Ask Dr. Bob/ Titanium Needles
Posted: 3 January 2012 at 6:36 a.m.
ASK DR. BOB
Question: I was recently at a class by a "national" teacher who definitely had an opinion about titanium needles, and I was curious what you think. She said that we shouldn't use titanium needles because they're too strong and could actually punch a hole in the bobbin case (rather than break).
Is this true?
She comes from the commercial industry, so maybe her experience is with full titanium needles? I noticed that your needles are not full titanium, but titanium coated. Would that make a difference?
Answer: I've also heard this opinion. No needle is made of pure titanium. That would cost hundreds of dollars.
Any needle referred to as titanium is, in fact, only titanium coated with titanium nitride which is an ultra thin coating applied to the surface of the needle. The coating is very hard and reduces wear on the needle. It does not significantly affect the overall strength of the needle.
Most industrial sewing factories around the world use titanium-coated needles because they last 5-8 times longer than the standard chrome-coated needles.
Most longarm machine companies use and sell them also.
If it were true that titanium-coated needles were potentially harmful to machine parts, factories would not be using them. I do not doubt that the "national" teacher either personally heard about or experienced a problem with a titanium-coated needle. However, I think whatever problem she encountered could also have happened with a regular needle.