Everyday Carry

10 Key-Shaped EDC Essentials

Authored by:
Jonathan Tayag
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
10 Key-Shaped EDC Essentials

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If there's one thing in your EDC you make sure to have when you step out the door, it's your keychain. That makes it a great place to include the EDC essentials that you'll need in a pinch. It's a convenient way to maximize your carry while keeping things as small and light as what's on your keychain. However, some keychain tools can be bulky and awkwardly shaped, which takes away from their utility overall. You can avoid this tradeoff by sticking to tools that are designed to fit right in with the rest of your keys instead. In this guide, we'll show you our favorite key-sized (and key-shaped) EDC tools and essentials.

Everyman Porter Key Knife

This is Everyman's take on a portable EDC folding knife that fits on your keychain. Use the knife to open letters and boxes, and the bottle opener to crack open a drink when you've got the time.

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Swiss+Tech Utili-Key 6-in-1 Multitool

This tool is very popular in the EDC community, and with how versatile it is it's easy to see why. In about the same size and shape of a standard key, you get a flathead and Phillips screwdriver, a precision screwdriver, a combo edge knife, and a bottle opener to round out its toolset.  The tool easily detached from your keychain too when you open it, making this one convenient EDC favorite.

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Streamlight KeyMate USB

If you find yourself fumbling around in the dark with your keys a lot, you're going to want the KeyMate. It's a USB-rechargeable LED backup flashlight that's no bigger than your car keys. It's made to give you a nice diffuse light in your immediate area, making it easy to find what you need in the dark.

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SOG Key Knife

If a full-sized knife will raise too many eyebrows, the SOG Key Knife can be a far more discreet way to EDC a blade. When closed, the knife looks like a standard key, but it packs a 1.5" long blade. It opens with a nail nick and a lockback mechanism keeps it in place during use.

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MyKee Brushed Titanium Multitool Key

Made out of a solid piece of grade five titanium, this tool packs wrenches galore. It has a bunch of standard hex wrenches in its skeletonized body, and one of them works as a bottle opener as well. The most innovative part of this tool is the claw design at the tip. This lets you use the tool to pry small things open, sparing your other tools from potential damage.

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NiteIze DoohicKey QuickKey

The DoohicKey is a small key-shaped multitool that's travel-friendly thanks to its lack of a sharp edge. The bottle opener is the most prominent part of the tool, but it also includes a flathead screwdriver at the tip. It also has rough indents that'll help you open boxes and cut through things with the help of force and friction.

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This looks a bit more exotic than the other keychain essentials on this list, but it packs a punch. Its 304 stainless steel key-sized design packs twenty different functions. Every angle of this tool packs wrenches, pry bars, cutters, screwdrivers, and openers.

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Nomad Key

Unlike the other items on this list, the Nomad Key is not a multitool. But it is an essential if you carry a mobile device. The Nomad is a compact key-sized cord without all the tangle and fuss regular cords have. It comes in both micro-USB and Lightning flavors to suit the device of your choice.

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ARKTYPE Masterkey

This is a eight-function multitool cut out of a piece of aircraft grade 7075-T6 aluminum. Its minimalist key-shaped design includes four hex wrenches and two bike spoke wrenches for urban commuters. It also includes a bottle opener and an inch ruler.


Prometheus Epsilon EKO

EKO stands for 'emergency key opener' and it's a solid piece of 6/4 titanium that looks like a standard key. Unlike a regular key, the Epsilon EKO makes opening boxes a breeze with its finger-safe beveled edge. The EKO also includes a bottle opener in the side and a 1/4" hex wrench as well.


Got any tools riding incognito with the rest of your keys? Share your favorites in the comments below.

Jonathan Tayag

Senior Contributor

About the Author
Jonathan Tayag is secretly an information technology and corporate security expert who prefers to moonlight as a creative event and commercial photographer whenever possible. His varied experience and substantial travels have led him to seek, without even thinking about it at first, the best gear for the best use at the best price available. Before the concept of EDC (everyday carry) firmly took hold, Jonathan already spent untold amounts of time optimizing for the best-in-slot pieces of gear, from cameras and lenses to pocket knives, pens, and bags and packs. In November 2015, Jonathan joined EverydayCarry.com and has since written numerous articles and guides to help impart his knowledge to the community as a whole.

Jonathan's photographic works have appeared on numerous online websites, print, video, and television outlets for over a decade. Jonathan's previous clients include Blizzard Entertainment, Red Bull, ESL, Razer, and several other endemic and non-endemic esports sponsors and brands. His work also features heavily in online competitive gaming communities, especially those of the StarCraft and Fighting Game genres. You've likely seen his work if you've spent time in a stream or in-game chat over the years.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

About the Reviewer
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, Outside, 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 (21 total)

weehawk ·
I love multitools, especially small ones that fit on a key chain, but do they ALL need bottle openers? Am I the only person carrying too many bottle openers around with me? lol
Rene ·
Lately i feel that they just put a bottle opener in everything and just call them "tactical tools"
Logan Corkey ·
no such thing as too many bottle openers!
Jim O ·
Bottle openers are a waste of space. Google "opening bottlle with lighter" to see the method, which works with lighters, keys, a tightly rolled dollar bill, and my go-to item - a multitool that has exposed edges (like the Leatherman Wave).
Scott Johnson ·
A bottle opener is a complete turn off for me - show a serious lack of imagination.
Some "tools" are nothing more then a suspension clip or carabinder with a bottle opener.
I'm gonna have to make my own tool.
So glad I live in a country where not having a bottle opener isn't a disaster.
Drew Henry ·
I'm surprised more multitools don't have rulers on them. Ruler is probably my third most used tool after knife and flashlight. Most of them have a flat edge, shouldn't be too hard to print a few lines on it.
weehawk ·
I do carry a small folding ruler with me, funnily enough.
Jim O ·
A carbide scriber can be used to mark any multitool with a ruler. My Leatherman Wave already has a ruler, but I marked the flat edge of the saw for quick measurements in millimeters. I used a micrometer when I scribed the marks because it has conveniently parallel jaws to make nice lines. Don't need inches because that's an easy conversion.
Omega ·
Interesting concept of multi tools. certainly will be of good use
Richard Osterhout ·
I had the Swiss+Tech key once, but it eventually broke apart and no longer could stay on my keychain. I now have the True Utility KeyTool, which allows you to fit a regular key inside of it, which helps protect from inadvertent pokings...
Love multitools, just also backed another multitool MultiGrip on Kickstarter
Ken C ·
Had the Swiss key, the problem was when opening bottles you have to grip the blade.... Not a fan of that!! I do like the look and design of the MSTR key seems to have everything you need and nothing you don't. You did leave one multitool off the list that I have now and absolutely love: the Gerber Shard. Compact and versatile and easily fits on your keys
Drew Henry ·
You should be gripping the screwdriver part, not the blade. Takes a lot of force to open, though.
Omega ·
On my list of EDC key holders along with multi tool keys and keys that open locks (lockpicks) is something i am certainly going to get. very good information based
Lo ·
I bought the SOG key knife last year. I got a complete knock-off. Next time I'll remember to check who the seller is on Amazon, haha.
Bas ·
Got the swiss tech for years now. Its razor sharp and used the saw and flat head lots of times. Definitely stays on my keychain :)
Marc Gelman ·
The Nomad key has been fantastic for the rare time when my phone (or one of my work colleague's phones) dies. I've owned one for a few years. The price has always seemed a bit steep to me. But on the occasion when it's needed, it feels priceless.
Karl Hicks ·
I love the SOG Key knife. I think I'd buy one as more of a curiosity, though. The Streamlight Keymate however I think is absolutely brilliant.
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