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Damascus steel is a growing trend in the everyday carry industry, and minimalist wallets are starting to see their foray into this trendy segment. While this is a newer trend, two high-quality wallet manufacturers, Ridge Wallet and Axwell, are creating their wallets with this unique style.
Quick Note: The wallets below are not true Damascus steel; instead, they are meant as a homage to the style; instead, they are laser engraved steel. That said, this helps a ton with the price of these wallets. We’ll talk a bit later about what Damascus Steel is.
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Ridge Wallet’s Damascus Steel Wallets are Awesome
This company is likely one of the most well-known minimalist wallets on the market today, and in fact, was the company that started my interest in the minimalist wallet style (you can read my full 12-month review of it here). Ridge Wallets can handle up to 12 cards, block RFID, and offer a lifetime warranty.
They set themselves apart as one of the thinnest wallets out there (a bit thinner than the Axwell mentioned below). They are incredibly high quality, relatively easy to use, and do a great job keeping extra junk from finding its way into your wallet. The major downside to these is the difficulty of swapping out components (requires an included screwdriver) and their high price point.
However, I thoroughly enjoyed my Ridge (and still have it), and it is a low-risk option, as they have sold many of these and refined their product over time. Here are the three Damascus Steel wallets that Ridge Wallet currently offers.
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All Three Damascus Steel Wallets from Axwell
This company is the first of the two manufacturers that offer a Damascus steel option, and they have followed the formula of the two plates and an elastic band wallet that has worked for the other brand on this list as well.
These minimalist wallets are fantastic, and Axwell sets itself apart as it is easier to customize and more straightforward to swap out bands for money clips at a moment’s notice. They have some of the best quality out there. While I have not used their Damascus Steel wallets, I have spent a lot of time with their Copper Wallet (read the full review here), and it operates exactly the same way.
These wallets can hold up to 12 cards, block RFID, and have a lifetime warranty. Here are the three variants Axwell currently offers with their Damascus Steel styling.
What is Damascus steel?
Damascus steel is produced by heating up and hammering layer after layer of steel and iron. It is a highly labor-intensive process but creates some of the best metal products on the planet. This style of metal is both unique and incredibly strong.
While the wallets found in this article may be paying homage to true Damascus steel, they are not made in this way; instead, they follow the aesthetics of what Damascus steel looks like. Ultimately, this is a good thing, as the price would be astronomical due to the sky-high labor costs needed to do this.
What to look for in a minimalist wallet?
How many cards can the wallet hold?
Before you buy any minimalist wallet, especially an expensive one like Damascus Steel, you will want to take an inventory of all your cards. Most two-plate and a-strap style minimalist wallets like the ones above can handle up to 12 cards. However, I recommend keeping it under that amount (around eight works well).
What is the cost of the wallet?
Minimalist wallets are expensive, many well over $100. Before you start shopping, figure out exactly your budget and stick to it. Otherwise, you will go down the rabbit hole of upselling yourself and breaking your budget.
Is it from a reputable brand?
Companies like Ridge Wallet and Axwell are both reputable brands in the industry, each with unique features. However, plenty of others are trying to copy their design, but without the quality. Cheaper, knockoff wallets tend to have sharp corners and designs that fall apart and don’t live up to their claims. Make sure to purchase a wallet from reputable brands like the above.
Does it fit my needs?
Minimalist wallets aren’t for everyone, and each does something slightly different. Ridge and Axwell wallets are excellent for keeping a reasonable amount of cards and cash. However, they are more challenging to get the cards out, as you generally need to pull the full stack out. Meanwhile, wallets like the Ekster Cardholder (full review here) will hold fewer cards but presents the cards quicker and for easier access.
Frequently asked Questions
Damascus steel minimalist wallets are some of my favorite and most well-designed wallets today. They look great, stand out, and have all the features you would want from a quality minimalist wallet.
While they may be a rather expensive proposition, you will be highly impressed with their usability and ability to enjoy them every time you pull them out of your pocket.
So which one would I buy? I would go for the Ridge Wallet Burnt Damascus!