A Better Keychain
My first step in a better every day carry was my key chain. Here’s how I applied my two questions to my key chain. My first question is what do I need? The answer seemed pretty obvious. A key chain. I have to carry a key chain because I have several keys I need every day. I began thinking about what I needed, how to solve that need and if anything needed to change to do so.
Because need does not supersede want and they often are the same thing. I decided I wanted a key chain that was much less heavy and bulky in my pocket. Unfortunately huge keychains with lanyards were fashionable where I grew up and a lot of men and women my age still carry them. That was not the case with me, but I still had a lot of unnecessary junk I was carrying around.
I started looking around for ideas.
My dad always had, for as long as I can remember anyway, the best key chain. It has this massive set of key rings with these cool brass quick release things on it that are likely older than me so he could clip on and off the sets of keys he needed for that day. On his work days he might have fifty keys, but on the weekend he just had his house and car keys. Modular components appeal to me. His are the heavy-duty old school version of these:
He gave me one of his when I was a kid but they never really worked for me and I probably lost it a decade or two ago. I always preferred a carabiner so I could also attach a few small tools. I ended up with this one back in 2014 and really loved it, at least for a while.
I figured out the problem with carabiners is, your keys will slip off somehow. Some have a screw cap that goes over the clip that will prevent this, but they end up being bulky. This particular model seems like it might have some of that worked out, however.
I ended up also carrying around a Gerber Dime pocket knife, which is great, on my key chain but it made it unnecessarily heavy. It is great for the most common knife related task I have, opening boxes, but when a corrections officer asked me if I wanted a real knife I decided it was time for a change. That was embarrassing.
The Better Key Chain For Every Day Carry
I ended up looking a those key ‘organizers’ that make your key chain into a device resembling a pocket knife. The KeyDisk is the one I ended up getting.
It runs about $20 and can hold up to ten keys which. It also has a little bottle opener attachment in it that has a loop on it that I attached my car key and remote fob to. After careful consideration I figured out that I really only need three keys for my daily life and other keys can just be on separate rings hanging in my house or office.
The result is I have way less stuff in my pocket now. The design does not make it awkward to use the keys as I suspected. I would not put a car key inside the device because it can stick straight out from the ignition and in some cars, it may even prevent you from putting your keys in the ignition at all. Many new cars don’t really use keys anymore so this really isn’t a problem.
The image above shows the blanks with the teeth of the key facing out. I set mine up like this to start with and it seems like a bad idea. There’s no reason I can see that you can’t have the teeth facing inwards to protect both your keys and the stuff in your pocket.
The great thing is, the company that makes these sells other designs so there’s something for everyone. This is the design I almost got but it would have actually made my key chain more bulky than it was before.
This KeyKlip combines the KeyDisk with a carabiner to get the best of both worlds. I don’t have one of these to talk about. I suspect the carabiner would get stuck on pockets a lot though. It does say you can use it as a bottle opener though, and that notch looks like it might have a few uses as well.
I’ve used the regular KeyDisk for about a month now and I really like it. You can click on any of the images above to check them out in detail.