Written By Nikola Petrovski
Published Nov. 28, 2020

Keychain multitools are incredibly valuable tools that often get overlooked or undervalued — that is, until you need one. These tools come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and their manufacturers all have their own unique take on the concept. Features often include a small blade, scissors, pliers, screwdrivers, and numerous other items, some more unique than others. So, pick up one of these handy little tools, and the next time you get bored, you may find yourself creating intricate origami patterns out of the random receipts in your pocket. Or you’ll be tightening every loose screw you can find in your office’s break room.

The Best Keychain Multitools

The Victorinox Classic SD, an original miniature Swiss army knife, is indeed a trusted tool found in pockets everywhere. This traditional design features a blade, a nail file with screwdriver tip, scissors, tweezers, and a toothpick, easily handling anyone’s basic needs and chores. The Classic SD is available in an impressive array of colors and finishes, and both custom and personalized finishes are available. With a little searching, buyers can even find variants commemorating U.S. national parks or sporting various logos, such as the Boy Scouts. The Victorinox Classic SD is quite small, measuring only 2.3 inches long and 0.4 inches wide. It only weighs 0.7 ounces.

Sadly, this tool is not designed for heavy-duty use nor for carry-on air travel. It is also limited in its versatility by its single screwdriver head.

Key Features
  • Pocket knife
  • Six tools/functions with keyring
  • Multiple color options
Specification
  • Brand Victorinox
  • Model 0.6223
  • Weight 0.7 ounces
PROS

Includes a knife blade, scissors, and flat head screwdriver blade

Small and lightweight

Many color options for a personalized feel

Lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee

CONS

Not a heavy-duty tool

Only one screwdriver blade

Not airport friendly

The Keyport MOCA Tool lacks a blade, making it a great option for frequent flyers and those who spend their time in restricted environments. This single-piece multitool includes nine tool functions: a box opener, flat head screwdriver, cord cutter, scoring tool, bottle opener, 2-inch ruler, and three hex bit drivers/wrenches (1/4, 3/8, and 5/16 inch). The entire tool is crafted from a single piece of 420 stainless steel and is polished for rounded corners and a smooth, comfortable finish. It measures 2.7 inches long, 0.6 inches wide, and 0.1 inches thick. The Keyport MOCA Tool is also TSA friendly (as long as the agents are friendly too).

This multitool’s strengths can also be weaknesses, as many people prefer keyrings, scissors, pliers, knife blades, and multiple screwdrivers to come with their tools.

Key Features
  • Single-piece multitool
  • Nine tools/functions with keyring hole
  • Polished 420 stainless steel construction
Specification
  • Brand Keyport
  • Model KYPIMOCA-BRK
  • Weight 0.5 ounces
PROS

Includes box opener, hex wrenches, ruler, and a flat head screwdriver blade

Small and lightweight

Airport friendly

CONS

No knife blade, scissors, or pliers

Only one screwdriver blade

Lacks a keyring

Looking for the best keyring multitool money can buy? Not only does the Leatherman Micra do it all, but it also fits on any keyring and does so with style. This multitool is available in six different colors and includes 10 different tool functions. It features a knife blade, spring-action scissors, tweezers, three screwdriver blades, a 4.7-inch ruler, a bottle opener, and a nail file with a cleaning tip. Measuring only 2.5 inches long while closed, this little guy weighs a middling 1.8 ounces and has its own mini keyring, making it easy to add to any keychain. With so many tools, there are very few jobs the Leatherman Micra cannot accomplish, making it an ideal option for virtually any context.

Leatherman is known for quality and prices to match, and thanks to its razor-sharp knife blade, this multitool will not make it through airport security.

Key Features
  • Butterfly folding multitool
  • 10 tools/functions with keyring
  • Multiple color options
Specification
  • Brand Leatherman
  • Model 64010103K
  • Weight 1.8 ounces
PROS

Includes a knife blade, scissors, and two screwdriver blades

Small and lightweight

Versatile

CONS

Expensive

Not airport friendly

For those who already carry a full-size knife and multitool every day, a keyring tool like the Kershaw PT-1 is perfect for rounding out that EDC loadout. This straightforward little keychain accessory centers around three basic tools: a miniature pry bar, a flat head screwdriver blade, and a bottle opener. This simple design allows users to use this multitool for basic, common tasks for which a full-size tool would be overkill. For strength, durability, and affordability, this tool is constructed with a single piece of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel that is then bead blasted with glass and aluminum oxide beads to produce a smooth, non-reflective finish. It also features a glass-filled nylon grip. The Kershaw PT-1 is small, lightweight, and takes full advantage of an airport-friendly design.

Thanks to its simple, non-offensive design, this tool lacks common parts, such as knife blades, scissors, and pliers, and it only has a single screwdriver.

Key Features
  • Single-piece multitool
  • Three tools/functions with keyring and external grip
  • Bead-blasted 8Cr13MoV stainless steel construction
Specification
  • Brand Kershaw
  • Model 8800X
  • Weight 0.8 ounces
PROS

Includes a pry bar, flat head screwdriver blade, and textured grip

Simple, small, and lightweight

Airport friendly

CONS

No knife blade, scissors, or pliers

Only one screwdriver blade

Looking for a unique Christmas gift but aren’t sure where to start? The Desuccus 18-in-1 Snowflake Multi Tool is a great place to both start and end that search. While it lacks common multitool amenities, such as a knife blade, scissors, and pliers, this handy little tool is ideal for the man or woman who is always tightening down screws, bolts, and more. It boasts a #3 Phillips head screwdriver, a flat head screwdrivers and boxcutter combination, six Allen wrench heads (SAE and metric), seven hex wrench slots (SAE and metric), a bottle opener, and a shielded twine knife. The Desuccus 18-in-1 Snowflake Multi Tool measures just under 2.5 inches in diameter and 0.3 inches thick and weighs 2.3 ounces.

The snowflake’s weight and keyring hole without an accompanying keyring are nuisances, and it is unclear whether or not this tool is TSA “approved.”

Key Features
  • Single-piece multitool
  • 18 tools/functions with keyring hole
  • Stainless steel construction
Specification
  • Brand Desuccus
  • Model B07WXG5L7N
  • Weight 2.3 ounces
PROS

Includes a pry bar, flat head screwdriver blade, and textured grip

Simple, small, and lightweight

Airport friendly

CONS

No knife blade, scissors, or pliers

Only one screwdriver blade

Ready to put one of those multitool doohickies on a keychain? Then why not pick up a Nite Ize DoohicKey ClipKey? This little gadget will easily attach to any keychain, backpack loop, or similar attachment point with its convenient carabiner clip. It is constructed with durable stainless steel and can handle all kinds of tasks with its five integrated tools. The dual-head screwdriver doubles as both a flat head and a #2 Phillips head screwdriver. The scoring point is perfect for rough marking surfaces and opening tough plastic packaging, and the serrated edge works nicely for cutting twine or splitting zip ties under tension. Of course, when those jobs are complete, the Nite Ize DoohicKey ClipKey’s bottle opener ensures that everyone has easy access to some cool refreshment. 

Beyond its lack of a knife blade, scissors, and pliers, this doohickey offers little worthy of complaint.

Key Features
  • Single-piece multitool
  • Five tools/functions with carabiner clip
  • Stainless steel construction
Specification
  • Brand Nite Ize
  • Model KMTCK-01-R3
  • Weight 0.4 ounces
PROS

Includes a serrated edge, dual-head screwdriver blade, scoring point, and carabiner clip

Simple, small, and lightweight

Airport friendly

CONS

No knife blade, scissors, or pliers

Multitools are a dime a dozen, but every so often, one encounters a true gem. The Gerber Dime is one such jewel, but with 11 different tools, it is a diamond for the rough, not in the rough. This butterfly folding design by Gerber features a knife blade, spring-assisted pliers (standard and needle nose) and wire cutters, spring-assisted scissors, two screwdriver blades, a scoring blade, a file, tweezers, and a bottle opener. With such a wide variety of available options, users will have no problem tackling any job, whether it be inside or out. The stainless steel construction is designed to last a lifetime as evidenced by Gerber’s limited lifetime warranty, and for those who like a splash of color, the Gerber Dime fails to disappoint.

For a keychain tool, this Gerber is a bit heavy, and sadly, it also fails the airport security test due to its blades.

Key Features
  • Butterfly folding multitool
  • 11 tools/functions with keyring
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Multiple color options
Specification
  • Brand Gerber
  • Model 31-001132
  • Weight 2.2 ounces
PROS

Includes a knife blade, pliers, wire cutters, scissors, a scoring blade, two screwdriver blades, file, and tweezers

Small

Versatile

Limited lifetime warranty

CONS

Heavy

Not airport friendly

Emergencies happen suddenly and without warning, and the CRKT K.E.R.T. (Keyring Emergency Rescue Tool) ensures users are always prepared to handle any emergency. This multitool incorporates a number of valuable tools that could prove invaluable in a serious situation. The main feature is the seatbelt cutter which is protected by the included nylon slip sheath, but the tool also includes an oxygen tank wrench, a flat head screwdriver, and a 1/4-inch hex wrench. The entire tool weighs a mere 0.8 ounces and measures roughly three by 2.5 by 0.5 inches. It is constructed with tough yet affordable 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. The CRKT K.E.R.T. is airport friendly and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

This tool lacks a knife blade, scissors, and pliers, but in light of its intended purpose, these shortcomings are quite forgivable.

Key Features
  • Single-piece multitool
  • Five tools/functions with keyring and sheath
  • 8Cr13MoV stainless steel construction
Specification
  • Brand CRKT
  • Model 2055
  • Weight 0.8 ounces
PROS

Includes a seatbelt cutter, oxygen tank wrench, a flat head screwdriver blade, 1/4" hex wrench, and a vinyl slip sheath

Simple, small, and lightweight

Airport friendly

Limited lifetime warranty

CONS

No knife blade, scissors, or pliers

Only one screwdriver blade

For most people, lugging a toolbox everywhere seems completely unrealistic, but the Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 Multitool challenges this idea with its impressive array of features. This stainless steel multitool includes a pair of pliers, wire cutters, wire stripper, a wire crimper, three flat head screwdrivers (#0, #1, #2), three Phillips screwdrivers (#0, #1, #2), two hex wrenches (1/4 and 7/16 inch), a hand drill, two rulers with matching ruler extensions (inches and millimeters), a nail file, and a bottle opener. While most are not true replacement tools, each component of this multitool holds its own in a wide variety of applications. The airport-friendly Swiss+Tech 19-in-1 Multitool folds into a card-like shape with the closed pliers serving and a keyring and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Unfortunately, this tool lacks a knife blade, scissors, pliers, and, perhaps most frustrating, a dedicated keyring or permanent keychain attachment point.

Key Features
  • Folding card-like multitool
  • 19 tools/functions with keychain compatibility
  • Stainless steel construction
Specification
  • Brand Swiss+Tech
  • Model ST53100
  • Weight 1.9 ounces
PROS

Includes pliers, wire cutters, wire strippers, wire crimper, three flat head screwdrivers, three Phillips screwdrivers, two hex wrenches, hand drill, file, and two rulers with extensions (inches and millimeters)

Airport friendly

Limited lifetime warranty

CONS

No knife blade, scissors, or pliers

No dedicated keyring or attachment point

No matter what the mission might be, make sure you don’t leave home without a SOG MacV attached to a keychain or backpack. This tough-looking little tool is constructed with tough, durable 3Cr13 stainless steel and sports an anti-reflective black finish. It features a dozen tools, including a pry bar, two flat head screwdrivers, a Phillips screwdriver, three wrenches (1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inch), a 1/4-inch hex bit driver, a line cutter, and a blade sharpener, a particularly fascinating addition. While it is not designed for fine honing, the sharpener is surprisingly effective for recreating a sharp edge on most knives, especially single-grind blades like razor blades. The SOG MacV is small, lightweight, TSA compliant, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

This tool’s main flaws are its snag-happy design and lack of an included keyring. Of course, it also lacks blades, scissors, and pliers.

Key Features
  • Single-piece multitool
  • 12 tools/functions with keyring hole
  • 3Cr13 stainless steel construction
Specification
  • Brand SOG
  • Model SM1001-CP
  • Weight 0.6 ounces
PROS

Includes pry bar, two flat head screwdrivers, Phillips screwdriver, three wrenches, line cutter, and blade sharpener

Small and lightweight

Airport friendly, TSA compliant

Limited lifetime warranty

CONS

No knife blade, scissors, or pliers

Not ideal for pocket carry

Lacks a keyring

Best Keychain Multitools Buying Guide & FAQ

How often have you found yourself at the office wishing you had a knife to open a package or walking your bike home in the rain because you forgot to bring anything along other than your house keys? Keys are even more essential than even the ubiquitous smartphone, and with the right multitool attached to your keys, you will find yourself prepared for virtually any situation.

Keychain multitools are small and lightweight, but they pack an impressive punch thanks to some brilliant creativity and engineering. Need some tweezers? No problem. Looking for a screwdriver? Got one. What to figure out the width of a bolt head? Whip out that handy ruler. The right keychain multitool combined with keys, a small flashlight, keys, a wallet, and a phone makes for an excellent EDC loadout.

Benefits of a Keychain Multitool

Keychain multitools enjoy a number of benefits, but each one is tailor-made with a particular combination of uses in mind. Design types and features can be overwhelming at times, but the benefits of owning and using a multitool are undeniable, especially one mounted on a keychain.

Probably the most obvious and most common benefit is convenience. Thanks to their minimal size and weight, they can accompany users to the ends of the earth with little inconvenience. As such, they are always available when a random task or quick fix needs to be completed, but these handy little tools are also a great complement to an EDC (everyday carry) loadout. With the right tool residing on a user’s keyring, they can purchase a simpler, more streamlined, and often less expensive multitool as their main go-to option, and in some cases, EDC practitioners may even choose to completely bypass a larger multitool to further reduce weight and clutter.

Sometimes, though, a multitool can literally save a life, and with the right combination of components, even a small, keychain option can make that difference. While most multitools are equipped with more common amenities, such as nail files and scissors, options designed with emergency preparedness will feature items such as seatbelt cutters and oxygen tank wrenches. Regardless of a tool’s capabilities, users must consider what they need and how they plan to use their tool(s) of choice whether that be for emergency preparedness or some other application.

  • Keychain multitools are convenient for tackling unexpected tasks.
  • Having a keychain multitool can minimize the need for larger EDC tools and gear.
  • Some keychain multitools are ideal for use in emergency situations.

Different Kinds of Keychain Multitools

To most of us, the word “multitool” conjures up a specific image, often that of a Leatherman or Gerber tool, but in actuality, multitools, particularly the small, keychain versions, can come in a couple of different design types. The two most common are the butterfly folding tool, a familiar style, and the single-piece multitool, one designed for some more specific roles.

Keychain Multitool

Butterfly Fold

The butterfly fold multitool is easily the most recognizable. As one might expect, these little guys fold upon somewhat like a butterfly (or butterfly knife, if you prefer), hiding a pair of pliers or scissors inside the opposing handles. The main tool’s handles also double as a storage location for items such as knife blades, files, screwdriver heads, and more.

The butterfly design has some distinct advantages and a few drawbacks that are worth considering. First, these tools are often streamlined, providing a safe, relatively snag-free location to store the variety of individual tools a particular unit includes in its overall design. On the flip side, these tools can be somewhat bulky and a little heavy when attached to a keychain.

Single-Piece

As the name implies, a single-piece multitool usually consists of a single piece of metal, sometimes with added features such as a grip or a sheath. Like their competitors, they have a variety of pros and cons that factor into whether or not an individual should purchase one.

Single-piece multitools are often more specialized than their jack-of-all-trades butterfly cousins, often featuring a variety of driver heads and wrenches. They are impressively small and lightweight, with some even coming in the shape of an animal or something else just as interesting. They also tend to be compliant with air travel carry-on restrictions.

On the flip side, these multitools notably lack traditional features, such as blades, scissors, and pliers. As such, they are also a little less versatile than butterfly designs.

What to Look for When Buying a Keychain Multitool

When looking for a keychain multitool, think long and hard about its intended use. A snowflake tool might be great for use around a garage or workshop, but individuals who spend most of their time behind the wheel might be better off spending their hard-earned cash on a tool that has a seatbelt cutter in case of an accident.

Another consideration is what role a keychain multitool will play in an EDC loadout. Someone who carries a serious multitool, such as a Leatherman Wave Plus, would find something like the Keyport MOCA Tool more beneficial than the redundant Leatherman Micra. Selecting the right tool is just as much about what it lacks as what it doesn’t lack.

The Most Important Features of Keychain Multitools

Despite their impressive versatility, not all keychain multitools are made equal. Depending on its intended purpose, each tool will incorporate a unique combination of common, and sometimes uncommon, tools to match. Some tools will include valuable knife blades while others will seek TSA compliance, omitting blades of any kind. Each feature has its pros and cons, and finding the perfect keychain multitool means choosing the perfect balance of form and features. With so many available options, compromise is an ethereal concept not rooted in reality.

Blades and Cutting Implements

Multitools often feature two or three different cutting tools. The most common, of course, is the knife blade, but even these come in a variety of styles, each with its own unique purpose. Common blade shapes include clip point, drop point, sheepsfoot, spear point, spey point, straight back, and Wharncliffe blades. Knowing the differences in blade shape certainly is not a critical consideration for most people, understanding them will allow users to get the most out of their tool.

Multitools also include other cutting implements, such as scissors, wire cutters, scoring blades, and more. When selecting a tool with scissors, consider choosing one with spring-assisted scissors, as this feature is especially helpful on such a small tool.

Hardware Tools

Hardware tools are much like the tools one might find in a regular toolbox or bag. Virtually every multitool on the market will have a flat head screwdriver, and most will have a variety of other similar tools. Available tools often include Phillips screwdrivers, hex wrenches, and pliers, often with integrated wire cutters, but a variety of convenience-oriented tools, like bottle openers, and less common tools, such as wire strippers.

When selecting a multitool with pliers, pay attention to whether or not they include wire cutters, and whether or not they are spring-assisted. Wire cutters can be a much more convenient asset than one might expect, and while spring-assisted pliers are not essential, they do make use a little more convenient and precise.

TSA Compliance

In the world of multitools, TSA compliance is a convenient yet tricky feature. Per TSA guidelines, metal blades of any kind are not permitted on one’s person nor in one’s personal items or carry-on luggage. That said, some multitools do feature the occasional shielded twine or wire cutter that is clearly no threat to anything more than zip ties. This means that most agents likely will let them through the security checkpoint, but often only after personally inspecting them or asking questions about them.

TSA “compliant” butterfly fold multitools look identical to multitools with blades, and agents may use their own discretion to determine whether or not a “compliant” multitool makes it past the checkpoint. This means that single-piece tools are usually a safer purchase for frequent flyers.

Ultimately, anything sold as being TSA “compliant” or TSA “approved” is not guaranteed to pass final inspection at the airport.

Keychain Multitool

Best Keychain Multitool FAQ:

Q: What’s the difference between a multitool and a keychain multitool?

As the name implies, keychain multitools include keyrings or similar features for easy attachment to a keychain. These multitools are also quite small and lightweight.

Q: What are the most likely uses of a keychain multitool?

This will depend heavily on an individual’s common environments and activities. Most keychain multitools are geared toward opening boxes, making minor repairs, and maintaining personal hygiene.

Q: What is the best kind of metal for multitools?

Most individuals should select a multitool made with stainless steel due to its ability to resist rust, induced by skin oils, sweat, and other contaminants while maintaining a decent edge.

Our Top Pick

When it comes to any competition, the judges quickly realize that classics are classics for a reason. The Victorinox Classic SD combines all the tools the average user could ever need into a single unit without adding anything extra. The sleek, pocket knife design is intuitive and familiar, and the wide assortment of available colors and prints ensure owners will actually use this tool. The only knock against it is its lack of compliance with TSA regulations, but you can’t please everyone.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to its brilliant combination of commonly-needed tools, intuitive interface, and classy (and flashy) colors, the Victorinox Classic SD wins this competition with ease. For those wanting a one-size-fits-all solution, the Keyport MOCA Tool provides functionality with affordability and an air travel-friendly design.

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