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Starting The Keychain Collection…...

Discussion in 'Keychain Tools' started by Motorman, Jan 1, 2014.

    Motorman Loaded Pockets


    I have read some of the threads on all the tools, etc. that people carry on their keychains and have found it very informative and somewhat overwhelming.
    Wondered if someone could suggest a few tools for keychain EDC carry that you feel is the basic carry items. I am new to this keychain thing, but am willing to add at a later date.
    It would help, but not absolutely necessary that the tools be TSA friendly (just have to remember to remove the "offensive" tools from the chain before I go to the airport.

    As always, thanks so much for your comments and suggestions.
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

    OK, Motorman, just to get things rolling:

    1. A small flashlight (in my case a Streamlight Nano).
    2. A small tool of some kind (I have a TSA-friendly knifeless Victorinox with a 16GB USB, a scissors, mini-pen, bottle opener, tweezers, and Phillips screwdriver ... Think it's called a 'Jetsetter').
    3. A whistle, such as the Fox 40 Micro or, more upscale, an Atwood.
    Xiii and Water-Rat like this.

    Water-Rat Loaded Pockets

    A flashlight, small tool, and whistle would be a good start for sure. Of those three I only carry a whistle on my keychain, but carry the others in my pockets.

    For a small tool, you could get a mini-prybar or one piece multi-tool. I have a County Comm pocket widgy. Some other low cost options are the Leatherman Brewzer and Gerber Shard. There's plenty of other options out there for small prybar, knife, and plier based multi-tools.

    A USB drive is a good idea too, doesn't have to be anything fancy, just has to hold up to living on a keychain.
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.

    debits Empty Pockets

    Before you start, what sort of things do you do on a day-to-day basis? What about weekends?
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

    There seem to be a few different strategies for building a key chain. One seems to be to provide back up items. They are there when something else breaks or in my case is forgotten. Another is to have a few tools handy that wouldn't get used if they where buried elsewhere (like a bottle opener). For me the challenge is to carry the things i want in a comfortable way. That's one reason i haven't tried any of the expensive dodads. I would hate to have a $100 pry tool sitting in a drawer because it hung at a weird angle.

    All that said a good place to start is small SAK, i use a rambler, i need to upgrade to an alox sometime, and a light. For me that is the minimum tools I would want leaving the house.

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Oops, i forgot to make the suggestion that goes with all the keychain feeling weird stuff. I must be tired. I was going to suggest getting supplies to assemble your keychain first. Small split rings and swivels from a fishing store, different clips like the TEC python, mcgizmo, niteize, etc. This will give you lots of ways to experiment as you acquire new gear.

    Al Effendi Loaded Pockets

    It might take you a while to figure out how you like to attach stuff:
    On your belt? Belt loop? Pocket? Stapled to your bare flesh (for the Cenobite in all of us)? Do you want it all to look good, or is your rig strictly utilitarian (you CAN have it both ways)?

    Do you care how heavy everything is? Aluminum is great for anything that won't have force applied to it, but when you need to lean into something, titanium is your friend. Steel is great, but heavier.

    I do a lot of odd jobs and precision work. My main tools are a LM Style PS (knifeless, because I always carry a dedicated blade), a Ti Widgy Pry bar, Tec Centipede & Inchworm, and a Ti spike.


    MackNJ Loaded Pockets

    I used to have the Squirt on my keychain (which replaced the old Classic SD stolen by the TSA), but it's so :censored: heavy and bulky I replaced it with a Style and a Brewzer. Cheap ($25), simple, light, small and relatively useful. The Style has the same toolset as the Classic SD, but it feels tougher and higher quality. Also, the tools all fold out away from where it attaches to the keychain rather than having the knife open towards the keys like the Victorinox.

    If TSA compliance is a major issue, you can probably just go with a one piece tool. The Brewzer is pretty simple; just a bottle opener, flathead driver and package opener. You can go crazy though and get one of those Atwood things with a billion and one uses.

    The basics aren't universal to everyone. I'm an accountant in NJ. I probably don't need as much as a lumberjack in the Pacific Northwest. Blade, nail file, scissors, package opener, tweezers and a bottle opener are the tools I use multiple times a week. Those are my basics. Maybe a couple times a month I need a flathead or phillips screwdriver, or a prying tool. Those are my secondary needs, and fortunately they piggyback on the tools that hold my basics.

    Just don't go nuts. Don't spend a lot of money, it's just a keychain. The simpler you go, the easier it is to replace if you lose it. Figure out what you need and then find the cheapest, least complex way to fill those needs.
    Al Effendi, Cobra 6 Actual and debits like this.

    elkhills Loaded Pockets

    When I see the enormous keychain rigs people post pictures of I have to wonder what they are thinking. I cant stand a big old wad of crud in my pocket like that. After a few years of trying out just about every combination I have really settled into what I like in a keychain- compact, useful and handy. Most of the items I use from it regularly are smaller versions or backups to other stuff I already carry, but they are so much quicker to whoop out!
    As far as which items to choose, that really is up to you depending on your wants and needs... and wallet! For me I think no matter what I will always have at a minimum a light and a pair of tweezers. A photon squeeze light and silver grippers are my favorites, probably because they are so small and light, and still high quality. A small flash drive is also a very handy thing to have, im partial to the pico series, you can get a 16gig like mine for $25 or so.
    Last edited by elkhills, Jan 2, 2014

    Al Effendi Loaded Pockets

    Where'd you get that lightsaber? I want one.
    HimalayanHitman likes this.

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Keys, Streamlight Nano, Atwood tool and a couple of sentimental tags.
    MangeD700, Sully021, thefrank and 2 others like this.

    Motorman Loaded Pockets

    WOW! Special thanks to everyone who responded to this thread. Some great info here. As I mentioned, I'm just starting on this search for
    the first group of mini tools for a keyring. Hadn't thought about if I would hang it. Keeping it concise, I thought just placing it in my pocket with my car keys would be a start. BTW, those Atwood tools look very nice.
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Just start out simple. Don't start attaching every gadget you can find 'cause in all likely hood, you'll hardly ever use them. My key set up and a folding blade is about all I carry daily aside from wallet, watch and phone.
    Cobra 6 Actual and kertap75 like this.
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Omega Man Loaded Pockets

    Tweezers, flashlight,glow in the dark fob/tritium.
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.

    cowsmilk EDC Junkie!!!!!

    My dad was a locksmith around the time I started driving. He told me that a keychain that had a lot of weight to it was bad for your vehicle ignition. I proved him right while I was in high school. Since then, my keychain is very sparse. Currently it has one house key, one truck key, one very special piece of keychain art from a member here, a small lanyard and bead, and a small token Sears quad screwdriver that belonged to my grandpa.

    Most of the other useful items folks have mentioned, i have in a small tin in my watch pocket.

    Everyone will have a different way of carrying stuff, this is how I carry mine. It is a very personal thing for each of us. My carry decisions was partly due to how I was raised, and partly due to my day-to-day experiences. I still like looking at other folks keychain pictures though as it gives me ideas on what to include in my kit.
    Dr. Bahn, Nick4305 and Cobra 6 Actual like this.

    KeyeEl EDC Junkie!!!!!

    I've tried many different items from capsules that hold pills/a spare $20, to custom Titanium gadgets, to glow fobs and everything inbetween. The only "necessity" I think everyone should have is a small keychain flashlight. Maybe as a spare/backup to a larger one? They can be found at many different price ranges and sizes; so small and bright that there really isn't an excuse not to have one. There isn't a one size fits all to keychains so just try stuff out.

    As cowsmilk stated, if this is your car keychain then you might not want to add too much weight. Some people alleviate this by having a separate tool keychain. In my case, I always carried my truck key/fob separate from my house key/tool chain.

    My current chain consists of:
    1- 1" steel splitring (large enough for me to loop it around a finger)
    2- Klarus MiX6 Titanium AAA flashlight (twisty with 3 modes plus strobe. Super bright and common battery)
    3- JDR Titanium Mini Makemake (This is a pry tool with bottle opener. I am into craft beers lately so I frequently use a bottle opener, otherwise I would remove this)
    4- Atwood Titanium Whistle (In case of emergency)
    5- TEC P7 Clip (This clips to my front pocket to keep the keychain from piling up at the bottom)
    6- house key
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.

    elkhills Loaded Pockets

    Thanks! Its the one thing i have on my keychain that serves no functional purpose but to be art. I got it from a member of rebelscum forums. He makes them from stainless for about $20. If you do a search for keychain lightsaber I think you will find him. Originally I had contacted a member here that said he could "make it if I could dream it". I wanted one made of titanium, but he told me he "couldnt sh! t a 1/4" x 2" ti rod for less than $200! :)
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.

    DavyJ Loaded Pockets

    Gosh, there's a lot of neat gear around. I'm new to the forums (Hi there!) but have been lurking for quite some time. Anywho, at the moment I don't tend to carry anything but keys on my keychain - as I have a skeletool in pocket most of the time (I lean toward tools that I actually use rather than those I might use). However, after years of bending knife tips, and not wanting to carry around a repurposed flathead screwdriver, I have succumbed to the urge to get a Pocket Widgy (the 4" version). Problem: I am in New Zealand. This country largely sucks for useful gear, although is wonderful in many other aspects, and so I turn to the internet. Can I find a Pocket Widgy to ship internationally? Not without jumping a tiresome number of hoops. So, a coupla questions for the wise heads here:

    1. Anyone shipped internationally from CountyComm who can comment on their procedure/CS?
    2. Does it really cost US$20 and upward to throw a US$10 bubble-wrapped Widgy into an envelope and send it round the world?
    3. Anyone got any other suggestions?

    Okay, so that was 3 questions (you get one for free!). Sadly this is turning into a bit of an obsession for me. I am not keen on the Gerber Shard (though that may be the last resort). Perhaps one of you would like to put me outta my misery, or shoot me (which ever is cheaper). :)
    debits and Cobra 6 Actual like this.

    Water-Rat Loaded Pockets

    Davy, try endtimesreport.com/survivalshop, they have a lot of what CountyComm has and have better shipping rates. Unfortunately, they only have the 2 in. widgy and 3 in. straight widgy at the moment.

    BladeHQ has the straight versions of the 2, 3, and 4 in. bars.

    Don't give up hope, keep looking for it. I have one and I love it... perfect for opening boxes, unjamming lockers, using as a makeshift screwdriver, etc. However, there's plenty of other tools out there that are similar like the shard, LM Brewzer, etc.
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
    • In Omnia Paratus

    HimalayanHitman Loaded Pockets

    Still kinda worth it lol I used to be a huge Star Wars fan until stupidity took over the force.
    BubbaFett likes this.