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What's The Best Keychain Knife Out There, Besides The Mini-Tools?


Gold Member
Oct 2, 1998
I was thinking about this the other day. I have so many I've lost count. I know the mini-tools are the best bet because of their versatality, but sometimes just a little quality knife does the job, (I know, I LOVE scissors too). I have a little Spyderco, (I believe made by Moki), that has a miniature red light built into it, that is a handy little sucker. I also have just recently received a Reeve Umfaan that is classy as hell, is tiny, (with a surprisingly big blade for it's size), but at $280.00 a pop, is too impractical to carry on a keychain, (though you could if you were Mike Turber). I also have one of the CRK&T's K.I.S.S. knives, but in my estimation it is slightly too large for keychain duty. For me the nod goes to the Al Mar Micro-Sere. A great little knife, that is tiny, quality, and really will do big jobs if need be. I know the steel is only AUS-6, but for the small amount of jobs it does, it is fine. And this knife like most Al Mar's, exudes quality, (smooth opener and classy slotted aluminum scales), and is fairly reasonable, (around $40.00, if you consider that reasonable for a KC knife). What's yours?
I would say the Al Mar Micro SERE would be it. While the thermoplastic handled knives are good to save weight, I like the aluminum scales of this knife. Solid little knife.
Not sure how the size compares to the Al Mar, but Spyderco has a mini-Goddard out. Classy-looking knife, 2 5/8" closed, 2" blade. That'd be my top choice.

Personally, I use the Spyderco Ladybug, perfect size for a keychain, light, comes in black, red, or blue, and best of all, it's so cheap! 20$ or less
I think Stealth Mini UDT will be a good keychain knife. $130 is not cheap, but you'll get a top quality knife.

Jeffrey Yao
I carried the Stealth Mini-UDT myself for about a month. Absolutely loved it. Sold it at the Blade Show though and have not made any more since. I am not sure about the future of this knife simply because I am having difficulty with VBM getting them made. Oh well.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber

I see from A.G Russell'Summer 1999 catalog that there is a new one now, the Swiss-Tech UtiliKey UST.

Anyone have this one yet? Looks pretty nifty! It says it's an A.G. Russell Exclusive.

The request result is this key with Gold Titanium Nitride coating on one half of the key and the other half left as a polished stainless steel.

It is also available in the all stainless version (pictured) below.

LOOKS COOL! Check it out at: http://www.agrussell.com/swisstech/index.html




If you are really talking key chain duty I'd go with the Ladybug.


who dares, wins

I really like the benchmade mini-Mel Pardue. I removed the carbon fiber,so it lays very flat in the pocket. It stays on my keychain and is smaller than a ford auto key.It is tough,strong and I don`t feel the need to baby it.
Mark, I saw that Swiss-tech advertised in one of the knife mags and I agree it looks pretty nifty. I have no idea how practical it may be, but I will still get one regardless. It is just too neat an item.

"Walk softly and carry a big folder... and a small folder... and a SAK... and a multi-tool..."
Before I carried my Micra, for years I had a Mini-Buck on my keyring. Inexpensive (around $15), small, thin, light, and durable, it served me well. Since you aren't going to do a lot of prolonged cutting with a keychain knife, I'd rather have a inexpensive knife like a Ladybug or Mini-Buck that can get abused by your keys in your pocket than something nice I wouldn't want to get scratched up. Besides, you already have another high-quality knife on you somewhere, don't you?

I have a SwissTech Utility Key and like it alot. I received it for Christmas last year and have used it a bunch of times. I also carry a Ladybug on my keychain. Both work great.

Carefull with the KISS knife.
Had it as a keychain...
It opened in my pocket and as a result, I bleed pretty good for awhile.

I want a Light Saber.

My vote goes for the Moki/Spyderco with the LED, I need another, my wife took mine.
I vote for the smallest Victorinox Swiss Army knife. I have carried one on my keychain for years and when the spring went out on the scissors, sent it back (lifetime warrentee) and they refurbished it for free, even sharpened the blade and replaced the lost tweezers and sent it back in a box. Less than $10 and not much bigger than a key. Very handy.

[This message has been edited by Chief (edited 28 May 1999).]
My keychain knife is a GT Mini auto, mainly for the "niftiness" factor, and because I finally can get a street-legal switchblade after 40 years of a 2" rule for CA autos! A Spyderco Ladybug or a Baby Goddard would be more practical and much more economical.

I'm not sure about liner locks bouncing around with the keys and pocket change, especially those open-face sandwiches like the CRKT KISS and PECK. My GT Mini auto has only opened in the pocket once, and the other keyring and the wallet hung up the blade so it didn't cut anything.
Your mileage may vary.

I own several keychain knives, but the own on the keyring is the Mini-Buck, because it's a decent, very low-maintenance little knife. I don't worry about it getting beat against the keys, it's super-rust-resistant, and rarely needs lubrication. The Ladybug is a stronger cutter but I don't prefer it on the keyring.
Carried one of the tiny Gerber lockbacks for years on key ring(Dad finally begged me out of it).Recently started carrying Ladybug 2(Ladybug with Rescue sheepfoot blade)and I am very pleased with it so far. Haven't cut more than a few boxes and several pieces of rope, but I'm at least as happy with it as I am with full-size Rescue Carried on EMS/Sheriff Dept duty.Seems to be holding up without scratching so far.
When I was carrying a keychain knife, I liked the Spyderco Dragonfly steel handle best. No use carrying a knife of any kind unless it's actually useful.

By the way, the Swiss-Tech Utilikey is pretty cool. Real simple, but all the tools work. I've actually used each and every one of them.

Call the H-man at the KnifeCenter and he'll hook you up.


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)
Ladybug II, the one with the Rescue style blade, is the one I carry. I don't care too much for serrations but it is nice to have that little bit of serrations for opening boxes. I would say it is there for when I forget my knife but I am much more inclined to forget my keys than my knife.