The Best Keychain Multitool (Review & Buying Guide) 2021
Be prepared for emergencies with these convenient keychain multitools.
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON May 13, 2021
Unless you’re a professional handyman, it’s unlikely that you carry a full bag of tools every single day for whatever comes up. As helpful as it might be to have when you need it, few would consider it practical to lug around all that stuff, particularly in this modern era of ever-smaller devices and portable accessories. Luckily, you don’t need a full set of working tools for most fixes. You might just need one of a few common options. For the artisan who needs a versatile option in their arsenal or the casual DIYer who wants to be prepared for anything, a keychain multitool is an invaluable resource that can go with you everywhere. Check out this list of our favorites to find the one that’s right for you.
This keychain multitool is from a well-known brand and features Swiss-made stainless steel construction.
- Offers 12 functions
- Durable and versatile
- Compact and lightweight
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee.
- Parts scratch easily
- A little bigger than some users expect
This tool comes with five common tools: a bottle opener, box cutter, screwdriver, rulers, and wrench-shaped inserts.
- Features a carabiner clip for versatility
- Made of durable stainless steel
- Compact, portable, and TSA-friendly
- Not suitable for thick keys
- Bottle opener isn’t of the best quality
This keychain multitool has 10 functions and weighs less than an ounce. It's made of stainless steel and is very thin.
- TSA-friendly, compact, and lightweight
- Compatible with most key chains and key rings
- Versatile and stylish
- Bottle opener isn’t very good
- Doesn’t cut boxes very well
- Won’t fit KeySmart keychain organizers
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of a Keychain Multitool
- It's convenient and there when you need it. Unless you have a toolbox with you at all times, it's handy to have portable tools in your possession no matter where you are and no matter what you're doing.
- It features a large variety of tools. These small and portable accessories contain a variety of tools including everything from screwdrivers and scissors to pliers, blades, files, and bottle openers.
- Many are hobby specific. If you like camping, some keychain multitools are designed with fire-starting tools. Others are geared towards bikers or those who require help during an automotive emergency.
- It's a great gift idea. Whether you're shopping for a friend, family member, or colleague, keychain tool kits are nifty presents for birthdays or the holidays. They're useful and practical.
Types of Keychain Multitools
Keychain multitools like the Gerber Shard Keychain Tool and the CRKT Eat'N Tool Outdoor Spork Multitool are basic gadgets that are very slim and streamlined. They fit easily alongside a set of keys and are somewhat unobtrusive. They are, however, limited in the number of functions they provide and sometimes focus on specific activities, such as bicycling or camping/backpacking. They consist of a single piece of steel.
If you're looking for a multitool that has a straight-edged knife and a variety of other tools, such as spring-loaded scissors, tweezers, etc., that fold closed when not in use, then your gadget is going to be a bit heavier and bulkier than a minimalist option. The upside is that you will typically have more tools at your disposal, but the downside is it will take up more space in your pocket.
When you think of pocket knives, you think of Swiss Army knives, which are made by Victorinox. Based in Switzerland, this company was founded in 1884 and has been making knives for over 130 years, including its popular multitools, many of which can be easily attached to a keychain. We recommend the Victorinox Tinker Tool.
Navy veteran Josh Downes founded Keyport 15 years ago. Based in Las Vegas, Nev., the company produces devices that merge keys, tools, and more to make practical everyday carry items that are universally accessible. One popular product is the Keyport MOCA Tool.
Gerber, based in Portland, Ore., was founded in 1939 and produces popular knives and other gear used by hunters, soldiers, and more. The company is known for backing its products with lifetime warranties. One top multitool is the Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool.
Timothy S. Leatherman and Steve Berliner founded Leatherman in 1983. The company, based in Portland, Ore., makes a variety of knives and multitools, including what it claims is the world’s first pliers-based multi-tool. With a boast like that, you can’t help but check out the Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multitool.
Keychain Multitool Pricing
- $5-$15: Some keychain multitools are very inexpensive, but they may not be very durable and don't have a lot of features. If you spend towards the upper limit of this price range you can find a decent device that will last for a reasonable amount of time.
- $15 and up: The best keychain multitools are a little more expensive. You will also find more well-known brands in the higher price range. These products are of higher quality and built to last.
Some keychain multitools are smaller than others. If you want something that's extra portable and won't take up much space in your pocket alongside your keys, you may want to opt for a smaller, minimalist device. If the number of functions is important, you may need to choose a product that's a little bulkier and heavier.
Type and Number of Tools
Different multitools provide different functions. They may come with knives, pliers, spring-loaded scissors, bottle openers, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, tweezers, and nail files. Some are designed with functions that you may need while camping (a spork, for example). Decide what type of portable tools you need by your side before making a purchase, so it will suit your particular needs.
Do you travel frequently by plane and like having a small set of tools on hand just in case you need them? Then you should choose a multitool that is TSA compliant. However, it is up to the discretion of airport personnel, and they may still require you to check the multitool instead of carrying it on board, despite what the manufacturer says about its compliance.
- Style and Design: Are you interested in a traditional multitool in which the tools fold up into a convenient housing? Or do you want a keychain multitool that is a single piece of steel? You can also choose whimsically shaped and colorful multitools that show off your personality.
Best Keychain Multitool Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Don't try to pry something open with the tip of a multitool's knife blade because it may break. If the device has an awl, use that instead. It's designed for prying things open, punching out holes, etc.
- Make sure you know how all the features function. You may have tools available that you didn't even realize were there because you didn't take the time to identify them.
- Properly maintain your keychain multitool to extend its service life. If possible, use lubricant or surface protectant or even WD-40 to keep it in tip-top shape. Also, make sure the knife is sharp so it will work effectively.
Best Keychain Multitool FAQ:
Q. What multitool do special forces use?
Many members of the military use multitools made by Gerber and other well-known brands.
Q. Which is better: Gerber or Leatherman?
They are both excellent options and are very similar in what they offer with slight variations. However, Gerber has a slight advantage in that it provides a lifetime warranty to its customers.
Q. Are multitools allowed on airplanes?
Some keychain multitools are TSA compliant. Make sure it says so in the description, but be aware that the airport personnel may require you to check the gadget regardless.
Our pick for the best keychain multitool is the Victorinox Tinker Tool. We like this product because it's from one of the world's most well-known knife companies. The Tinker Tool is stainless steel and has 12 functions. It is also slim and lightweight, so it doesn't feel bulky in your pocket. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee against defects, which provides some peace of mind.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Nite Ize DoohicKey.