This charging cable is so tough it’s wearing chainmail [Review]

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Fuse Chicken Shield review
No hyperbole: the Fuse Chicken Shield is truly sheathed in chainmail.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Shield charging cable from Fuse Chicken is literally wearing stainless steel chainmail. It seems designed to survive battle with orcs, or at least the dangers it might run into on a job site. Amazingly enough, this company’s Titan cable is even more rugged, being wrapped in two layers of flexible steel.

There are Lighting and USB-C versions of both, and we took them into battle to test their mettle. Actually, we towed a car with one, and hit the other with a hammer. Read on to see how they survived.

Fuse Chicken Shield review

The pictures of the Shield charging cable don’t do it justice. Fuse Chicken promises “10,000 stainless steel chainmail links.” It’s amazing even if you don’t care about the extra protection and just want a steampunk accessory,

The cable is surprisingly flexible. You can easily roll it up in the same way you’d treat a plastic cable. It’s only a bit heavier, with a standard 1-meter Apple cable weighing 0.8 ounces and Fuse Chicken’s weighing 1.2 oz.

And it’s tough. Inspired by a suggestion from the manufacturer, I wrapped it around one of the metal loops built into my car’s frame and pulled the vehicle a few feet. There’s now a very slight dent in the chainmail covering the cable, but the Shield continues to charge the iPhone without a hitch.

Fuse Chicken Shield
Fuse Chicken said the Shield was strong enough to tow my car. So I did.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The wiring where the two ports connect to the rest of the cable is protected by an aluminum sleeve, and these join to the body with a flexible polymer collar. While this component isn’t quite as strong as the rest of the Shield, charging cables tend to fail right below this part, and on Fuse Chicken’s offering that section is covered in chain mail.

In a less rugged experiment, I used the Lighting-to-USB-C version of this cable to charge an iPhone XS Max. It’s rated for up to 18W of power, the most an iPhone can take. My tests confirmed that this cable is able to transfer power as quickly as similar products.

But remember this is a charging cable and the manufacturer makes no claims about data transfer speeds. My tests confirmed it’s able to connect an iPhone to iTunes running on a desktop, so it can handle data. But that’s not its specialty.

Pricing

The Lighting-to-USB-C version of the Fuse Chicken Shield is $34.95.

Buy from: Amazon — $39.95

MacBook and iPad Pro users want the all USB-C version of the Shield, which is $29.95.

Buy from: Amazon — $29.95


Fuse Chicken Titan review

Fuse Chicken Titan review
Fuse Chicken calls the Titan the toughest cable on Earth. It might really be.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

While the Shield looks a bit mideval, the Titan seems like something that would be part of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit. It’s wrapped in two layers of flexible steel, and is the very definition of the word “cable.”

The Fuse Chicken Titan is flexible, but will stay in the shape it’s put in. It can be rolled up for storage and left that way, without needing a twist-tie.

Not surprisingly, it’s much heavier than a standard Apple plastic cable. That weighs 0.8 ounces, while this steel one is 4.7 oz.

To test its toughness, I beat on this cable repeated with a hammer. I managed to deform the steel sheath a bit, but that didn’t affect the functionality.

Fuse Chicken Titan with hammer
Don‘t try hitting a typical charging cable with a hammer. The Titan just shrugged it off.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

As with the Shield, the connectors on the Titan are a potential weak spot. But Fuse Chicken promises “The USB connectors on Titan are permanently sealed with a one-piece housing fused directly over the electronics and metal cabling.”

This is a USB 2.0 cable, so it can handle both power and data. That’s an older standard, though, with a maximum data speed of 60 MBps. Fuse Chicken calls the Titan a charging cable, and it performed that task for me very well with an iPad Pro.

Pricing

The Lighting-to-USB-C version of the Fuse Chicken Titan sells for $34.95.

Buy from: Amazon — $34.95

The version with USB-C connectors on both ends is $29.95.

Buy from: Amazon — $29.95

Fuse Chicken provided Cult of Mac with review units for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.