Keychain knives are designed to save you the hassles of searching for a standard knife or pair of scissors when trying to open a package. They’re great for quick and easy cutting of fishing twine, rope, and trimming twigs for the campfire.
When it comes to picking the best keychain knife for your personal use, take into consideration the following key features discussed in more detail below.
Blade: Construction, Length, and Stability
A good quality keychain knife should have a blade made of high-quality stainless steel. The products we’ve reviewed are made with the following types of steel:
- 3Cr13 Mov steel: Good corrosion and wear resistant features. It’s a good steel for hardness and durability, and easy to sharpen.
- 440C steel: Known for its toughness properties, corrosion resistance and being easy to sharpen. It offers a good edge.
- 420j2 steel: Inexpensive with reasonable toughness, highly corrosion resistant and of medium quality.
- 7Cr17 steel: Easy to sharpen, good corrosion resistance and decent toughness.
- 5Cr13 MoV steel: Often used to make high-end kitchen knives. Good corrosion resistance and hardness.
- VG10 Damascus steel: Best quality Japanese steel with very hard cutting edge and sharp.
Take into consideration the length of the blade and for what purpose you’re using it for. Remember, these are small knives so blade lengths range from 0.99 inches to 1.95 inches.
Blade stability is important too, especially when in operation. A blade that wobbles could become dangerous and unreliable.
Handle: Construction and Grip
A good quality handle means your knife will last longer. It must be able to withstand tough conditions if you’re using the knife while camping, hiking, hunting, or fishing. A stainless steel handle would be the number one choice but aluminum alloy and good quality wood works well too.
While plastic may not be appealing to look at, a high-quality plastic handle does mean it’s durable and long-lasting. The scales encasing the handles should be durable, well-fitted, and comfortable to hold.
Make sure the handle is comfortable for your hand size and it’s easy to grip while using the blade.
Functionality and Purpose
The main function of a keychain knife is to perform common cutting tasks such as slicing through rope or twine, peeling fruits and vegetables, and cutting through packaging. But, some knives do come with other features including bottle openers, nail files, toothpicks, and tweezers.
While these are great-to-have features they’re not necessarily essential for a good keychain knife. But it does depend on the reason you want a keychain knife. If it’s for manicuring your fingernails, then the nail file will become vital.
Make sure you pick a keychain knife that includes a locking mechanism. This is useful when the blade is both open and closed. If the knife doesn’t come with a locking mechanism, ensure it can close securely without opening unexpectedly in your pocket. When the blade is open, see that it stays in place when you’re using it.
Ease of Use
Quick-release functions mean you can open the knife easily and quickly with one hand. If the knife has a thumb stud for manually opening the knife, make sure it’s not too difficult to operate if you have bigger fingers.
A keychain knife is meant to be tiny so if the blade needs to be opened manually with your fingers, make sure it’s not too small for your particular hand and finger size.