EDC Key Chain Part 1: The Key Chain
As men we have a minimum level of manliness expectation to uphold. One of those expectations is that we are supposed to be prepared for multiple situations at all times. We can’t possibly haul a toolbox of gear and gadgets around with us at all times so we have to find another way. A key chain with a mix of smart tools and accessories, complimented by a pocket knife, can be the answer to most of life’s every day task and challenges.
In this multi-part series Cool Shit Guys Need will show you some great affordable, options to create your own EDC key chain that will work for you. Now I know this seems like we are going down the EDC rabbit hole. There are A LOT of options from A LOT of manufactures, but this article is designed to get people started by offering some budget ideas. So with all that is out there, we are going to break this down into 5 topics in 5 post:
Key Chain Type
Lets get this out there right away. You need to have the ability to quickly detach your car keys from your key chain. Your ignition switch will thank you. So here are some key chain styles:
- Carabiners – Everything is on carabiners and micro S-Biners. You clip your tools, accessories and keys on different S-Biners so that at any moment you can pull 1 item off quickly and use it. This can take up more room but it is a favorite due to the easy access of items, and the carabiner can clip anywhere solving the issue of how you carry the key chain. A good ready to go product is the Nite Ize Key Rack Locker or similar variations.
- Key Ring – This is more inline with the traditional key rings, just with newer ideas making it easier than having to pry open the ring. The FreeKey system by Exotac is basically an update of the traditional ring. Instead of prying open the main you ring, the FreeKey just requires you to pinch it in one spot to open the ring and have access to your items. Another Key ring option growing in popularity is using a small cable to create a flexible key ring. Lucky Line sells 5″ cables that can easily twist open and close for quick access.
- Rigid Key Holders – This idea goes in the opposite direction of the other 2. Basically your keys, and some tools/accessories, are put together in a fold out style device. This keeps your stuff together, slim, and quiet. Now you won’t fit a lot in this set up but you don’t always need to carry a lot either. Your car keys will still need to be separate or quickly detachable from the holder. Our favorite is KeyBar, and another option is KeySmart. They both function identically, but Keybar can hold more and comes with a pocket clip for easy carry. There is also KeySport who is currently taking pre-orders on their Pivot key model.
Key Chain Carry
Already its obvious your key ring is going to be larger, and weigh a little more. You need to be able to carry it with out it getting annoying. If you can get it to hang, your tools and accessories will fall in line and fit better in a pocket. If you decided to go with a carabiner system, or a Keybar, then you don’t have this problem. If you are using the KeySmart or a key ring style set up, you need a clip. Nite Ize has a pocket clip, the KeyCLIPse, or you can go with a cheaper generic pocket clip. The other option for carry is if some of your accessories have their own built in dangler or clip like the Griffin Pocket Tool. We will get into this in later articles.
Hopefully this article has got the wheels spinning. Be on the lookout for more articles in this multi part series.
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