Skip to main content

The Best Keychain Multi Tool: The Ultimate Guide

Have you ever been caught in a situation where you forgot something? Something simple, not essential, but something that could have made your life a whole hell of a lot easier. You know, a knife, a corkscrew, scissors, or the like. There is nothing really like wanting to open a bottle of wine and realizing you’re empty handed right? Worse I supposed if you’re knifeless when you want to eat or cut something.

It happens. It actually happens a lot more than we would think.

In the mix of making sure you have the items you MOST need, it is easy to forget the items you should have. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but it’s not. I mean, are you going to triple check that you have your sleeping bag and tent, or a wine key? It is common for adventurers to pack their bags ALMOST efficiently but end up forgetting one or two of the most important tools.

One way of avoiding this oversight is having a keychain multi tool. You know what the boy scouts say, always be prepared. With a muti-tool keychain and your creativity, you’re going to be ready for just about anything.

What Is a Keychain Multi Tool?

To put it simply, a keychain multi tool is a set of small tools that you can attach to your key ring. A good one should contain every (or a majority of) essential tools you might need to survive in the woods, everyday life, or a post-apocalyptic type of scenario. We will discuss the particular tools later, but for now how about we understand this tool a bit more.

The distinguishing factor of a keychain multi tool is the fact that it is small enough to fit on your keychain. There is no excuse for not having something that is so useful and so convenient at hand at all times. Another option, if you don’t have your keys to get too bulky is to simply throw it in your purse or pocket.

Sure, a mutli-tool keychain isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of essentials that you need to have, but take a second thought. Tools are made for a reason, they’re they key to so many things. There is zero downside and only tremendous upside if you are the person that has the right tools at hand for any situations. By carrying it you will have every tool that you need with you every time.

Yes, lock outs don’t happen every day, but when they do, you want to be able to handle the situation on the spot. Not have to run around town, calling friends, digging through your pile of tools to find the ones you need. Without a multi tool keychain, you would be forced to carry each tool individually and that is one hassle that you don’t want to put yourself through.

Contrary to what you might think, keychain multi tools are not just for the outdoors. Best believe that you will still need them to do a few tasks at home even if you have a huge collection of larger tools.

The Tools

We’ve mentioned ‘tools’ many times and you’re probably wondering what these tools consist of. Well, traditionally, most keychain attachments come with just one or two basic tools, like a knife and can opener. Nowadays, multi tools pack far more than that.

If you look at the top brands, which we cover at the end of this article, you see that you can practically rely on this one device for virtually every excursion and activity. This ranges from cutting ropes to sharpening sticks and even removing nails and screws among many others.

Leatherman - Wingman Multitool, Stainless Steel - 1

One thing to keep in mind is that while a multi tool with so many tools is a great to have, if it has more tools than you need, it will just end up being unnecessarily large and heavy. However, at the same time if it has very few tools it might be insufficient for most tasks. So, when you’re picking out which one is the right one for you, be sure to keep in mind what you’re needs are, and what situations you will most likely find yourself in. That way you will be able to choose one that suits perfectly.

At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that different situations require different tools. For instance, when trying to repair a broken car you won’t need the same tools that you might need when you are out camping. The good thing is that you can buy several multi tools and dedicate each to a specific situation. In fact, that way you will get the best from each multi tool because you will have selected one that comes with the necessary tools for a particular purpose. Have one for camping or when you go outdoors, store one in your car, and have a screw and tool purposed on your keychain at all times. The affordability of these tools makes it possible, and practical to have more than one.

The Must Haves

All in all, here are some tools that you should have in your multi tool because of their importance:

1. Knife

It is really hard to get a multi tool that doesn’t have a pocket knife. That is because it is the most versatile tool. You can use it to open, cut, shape, sharpen, or notch things. It even becomes a self-defense weapon when you are attacked.

Just make sure to keep the size of the blade in mind when choosing yours. A large one, over 3 inches, will not be allowed through security checks. So if you are shopping for a multi tool that you will carry with you wherever you go, you want to make sure it has a small blade or remember to check it in with your luggage at the airport.

2. Serrated knife

This saw-like knife differs from the ordinary knife because it can cut through wood with easily. That makes it an extremely convenient tool to have when you are out camping or on excursions. It might not be helpful when you want to break down big trees or huge branches for setting up a camp, but it will certainly come in handy when you are cutting small branches for things like making a fire.

3. Pliers

The pliers that you get in a multi tool are not the large type that can remove nine-inch nails but they will still help you in a number of ways. Most of these small types are designed to break things and turn screws or bolts.

4. Screwdriver

If whatever activity you are involved in includes dealing with screws, then you definitely need this tool in your multi tool set. Depending on its size, you can use it for a variety of functions, ranging from building things to tightening your glasses’ screws (for those who wear glasses).

Seeing that a screwdriver and a plier might be able to do similar things, if you are in a position of having to give up one, you can compromise one for the other. If you feel that you will need a screwdriver more, then you can choose not to have a plier.

The same applies to the other tool options. If there are two or more that can help with the same tasks, you can settle for one and leave the other. That will ensure that you don’t carry around a multi tool that will be too heavy for your keychain.

Speaking of other tools, apart from the four that we have explained above, you still have a variety of selections that you can have included in your set. They include a pair of scissors, can opener, bottle opener, fruit/cable peeler, awl, ruler, and nail file, among others.

Who Should Have a Keychain Multi Tool?

Keychain multi tools are meant for pretty much everyone. Of course, it isn’t safe to buy one for a child, but any grown person of any gender can, and should, purchase and use a keychain multi tool. You never know the next time you will be stranded somewhere or find yourself in a situation where the thing standing between total despair and you getting out of sticky situation could be solved with one of the tools on your keychain. It could be pliers to take off boards that are trapping you in, a knife to cut rope to bandage a wound, or a screwdriver to screw in a bolt that will allow a machine to work.

These tools are not a new invention. Multi tools have been in existence for a while now but it was not until 1984 when one Tim Leatherman invented the “Pocket Survival Tool”. This single creation eventually led to the production of general purpose and special purpose multi tools that we have today. It is safe to say that we have been depending on these tools ever since.

The good thing is that they pack so many smaller tools within one streamlined tool. That makes it very easy to carry and use. And you don’t even need any specialized training or knowledge to operate them. Grab one today and you will be surprised at just how comfortable your life will get.

But before you pick randomly, there a number of things to consider when finding the right one. One that will actually come through for you when you need it. That is why we have dedicated the next section to helping you choose the best keychain multi tool.

Comprehensive Buying Guide

If you are looking to buy the most effective keychain multi tool, you need to look beyond the tools that it will bring to the table. Yes, they are the most important features, but they’ll be useless if you don’t consider these other factors:

The material

The material of your keychain multi tool influences two things – its strength and durability. You want a tool that is strong enough to actually do its job. You definitely don’t want something whose parts will keep breaking or bending right when you’re counting on it to get out a jam.

With that in mind, remember that tools like screwdrivers will have to face steel-made screws. And what better material to match steel than steel. Apart from being extremely strong, steel multi tools are also very durable. More particularly, you should choose stainless steel because it won’t rust and wear out quickly. It’s also very easy to clean.

The brand

From the surface it might look like all multi tools are the same. This is not the case.

Just like buying a car, vacuum cleaner, TV, and so many other things, brands matter. Different manufactures offer different quality items. While some are of unquestionable quality, others will leave you high and dry in your time of need.

Renowned brands are always a safe bet, but it is even safer to try out the multi tool before you buy it. The problem is, you won’t always get that chance. The solution to this dilemma is to go online and look at independent user reviews that cover the pros and cons of each product.

If you can’t physically test the tool yourself, word of mouth and reviews are the best way to do for judging the quality of the items.

Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife, Red - 36


We are not talking about just any multi tool here; it is specifically a keychain multi tool. It is called a KEYCHAIN multi tool for a reason – it should be small enough to fit on pretty much any keychain. I’m sure this is perfectly clear.

Small is good, but it should also be light enough so that it doesn’t weight you down. Bulky, heavy key chains are a nuisance, and you don’t want that.


If you are finding it a bit too hard to judge a multi tool’s quality by its manufacturer, you can go a step further and look at the warranty that comes with the product. Longer warranty terms usually reflect high-quality.

If the manufacturer knows that the product is not worth your penny, they won’t offer a lifetime guarantee because they know that it will fail and that will force them to pay out more than they want to. While they might just be worried about the price, when you find yourself in a situation, you’re not going to be concerned about the pennies you spent. You just want a tool that you know is going to work, and get you out of a jam. Getting your money back won’t be your first priority.

Take the warranty into account before you purchase your tool.

The price

There are two things that should come to mind when you think of the price of a keychain multi tool.

Firstly, is it worth the cost? Although multi tools are generally affordable, there are certain high-end models that are a bit more expensive than the normal stuff. Of course, the higher price means better quality. By spending a little more, you can get a highly customized, stainless steel set of tools that will deliver as promised. Additionally, the manufacturer is likely to have packed a wide variety of tools into that single set.

If the price sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Tools are one of those things that it just makes sense, and really pays off to have once good set that works, rather than 5 budget items, that don’t quite cut it.

That said, you should take time to compare different brands. If one keychain multi tool goes for, let’s say, $120 and another one goes for $60, yet they both have the same tools, you might want to pause and think of what the $120 one has, that the $60 one doesn’t. If they are not so different, then it’s probably a good idea to go with the cheaper one. All in all, you have to find a way of balancing the features with the cost.

Secondly, you also want to think about your budget. How much do you have to spare for your keychain multi tool? Buying your set of tools won’t break the bank, but it is also important it doesn’t eat up the funds you were setting aside for something else.


It’s only sensible that you get a tool that can you will actually use and that you will actually find useful.

See if you can determine how easy it will be to pull out each feature. It shouldn’t be a struggle to pry the blade out every time you need to cut something. In an emergency scenario this will only worsen the situation. Save yourself time and effort by finding a tool that you can use without much effort. It is there to help you after all, not to cause more problems.

Should You Buy A Keychain Multi Tool?

In all honesty, a keychain multi tool is a great possession. It will come in handy more often than you would ever think. While most situations aren’t impossible to manage without it, many of them could be drastically improved if you had one. That is a value that is worth far more than the cost of a multitool.

The biggest advantage of owning one is that it is very portable. You just need to attach it to your keychain and you won’t even know it is there. At least not as long as you are comfortable and everything around you is okay.

But as soon as things go south, you will realize that those seemingly small set of tools can cut small branches, open bottles, crash glasses, injure an assailant, and drive/remove screws among many other things. That goes to show just how important a keychain multi tool is.

In short, you definitely need at least one. If you won’t use it in an emergency situation, it will give you some much needed peace of mind when you are out and about doing unpredictable activities.

Now that we’ve covered the multi took extensively, it’s time to talk about the bigger, ‘badder’, set of tools you might need if you really find yourself in a tricky situation.

For example, if you are out camping and need posts for constructing a small structure, a keychain multi tool will probably just isn’t going to cut it. The good news is that you can always supplement it with other tools.

What Alternatives Are Available?

So, if your keychain multi tool can’t help you, what can? Well, you have three options:

Belt or pocket multi tool

These are very similar to the keychain multi tools except they are a little bigger. The extra size means that each piece will have a few extra inches to give you a bit more leverage while using it. In most cases you will also get more pieces than what you stand to get in a keychain multi tool.

The larger size does not always translate to bulkiness. Most pocket multi tools are very easy to carry. As the name suggests, you can either carry them in your pocket, purse, or attached to your belt. So, if your keychain already has too many things, you can consider this option.

Bag multi tool

If you’re out and about and just need more heavy duty tools, this might be a good option. A bag multi tool requires a bag, as you may have already guessed. Usually, they’re sold as a full set of tools that come with a specially designed bag which has a specific spot for each tool. This make it easy to carry around, easy to keep organized, and comes with a bag that won’t rip under the weight of your tools.

Although bag multi tools are common among professionals (like plumbers, mechanics, and other handy professionals), there is nothing keeping you from owning one too. But you must consider portability and the fact that you cannot pass security checks with Just keep in mind, you’re probably not going to be able to get through security with yout bag in hand. For this reason, this is a great bundle to keep around the house or in your car, with a pocket tool or keychain multi tool set as well.

Full-size tools 

If the keychain, pocket, and the bag multi tools just aren’t doing it for you, you might be looking for some good old full sized tools. These are strong, sturdy, and reliable.

For example, the first three (keychain, pocket, and bag multi tools) are not cut out for tasks like constructing a shelter. You could consider using a bag multi tool, but you will take a longer time to get the job done.

With adequate know-how and full-size tools, the same job will be a piece of cake. I’ve built mine up slowly, piece by piece as I have needed them. Soon you’ll have a complete set of only the tools you know you’ll actually used. Since these items tend to be a little more expensive, take the time to think about which ones you’ll really used before buying them all.

Final Thoughts

The takeaway point from all this is that you need a keychain multi tool. It will help you solve all the problems that require small tools like a pocket knife or serrated blade. But before you dash to the store and make a random pick from the wide variety of keychain multi tool models, you should sit down and evaluate your needs.

What do you intend to use the tool for? How much are you willing to spend on it? Questions like these will help you make the right choice. Remember that there is something for every budget. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need a multi tool that can actually meet your needs. You don’t want to be out there stranded with something that looks really fancy but performs very poorly. In any case, this guide is always here to help you make the right choice. Use it and you won’t go wrong.

Related Posts

No Comments found

Got a question or an opinion for this article? Share it with us!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *