Unsatisfied with existing wooden iPhone cases, Ben Saks founded KerfCase in 2013. While working at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture, he spent an evening in the wood shop and created the first KerfCase. Over the course of six months, the original KerfCase design was extensively revised, tested, and revised again. Rooted in a passion for craft and an exacting attention to fine details, Ben is a designer passionate about precision, fine craftsmanship, and natural materials.
KerfCase was born at Techshop Pittsburgh, a community "makerspace" in the city's Bakery Square neighborhood. A former Nabisco bakery - turned technology hub, and home to Google's Pittsburgh offices. All of the wooden phone cases were carved using advanced CNC machines and then taken back to a converted room at home for sanding, finishing, and shipping.
In 2015, KerfCase grew too large to operated without a dedicated space of their own. The company moved to the former Mine Safety Appliances building, a converted factory which houses over 30 artists, startups, and small businesses. With space to grow, machines and tools were acquired. The design and development of new and exciting ways to make wooden iPhone cases was our top priority.
Pushing the limits of wood led us to partner with ExOne, a local additive manufacturing company. Their process for 3D printing in metals was used to create our line of Alloy Cases.
"Kerf" is the thickness of material removed from a saw blade, usually measured in 1/1000 of an inch. This standard wood working term is important to KerfCase’s philosophy, as it represents the precision needed to make our wooden iPhone cases. Every wood iPhone and Pixel case uses a patent-pending technology to hold your iPhone inside the case using only friction. This leaves no part of the front of your iPhone obscured, no snapping your iPhone into a case, and no parts to assemble. Just press your iPhone in, or press it out. It's that simple.
Made from 100% natural wood, by their nature every wooden iPhone case is unique. KerfCase is devoted to joining sustainable materials with advanced technology. We believe in American Manufacturing, and as such, we do not outsource or import products from overseas. It might be harder, and more expensive, but its important to us and we believe in making it right here.
The story of our wood starts in the hills of Southwestern Pennsylvania, carpeted in a mixed deciduous forest. KerfCase wood phone cases are designed, machined, finished, and shipped from Pittsburgh, PA. Once the center of American steel production, Pittsburgh has transformed into a technology-centered city nestled in an urban forest. Our forest is comprised of oak, maple, walnut, cherry, ash, sycamore, and many other species of hardwood trees. Every piece of wood has a story, whether it's a piece of reclaimed flooring, or a beautiful burled wood from a local tree which was damaged in a storm.
ALL OF OUR PACKAGING IS 100% POST CONSUMER CONTENT - MADE IN HOUSE
KerfCase wood is sourced locally and sustainably. Most of our wood comes from our friends at Urban Tree. Urban Tree works to reclaim sick and damaged street trees and local trees. Their team of arborists safely fell and mill trees which would otherwise end up as mulch.
HANDMADE FROM START TO FINISH