I’d never seen anything like this before…
I don’t remember exactly how I ran across the KeySmart Lite, but once I saw it, I had to have it! You’ve got options when it comes to organizing your keys… but most of the time you end up with a tangled mess of metal that just jabs you in your thigh all day… at least that used to be the case for me until I started carrying my KeySmart Lite. Check out my review below and let me know what you think
KeySmart Lite: Keeping It Smart, Keeping It Light
When I first ran across the KeySmart Lite I used my review as an excuse to take out two birds with one stone. The holidays were approaching so I wanted to see if it would make a good gift. I picked a couple of them and have used them in my “Every Day Carry” kit for over a year. The result is a long-term review of this unique and helpful product.
The inventor of the KeySmart wanted a better way to organize his keys. He found the current solutions lacking and decided to come up with a new method. So he experimented with a number of different prototypes before settling on the current design. The goal was to reduce or eliminate key chatter, leg poke, and clothing damage due to unsheathed keys. The result was the KeySmart line.
The KeySmart is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and is elegantly rounded. The design is good for either carrying in your pocket or on your keychain. The keys are placed on stainless steel pegs with nylon washers as spacers. Think of it as a key sandwich with the keys as the meat and the aluminum external plates acting as the bread. This allows the keys to be folded in and out of the KeySmart, similar to a folding knife or Swiss Army tool. It is a simple, elegant, yet rugged design.
There are four different models of KeySmart, which differentiate in size and material. There is the Lite model, which is the shortest and is designed for keys up to 65mm long. The Extended model is exactly the same except it can take keys up to 80mm long. The Titanium is the same as the Extended but it is made from…Titanium. Recently, they also came out with the Rugged version. It is similar to the Extended model except it is a bit thicker and has a removable pocket clip. The stainless steel hardware and nylon washer are the same in all models.
What is interesting are the optional accessories that you can get with a KeySmart. In essence, you can assemble your own multi-tool from these items including:
- Quick disconnect
- Bottle opener
- USB 2.0 memory stub
- USB 3.0 memory stub
- Key ring loop
- Golf divot tool
- Nano tool set:
- Pocket clip
My guess is there will be more tools coming out in the future. They also sell expansion kits that allow you to make the KeySmart wider and able to handle more keys.
You can buy a KeySmart Lite from the manufacturer’s website for $16.99 although they offer deals from time to time. The accessories can vary in price from a couple of bucks to over twenty depending on what you get.
After I got my KeySmart, I decided to look at how to properly assemble it. It arrives disassembled so you have to put it together yourself, which is no big deal. The trick is to get everything spaced properly so all items can swing properly. It took me a couple of attempts before I got it right. My configuration was two keys on one end with the key ring loop on the other since I would carry it externally on my carabiner. Once I got everything set, spaced, and cinched-down I put a key ring through it and started carrying it.
KeySmart Lite- The Good:
It was a great change from having multiple keys on individual rings dangling all the time. I liked that fact that my keys were tucked away and wouldn’t poke anything if I sat down or get caught on something. In addition, there is less danger of scraping or scratching other items if I brush up against them. It is hard to believe that something so simple would be such a welcome addition to managing my keys.
KeySmart Lite- The Bad:
There were some things that were a bit disappointing though. The tools I purchased (the bottle opener and Nano wrench were a bit…meh. There is a high novelty and cool factor to them, but when it comes to functionality they are a bit limited. Plus, the KeySmart is designed to work with flat keys that have a center hold in the end. Oddball keys like Kensington locks or PC case locks won’t work in a KeySmart, which is a result of its design. None of these are show-stoppers, but it can limit the number of keys one can put on it.
For what it is designed for, the KeySmart works well. I have used mine for the better part of two years now and don’t want to go without mine. Now that my keys are protected by it, I appreciate having a KeySmart.
- Lightweight but rugged
- Expandable and customizable
- Elegant design
- Easily fits into your pocket or onto your keychain
- A bit of trial and error getting it properly assembled
- Some accessories are of limited use in real-life situations
techandTOOLS shows a video review on KeySmart 2.0 vs Keyport Slide 2.0:
The KeySmart is a good, solid item that I am glad to own. I like the fact you can manage your keys and selected tools within it, which reduces noise and possible physical damage. However, it is a nice-to-have tool in my opinion. I like it and wouldn’t give mine up, but it isn’t a must-have like a Leatherman Micra or a good LED flashlight. Get one if you have a few bucks in your pocket, but you can put this one lower on your shopping list than other, more important, items.
Overall Rating 6/10
Do you own a KeySmart Lite or still plan on getting one? Please share in comments below!
Here are 4 ways to duplicate keys by hand!
Featured image via Flickr