If you carry a bunch of keys or are looking for something to help you carry small tools, this cable key ring  may fit the bill.  Priced at only $2.69 each, these handy rings are made with braided steel cable; unlike similar rings however, these (made by HY-KO) feature a cable that’s coated with nylon (click the image below for a close-up view):

Cable Key Ring with small tools

The closure is a simple threaded screw and barrel type:

Cable Key Ring - closure

I’ve been using a couple of these rings for a while, and once the barrel is tightly screwed on, it never backs off.  The other nice feature of these rings is the fact that there’s some “give” to the cable so it fits in your pocket a bit more unobtrusively than is the case with regular key rings.  Unscrewing the barrel closure takes just a few seconds, so if you’re using it for small tools, you can hang it off a loop on your bag, tool belt or even a belt loop.

Cable Key Ring - package

I’ve seen these on Amazon for as much as $7.08; from Aubuchon Hardware the price is only $2.69.  An outfit called County Comm sells a non-nylon covered version for just $1.40.  The version shown here is a 6″ model, by the way; County Comm also sells a 12″ model for $2.15.

Cable Key Ring - on keychain

See the cable key ring shown in these pictures at Aubuchon Hardware by clicking here:  6″ Cable Lock Key Ring

The uncoated version at County CommA&P Cable Key Rings – County Comm

These are inexpensive enough to buy a few; they make a neat little gift for a friend as well. ‘

The Fine Print:  I have no connection with any of the companies mentioned in this post.

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8 Comments on Stuff I like: organize keys & small tools with a rugged yet lightweight cable key ring

  1. Michael W. says:

    I am glad you have legitimized the use of these squirrelly little cable rings for key chains.

    When my last Red Oxx bag arrived, I noticed the “dogtags” for the bag were attached to the bag strap with exactly the same kind of cable ring you describe in the article (but no plastic coating). I tried using my “free” one as a key chain and found myself liking it for the exact same reason you describe – it’s flexible and will lie flatter than most solid key rings. It’s not exactly posh looking of course, but it’s VERY functional

    I suspect it’s cheaper to get a cable ring from the sources you described than to order a new Red Oxx bag to get one for “free”!

    But if you have a Red Oxx bag, now you have a reason to not throw away the cable chain along with the dogtag (which is their “price tag” – item description and price).


  2. Michael W. says:

    Say, that looks like a user-modified BIC pen. How do you keep the ink from leaking? Just replaced the old cap on the shortened tube?


    Kevin Reply:

    Michael: Yes. But I first took a round toothpick and pushed it as far (and as securely) as I could into the ink resevoir; then cut off protruding (rest of the) toothpick with a pair of dykes. You’ll note that I drilled a hole through the pen; I had no interest in finding out if the ink would leak… !! kc


  3. Trar says:

    I have kept my mini sharpies on one of these for the last two years (they never get lost and no one can “forget” to return a borrowed sharpie since the cap remains attached) except I got mine… for 99¢. At a giant keychain display at a tacky souvenir gift shop.

    I am in love with the mini bic! they only come half-filled, anyway! that’s brilliant–especially with back to school sales making them 10¢ a pack!


  4. Michael W. says:

    Mini Bic? Say what, gotta link? I love the original “crystal” BIC’s.


  5. Scott B says:

    Wal-Mart also carries these cables in hardware where you purchase spare keys. Was under $2.


  6. Sean says:

    Bought one of these at a stand at the fair about 7 years ago. Great keychain! It finally bit the dust (threads cracked, barrel spins and spins, still holds keys though). Aw, man…another $2 outlay…this thing is going to break the bank ;)


  7. John Gomez says:

    Does anyone know where I can buy just the barrel-screw connectors? I need to make some of these in special lengths.



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