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When many think about wallets, they think about the traditional leather or fabric wallets. While leather wallets are certainly stylish, they are not as compact and strong as metal wallets. With growing competition in the wallet industry, metal wallets have become as stylish, if not more stylish, than many of the other wallets out there.
Metal wallets can take whatever life throws at them while protecting all of your cards, and most do not even show any sign of wear over time. Add in RFID technology and functionality that cannot be replicated with a leather wallet, and you have a wallet like no other.
Metal wallets are slim, tough, stylish, and functional. They can be used in tactical situations or for everyday carry. Once you get a metal wallet, you might never buy another wallet again.
Our Top Picks
1. Ekster Aluminum Cardholder
Material: Aluminum (6061-T6) | Holds 1-15 cards + bills | RFID protection: Yes | Type: Minimalist
Read our hands-on review: Ekster Aluminum Cardholder Review
The Ekster Aluminum Cardholder is a slimline space-grade aluminum wallet that can hold up to 15 cards. Ekster has continued to innovate its wallet design, and this updated model gives you amazing access with a slim profile. Press the button on the bottom, and your cards will lift and fan. The expandable backplate decreases the size of the wallet whenever it is not filled.
6 cards fit inside the wallet with space for 9 in the expandable backplate. You can also add some bills too without adding extra pocket space. The RFID technology reduces the chances of wireless theft, protecting your card and personal information.
There is a variety of colors available, which you don’t often find in metal wallets, and this allows you to match the wallet to your aesthetic. At just 0.29” thick, this is one of the thinnest wallets on the market, and testing by Ekster has revealed that using this wallet will save you 2 minutes daily. That doesn’t sound a lot, but why waste time if you can help it.
2. The Ridge Aluminum Wallet
Material: Aluminum (6061-T6) | Holds 1-12 cards | RFID protection: Yes | Type: Minimalist
Looking for a durable metal wallet? The Ridge minimalist wallet comes with a lifetime guarantee. If there are ever any problems with the functionality or parts, they will try their best to make it right. At Durability Matters, we believe that any product that comes with a lifetime warranty is a company that is firmly behind the quality of its product.
The wallet will stretch as you add more cards, taking up to 12 cards in total, with some space for bills in the included money clip. This helps to retain the slimline profile when you are not using the wallet to capacity.
The notch on the side of the wallet allows you to easily push out the cards when you need to use them. You also have inbuilt RFID technology to protect against any wireless theft of your cards.
This simple metal waller comes in a variety of colors and is one of the toughest wallets out there.
3. Traywax Original 2.0 Wallet
Material: Aluminum / G10 fiberglass laminate | Holds 1-15 cards + bills | RFID protection: Yes | Type: Multi-functional / tactical
If you are looking for something that goes against the norm, the Trayvax Original 2.0 metal wallet is a must. This tactical wallet is built to fit the most rugged life. Some wallets are over-engineered, but not this one. There are distinct design choices made here, and while it is a military-grade tactical wallet, it is designed with everyday carry in mind.
The wallet is made in the USA and is TSA-approved. The aircraft-grade aluminum wallet holds up to 15 cards and 5 folded bills. That is pretty standard for metal wallets, but it sets itself apart with the extras.
The front of the wallet features an ID window, allowing you to view the front card without removing it. The front plate around that is fiberglass laminate, and the back is steel plate. The wallet features an integrated bottle opener, durable pry bar, attachment point, and security clasp. This is a great wallet to take out into the great outdoors or anywhere else where it might take impact.
4. Nimalist™ Premium Steel Wallet
Material: Premium stainless steel | Holds 1-16 cards, IDs & 20 bills | RFID protection: Yes | Type: Minimalist
When people think about metal wallets, one of the main selling points is their durability. The Nimalist wallet takes that durability and adds minimalist elegance. The premium steel has a brushed finish that is going to look amazing for a long time, and the wallet is a statement piece without overtaking your life (or your pocket).
While this is a minimalist wallet, storage has not been compromised. This compact wallet can carry up to 16 cards and 20 bills (with the attached money clip) at only a fraction of the size of a traditional wallet. There is also RFID technology, protecting you from wireless theft. And a quick access card slot with a notch cutaway to easily remove the cards as needed.
With four unique finishes, there is a wallet here for most people. If you are looking for something tough without being too bulky, then the Nimalist metal wallet is worth checking out.
5. Machine Era Ti5 Slim Wallet
Material: Titanium | Holds 1-7 cards | RFID protection: No | Type: Slim
Want to open a bottle with your wallet? The Machine Era Co. Ti5 wallet is just what you need. Of course, that small piece of added functionality is not why you are buying this wallet. The thumb slot can be sued to open bottles, and it gives you quick access to the interior cards, but what else does this wallet do?
This metal wallet can hold up to 7 cards, and where it differs from most metal wallets is that all of the cards are contained inside the body instead of some inside and some in an exterior clip or strap. Of course, the wallet does feature a minimal design with one side open, so can we say that the cards are inside the wallet or outside?
This design choice does create one of the smallest and lightest wallets on this list, and it is one of the best-looking. The smooth curved edges and removed corners make it easy to handle both in your hand and pocket.
This is a metal wallet for anyone wanting to go beyond the norm of what is expected.
What To Know Before Buying a Metal Wallet
The advantage of owning a metal wallet are numerous but don’t just go out and buy one without having a plan in mind first. There are many types of metal wallets out there, and you should know what you need before you buy one.
You wouldn’t purchase any storage solution before you knew how much storage space you needed. A pro tip is not to buy a wallet with the same storage space as your current wallet. First, go through that wallet and check which cards you use regularly and which you are carrying around for no reason. Your real storage needs are likely less than what you are using now.
Once you know how many cards you need to carry, you can start shopping for a metal wallet. Don’t forget to plan for cash storage too. If you need cash on hand, look for a wallet with a money clip or dedicated cash storage.
What cards are you carrying in your wallet? Have you been a victim of identity theft? Are you worried about your credit card details being stolen?
RFID technology will protect your card details from being stolen wirelessly. Most metal wallets now come with this functionality, but not all do, so be sure to check that it comes with RFID protection if that is a must.
Design and Style
Metal wallets are rigid and durable, but that does not mean that they should not be stylish too. In fact, most metal wallets have a simple elegance that elevates them above traditional wallets, and they will retain that look over time.
You will find metal wallets in various colors and finishes, so don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the wallet that matches your aesthetic.
Wallets carry cards and cash. That is what you need with a wallet, and that is what a metal wallet will give you. But there is additional functionally if you need it, and this is where metal wallets set themselves further apart from traditional wallets
Do you want to open a bottle with your wallet? Would you like to have a basic set of tools with you? Or a knife?
If you don’t need all of that, then go for a metal wallet with only storage options. If you need or want more than the basics, then those wallets are out there.
Not all metal wallets are created equal. There is a big difference between an aluminum wallet and a titanium or carbon fiber one. There is no point in settling for the first wallet you find when you really need a tactical wallet.
You get what you pay for, and if your wallet could become damaged over time, an investment in premium material is definitely the way to go. You don’t want your cards to become damaged and unusable if it is avoidable.
The type of material used in the wallet will also offer you a different look, and it is never a bad thing to base the material choice on the look. This is a wallet that you are going to use for a long time, so you had better make sure you like it before buying it.