Everyday Carry

The Best Magnetic Keychains for Everyday Carry

Authored by:
Bernard Capulong
The Best Magnetic Keychains for Everyday Carry

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Magnets. How do they work? In the case of your everyday carry, they work best where you want a secure connection that's still conveniently quick to release. And there's arguably no better place for this than on your keychain! Throwing magnets into the mix makes removing your keys to unlock a door or use one of your keychain tools literally a snap. As with other EDC keychains, it all comes down to the hardware. In this guide, you'll find 6 attractive key carrying setups that make the best use of magnets.

What to Look For in a Magnetic Keychain

  • Quick access and ease of use: The main benefit of magnetic keychains is convenience. Make sure whatever keychain you pick is easy to operate, both when taking off your keys and putting them back.

  • Secure retention: Just as important as being able to remove your keys is making sure they don't fall off accidentally. Designs that have some locking features in place will give you some peace of mind. Quick access and retention are two sides of the same coin, so try to find a keychain with a balance of the two you're comfortable with.

  • Quality hardware and materials: Just like YKK seems to be the king of zippers, hardware from Fidlock out of Germany will be your go-to on premium options.

Altego Carabiner

If you haven't dialed in your keychain just yet and want to give magnets a shot, the Altego Carabiner is the best way to start. It's based around hardware you're probably already familiar with: a simple gate carabiner to clip to your belt loop and a split ring to put your keys on. Between those, though, is a Fidlock buckle attached via nylon webbing. The buckle disengages laterally by pinching and sliding your thumb and forefinger like you're snapping your fingers. It clicks back into place without much effort thanks to the magnets at work. As the Fidlock buckle is the star of the show here, the rest of the hardware and materials aren't particularly heavy duty. They're best suited for a set of keys and a couple of tools. With that said, Altego packs in an awesome value with a price tag under $15 for a set of two keychains. Having a set of two gives you the option of swapping out keys or gear for even more modularity to your carry, making this keychain the best option for most people.

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It sort of goes without saying that keys are one of the least convenient things to carry in your EDC. That's why this set of magnetic keychains from DSPTCH is so attractive: it's an entire system designed to carry your keys conveniently. Your keys go on a sturdy split ring, connected to one half of a Fidlock magnetic clasp via heavy duty nylon webbing. This part of the keychain is on the longer side, which can be bulky, but also provides enough length for a secure, back pocket tuck. The type of closure on this keychain disengages by deliberately hinging it off with the tip of your thumb (meaning you can't accidentally pull it apart by tugging on it). It connects to three different attachment pieces: a belt clip, a snap loop (for a belt or a strap on your bag), and a gated D-ring to clip onto other hardware in your EDC. Having these options lets you keep your keys accessible no matter what you're doing or what you're carrying.


Outlier Ultrahigh Key Piece

Outlier's best known for their subtly stylish technical menswear, but they make EDC-worthy hard goods with the same emphasis on everyday utility and high-performance materials. The Ultrahigh Key Piece is a minimalist's dream. Despite having so few parts, it's impressively versatile as a self-contained key setup. On the bottom half of the keychain, you'll find a Fidlock magnetic hook that disengages by hinging with your thumb. It's connected to a D-ring that freely swivels for attaching your keyring. On the top half, a flat black aluminum gated carabiner clips to your belt loop. It's connected to the attachment point of the magnetic hook with a laser-cut strip of Biothane. It's fastened by a Chicago screw on the reverse side, letting you detach the top carabiner completely and loop it onto a strap on your backpack for an even more minimalist setup.



Magnetic quick releases aside, your keychain should be sturdy — especially if you're guilty of loading it up with a ton of keychain tools. The Arktype PMK is definitely up to that task, thanks to its use of heavy-duty hardware and materials throughout. Up top, a stainless steel shackle that disengages by tugging on its side pin connects to your belt loop. Hand-woven paracord connects the shackle to a low-profile Fidlock clasp. This clasp is smaller than the others, which cuts down on bulk, but can make operating its hinge trickier if you have bigger hands. One last bit of paracord connects the bottom half of the magnetic clasp to a split ring for your keys. With two quick-release methods and two different split rings on this keychain, there's plenty of room to customize it to best serve your EDC.



The MQR (short for magnetic quick release) technically isn't a keychain on its own, but it can be an extremely useful piece of hardware for those of you who use a keychain tool often. With the MQR between a tool and the rest of your keys, you can quickly detach and use your tool without your bulky keys getting in the way. The MQR houses magnets in each of its halves and only comes apart with 4 pounds of deliberate pulling force. Each half adds some extra utility as a standard magnet for picking up metal screws, or attaching your gear to a magnetic surface.


KeySmart KeyMags

While magnets are undoubtedly useful as quick releases, they can also keep your keys silent and organized. KeySmart already makes their own line of EDC key organizers, but none are as minimalist as these KeyMags. They're essentially small magnets that stick to your keys to keep them in order without a bulky plate-and-post enclosure. Because they're affixed to your keys using a simple adhesive, these won't be the best option if you're especially hard on your keys. Also, the magnets on these are fairly exposed and can be prone to “tangling” if you carry other magnetic items in your EDC. But for a truly minimalist approach to a silent, organized keychain, these may just do the trick.

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Do you think magnets could be useful on your keychain? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

About the Author
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (13 total)

seamuis ·
Thank you so much for this, the MQR is exactly what I've been looking for to add a victorinox SD back to my keychain.
Kevin J Meyer ·
I've been carrying the ARKtype PMK for about 6 months now and I really dig it =) They also offer a variant with a HK style carabiner!
Deno Brandon ·
I have 2 MQR and an ARKtype PMK, both of which are fantastic. The PMK is incredibly solid and the MQR are great for backpack pull tabs. I have a Keybar MagNut as well. But hands down, my favorite is the YNOT magnetic keychain. The one-handed sliding mechanism is brilliant, easy to use, and bulletproof.
Franklion ·
Holy S. I JUST started looking into this for myself yesterday. Timely. I have the MQR for something else but am needing another magnetic release with a clip/carabiner, so PERFECT.
Kevin J Meyer ·
I can really recommend the .Arktype PMK! One-handed operation, sturdy as can be, good loking AF, paracord at the ready; just overall an awesome keychain.

They also make one with a HK style carabiner if you are not into snap shackles.

Franklion ·
The PMK looks great for play, but I would need it for my work badge at a pretty conservative company. I was thinking of the Ultrahigh since it looks a little more formal.
Franklion ·
Oh, the RMK looks awesome too!
Kevin J Meyer ·
Too bad, I really love it 👌 But the Ultralight does seem a little bit more appropriate for a more formal workspace.

I don't have any problems with that issue, since I work in a comic shop and could go to work dressed as Batman for all my boss cares 😁 I still show up dressed all smart casual though xD
T Shrapnel-Carruthers ·
I love the concept of TUKK MQRs and used a set to modularise my key ring (house keys on one, car keys, SAK etc). In practice I found that sitting down with keys in my pocket and master ring attached to my belt or belt loop could create enough leverage to detach a set of keys. The goods news is that I didn't lose any, because they were in my pocket, but I am rethinking this part of my EDC.
Paul Heitmeyer ·
just bought the Arktype PMK - thx!
Ludovic Babin ·
Thank you !
Ryan ·
I had those keymags and I think everyone should steer clear. Thecnically they do work as advertised but the provided adhesive is weak so I just used different glue no big deal... But these things are fragile! If you are any way an active person you will crush these into dust either by sitting on your keys or other methods... Just stay away.
Carlos Alburqueque ·
I really like this article! I was searching for an affordable one and found one from Themountainriver.co ! Really great quality! I'm still trying it out. So let see if can come an updated how well it works.