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The 9 Best Keychain Multi-Tools to Carry Every Day

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Photo: The James Brand Halifax

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.

The Best Keychain Multi-Tools

A Masterfully-Made Multi-Tool

What Factors To Consider When Buying A Keychain Multi-Tool

Because there are so many different keychain multi-tools on the market, all with their own unique shapes, sizes, and features, it can admittedly be a bit tricky knowing what to look for when you first start shopping — even more so if you don’t already possess a basic understanding of the EDC space. In an effort to help streamline your shopping experience, we’ve created this handy section on the most important areas to think about when purchasing a keychain multi-tool. 

Size: As you probably inferred from the name, keychain multi-tools are small and compact items that can easily be carried on a keychain. With that said, keychain multi-tools can still carry pretty considerably in term of size and footprint. While the larger items in this space are less pocketable, they almost always offer markedly more utility and functionality than their smaller counterparts. The trick here is finding a balance between size and utility. 

Materials: Just like with practically any EDC item or piece of gear, the materials used to make a keychain multi-tool will play an enormous role in its overall quality — more specifically it weight, performance, and durability. Because these items are made for daily carrying — and have to be able to withstand the abuses and rigors that come with that – they’re typically made from ultra-hard plastics or polymers, or metal alloys such as steel, brass, or titanium. 

Utility & Amenities: Much like full-size butterfly-opening Weatherman-style multi-tools, keychain multi-tools manage to cram an extraordinary number of tools and functions into an insanely compact and pocketable package. When shopping for one of these items, it’s essential to review the number of tools and functions that are included — with some of the most common on keychain multi-tools because small knives, razors, or cutting edges, bit drivers, bottle openers, and scraper tools. 

Mobility: While size obviously plays a role in mobility, what we’re referring to here is how a keychain multi-tool can be transported. The overwhelming majority of model on the market in this space come fitted with rings or openings to accommodate a keyring, though there are also some keychain multi-tools with integrated lanyard loops, pocket clips, and other items that afford additional means of carrying. 

Nite Ize DoohicKey

  • Super affordable at only $5
  • Surprisingly decent construction for the price
  • Contains half a dozen tools & functions
  • Features carabiner-style clip
  • Very cheap carabiner clip
  • Poor ergonomics makes pry bar difficult to use

Best Affordable Multi-Tool: 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″

CRKT Pryma

  • Designed by Jesper Voxnaes
  • Doubles as no-touch tool
  • Has usable pry bar
  • Features carabiner-style clip
  • Cheap carabiner clip
  • Somewhat large for a keychain tool at over 3″

Best Carabiner-Style Multi-Tool: 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″

Kershaw PT-2

  • Ultra-useful yet super lightweight 0.01oz tool
  • Made from 8Cr13MoV
  • Offers amazing bang for your buck
  • Sports glass-filled nylon scales
  • Features suite of most commonly-used tools
  • Ultra-low-profile design makes Phillips bit driver difficult to use

Best Value Multi-Tool: 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″

Gerber Shard

  • Super simple & minimalistic mono-construction multi-tool
  • All functions work incredibly well & are easy to use
  • Has fewer functions than most keychain multi-tools
  • Placement of circular opening makes it hang awkwardly from keyring

Best Minimalist Multi-Tool: 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″

Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife

  • Iconic, tried-and-true pocket knife/multi-tool
  • Made in Switzerland
  • Produced in more than a dozen color options
  • Ultra-lightweight & pocketable
  • Would be better for EDC if bottle-opener or bit driver was used in place of file

Best Classic Multi-Tool: 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)

Gerber Dime

  • Highly compact yet utilitarian butterfly-opening multi-tool
  • Loaded with over a dozen tools & functions
  • Offers great value compared to Leatherman products
  • Produced in multiple colors & finishes
  • This version not TSA compliant
  • Compact size limits grip & ergonomics

Best Overall Keychain Multi-Tool: 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)

The James Brand Halifax

  • Machined from 6AL4V titanium billet
  • Fortified via black Cerakote finish
  • Minimalist design packs scraper, bit driver, & pry bar
  • Has built-in 416 stainless steel bottle opener
  • Also offered in stonewashed titanium finish
  • Expensive price

Best Titanium Multi-Tool: 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″

Leatherman Micra

  • Mini version of iconic butterfly-opening Leatherman multi-tool
  • Has tools for grooming
  • Backed by 25-year warranty
  • Boasts 10 tools in sub-2oz package
  • Expensive price
  • Compact size limits grip & ergonomics

Best Butterfly-Opening Multi-Tool: 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)

Big Idea Design TPT Slide

Photo: Amazon
  • Made from top-shelf 6AL4V titanium
  • Has over a dozen metric & SAW wrench sizes
  • Updated design w/ body that’s 25% thicker
  • Sold w/ included leather sheath & 550 Paracord lanyard
  • Expensive price
  • Fork insert not very useful or helpful

Best Premium Multi-Tool: A certifiable pocketable powerhouse, the Big Idea Design TPT (Titanium Pocket Tool) Slide is a 3” x 1” keychain utility knife that also features a suite of integrated tools and functions such as a flathead driver, a scraper tool, a mini pry bar, a bottle opener, a stainless steel dual-function inser, and a universal wrench design that can accommodate more than a dozen metric and SAE sizes. Crafted from grade 5 titanium and mated together using #304 18/8 stainless steel Torx screws, the TPT Slide also sports a removable pocket clip and a keyring opening that comes outfitted with a 550 Paracord lanyard. 

No. of Tools: 11+
Material: Titanium
Length: 3.00″

The Best Keychain Flashlights

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Want to check out some other fantastic keychain-based everyday carry options? Then be sure to head over to our guide to the best keychain lights where a shine a light on a curated list of some of the latest and greatest mini EDC torches on the market.