Best Key Finders: Locate Lost Keys & Other Valuables With These Top Devices
Reduce your stress with these popular and reliable key finding device
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PUBLISHED ON July 6, 2019
If you regularly lose your keys, you may want to invest in a key finder. You simply attach the device to your keychain and either push a button on a separate unit or use your smartphone to find them. Check out our reviews of the best key finders on the market.
- Best OverallTile Mate with Replaceable BatterySummarySummaryThis device connects to your smartphone to locate keys as well as your phone. It includes a network of users who can help you find your Tile Mate.ProsProsIt's easy to set up and helps you find your phone while it's on silent. It can locate luggage, and it saves your last location on a map..ConsConsIt can’t locate an item that's out of range, and it may not work with some Android devices. You have to pay a fee to be part of the Tile Community Find.
- Best ValueClick 'n Dig Model D2 Key FinderSummarySummaryThis key finder includes one transmitter, two key receivers, two key ring attachments, and extra batteries. It beeps up to 90 dB, and the transmitter's radio frequency penetrates walls and cushions.ProsProsYou don't need a smartphone, Wi-Fi, or the internet. Setup is simple. The receiving end beeps loud enough to hone in on your keys, and the receiver flashes red.ConsConsIt's difficult to hear the beeps through walls, and it has a limited range. Also, it can be bulky if you have a finder plus a car clicker on your keyring.
- Honorable MentionKeyRinger XLSummarySummaryThe KeyRinger XL operates up to 300 feet, and the battery lasts 18 months. It includes two KeyRingers that call each other. No setup or programming is required.ProsProsThis key finder is simple to use and has more range than a Bluetooth device. It emits an extremely loud beep and is loud and sensitive enough to operate through heavy cushions.ConsConsThe key finder is ear-splittingly loud, and it can be hard to turn down the volume. It's big and clunky, and the battery may not last as long as advertised.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Key Finders
- They locate lost keys. If you're the type of person who's a little disorganized and you often misplace your belongings, the best key finder device will help pinpoint your missing keys so they’re easy to find.
- They locate other items too. The best electronic key finder can be used as a tracker on multiple items, such as a wallet, remote control, or luggage. Some brands even allow you to share your tracker with another user so you both can seek a lost item.
- They save you time. When you lose your keys, it can sometimes take hours to locate them, which wastes a lot of time and can interrupt your day. Avoid this by using a car key locator device.
- They reduce stress. With the best key finder, you can locate your keys within seconds. You no longer have to worry or get anxious about where you left them the last time you used them.
Types of Key Finders
Bluetooth Key Finder
A Bluetooth key finder connects to your smartphone. As long as you have your phone in your possession (and the battery isn't dead), you can track where the corresponding sensor is on your keys. The connection also goes both ways: You can use your smartphone to find your keys or use the sensor on your keys to find your smartphone.
Radio Frequency Key Finder
A key finder that uses a radio signal does not require the use of a smartphone, app, or internet connectivity. It is very easy to set up and locates your lost item with a transmitter, which emits a radio signal. The corresponding sensor lights up or sounds an alarm on your keychain.
Audible Key Finder
This type of key finder is the least common. Each part of the device acts as both a transmitter and a receiver. An audible key finder emits a chirping sound, and when the other half hears the chirp it chirps in response. The device does not use a radio frequency or Bluetooth.
Tile is the world's top-selling Bluetooth tracker. The company is based in San Mateo, Calif., and was founded in 2012. Tile boasts that its products help consumers locate more than 3 million items every day. One of its top key finders is the Tile Pro with Replaceable Battery.
Click ‘N Dig
Click ‘N Dig was founded in 2007 and is based in San Diego, Calif. It’s part of 2Go Products, LLC based in La Jolla, Calif., which designs innovative and helpful products for the home. One recommended product is the Click 'n Dig Model D2 Key Finder.
KeyRinger is a privately held company in Oakland, Calif. All the company’s products are sold with a risk-free, 90-day, money-back guarantee. The KeyRingers are protected by two U.S. patents. One top product is the KeyRinger XL.
Chipolo was founded in 2013 and has since grown into an international company with a presence in more than 200 countries. Its headquarters is in Slovenia, and the company's subsidiary is in New York. One recommended product is the Chipolo Classic Bluetooth Key Finder and Phone Finder.
Key Finder Pricing
- Under $20: You can find several key finders for less than 20 bucks. Lower-priced units may come with fewer receivers, but many of these brands work well.
- $20-$30: You may need to pay a little more to get a key finder that is more durable and reliable. Some of these products also come with replacement batteries and multiple receivers.
Even the best tracking devices for keys have limited ranges; some work better over longer distances than others. Find out how far away you can be from your keys in order to receive alerts. Keep in mind that walls and doors can interfere with a device's signal, making it harder to locate your keys.
How many decibels does the device emit? The sound function is important because you have to hear the alarm in order to locate your keys. If it's too soft or you're hard of hearing, it can be challenging to find your keys. The loudest and best remote key finder is at least 80 to 85 decibels.
- LED Light: A top-rated key finder will feature a flashing light in addition to an alarm. This visual cue, paired with an audio cue, will help you locate your keys quickly. The more signals you receive, the easier it will be for you to find an item that's missing.
- Battery Life: The best key locator will have a battery life of about one year, but many replaceable batteries only last six months. Some key finder technology does not feature replaceable batteries. If this is the case, make sure you know what is required to keep the device working when the battery starts dying.
- Design: The sensor for a car key locator device should be comfortable to carry; it shouldn't be too large and unwieldy. Select a key finder that has a streamlined design for optimum comfort. Also, the best car key finder should have a battery slot that is easy to use and access.
Best Key Finder Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Tile Mate with Replaceable Battery
The Tile Mate connects to your smartphone to find your keys. It also works in reverse: If you can't find your phone, simply press the button on the Tile Mate to make your iPhone or Android ring. The device includes a feature called Community Find, which allows its large network of users to help you find your Tile Mate by sending location updates to your app. The battery has a one-year guarantee, and it's easy to replace.
This key finder easy to set up and place on a key ring. It will work for anyone, including the elderly, if they have a smartphone with Bluetooth tracking. It has a longer range and a louder ring tone than the previous Tile model and is the perfect device if you misplace your phone while it's on silent. It's also great for locating baggage at the airport. In addition, it saves your last location so you can easily find it on a map when, for example, you forget where you left your car in a parking lot.
Like most key finders, it cannot locate an item that is out of range, and it's not a GPS device. It cannot tell you where your Tile is currently located. Also, it may not pair well with some Android phones, and you have to pay a fee to be part of the Tile Community Find. Finally, the tile button is easy to push by accident, and your keys can start beeping when you don't want them to.
Best Value: Click 'n Dig Model D2 Key Finder
The sturdy, bell-shaped Click 'n Dig includes one transmitter, two key receivers, two key ring attachments, and extra batteries. The latest model has a new antenna for better reception, and it a louder beep up to 90 dB. There are no screws to access the battery, and the transmitter's radio frequency penetrates through walls, cushions, and more. In addition, the company provides a 12-month warranty.
The receivers and finder are well-made, and there's no need for a smartphone, Wi-Fi, or the internet. You just press a button and find a misplaced item. It's great for people such as the elderly who don't have smartphones but can push a button and listen for a beeping sound. The setup is simple, and the receiving end beeps loud enough to hone in on your keys. There's also a light on the receiver that flashes red. When the battery starts getting low, it beeps periodically to let you know.
One problem is that it's a little difficult to hear the beeps through the walls of a room, and it has a limited range. Also, it can add some bulk to your keys if you have a finder plus a car clicker on your keyring. There have also been some complaints that the key finder will spontaneously start beeping.
Honorable Mention: KeyRinger XL
The XL in the KeyRinger XL stands for "eXtra Loud." It operates up to 300 feet, and the battery lasts 18 months. It includes two KeyRingers that have the ability to call each other. No setup or programming is required, and the company provides a 90-day, money-back guarantee, and free two-year warranty.
This key finder is reliable and simple to use. When you press the button, the unit attached to your keys emits an extremely loud beep. Initially, the sound is soft but it gradually increases to a near ear-splitting level, and it's loud and sensitive enough to operate through heavy cushions. There's also a flashing LED if it's within 300 feet. In addition, the KeyRinger XL has more range than a Bluetooth key finder, and it's very durable.
One problem is the key finder may be too loud, and it can be a challenge to turn the volume down on the device. Also, it's rather big and clunky, and it can be easy to inadvertently activate. There have also been some complaints that the battery doesn't last as long as is advertised, and the device stops working after a few months.
- In order to ensure that your key finder functions properly in a pinch, you should change the battery every six months. Do this even if the product claims that the battery lasts up to a year.
- Sometimes the connection on a Bluetooth tracker can be sporadic due to the small size of the device. It's not uncommon for the app to have trouble finding the sensor's location. You may need to walk through each room and activate the smartphone app each time in order to locate your keys.
- To avoid losing your keys, always put them in the same place when you're not using them. It could be on a key hook by the back door or on a table by your bed.
- If you are prone to losing things, you may want to consider making an extra set of keys. This will reduce your stress and give you more time to find the original set of keys without panicking.
- Another way to keep track of your keys is by putting them on a large keychain. Just make sure the keychain isn't so big that it interferes with your driving.
- A key finder won't deter thieves. The trackers are easy to remove from your keychain if a thief knows what it is. As a result, do not use a key finder for security reasons.
Q: What is a key finder?
A: A key finder is an electronic device that is attached to your keys, phone, or other items that you want to keep track of. The best key finder device will beep or flash or give you a signal on your smartphone to help you locate a lost object.
Q: How does a key finder work?
A: The sensor on a key tracker typically attaches to the keyring next to your keys. However, some brands of key finders have adhesive backs and can be attached to the key fob itself.
Q: Will a Bluetooth key finder compromise my privacy?
Q: Will a Bluetooth key finder drain my phone’s battery?
A: Your smartphone will lose some battery life if it's continually connected to a wireless key finder. However, it does not drain a huge amount of energy.
Our pick for the best key finder is the Tile Mate with Replaceable Battery. It connects to your smartphone, features a network of users who can also help you find your keys, and the battery is easy to replace. The Tile Mate also helps find your cellphone when it's on silent, and it saves the last known location of your keys on a map.
For a less expensive option, consider the Click 'n Dig Model D2 Key Finder.