Keychain alternatives for the fingernail-less


May 13, 2012

The Freekey keyring opens with a push

The Freekey keyring opens with a push

Image Gallery (5 images)

The keyring is a true nemesis for those of us with short nails - such a simple contraption capable of bringing such deep frustration and resentment. Two innovative redesigns improve upon the traditional keyring, making keys easy to organize for all. The Freekey lets you pop it open with a push and the Carabiner Key gets rid of it completely.

I'm a habitual nail biter, so when I need to take my key off the keyring, it goes something like this: focus all the muscle strength and energy in my body onto my fingertips to try to get enough grip to pull the coil up. Give up after about ten minutes and find a knife, pin or other sharp implement to wedge into the keyring. Pierce my flesh with said sharp implement and spend the next five minutes washing and bandaging. Come back, start all over again with sharp implement and finally get the damn key off. Take nap.

There should be a better way - and, it turns out, there is. The Freekey (say it quickly aloud and you'll realize that's just a great product name) is a very simple but marked upgrade over the average keyring. With an extra curve in its metal, it gives you push-button key removal. Simply push down and the end of the coil pops open, allowing you to slide your key right on or off with the least bit of effort and no extra tools. The only problem with the Freekey is that every keyring manufacturer to ever exist hasn't been using it since the beginning of keyring manufacturing.

If you've had enough experiences like mine, your disdain for the keyring may be such that you want to get rid of it altogether, not just improve upon it. Well, then you may want the Carabiner Key. This handy device channels the rock climbing carabiner in cutting out the individual-key keyring altogether. Simply press the hinged gate open, attach it to or detach it from your main keyring or keychain and you're done.

Source: Fenix Outfitters via Gear Hungry, Amron Experimental

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

I do German car repair, this looks like an excellent idea, the number of mostly female clients that I help with keys, this would help those without nails, and more important, those who fret about breaking a nail, or heaven forbid scratching one

Bill Bennett

The Freekey looks like that ring will get hung up on and pull threads all the time. Besides I can usually use the key I'm adding or removing to open the ring.


I disagree with slowburn, assuming that the designers and manufacturers are smart enough to make sure that the open state is unstable. I.e. the only stable state of the freekey should be closed. A reasonable amount of pressure on the ring should open it up (must be enough pressure that it is unlikely to happen by chance, but not so much that it requires a body-builder.

This design, executed properly has tremendous potential.


There are already a lot of practical alternatives to the split ring, from flexible steel cables with various closures including threaded barrels and ball & socket couplings to any of a number of thin carabiners. Even the classic cam-closure rings used for decades. Anyone who hasn't already found something that works for them hasn't been looking.

The Freekey looks to me like the inventor was playing around with wave springs.


can anyone else say FINALLY!? sure there are other alternatives, but none are as durable, cheap, and simple as a metal ring with no hinges or clasps. i think putting the right crimp on a regular keyring might also just turn one into this.

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