'Titanium carbide-iron binder' composite powders are synthesized in mechanically activated powder mixtures of ferrotitanium and carbon black. Two different synthesis modes are used: thermal explosion in specially made reactor and wave combustion synthesis in standard airtight reactor. Milling of FeTi powders is studied under mechanical activation by sieving. Optical metallography, X-ray diffraction analysis, and temperature measurements of MA mixtures and synthesis products were performed. No ignition was detected in non-mechanoactivated reactive mixtures. It is shown, that in the wave combustion mode even with 64g MA mixtures, the complete synthesis reaction does not occur. The minimum content of the unreacted phase is 6 wt.%. The target composition of the products with a complete consumption of reagents was obtained in the 10 min 64g MA mode. Thus, by the method of intensive MA followed by synthesis in the TE mode from a mixture of FeTi and carbon black powders, the 'TiC + \alpha-Fe' composite powders were obtained in which the starting reagents were not detected.