Axwell Wallet Review: A Good Ridge Wallet Alternative?

axwell wallet reviewNew Wallets, New Features

Welcome back everyone to my Review of The Axwell Wallet.

Two of them in fact, in Copper and Aluminum kindly provided by Axwell.

It was a great opportunity to check them out and compare them to what I am using currently.

Hopefully you will find it interesting as minimalist wallets are certainly important these days.

Let’s begin.

Minimalist Wallets GALORE

The whole idea of a minimalist wallet is to hold the essentials, be safe and look as slim as possible.

In the past few years, the revolution began with wallets such as The Ridge (Review Here).

Two simple plates held together by some screws and an elastic band to hold up to 12 cards.

Lately a lot of companies produce similar wallets (cheap knock-offs or good ones) in a similar style.

Since April 2021 I switched from my regular leather wallet to The Ridge and have enough experience to compare with others.

Size comparison wallets
Comparison of a leather bi-fold wallet Vs a minimalist leather wallet Vs The Ridge Wallet

Hence it was a good opportunity to reflect on my use of such wallets but also check out a direct competitor.

In this article I will go through the basics of the Axwell Wallet but also discuss both the pros and cons, challenges and struggles that I faced daily.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Joel from Axwell for sending me both samples, but whom I also warned about an honest, no holding back review.

Axwell Wallet Options

I will not bore you too much with history and background this time.

From what I know, the company known as Armour Supply rebranded as Axwell not so long ago.

Their range of wallets is extensive with different styles and materials:

Obviously, the most extensive offerings are the Aluminum versions with a lot of customizable plates.

Axwell Wallet Specifications

Now let’s talk about the specifications of both wallets:

  • Material: Copper / 6061-T6 Aerospace-Grade Aluminum
  • Color: Copper/Navy
  • Extras: Money Clip + Cash Strap Included
  • RFID: Wireless Theft Protection
  • Cards: 1-12 Card Holder + Bills
  • Weight: 5.35 oz (151 g)/ 2.60 oz (73 g)
  • Size: 86 x 54 x 8 mm

Other than the material and weight, they are almost identical.

The Copper Wallet is significantly heavier but other than that they are the same.

There’s the option to buy replacement elastic bands, other metal plates to mix and match or even a coin clip.

The RFID Buzzword

Since last time, I’ve seen everyone pushing RFID Protection like it’s the top tier indispensable feature.

When was the last time you heard of a thief stealing your credit card via wireless theft?

I consider it a marketing buzzword, but of course it is always good to have.

It is something I previously mentioned in my Ridge Review and I stand by it now.

However, the situation can be different in the areas you live in.

Regardless it’s good to have such a feature just in case.

Receiving & Unboxing

The first “issue” for me was the import duties and taxes I paid in Europe.

A total of 88 Euros is an exorbitant amount of money for an already pricey wallet.

To their credit, they covered the cost of this back to me.

However if you live in Europe and especially a heavily bureaucratic country like Italy this is a big deterrent.

If you are in other parts of the world (most likely USA of course) then this should not apply to you.

Other than that, the packaged arrived really fast with DHL Express in just a few business days.

Both secured nicely without any excessive materials or fancy packaging, yet sealed well and safely.

Axwell Wallet Aesthetics

The Axwell Wallets are almost identical to my Ridge, but that is true for most of these type of wallets.

They are as small as they can be to fit cards which tend to have a globally standard size.

However there are a few key differences that I will go through.

To begin with, you will notice that the Axwell Wallet has no screws on the plates.

Instead, it uses magnets that lock things in place.

This does provide for a nice clean minimalist look and is surely more easy to use.

The other difference is the thumb push which is not a single curve and much larger.

As far as the elastic band, it is quite similar and rather stiff until you begin using it frequently.

The copper version has a typical light copper color while the navy one looks more tasteful and classic to my eye.

If you are a new user unfamiliar with minimalist wallets, both look attractive and polished.

Changing The Plates

The biggest change for me is the lack of screws.

You can simply lift and remove or replace the plates on both sides of the wallet.

This means you can either mix and match plates, colors or essentially change the entire wallet.

changing platesI am still a little skeptical about the strength of the magnets and how they will hold over time.

But at least right now it looks strong and safe.

Nothing is as obnoxious as trying to work with tiny screwdrivers and missing screws if you tamper with the Ridge.

For me, a wallet has a simple function and should look simple so I will not be customizing anything.

Axwell walletsHowever if this is a part of your identity you can easily switch back and forth.

Using Minimalist Wallets

Like aforementioned, I have been using The Ridge for the past 1.5 years daily.

While penning this review I used the Axwell Wallet to see the difference.

I am currently on vacation and that involved daily road trips, sitting and standing a lot and even hiking mountain paths.

I keep my wallet on my front pocket and to be honest I recently found them very uncomfortable.

Axwell wallet in pocket
Constantly looking like I’m too happy to see you

Uncomfortable when sitting, getting in and out the car and generally constricting.

In one case it caused the seam of my trousers to rip a bit and require repair.

If you are running around daily with more delicate or tight materials it might be a recurring problem for you.

However if you wear a jacket or a blazer for example you can easily slide it into your inside pocket.

It is definitely much better than using a traditional bi-fold wallet, let alone a tri-fold monster.

Our society in Europe is becoming more cashless and digital by the day and that got me thinking recently.

I carry a maximum of 5 cards with me, 3 of which are debit cards and 2 ID cards.

Now that my bank supports Apple Pay I only need the last two physically.

This means I can go back to my tiny Carmina Leather Card Holder and be even more comfortable.

The bottom line is that if you are coming from a big fat wallet then wallets such as the Axwell are revolutionary but if you use less than 2-3 cards they become unnecessary in a digital world.

AxweLL Wallet – Pros

Looking at the Axwell I found a few positive signs.

It is easy to use and even easier to get going.

You just put some cards in (up to 12) and that’s it.

Axwell Thickness
Thickness of The Axwell Wallet with 4 cards vs 1

It’s also extremely easy to change the plates, personalize it and even change the money clip or cash strap.

The materials look good and is a substantial downsize from a regular wallet.

It is also less pricey than many competitors at under $100 and they donate money to homeless veterans.

Cons

Not everything is perfect of course and there are some issues.

The Axwell is substantially heavier than the Ridge.

Especially the copper wallet weights 3 times more than my Carbon Fiber Ridge and over 2 times my Aluminum.

It is a conscious choice and a premium material of course but why would you want something so heavy in your pockets?

The aluminum version is slightly heavier (2.6 vs 2 oz) too which is negligible but the width is different.

At about 2 mm thicker it starts to become obvious when you stack more cards in there.

Ridge vs Axwell Thickness

I already mentioned the import duties for European countries so be weary if you are outside the USA.

Lastly, on the aluminum wallet it is hard to explain in just words but there is an annoying clicking sound when I gently push the plate.

This is not something I noticed on the copper version though.

Challenges

My experience with such wallets is extensive where it matters: the real world.

Fanning out the cards to take them out, putting them back in correct can be annoying.

And this also causes the protective plastic to fray and in certain cases even remove the coating of the numbers on the card.

wallet
The Axwell Wallet during use

Feedback was interesting from other people too.

My girlfriend called them “idiotic” and asked “how does this even work” while my mother asked if I lose it all the time.

The above arguments are invalid for me but it was interesting to hear the opinions of others.

The exterior receives a bunch of scratches easily and in the copper wallet I scratched the surface in a matter of seconds.

Buy Or Pass?

This is a hard one because the answer is: it depends.

Ask yourself the following questions maybe:

  • Cash-heavy society? Then a classic wallet might be best
  • Want a slimmer wallet? The Axwell Aluminum is an excellent choice
  • Already got a Ridge? I wouldn’t buy unless you don’t like it
  • Fan of Quick/Easy Customization? The Axwell ticks all the boxes
  • Live in a Digital Society? I like leather tiny card-holders

For me, the answer is clear now and I will go back to my tiny leather card holder.

For those of you that want to try one however, feel free to use my code MISIUACADEMY for 10% off your order.

Conclusions

This brings us to the end of the Axwell Wallet Review.

It is a solid and more affordable minimalist wallet with excellent materials and customization.

It cannot escape some of the shortcomings that come with such wallets but there are always upsides and trade-offs.

I personally gave it a try but it will be much better off in someone else’s hands.

If you decide to try any of them (or have) let me know in the comments down below!

See you next week with something new and exciting!

Thank you for reading,

Kostas Mandilaris,
Misiu Academy

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