There’s one thing that my fiancee has been complaining about since day one: my keychain. Like many other males I had way too many keys and had determined that the best way to carry them was on a carabiner attached to a belt loop on my pants. This method ensured that the keys were easy to access yet securely attached to my person but had the unfortunate effect that I jingled everywhere I went, which was apparently unacceptable. I needed a better solution. Enter: the KeyBar.

I had seen an advertisement for the KeyBar online in a couple places and it sounded like a good idea. A compact organizer for my keys that would keep them from poking my legs? Sign me up! So I plopped down my hard earned cash and ordered a set from the website.

The KeyBar is a device that sandwiches your keys between two aluminum or titanium covers, using a set of screws to keep it all together. The kit comes with three lengths of screws which fit 4, 8, or 12 keys, and more washers than you can shake a stick at. The website recommends putting one washer right against each of the sides, but putting them between each key as well tends to make things easier to use.

The design of this thing is pretty neat. The ends of the KeyBar are just big enough to enclose most keys, but not too big that they wont fit comfortably in the lock. Keys spin freely enough to get them out fairly quickly but not freely enough that they start spinning on their own in your pocket.

On one side of the bar is a belt clip to allow you to wear the KeyBar just like you would a knife — in your pocket. When you’ve actually got a knife in there already this can be a little much for one pocket, and the KeyBar definitely isn’t as slim as Benchmade sharing that same pocket. That said, it doesn’t really feel huge in the pocket and doesn’t get in the way of everyday tasks.

In terms of fit and finish the titanium version of the KeyBar is lightweight and smooth, something that I’m definitely comfortable keeping in my pockets and doesn’t hurt my hand at all when pulling it out or using it in a lock.

One of the best reasons I like the KeyBar is that not only does it keep your keys organized in a nifty container but it also allows for some more extensive tools to be added to your everyday carry setup. Instead of the tiny key-sized screwdrivers available the KeyBar gives you a ton more options, like this reversible screwdriver I have for mine. Also available are carabiners, combs, and USB drives.

I can hear Robert screaming into his computer now: “what the hell does this have to do with guns?!” Glad you asked! Another feature available on the KeyBar and advertised prominently on their site is a set of tools for the 5.56 NATO cartridge. The larger tool is a chamber scraper for built up carbon, the smaller forked one is designed to be used in case of a case head separation to remove the stuck case from your chamber, and the punch is just a punch (which is still incredibly useful). What’s nice is not only that KeyBar seems pro-2A enough to highlight these tools but they are actually legitimately useful in the field.

I think I’ve found the right solution for my key retention needs. It’s a compact design that doesn’t produce any noise, gives me more functionality than a normal ring would, and has plenty of leftover space for extra tools that I really could use on a daily basis. There are some competitors on the market for the same design already but

Specifications: KeyBar
Price: $45 (Aluminum), $65 (Titanium), $75 (treated titanium)
Website: https://www.keybar.us/

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ease of Installation: * * * *
In some ways it’s easier than a key ring since everything drops straight down onto the screws, but getting it assembled just the way you’d like it takes a couple tries.

Usefulness: * * * *
I’ve been using it for a while now and it isn’t any slower than the traditional keychain but with the added benefits of not jingling with every step.

Overall: * * * * *
I like it. I paid my own money for one and didn’t get any freebies for this review, and I’ll continue to use it for the forseeable future. I think it’s a great solution for a problem that every guy (and gal) in the U.S. faces on a daily basis: how do I carry all my stuff without sounding like a high school janitor?

62 Responses to Gear Review: KeyBar

    • Would’ve bought 2 at $10.99 for this soon-to-be-a-dollar-store-knockoff item. But $45-$75? Pound sand…!

  1. If you can downsize your keys to fit in this then you could also downsize your keys to fit a normal ring and just shove them in your pocket like everyone else. Just saying is all. I like mine on a ring. I can just hit my pocket and go yup, they’re there

      • Because this way key A doesn’t tangle up with loop B and make knot C that leaves you poking at keys in the driving snow.

        So by eliminating loop B your keys won’t form up into the son of a B anymore.

  2. The Keybar and some of the other key organization tools seem cool to me but I can’t justify the price for what they actually do/are.

    • That’s about the same conclusion I’ve come to. I’ve been eyeing them for a while and think they’re cool, but I haven’t been able to force myself to hit “add to cart.”

      That’s not saying if I find one in the wild somewhere it won’t be an impulse buy…

      • “That’s not saying if I find one in the wild somewhere it won’t be an impulse buy…”

        A man after my own heart.

    • Right? I can promise you that nobody actually uses that many keys in their day to day life. Unless you’ve got a ring of building keys, but those should probably be kept separate from your personal keys.

      Instead of finding a way to carry a ton of keys more easily, find a way to not carry so many keys all the time. Simplify and add less pocket-shit.

      • Maybe not in your world, but in mine I have keys to several padlocks, tool-boxes, cabinets and doors that I have with me virtually every day. I also have keys to my house and my car. In total, I have five key rings with 16 keys spread across them in my pocket right now. This seems like it might be a viable solution to the inherent problems generated by that many keys.

    • While it doesn’t sound as cool as “Keybar” or come with any cool attachments, I use one that is the exact same style and has held up pretty well for the couple of months I’ve had it. Hiho Swiss army knife style key holder, they’re like $10 on Amazon. Just throwing it out there for y’all.

    • It was an excellent suggestion Christmas present suggestion for the gf who wanted to buy me something gun related but wouldn’t know where to begin otherwise. YMMV but that was a good way to acquire one on my end.

  3. I have a competitor to this and carry a custodians load of keys with it so I will weigh in on the concept. Much better than a giant, jangley ring but with a few drawbacks I don’t see this product addressing. One: accessing individual keys is more difficult if you have the tension set tight enough. Two: you really need to memorize every keys position unless you fan them all out to identify by sight. three; the axle bolts continuously loosen with use. Now, if you start with a bunch of individual key blanks and have therm all cut at the same time it helps a ton, you can also color code. Also cutting notches in the sides as a kind of thumb lever aids things considerably. And finally, some wave washers to keep things tensioned. A G-10 handle with a liner and a lanyard loop would be nice as well.

      • Yep have been using one now for 2 years, Blue Loctite did what it is supposed to do. They also sell spacers you can use to make accessing your common keys like say your front door key faster.

        This product is far superior to the Key-Smart, I had THREE Key-Smarts break apart on my in a year and finally I said no more.

  4. I’ve been using an industrial safety pin (the kind that you would find to secure duffel bags for commercial cleaning companies). Had it for about 15 years. Mine came from the now gentrified closed state hospital. Never looked back.

  5. I was in the Kroger the other day (King Soopers) and was idly observing the passerby. I saw a big jangly key ring. My eye drawn to that, I saw a black plastic clip on his belt. Noticing THAT, I saw the print of (probably) a double stack 9mm autoloader, made in Austria.

    Concealed means concealed. Dump the ‘biner, man. That was cool when I was in high school, and that was way back when Ferris Bueller was playing with GI Joe. Truth be told, I carry a small pack my wife calls my man purse. I won’t argue the description. Knife, change, lighter, and earplugs are the only things I pocket.

    • If you actually pay attention you’ll find that most people who carry a gun concealed carry it “concealed” regardless of the size of the pistol/revolver. They don’t select appropriate clothing, have tells or both. In fact we all have tells unless we’ve specifically trained ourselves out of them.

      The whole “concealed means concealed” thing makes me laugh because, really, unless it’s a derringer in your boot or behind your wallet, your concealment fails at times. Fortunately 99% of the time no one is looking. When someone is looking they’re not paying attention 95% of the time and when someone is looking and paying attention they have the good graces not to say anything 95% of the time.

      If you really start looking for people carrying a pistol you can find them on very nearly a daily basis.

      • Difference is between looking for the carrier and the carrier displaying. Yeah, without the keys I may have seen it. I look for other members of the tribe. A cop may have noticed it as well. With the keys, I absolutely saw it, and so might Shannon or Michael or another member of the opposition. Kroger? No big deal. Being spotted at the “gun free zone” at the mall, though, could get you a lifetime bannination.

        Yes, I carry at the mall. F.U., Simon Properties.

        • I really don’t give a flip whether somebody can tell I’m carrying or not. I put on whatever clothing suits the weather.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I’ve got access to scrap titanium, Teflon washers and a machine shop. Good to go.

  6. “The larger tool is a chamber scraper for built up carbon”

    And how expensive is repairing a gouged chamber?

    • Related note: even with only 3 keys and the ruptured case removed mounted, I don’t see how that case extractor could get anywhere near the chamber to do its job. The overall width of the KeyBar would have to be thinner than the top-to-bottom height of the ejection port on an AR.

  7. The number of keys you carry is inversely proportional to your financial success. I’m down to 3, but one day, just maybe, zero.

    • I was wondering how that was possible, but then I realized that you could have a personal servant.

    • Well, I’ve only got 4, Jeep,House,Lockbox in Jeep and a standard handcuff key. I’ve carried the handcuff key for 20 years and only had to use it once……. At a bachelor party a “dancer” handcuffed my buddy to a chair, when she wasn’t looking I uncuffed him…… funny as hell. Drunk squids and strippers.

      • Building key, mailbox/front door key, office key, tool box key, truck box key, second property front door key, second property vehicle chain key, moms house key, dads house key, storage locker key. They add up quick.

    • I think that depends. I could see someone who’s very wealthy carrying a lot of keys. Landlords come to mind…

    • To JWT- A good friend of mine calls that “the state of F.U.”
      He’s only a year older than me but he is almost there. Owns his house, has no credit card debt, and is close to being debt free on his thriving business.
      I aspire that.

      • “I aspire that.”

        OK, I’m gonna be “that guy.”
        You ADMIRE that, and you ASPIRE TO that.
        I am sorry, I truly am. But…

    • For me, I use a $3 anchor shackle from Home Depot to hold the 3 keys I use on a regular basis. Functions very similar to a keybar, with way more financial common sense. I refuse to keep in my pockets, anything I don’t actually use on a daily basis.

    • Some good insight in that observation. Unfortunately, the current state of my company leaves me holding a lot of keys. I’m working on it though.

    • A friend and I decided (after both discretely counting) that 12 or less is administrative. 13 or more is custodial. Due to some modifications and additions to our facility, I later got a detachable key set and kept life/executive on one side and mop bucket/storage on the other.

  8. A couple notes on this product from someone who has used one for over a year.
    I have a key to my mailbox, 2 keys for the locks on my apartment door, a security box key, and 3 keys for the safes I use for guns and ammo storage. I used to use a leather loop bracketing a Chicago bolt and was generally happy with the arrangement until it became clear that the arrangement was prone to either loosening or getting stuck at the worst times. The key bar Has several features.
    1. It effectively is 2 keyrings in one since you can thread keys on to both of the screws meaning you can reduce the width of your overall carry.
    2. If you have a lot of keys, you can organize them in such a way as to make it easy to find the one you want based on task especially if you use their spacer tabs which give your fingernails a bit of purchase when rotating keys into line.
    3. Most of the tools are useless due to the rotational non-locking design of the key-bar. For example, I couldn’t use the bottle opener because when I tried to put leverage on a cap, the tool rotated rather than transferring force to the cap.
    4. You do not have to use the clip, you can use a lanyard attachment or just leave it in your pocket.
    5. This thing is built really well. As soon as I get a big boy gun safe and I can ditch the oversized keys I am getting one of their copper units to match my flashlight. There are a lot of designs—all with the same solid construction.

  9. Too spendy and too bulky. Then there is still those pesky modern car “keys” that communicate wirelessly with your vehicles. Just got a new split ring for free so I’ll pass on this thing.

  10. I’ve been using it for about a year. At first I thought it was just a crazy expensive key chain. But is actually works really well. I don’t jingle and I don’t end up at the front door trying to fish keys out of my pocket at 2 am. Keys are there when I need them and organized. Plus, it makes using a bump key really easy. (Investment property, renters change keys and don’t return them when they move out)

  11. This seems like a decent idea but it is not for me, the pocket space I have is too valuable to have keys blocking the items contained therein. They fit much better on my belt loop without obstructing anything.

  12. Big bundles of key usually indicate some sort of control issues, no person on average needs more than a house key and their ignition key!!! As far as price for the gadget, go to the dollar store buy a cheap key way set allen or torx bit, pull the shanks off the tool and presto there is your key pod device. I could do this for less than 4$ in my area.

    • Telling other people how many keys it is acceptable for them to use usually indicates some sort of control issues, no person on average needs to give a shit how many keys someone else has in their pocket…

  13. Use to carry my keys on my belt loop (noisy!). My wife bought me one of these after I saw it online and thought it was nifty. One of the best gifts ever, hands down.

  14. My key ring is a zip tie. I always carry a pocket knife with an awl on it so can open the tie to add or remove a key and it is more secure than a metal ring. Yes you still have to control the growth of the ring to prevent the janitor look and sound but it works for me.

  15. I carry the tiny Swiss Army Knife, because I don’t need all that in my pocket. Another great solution is to wear carpenter’s jeans and use the long side pocket. This keyholder would easily be thicker than your keys sideways.

  16. “more washers than you can shake a stick at.”
    I dunno man, I can shake a stick at a helluva lot of washers!

  17. $45 for a couple pieces of metal bar and a couple screws. If your keys are jangling, you can put your key ring in some sort of leather, pvc, or nylon pouch. They make them just for that.

  18. Count me in on the less keys as the solution.

    Carry as many as you want but look at least look at how you actually use them before you just slap them on the ring.

    Same goes for wallets. Why people carry all their store cards, insurance cards, multiple credit cards is beyond me. Just about all of those can be looked up if necessary.

    Wallet has three cards (debit,credit, drivers license) key chain is a car fob and a house key.

    Keybar is a nice little piece of flair for your EDC Pics and Mike seems like a heckuva nice guy though.

  19. Someone gave me a cheaper version of this and it was entirely awful. This one sounds a better solution, but also has the price to match. So I’m going to just stay noisy for now.

  20. Having a ridiculous gaggle of keys helps me keep track of them.

    I did manage to save a little space on my keychain by eliminating some keys I rarely use. I keep those in a safe space.

  21. I have one, 13 keys. If you decide it’s not worth it don’t buy it. Like many other useful items, the value is in the utility.

    It is extremely useful as opposed to a key ring.

    Got mine at a IV8888 shoot in Livonia, GA.

    Great product.

  22. My wife got me one of these for Christmas, and I hate the damn thing but I use it because its the only remotely useful thing she has gotten me in years. Just a friendly tip, if you are flying you can pass through TSA security no problem. What can be a problem are Fed desk weenies playing cop on the flight who are dumb enough to think that someone who ‘sneaks’ a knife past security would openly carry it on his pocket. I got a very warm welcome by Regan Police when traveling TDY last week, they were professional and thought the Fed was a douche, but still very incontinent. While not related to the usability of the product, just an additional thought.

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