This iPhone case does (kinda) grow on trees — but use it with care

Toast, a company that creates laser-cut tech covers from real wood veneers, has launched their cover for the iPhone 7 line. I recently tried one with my iPhone 7 Plus, and it’s pretty cool — though I have one major reservation. 

Each Toast cover is laser-cut, hand finished and then paired with 3M adhesive that adheres directly to the device. Therein lies the rub, but more on that in a moment. All Toast covers are customizable and you can get text, logos, designs and original artwork laser-engraved. The one I tried was the unadorned, $34 model for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The veneer case certainly adds a unique “earthy” look to an iPhone. I’m a big fan of the Grovemade line of wooden Apple accessories, so enjoyed having a “wooden” case on my 7 Plus. However, being veneer, the cases are very thin, so don’t offer a lot of protection for the smartphone if it’s dropped or banged around.

However, that’s not my big concern. It worries me that the Toast cover adheres to the iPhone’s body. You align, peel off the backing paper, and stick it on your Apple device. Be sure to follow all of the detailed directions for your particular device located on the packaging. Make sure your device is clean and free of any oils or protective films (an alcohol cleaning pad is included). Toast covers are laser-cut for a precise fit and designed to adhere like crazy, so make sure it’s aligned properly before adhering it to your device.   

To remove theToast cover from your device, gently heat the cover with a hair dryer to help release the adhesive. Continue to apply heat this way as needed throughout removal — but proceed with caution. The cover and/or your device should NEVER get too hot to hold.

Start at a corner of the Toast cover and SLOWLY peel it off. The thin wood veneer will want to break apart as it’s removed, but the slower you peel, the more it will stay in one piece. If your Toast is covering a device that has a rubber or cloth finish (such as Apple’s Smart Covers and Smart Cases), you won't need to use heat; simply start at a corner of your Toast cover to get it started and slowly peel it off. You can also clean your device after removal with a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth. 

For all practical purposes, you shouldn’t adhere it to your iPhone unless you plan to leave it there permanently. It’s not a suitable case for someone like me who does like using adhesives on his smartphone. It’s not practical for anyone who regularly tries out new cases. It’s probably also not practical if you plan on selling your “wood” iPhone in the future.

However, if you love the look of the Toast cover and use it, it is attractive and easily cleaned. Use a little rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth to wipe away any dirt.