J Michael Ashland Men’s Classic Bifold Review – $150

Wallets are part of people’s everyday carry, also referred to as ‘EDC’. Wallets are smothered, folded, squished, dropped…the list goes on. The vast amount of options when on the hunt for a new quality wallet can seem daunting. After using the J Michael Men’s Classic Bifold for quite some time, it can certainly be added to the tier of leather goods considered to be ‘bespoke handmade,’ and rightly so. Read on to find out some of the characteristics that make this bifold wallet a serious option for your next quality leather goods purchase.

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For those curious about the color, my example was a deep, rich, dark brown.

ABOUT J MICHAEL ASHLAND

J Michael is a leathersmith with a loyal following, working out of a private shop in Oregon.  “As a leathersmith, I have been making knives and leather carry goods since I was a kid.” Conversing personally with Mr. J Michael over email, I can say that he is a pleasure to chat with. If you have any questions at all for him regarding leather crafting or just about his goods in general, be sure to shoot him an email. Be sure to check out his website to learn general facts about him and his craft.

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Customers are greeted with classy and precise packaging–just like the wallet itself.

CONSTRUCTION

The construction of this bifold is immaculate and masterfully done with premium Horween Chromexcel horse leather, which is slightly stronger and more scratch resistant than the cow variant. The outside holes were punched smaller, offering better water protection. The thickness of the individual parts of leather are considered, and hand skived to perfection. The hand-stitch work is about as perfect as it gets, with special attention to even the slightest detail. Even the thread itself was picked based upon its strength-oriented characteristics. No complaints here, as this is truly a work of art.

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Looking closely at the hand stitching and edge work; it is evident just how masterfully crafted this wallet is.

FUNCTIONALITY

One caveat I have with this wallet is the size. It certainly holds a ton of cards and cash with ease, but it is just a tad bulky in its overall design. This is one of those things that some customers may not experience, but it is worth mentioning. Due to the premium materials and construction, it could seem a little thicker to some people. Nevertheless, it does a great job of holding at least 12 cards and a good amount of cash (this was what my daily carry consisted of) and will impress most who are used to a bifold design. The dimensions are: 3 5/8” x 4 ½” x 3/8” thick when empty.

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J Michael has designed this bifold to retain its shape tremendously well. No awkward shaping of the wallet, even when full of lots of cards and cash.

AESTHETIC

The aesthetic of this bifold is classic and timeless. When you imagine a traditional bifold style wallet, this is what you get. J Michael has elevated the design a bit with the premium materials and construction. As previously mention, the full-grain horse-hide leather is sourced from the Horween Tannery in Chicago, IL. Check out Horween’s website for more information about their leathers.

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Classic, timeless, and quality. Three words that sum up the design of the J Michael Men’s Classic Bifold perfectly.

CONCLUSION

If you are searching for a serious upgrade for yourself or someone you know, this wallet will not disappoint. J Michael Ashland obviously puts a considerable amount of thought and precise craftsmanship into his goods, and its hard to put a price on something like that. While the price is certainly higher than your average bifold style wallet, the J Michael Men’s Bifold Wallet will make its new owner proud to hold onto something quite special for a long long time. Be sure to check out J Michael’s other beautiful leather goods over at his website, such as the black variant of this wallet.

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The beautiful box with J Michael’s simple yet rememberable logo.

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The wallet after a few weeks of use.

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The wallet holding 10 cards (the rest are in the hidden slots) and 12 bills of cash, with some room to spare.

12 Comments

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  1. Great review. Thought it might be helpful to add my firsthand experience. I own two wallets from J Michael Ashland, the one you reviewed above and his Shell Cordovan bifold. Service is fantastic and responsive. Shipping was fast with good communication and gift-worthy packaging. The wallets are impeccable. The leather smells rich. The stitching is flawless. The review above says the wallets are too big. They are slightly large at first. Once you start using them they mold and flatten nicely. You can’t go wrong getting this wallet or any of his leather products.

    • Hi Ben,

      Thank you for your feedback of your personal experience and purchases with J Michael and his goods. I know many who see this will find it helpful.

      I hope I was not sounding offensive when I mentioned the size of the wallet, as my goal is simply to inform potential customers on my experience with the item. That being said, I totally agree that the wallet begins taking shape to the user after some use, just initially I found it on the larger side of the scale for a classic-style bifold. I would reccomend this wallet to anyone, knowing that most would be blown away by the quality.

      Thank you for reading the review, I hope you continue to find BestLeather’s content interesting and informative.

      All the Best,
      Adam Swift

  2. I bought this same wallet with bison leather. I talked to Mr. Ashland and he was very accommodating to making a minor change for me. Now as far as the quality is concerned it is top notch. Everytime I pulled it out of my pocket I get get wow that is a beautiful wallet. I have at least 7 people ask me where to get one. About to order a belt, and another wallet in a black color. Can’t say enough about his work/art!!!

    • Hi Thomas,

      I appreciate your feedback on your J Michael wallet. I agree, the quality is outstanding. There is obvious care put into each and every item he makes.

      I’m sure the belt you are ordering will be outstanding as well. He truly is an artist.

      Thanks for reading the review.

      All the Best,
      Adam Swift

  3. I own multiple wallets from J Michael made of shell, alligator, and leather. Compared with other similar merchants on the Internet, there is no comparison. These are hands down the best quality wallets you will find and are extremely competitively priced. Shell wallets in particular are not easy to find and these are truly exemplary.

  4. I would agree completely with Ben. Bought a J Michael Ashland wallet after months of searching and couldn’t be happier with the entire experience. These are crafted with obvious care, love for the craft, and attention to detail. Do buy!

  5. I’ve bought a steerhide belt and a brown bifold in a beautiful chromexcel. They are wonderfully crafted items. You absolutely can’t go wrong with purchasing items from him. His attention to detail, construction are the best out there. Buy knowing your purchase will last a lifetime!

  6. As a longtime owner of a J Michael Ashland Wallet and 2 belts I am still thrilled with my purchases! His work is of the finest quality, handcrafted, and made to last. After years of daily use the leather is beautiful, every stitch is tight, and I like to take it out of my pocket and look at it.

  7. I bought three items from J MIchael Ashland website being a keychain and two wallets. I am a leather goods lover and I find his products to be of the finest quality when it comes to leather. If you like real leather goods your search ends here, buy one product of J Michael Ashland and you won’t be disappointed.

  8. Very helpful review especially as I was actually just considering buying one of these. I already have a wallet from J Michael and I am really pleased with it. Fantastic quality. I keep taking it out of my pocket just to smell the chromexcel!

    But it’s best to have more than one wallet to avoid the all eggs in one basket situation if lost and with contactless purchasing in shops and railway stations to avoid paying twice by mistake. So I would plan to not stuff any wallet full it of cards and this would keep the bulk down.

    I would like to have found out in the review about the individual card slots. Do the card holders at the top go all the way down to separate the cards or do the the cards join a single compartment lower down or is there some lining.

    Frankly I would go for the superb proven quality of J Michael and be less concerned about possible bulk. Better to carry two wallets than risk losing all at once.

    • Hi Alfredo,

      Thank you for your feedback and question regarding the card slots. I will do my best to answer your question as I understood it.

      The card slots are constructed from hand skived pieces of leather, which means before J Michael stitches everything together, the leather is thinned to create less bulk. Each card slot is its own individual slot, so none of the cards will be touching (unless you have multiple cards in one slot). The top slot does not allow the card to travel to the bottom of the slot, since it is constructed in a way that prevents this from happening.

      I hope this helps answer your question, and thanks for taking a look at the review.

      All the Best,
      Adam Swift

  9. Nice review of this wallet. I have the black one and echo the reviewer in that the hand stitching is flawless and the bifold deisgn is traditional and classy. The material is premium and makes this the most durable wallet I’ve ever owned. For this reason, I am considering buying the belt. In terms of functionality, the wallet has many slots and can hold everything I need for daily use. I envision using this for years to come. The service was excellent and shipping was free and faster than expected.

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