NOTE: this is a review of a second version of this product. You can read the first review here. Cypherwheel can be purchased at Claims to be:

  • Fireproof up to 2000°F
  • Rust proof
  • Waterproof


This is a unique device for sure; you can see a video of the setup process here. While you have to slide the tiles along rails, the rail system is very different from the cryptosteel style. The tolerances on Cypherwheel are much lower, which is a good thing in my opinion as it means tiles are less likely to move around. The downside is that it takes a lot more effort to get them into place. Expect 1 to 2 minutes per 4 letter word, meaning it can easily take you an hour to fill the whole wheel. One neat feature is that each word has its own one-way “lock” that can’t be undone once you’ve pushed it into place. I recall struggling with the setup of my last Cypherwheel due to the low tolerances, but this once seemed to be a bit easier to get the tiles into.

Heat Stress Test

I noticed it retains FAR more heat than any of the other devices, perhaps due to sheer metal mass and surface area. Most devices finished cooling off in the water after 5 or 10 seconds. The Cypherwheel took over 30 seconds. I do believe that the extreme cooling resulted in most of the deformation that occurred - I didn’t notice any while it was still hot.

You may recall that my heat test of the previous version caused it to deform enough that I couldn’t rotate the wheel. Unlike last time, I was still able to rotate the wheel by hand with this iteration. It took a little more effort than when it was in pristine condition, but it’s clearly still usable.

Corrosion Stress Test

Unlike the last version I tested, the acid did not dissolve the hub around which the wheels rotate, thus the device remained intact. No data loss.

Crush Stress Test

I crushed the device and was only able to get a few mm of deformation, though it was enough to make the top plate not spin freely. I was able to still rotate the back plate freely and noticed that a few of the words had the last tile fall out, presumably because the deformation loosened up the “lock” that you punch in.