The best tool is the one you have with you, so what better place to have it stashed than on your keychain? Whether you need to tighten a screw, uncap a beer bottle, pry something open, tighten a fitting on your bike, or even start a fire, there’s a keychain tool for everyone.
When it comes to shopping for a keychain tool the criteria are pretty straight forward. You want a product that is light, durable, actually fits in your pocket, and, ideally, has no pieces that can come off and get lost in your daily travels. With that in mind, we’ve selected a wide variety of keychain tools for your perusal that won’t weigh you down but will help you with small day-to-day tasks.
Update, 3/30/22: Verified picks and links still good. Swapped in replacements for CRKT, Swiss+Tech 6-in-1, Ringtool, Leatherman Micra, and FireStash.
The Gerber Shard features a bottle opener, small pry bar, wire stripper, three screwdrivers (a Phillips and two flat heads), a lanyard hole, and the entire thing is stainless steel with a titanium nitride coating. It’s a beloved little keychain accessory, so popular, in fact, that there’s a thriving knockoff market.
Simple & Solid-State
This small keychain tool contains seven tools in one, including a pry bar and a medium flat driver.
If we’re talking about keychain tools it would be remiss of us not to look at this incredibly popular Swiss+Tech tool. Roughly the size of a chunky car key fob when folded up, it packs in pliers, a bottle opener, wire cutter/stripper/crimper, two mini rulers, two hex wrenches, six screwdrivers, and a tiny hand drill. Tools aside, the best design feature is that you can take it on and off your keychain by unfolding it.
If you prefer your keychain tools to be lightweight and removable, the carabiner-style release on the Nite Ize DoohicKey makes it the one to beat. It’s super easy to take it off your keychain so you’re not banging all your keys around while you’re working, but still stays securely attached the rest of the time. It sports a bottle opener, a flathead screwdriver that doubles as a prying tool and box cutter, staggered wrenches (.25″, .3125″, and .375″), and a ruler.
Best Carabiner Design
Nite Ize DoohicKey
Tools, but easily removable, right? The DoohicKey’s carabiner design offers optimal versatility on the go.
At five inches long with a slim profile, the Kikkerland Mini Hammer Tool offers plenty of functionality with seven tools in one. In addition to the hammer, it also features a knife, pliers, nail remover, tweezers, and a bottle and can opener. Whether you’re hanging it from your belt or bag, or you’ve got it buried in your pocket, the Kikkerland has the leverage you crave.
If you like your keychain tools to look like, well, a key, then the Nite Ize QuicKey is your pick. What it lacks in wrenches it makes up for with a low profile key-shape design that is a small prying tool with a flat head screwdriver no the end, a bottle opener, and a serrated three-tooth edge that is surprisingly effective at cutting through tape, twine, and zip ties.
Nite Ize QuicKey
This keychain multitool actually looks like a key and will blend in with your other keys.
Sometimes you need more than a few handy tools. Sometimes you also need a flashlight. Luckily, the Swiss+Tech 6-in-1 multitool offers just such a perk! It sports a variety of screwdrivers—including a flathead, Phillips Number 1, Phillips Number 2, and 5/32-inch Allen drivers. The body of the gadget even doubles as a storage compartment for the other screwdriver bits.
Of course, it also features two LED lights, which are perfect for lighting up a dim area. And with a magnetic socket and a push-button for the flashlight, it’s super easy to use. It requires two CR1025 batteries to work, which are included.
Light It Up
For a tool that looks more like a K’nex piece and less like a prybar, this Snowflake Multitool is your pick. The 18-in-1 tool is constructed from stainless steel, so it’s plenty durable. It can be used as a bottle opener, box opener, hexagonal wrench (3-9mm), Allen wrench (7-16mm), Phillips screwdriver, slotted screwdriver, and more. It weighs three ounces and measures 2.5 inches, and comes in a set of two so you’ll have a backup in case you lose one.
This useful 18-in-1 stainless steel tool looks like a snowflake and fits easily on your keychain.
For the multitool devotees on your shopping list, there’s probably not a better pick than a Leatherman Micra (the tiny keychain version of the classic Leatherman). A small penknife, nail file and cleaner, multiple screwdrivers (two flat heads and a low-profile Phillips), a bottle opener, are all tucked inside a body that closes, just like the original full-size Leatherman, around a pair of scissors.
Mini, but Mighty
If you’re familiar with the classic Leatherman multitool, you’ll enjoy using the Micra—its mini counterpart.
We can’t very well talk about classic pocket tools without mentioning the Swiss Army knife. Victorinox’s Swiss Army Classic pocket knife is available in an updated form where the red plastic body is replaced with their “Alox” metal sheathing. The end result is a much slimmer pen knife with the same small blade, nail file/screwdriver, and scissors you’d expect.
While the rest of our keychain tools are for fastening, prying, cutting, or opening, this Mini Brass Peanut Lighter is for burning. If you’re paranoid that you’ll ever be without a flame at hand, this tiny keychain lighter runs off plain lighter fluid and will always be there when you need it. Double it up with one of the other tools in this list and you might just survive the night.