long as steel tools under proper use.

Aluminum Bronze or Brass tools are much weaker.

Mantisbog1 karma

Hi, what's your favorite Tool song?

1stsourceproducts2 karma

I don't know of any. Can you share some?

tashkiira1 karma

Here's a fun one: many many moons ago I worked as general labour in an aerosol factory. They were using copper/beryllium alloy for the non-spark tools (because propane mixes will blow up quite nicely--hence why a lot of aerosol products are flammable). what are the comparative benefits between Cu-Be versus Cu-Ti?

1stsourceproducts3 karma

Cu-Be is a great tool. It meets all the specifications you need in a non-sparking tools except that is contains Beryllium. Beryllium is a carcinogen and can lead to Chronic Beryllium Disease which is fatal. OSHA has recently decreased exposure limits by over 90% and qualified skin exposure as a route to sensitization. Apple is not longer using Copper Beryllium in any of their products.

Scroll down to "The Worst Toxins" headline


Copper Titanium is Cu-Be equal and is 100% Beryllium free.

paintballpmd1 karma


1stsourceproducts2 karma

I am not sure. The non-sparking definition has to do with friction sparks.

4x4200 karma

are there any spark-less tools you would recommend for the back yard mechanic/tinkerer? something that most would not think about?

1stsourceproducts1 karma

Any tool you need when you are working around fuel. Changing a fuel pump or working on your gas lines. Get a non-sparking version of the tool you need.