The usefulness and necessity of a good EDC pocket knife is universally well known, and no self-respecting outdoorsman, adventurer – or anyone who prides himself on being prepared – heads out without one. By their very nature, pocket knives are compact and convenient, sliding right into your pocket or clipping to your belt without taking up too much space. Still, there are places and occasions where a regular pocketknife is just too big. It’s these times when keychain knives come in to play.
Keychain knives are essentially small pocket knives that not only fit in your pocket but are small enough to attach right on your keychain or lanyard. While some are nothing more than ultra-mini pocket knives (with blades of say, 1.2″), others actually take on the appearance of a doorkey, so as to blend in with the rest of your accessories. Some even take on the form of a box cutter or compact razor-blade.
Whichever type you are drawn to yourself, there’s a handful out there to choose from. Here are a few of our favorite keychain knives for you to choose from.
The Porter Key Knife from Everyman is an ultra-compact, folding keychain knife for when covertness is key. Made to look like an everyday door key, it has a 1.2″ folding blade made from 3CR13 Stainless steel – tiny, yes, but perfect for small jobs and taking with you literally anywhere you go. There is also a handy bottle opener, and a reinforced stainless steel keyring. To top it all off, the Porter Key Knife weighs just an ounce.
The Delilah’s PECK stands for Precision Engineered Compact Knife, which is an apt, descriptive name. It weights less than one ounce, and has a closed length of 2.625″ – putting it on par with the Porter Key Knife when it comes to compactness and convenience. The blade is a Wharncliffe, made from 420j2 stainless steel with a bead-blast finish and RC 51-53 hardness. The blade size is perfect for small cutting tasks, while the whole thing fits perfectly in your pocket.
SOG takes the whole idea of keychain knife quite literally, actually making a knife in the appearance of a legitimate door key. It fits right in on your keychain without garnering attention, with a 1.5″ folding blade inside made from5Cr13MoV stainless steel. At only .7 oz, the SOG Key Knife is practically weightless, and at 2.5″ folded, unnoticeable in your pocket. Perfect for small everyday tasks like cutting string, opening packages and light outdoor jobs. If discreet is key, this is the knife you’re looking for.
The Ladybug3 is another ultra-lightweight knife, measuring in at 2.438″ closes and weighing a mere .6 oz. It has SpyderCo’s trademark appearance, with a hollow ground VG-10 stainless steel blade that measures 1.687″ and is .78″ thick. The handle is black fiberglass-reinforced nylon, and has a small lanyard hole for attaching to your keychain. The Ladybug is perhaps one of the heavier-duty, more traditional keychain knives on our list, but don’t let that fool you; this is a seriously small and lightweight that handles all kinds of cutting jobs.
The GDC Zip Blade is something a little different, not so much a pocket knife as a hybrid knife and razor blade. It’s only 1.7″ long (2.26″ including lanyard) and 1 oz. The quick-release lets out a .68″, 7Cr17 stainless steel blade with one thumb, and frame-lock keeps the whole thing sturdy enough for everyday cutting jobs, such as rope, cardboard or stripping wire. The built-in fob attaches easily to your keychain, belt or bag for ready access.
Don’t let the tiny size fool you. This thing is made by Gerber, and it’s a solid piece of gear, barely noticeable on your keychain but always accessible and convenient for even the smallest of tasks.