Mini review: Kerf Case wooden iPhone cases

As regular readers may have noted, I’m a great fan of wood as a material. The ifrogz case I reviewed earlier in the year was wonderful in terms of aesthetics and build quality, but was essentially designed as a semi-permanent enclosure, which isn’t always convenient.

Others, like the iWood cases reviewed in the same piece, are more convenient but don’t feel as special. The Kerf Case is designed to bridge the gap: a genuine, all-wood case with the convenience of slipping it on and off in a second or two. Cases are available for the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5s … 

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First impressions

Not all wooden cases look and feel real. With the finish applied to some, they can end up feeling plasticky; not these ones. It’s clear you’re looking at real wood, and that’s equally apparently when you handle them.

They also feel solid. There’s a decent thickness, with no bend or flex in the rear piece (the sides do flex very slightly).

The wood is attractive, and it feels like a quality product.


In use

The open design of the case means that there is no interference at all with how you use the phone. Power, volume and mute buttons are all completely accessible, as is the headphone socket and charging port.

The phone may or may not fit your dock, depending on design. It didn’t fit mine, but that’s where the friction fit pays dividends: it really is the work of one or two seconds to slip it in or out of the case. Cork is a soft material, so there’s no risk of scratching the phone as you insert or remove it.

You might notice in the video a slight gap opened up after I held it upside down and shook it, but I never felt there was any danger of it falling out of the case.


The cost of the case depends on the wood, with pricing ranging from $59 to $129. Both the woods you see in the video – oak and black walnut – are at the $59 end. You can also get mahogany, maple and standard sycamore for the same price.

You’d need to opt for the live edge sycamore (left, above) or live edge cherry (right, below) to get up to the $129 level.



$59 isn’t a cheap price for an iPhone case, but neither is it an outrageous one given the quality. I have to say I’d hesitate to spend $129 on a phone case, however special the wood looks.

But if you appreciate the look and feel of wood, and stick to the standard models, I think you’d be pleased with your purchase and consider it decent value.

Kerf Cases are available from

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  1. I’ve never seen a case that looks like tree bark before. Awesome find!


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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