A stainless steel wallet seems pretty nice when it’s sparkly and new. How is it a year later?

About a year 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.

It is an effective RFID blocking, durable, and uniquely stylish wallet. In the ThinkGeek product page, it is described as “Buttery Smooth Steel in your Pocket”, and the smooth, slick texture of it really is surprisingly luxurious to the touch:

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.

How does it stand up to the test of time? A year later, I am ready to tell you how it has fared.

I have a relatively sparing tendency when it comes to storing things in my wallet. Unlike my Significant Other, I do not collect movie ticket stubs in my wallet, and I have always preferred keeping change in a front pocket rather than in a wallet. I try to travel light when it comes to my wallet, and avoid the all-too-common back pocket bulge as much as is reasonable. This has stood me in good stead using a wallet woven from 25,000 steel threads that are each a third the thickness of a sheet of standard writing paper, which is simply not flexible enough to be well-suited to such pack-rat abuse.

Unfortunately, while its texture is smooth and silky as advertised, it has still proven a bit harder on my pants than previous wallets. This is the first time I have had a wallet with enough rigidity that a corner of it has worn a small hole through the back pocket of two pairs of jeans that are otherwise still in reasonably good shape aside from a touch of fading.

A small blemish has developed in the surface near an edge, where some kind of repeated pressure appears to have created a dent of sorts. I really do not know how that has come about — no obvious cause has presented itself. It also shows some slight imprint from the cards I habitually keep in it, but nothing particularly notable.

The really remarkable thing about the wallet, however, is that nothing more untoward has happened. The texture is just as silky and cool as the day I took it out of the box, and it is just as sturdy as well. There are no signs of the kind of wear that would indicate a loss of durability.

I am still happy with my purchase, a year later, and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in a fairly unique, RFID-blocking, beautiful wallet, as long as the person has eighty dollars to spare.

If you do not have eighty dollars to spare, do not particularly care about the beauty of your wallet, and do not mind replacing the wallet more often, perhaps the RFID blocking duct tape wallet is more your speed.

Meanwhile, I will enjoy showing off my stainless steel wallet to my fellow TechRepublic writers and community members at TR Live 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.