Friday, January 6, 2012

Sunshine Products Mini Cash-Can / Cash Stash Review



While I don't tend to do this myself, some people like to carry spare money in their keyring setup.  I guess there are some potentially good reasons to do so.  On the off chance you lose or forget your wallet, but still have your keys... it's handy to have an 'emergency' stash of money you can rely on.  Or sometimes you might just run out of money (happens to me a lot) and there's no ATM nearby, you can rely on that crumpled rolled-up bill, sitting with your keys!

There are a range of keychain money fobs around; most of which are just modified pill fobs/spy capsules marketed as cash holders.  I was given the chance to inspect and review the sunshine products mini cash-can, and I took up the offer as I was intrigued by the design.  The sunshine products cash-can is designed so that once the split-ring is attached to the cash-can, there is no way for the money holder to come apart.


-"Waterproof" (Personally, I would only rate it as water resistant, read on for more info)
-1 1/2 Inches Long
-7/16 Inch Outer Diameter
-3/8 Inch Inside Diameter
-Machined from Solid Bar

Weight: ~12g without split ring
Made in the USA
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Optional engraving service

RRP: $24.95


The Sunshine Products Cash-can comes in small red velvet satchel.  Included is a 100% satisfaction guarantee certificate, usage instructions and a split ring.  I have typed up the usage instructions for your perusal:


1. fold the bill length-wise, into thirds
2. fold this in half again
3. then in half again
4. fold in half one more time.  Now you should have a compact square
5. wrap this square tightly around the spindle like a horse shoe
6. slip this assembly into the tube all the way (don't worry if your first attempt is difficult... you will soon get the hang of it!)
7. install the keyring supplied to complete your new Cash-can!

Packaging and accessories


The Sunshine Products cash-can consists of a inner spindle (which the note is wrapped around) and an outer shell.  At the top and bottom of the spindle is a o-ring which helps to provide water resistance.  The hole for the key-ring attachment is at the top of the spindle.

Inner spindle.  Black o-ring near the top and bottom
Outer shell goes over the spindle with the money wrapped around it
 When a split ring is threaded through this key ring attachment, the split-ring physically stops the cash-can from coming apart.  This is one of the major benefits of this design, and is one of the things that makes this cash-can stand out from the competition.

The split ring needs to be removed to dissemble the mini cash-can

I tried using a few different types of bills with the cash-can.  The only note I had left over from my trip to USA was a $1 bill; this fits around the spindle and into the cash-can, fine.  In Australia our notes are made out of plastic, instead of paper.  I had some concern whether this would be an issue, but various denominations of Australian bills also fit into the cash-can without major issues.  It does take a little bit of getting used to, folding up and squishing the note into the cash-can but with a bit of practice, it's pretty easy.

Note wrapped around the spindle
Crumpled up $20 AUD (plastic bill)
The split-ring that comes with the cash-can is fairly thick and does not allow much freedom of movement around the circumference of the ring.  I have a feeling this is probably on purpose...  Swapping over to a slightly smaller split-ring, it does allow easier movement of the cash-can around the split ring, however the smaller split ring results in more vertical movement between the spindle and outer shell.  I was a little concerned this vertical movement may affect the water resistance of cash-can. 

Testing out if this was an issue, I tossed the cash-can in the washing machine, when doing a load of clothes.  During the test, I had a piece of paper rolled up inside.  After removing the cash-can from the wash and drying it up, I opened it.  There was minor ingress of water through the top opening of the cash-can.  Mind you not a lot of water got inside, but just enough so that the upper edge of the paper was damp.  I repeated this test with the larger split-ring.  I thought the larger split ring would help stop the water getting inside, however I still found there was very minor water ingress.

Overall I would consider the cash-can water resistant and 'weatherproof', but would hesitate to say it is completely waterproof.

The cash-can looks unobtrusive, most people would not realise there's money inside

Despite the issues with the water resistance, the build quality of the cash-can is very good... it feels like a quality product.  When I first received it, the brass was polished up nicely to a pale-gold colour.  I had some engraving on the side of my cash-can, and the engraving was nicely done.  When I received the mini cash-can I was surpised at how small and slim it is.  It is quite unobtrusive and the fact that is holds money would be overlooked by most people.

Size comparison to some pill fobs/spy capsules. The mini cash-can is significantly smaller


A couple of downsides of the cash-can is that it was not completely waterproof (at least in my sample).  The other issue is the cash-can is so compact, it will only fit one bill.  If you want something that holds more, you'll need to consider something else (sunshine products makes a mini II cash-can).



  1. I use my CRKT Peck (knife) as a money clip, and it also will hold exactly one bill. Not water proof in any way shape or form, but it's a bill... it should be ok if wetted.

  2. Nice point about use a knife as a money clip. I've actually got my eyes peeled out for a nice money clip to buy. Another thing to add to my 'want to buy list'

  3. These key chain products are awesome. Are they pretty light weight too? They look amazing, especially the little light.

    james | best keychain

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