Kerf Alloy iPhone Case review: Custom luxury

The Kerf Alloy iPhone Case is a two-piece case. A metal alloy frame surrounds the back plate of your choice. You can select one or several from a variety of woods and leathers. Customize the case further by having text or an image engraved on the back.

The Good

  • Dazzling good looks
  • Unique
  • Swappable back
  • Protective
  • Wireless charging compatible

The Bad

  • Heavy
  • Pricey

Eye-catching case

Kerf Alloy iPhone Case: Features

Kerf Alloy iPhone Case

The Kerf Alloy Case is a metal frame and solid wood or wood-and-leather back. The case frame is a milled aluminum alloy. Despite containing aluminum, it feels heavy and substantial. The back of the case is a separate piece. In fact, you can buy extras if you'd like to swap them out for different looks. The back pieces are handcrafted wood with ultra suede on the inside. There is also a leather option if you prefer. I received one of each kind, the Cherry Wood and the Red Leather.

The metal frame has flush wooden button covers for the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons. There's a cutout for the mute switch and one for the Lightning port. The hole on the bottom is large enough for both the Apple charging cable and a larger third-party one I have. There are individual speaker holes along the bottom of the case as well. The back of the case has a cutout for the camera. My iPhone is fully functional within this case, including wireless charging.

This is one of the most beautiful cases to come across my desk.

I found it easy to put on and take off this case. Swapping out the back panels is easy, as well. You can buy as many back panels as you like; there are nine different kinds of wood and four different types of leather from which to choose. The wood options run the gamut from popular trees like Cherry and Maple to exotic Koa and Zebrawood. You may have the back engraved for an upcharge with either text or an image if you wish. You can also choose your frame color, either the Matte Black seen in my photos or Silver.

The case is available for the iPhone XS and XS Max as well as earlier models going back to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but not the iPhone XR. Kerf cases have a lifetime warranty.

Ultimate luxury

Kerf Alloy iPhone Case: What I like

This is one of the most beautiful cases to come across my desk. I'm pretty choosy when it comes to how an iPhone case looks. I think if you're going to cover up the beautiful iPhone, the case should be worthy of the Apple aesthetic. It shouldn't take away from your phone's looks. This is a worthy case. It looks and feels simply incredible.

Kerf Alloy iPhone Case

Heavy and expensive

Kerf Alloy iPhone Case: What I don't like

Unfortunately for me, this case is just too bulky and heavy to carry around every day. Weight and size may not be an issue for everyone; I can only speak for myself.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the price. I know that most people don't want to spend more than $30 or so on a case, and this one is in a different realm altogether. It's just not a case for someone watching their pennies. The base price is just the start. If you want the Matte Black frame, it'll cost more. Exotic wood ... more. Engraving the case ... more. And, if you want more back panels to swap out for different looks ... that's even more.

Extravagant case

Kerf Alloy iPhone Case: Bottom line

You've spent nearly $1000 or more on your iPhone. If you are searching for an upscale case that is worthy of your iPhone, the Kerf Alloy iPhone Case is an excellent candidate.

See at Kerf

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.