The 13 Best Keychain Multi-Tools For EDC

Oct 22, 2020

Category: Gear

For fans of DIY fixes, multi-tools are one of the best kinds of everyday carry gear around. They’re a good deal more compact than standard full-sized tools, they take up less space, and — when properly designed and built — can still perform most of the same tasks as a fully-loaded toolbox. Even still, some people have a hard time finding the space for a standard-sized multi-tool in their carry.

Whether you’re a minimalist or you just can’t reasonably find room for a larger multi-tool, you’re not completely out of luck. If you’re willing to make somewhat of a concession regarding overall functionality (hopefully not too much), you can still add one of these handy devices to your EDC loadout in the form of an even more compact option. And we’ve rounded up 13 of the best on the following list of the best keychain multi-tools for EDC.

Nite Ize DoohicKey

Incredibly inexpensive, yet still markedly useful, the Nite Ize DoohicKey is kind of legendary — at least as far as keychain multi-tools are concerned. Made from stainless steel and incorporating an impressive 5+ tools into its construction, there’s no beating this as a bargain-bin option. In fact, its built-in carabiner clip means you don’t even need a keychain to carry it with you on your person or in your bag.

No. of Tools: 5+
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 2.7″

Purchase: $5

CRKT Pryma

If you were waiting to see a reputable brand you know you can trust, the CRKT Pryma is here for you — even if you’re on an extreme budget. Designed by Jesper Voxnaes — a master knife designer with a long history of superb offerings — this clever keychain multi-tool boasts 5+ built-in tools ranging from a pry bar to a stepped hex wrench. It’s also crafted from sturdy stainless steel and has its own spring-loaded carabiner gate for easy attachment and removal on-the-fly. It is a bit on the larger side at 3.25″ in length, but it’s still quite compact and carry-friendly.

No. of Tools: 5+
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 3.25″

Purchase: $7

Kershaw PT-2

Another reputable brand in the EDC space, Kershaw has a slew of small-scale one-piece multi-tools in their arsenal. We’re particularly fond of their PT-2 you see here, however, for its small footprint, 8+ built-in tools (including wrenches, a pry bar, drivers, and a bottle opener), glass-filled nylon overlay for better grip, stainless steel construction, etc. Truly, with this keychain multi-tool, the hits just keep coming.

No. of Tools: 8+
Material: 8Cr13MoV
Length: 3.25″

Purchase: $8

Gerber Shard

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Gerber Shard set the standard for one-piece keychain multi-tools. In fact, despite the fact that this device has been in circulation for years at this point, it’s still just as relevant today as it was when it first came out. This particular version boasts a titanium nitride-coated stainless steel construction, 6+ built-in tools (including a handy bottle opener), and it comes with a lifetime warranty. Thousands of positive reviews can’t really be wrong, right?

No. of Tools: 6+
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 2.75″

Purchase: $8

Gerber Mullet

If you like the idea of Gerber’s Shard, but you want something that just has a bit more functionality, you may be interested in their spiritual sequel, the uniquely-named Mullet. At 3 inches in length, this tool is definitely compact enough for most keychains. However, it packs a whopping 9+ built-in tools — which is pretty impressive for its size, especially considering that it’s a one-piece tool. Better still, it’s perfectly TSA-friendly, so you can take it on travel, as well.

No. of Tools: 9+
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 3″

Purchase: $9

Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife

This list absolutely wouldn’t be complete without including the Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife. Complete with the brand’s signature styling, this micro-sized version of the iconic SAK is perfectly keychain-sized, yet it still manages to pack in a whopping seven different functions — including a knife blade, spring-loaded scissors, and more. And while it’s useful in any colorway, it’s also worth noting that it is available in more available colors and prints than any of the other multi-tools on this list by a wide margin.

No. of Tools: 7+
Material: Stainless Steel & ABS/Cellidor
Length: 2.28″ (Closed)

Purchase: $15

Gerber Dime

Another returning champion, the Gerber Dime is one of the most recognizable and lauded keychain multi-tools around. And, like its more compact sibling, the Shard, it’s still just as relevant today as it was when it was first released. Not only is this bad boy crafted from sturdy stainless steel from tip to tail, but it boasts an impressive array of built-in tools — 12+ by our estimation — all in a package that collapses down to just 2.75″ when closed. Truly, for the price, this one is really tough to beat.

No. of Tools: 12+
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 2.75″ (Closed)

Purchase: $18

SOG Crosscut

SOG is probably best known for their tactical-focused bladed tools — including things like combat knives, hatchets and tomahawks, and (of course) EDC folding blades. However, they’re also quite adept at making multi-tools, as is exemplified by their keychain-friendly Crosscut. More traditional and streamlined than some of its more aggressive siblings, the Crosscut folds down to just 2.5 inches, it’s crafted from sturdy stainless steel, and it has 9+ built-in tools and functions. If we had to describe this tool in three words, they might be: simple, elegant, and useful.

No. of Tools: 9+
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 2.5″ (Closed)

Purchase: $20

Griffin Pocket Tool

Variety is the spice of life, so they say. In that regard, the suite of Griffin Pocket Tools is spicy indeed. While this brand’s pocketable and keychain-friendly multi-tools all have the same instantly-recognizable silhouette, they vary in size, functionality, materials (including titanium), and even finishes. At their smallest, the GPT measures up at just 2″ in length — and 4.3″ at the longest. They’re also available in stainless steel or titanium and boast anywhere from 8-15+ built-in functions.

No. of Tools: 8-15+
Material: Stainless Steel or Titanium
Length: 2-4.3″

Purchase: $20+

Leatherman Micra

If you’re surprised to see that Leatherman made this list, you’ve probably not been paying attention, as they’ve been at the forefront of the multi-tool industry for longer than EDC (at least as we understand it today) has even been a thing. One of the brand’s most popular and time-tested offerings in the realm of keychain multi-tools is the Micra. And the fact that it is still in production after over 20 years should go a long way to explaining just how good it is. Of course, you can always check out the 10-in-1 multi-tool for yourself.

No. of Tools: 10+
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 2.5″ (Closed)

Purchase: $30

Leatherman Squirt PS4

If you want something with a more modern design, but you’re still attached to the trustworthiness that comes along with the Leatherman name, you should check out the Squirt PS4. It has one fewer built-in tool than the Micra, clocking in at 9 in total, but it’s also slightly smaller when closed and, therefore, more carry-friendly. Not to mention it comes with the brand’s 25-year guarantee, which means you can trust this bad boy day-in and day-out for all your small-scale DIY needs.

No. of Tools: 9+
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 2.25″ (Closed)

Purchase: $36

The James Brand Halifax

As far as one-piece multi-tools are concerned, the billed titanium James Brand Halifax might just be the most elegant we’ve ever come across. It’s also compact at under 3″ in length, features a secure closed-loop for easy and secure keychain and/or lanyard attachment, boasts an integrated bottle opener, and comes with numerous other built-in functions. Yes, it is a touch pricey compared to other options, but that’s what you pay for this quality.

No. of Tools: 5+
Material: 6AL4V Billet Titanium
Length: 2.875″

Purchase: $50

MecArmy FL10 Titanium Carabiner

MecArmy’s FL10 Titanium Carabiner isn’t so much a keychain multi-tool as it is a keychain alternative itself. Still, it’s so unique and impressive that we’re okay with fudging the numbers on this one. For starters, this device is made from ultra-sturdy titanium — making it about as formidable as keychain carabiners come. But it also has a built-in rechargeable flashlight — complete with a 360-lumen output, five illumination modes, and more. Beyond that, it boasts four other tools (including a bottle opener), a spring-loaded gate, and more.

No. of Tools: 5+
Material: TC4 Titanium
Length: 3.524″

Purchase: $130

The 10 Best Multi-Tools

While keychain-sized EDC tools are great for convenience, they’re handy at the expense of their overall functionality and, in some cases, durability. If you’re less concerned with size than performance, you might find what you’re looking for on our guide to the best multi-tools that aren’t limited by size and scope.

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