About two years ago, I ordered a stainless steel wallet from ThinkGeek and reviewed it for TechRepublic:
I decided to spend a few bucks on something made out of materials that should, in theory, be very durable. While I'm at it, I could get something that blocks RFID, has a slim profile, looks good, and serves as the subject for a security product review.
I chose a stainless steel wallet from Stewart/Stand.
A year later — about one year ago, now — I wrote a "one year later" review that started with almost exactly the same words as this review. This might seem repetitive, but I think it serves the purpose of providing something most reviews never do: useful information about the long-term value of the purchase.
How is it after two years?
The description I found on the ThinkGeek site, back when I shopped for a new wallet, read:
You might think that steel would be hard on your jeans pocket, but in fact these wallets have the texture of silk and are woven from micro fibers of stainless steel.
It still bears the same descriptive text, and appropriately so, because the wallet's exterior still feels the same way it did when it was brand new — slick to the touch and luxurious. As I said in my first review, it invites one to pick it up to feel its texture, and it is still true.
The wallet is subtly designed. While its look is certainly unique, it is also unpretentious. It does not stand out enough to draw attention, but when someone notices, it can elicit questions. Of course, being a security geek, I am only too happy to explain the RFID-blocking benefits of a wallet woven from 25,000 stainless steel threads that are each about one thousandth of an inch in diameter.
Building on what I said last year:
- It is hard on my pants, with a tendency to wear holes in the back pockets of my jeans, though so far none of the holes are big enough to pose a threat to the pocket's ability to hold the wallet.
- A small blemish appeared near one corner of the wallet during the first year. That is still the only real blemish on the wallet's exterior, another year later.
- The slight imprint on the inside from the cards I keep in the wallet has become a touch more pronounced, and some wear shows on the interior in general, but it has not gotten substantially more worn.
- I reported last year that there were no signs of wear that would indicate a loss of durability. I think it was about a month after that review that a small crack appeared in the steel fabric near the top of the inside of the fold. That crack has not noticeably grown, and there has been no further damage suggesting loss of durability.
Next time I need a new wallet, I will probably purchase (or make) something different, if only for the novelty of something new — even though Stewart/Stand's product lineup seems to be expanding. Given the durability of this wallet, however, I do not expect to need a replacement for a few more years.
Chad Perrin is an IT consultant, developer, and freelance professional writer. He holds both Microsoft and CompTIA certifications and is a graduate of two IT industry trade schools.