If you’re looking for a compact tool that takes up virtually no space yet can perform several basic functions (including the essential “open a bottle of beer”) check out Swiss Tech’s Utili-Key®.

Utili-Key weighs half an ounce and clips to your key ring:


Basic specs and features:

  • Self-locking to any key ring
  • Snaps at 90 degrees or fully extended for choice of functions
  • Semi-serrated knife blade
  • Micro Flat or Phillips screwdriver
  • Eyeglass mini screwdriver
  • Bottle opener
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Size: 2 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 1/8″
  • Weight: .5 oz.
  • 420 stainless steel

Utili-Key package

Utili-Key is unobtrusive and looks just like any other key on your keyring. Although it normally sells for $10.95, Amazon is offering Utili-Key for $7.60; click on either of the images above to see it there.

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11 Comments on 6-in-1 Utili-Key: Super compact, handy key ring tool

  1. lordhamster says:

    Check out the Gerber Artifact. It is a similar size keychain attachment with bottle opener, screw drivers, wire stripper and razor sharp blade.

    The Gerber artifact is fantastic for air travel because the blade is just a disposable Exacto(sp?) knife blade. So if you forget to take the thing off your keychain, you can just toss out the blade at the TSA trash can and you are good to go.


  2. Kevin says:

    I’ll check it out – I’ve seen a brief review, but didn’t realize the blade was removable. Thanks!

    Edit: check all the reviews of the Artifact @ Amazon. Some users complain about having difficulty opening the blade…


  3. Michael W. says:

    Based on your review I picked up one of these this past weekend from Walmart of all places in their auto department. It wasn’t labeled the Utili-Key except in the fine print, it was one of many little auto accessories on a jobber rack (apparently of auto accessories).

    Your price from Amazon is less than what I paid (although it was Walmart and discounted from list price) so you did your readers a good public service with that link. And that’s not even taking into account the new outrageous California sales tax “penalty.”


  4. Till says:

    I have the Utili-key and love it. You have to be a bit careful when using the bottle opener but it works reasonably well. The blade is sharp enough to cut a zip tie. I often use zip ties instead of locks on my luggage. A cut (colored) zip tie can most likely not be replaced by the TSA with the exact same model. I thus have an immediate indicator if somebody has been snoping around in my belongings and can check while still at the airport. TSA has never discovered the Utili-key on my key bundle among my other keys. I hope it stays that way.


  5. Lordhamster says:

    I also use the zip ties to mark lock my luggage if I’m checking, or if I have a pocket of my bag I want to “tamper proof” for the overhead. However, I just pack a nail clipper in an unlocked pocket. The nail clipper is 100% legal and allows me to quickly and easily remove the zip ties.


  6. Michael W. says:

    I agree with Lordhamster. If you absolutely, positively have to carry a Util-key into the cabin because you had an incredibly convincing premonition that your wife might need an emergency tracheotomy mid-flight that only you can perform in time, with the Util-key, I can see bending or perhaps violating the stern TSA admonitions about sharpened objects in cabin (I have no personal objection to them, I used to carry 4″ pocket knives on board, for heavens sake, in the good ol’ days).

    But in almost all other circumstances the nail clippers are just as good, plus they can cut your nails.

    Where do you guys get your zip ties from? I have trouble locating the right size/thickness. And I totally agree with both of you that zip ties are a much better way to go than locks.

    BTW, you’ve gotta be alert to the type of zippers on your bags, otherwise it’s easy to pilfer contents without ever even opening the bag (“spill pilferage,” seen here on Doug Dyments site (scroll down)):


    (This security issue is, oddly enough, detailed on his generic bags page instead of on his Safety and Security page.)

    I like RedOxx’s flat chain zippers which WON’T spill open – you have to move the zipper tab to open them, otherwise they “self-lock” and won’t open. I wish more companies were aware of this “spill” effect – I recently had an LLBean book bag “spill” open from the internal pressure of my packed stuff, simply because I had failed to close the zipper the last inch or two and failed to fold the rain flap over it to provide some friction. Really, some zippers open so easily without operator in put that I wonder they can be called “fasteners” at all.

    It’s a good idea to make sure your bag openings are closed not only to prevent contraband in checked luggage, but to prevent insertion of contraband in shoulder and other personal bags in other settings, or to quickly prove to security that it’s pretty unlikely you shoplifted from their store (see the reports on falsely accused tourists departing from Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand, who browsed King Duty shops).

    Yeah, you two have sold me on this trick I had long forgotten – zip ties and nail clippers.


  7. Michael W. says:

    How about these instead of ties? You don’t need nail clippers etc. to open them, you twist them hard which destroys them. I guess they’d serve their purpose as zipper closures for checked baggage – you’d be able to see if someone went inside – but they wouldn’t work so well to prevent pilfering in an overhead bin. Presumably on a subway or crowded bus you’d feel someone trying to manipulate the tie….



  8. Till says:

    Well, given that 4 inch metal scissors are allowed in carry-on luggage it is absolutely idiotic why the Utili-key should not be allowed. I can sharpen the scissors to razor blade level and then separate the two blades. This will give me two awesome 4 inch fixed blade weapons. It is easier to kill somebody with a sturdy metal pen than with a Utili-key.

    Besides, normal nail scissors are also allowed in the carry-on. So getting rid of the zip ties is really not a problem. But you won’t carry the nail scissors with you on the street. So the Utilikey still comes in handy. If ever they do steal it from me, I am out $8. I also do carry a tiny padded envelop with a stamp already on it addressed to myself. If they want to take the key it goes in the envelope and is mailed back home immediately.

    A fellow member on FT made a good remark about using zip ties. Of course, you use colored ones. But don’t make the mistake of including replacement zip ties of the same color inside that same bag. The TSA can just take those red replacement zips to replace the original red ones. Make sure the zips for the way back are of a different color. Also cut the “tails” quite short so it doesn’t get caught in the conveyor belts.

    In addition, you can go with these highly sophisticated seals:

    Or these, even better:


  9. Lordhamster says:

    Till I agree 100% that the TSA rules are beyond stupid.


  10. Michael W. says:

    Till, your comments won’t get Utili-Keys exempted from screening rules.

    They’ll just get scissors (even children’s “safety” scissors) and pens (BIC pens?) banned.

    After all this is the bureaucracy (airlines + FAA) that left flight deck doors unlocked or locked, at best, with flimsy “one kick” locks, then (TSA etc.) proceeds to make the life of the average traveler hell for 8 years. The height of this idiocy was refusing to “profile” with the result that white grandmothers from Nebraska were being patted down and questioned off to one side, while Harold and Kumar were sweating profusely and muttering from the Koran while boarding without a second glance.

    No I’m sorry, the height of this idiocy (if you ignore National Guard with M16’s at the x-ray machines during the first few months) is hassling passengers while baggage inspectors are looting valuables from luggage (yeah, what a secure system!).

    But don’t get me started, and thanks for the many links on baggage ties. I didn’t realize there was a hold sub-industry.


  11. Till says:

    I know they won’t get the Utili-key on the permitted items list but taking it anyway is almost half the fun.

    As far as profiling is concerned, don’t worry. they profile alright. My friends from India, Afghanistan and Iran are getting hassled a good bit. Me, the WASP male, hardly gets any grief except an occasional token swipe of my camera equipment or shoes.

    Maybe 150 terrorists could arm themselves with Utilikeys and totally take apart an entire aircraft in flight. In the final scene the lead terrorist undoes a single screw and the entire machine falls into thousands of pieces. Now that would be a surreal commercial that would get some serious attention.


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