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I like to make fun of “toy tools” as much as you do, but sometimes you come across a few that actually look pretty cool. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I found these over on the online men’s magazine Valet, wedged between some violently overpriced shoes and some face cream I’m pretty sure I could hock for enough cash to buy a decent drill/driver. But damn, check ’em out. I used to own a set of screwdriver keys like these, and they were durable as hell. The sad news is that I found my set in the bottom drawer of a desk my father picked up at the dump.

While there’s no frickin’ way I’d pay $44 for the set — plus, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to do much prying with that “pry bar” — I might just shell out $9 for the screwdriver keys alone.

The screwdriver keys appear to be about the same size as a normal key, and they’re made of “hardened steel.” The site doesn’t say what size the Phillips head is, but it looks like a middle-of-the-road size — the kind you’d want if you only had one.

The rest of the high-buck set includes a “mini crow bar,” a set of “precision tweezers” (that look pretty cool as well, but don’t seem significantly more useful than the ones in my Swiss Army knife), and a “1-inch capsule lighter” complete with an “airtight seal.” They wouldn’t have beat out the waterproof, solar-powered satellite phone much rumored to lie in that unopened FedEx package in Castaway, but that other Chuck might’ve stayed a bit warmer if he’d had this set with him.

This Chuck, however, is too cheap of a bastard to order them. Even if I do want those screwdrivers.

EDC Kit [Kaufmann Mercantile]
Everyday Carry Keychain Screwdrivers [Kaufmann Mercantile]


21 Responses to No-BS (If Overpriced) Keychain Tools

  1. Jerry Vandesic says:

    These are all from CountyComm. The total price from CC is $27.25, though some are currently out of stock. If you are intersted in just the screwdriver keys, the CC price is $5 for the pair.

    I have the tweezers,and they are quite good. The small prybar, the pico-sized widgy I believe, is OK but I haven’t found it to be as useful as other pry tools such as the Atwood Prybaby.

  2. Gordon says:

    I second Jerry’s note about CountyComm (http://countycomm.com/whatsnew.html), and agree about the tweezers, too.

  3. Simon says:

    Tweezers are available at Lee Valley for $7.95 US

    While you are there, check out there cheap but interesting keychain screwdrivers here: http://www.leevalley.com/US/gifts/page.aspx?p=66884&cat=4,104,55968,66884


  4. Adrian says:

    Aww, you guys beat me to it!
    I actually asked the guy at Kauffman why he charged more and he basically said “I ship for free!”

  5. minh says:

    I personally own the pico pry bar and the pico lighter and both of which have come in handy! I dont smoke so I dont EDC the lighter but I do have it attached to my hiking pack’s zipper which I have used to light stoves, candles, and campfires. The pry bar comes in useful to scrap small stuff and to open small stuff, basically just used as a flat head screw driver but for prying.

  6. Jerry says:

    I actually have a couple of the screwdrivers that I have had for many years. Kept them on my key-chain until I got tired of the holes in my pockets. Seems they always went point down and drilled through. While the leather pouch on my belt may not fit in with a tux, I just couldn’t part with my Leatherman. And, yes, I do have the second pouch with the bit set for the Leatherman, but usually tote that one only if on a job.

  7. Dale says:

    The tweezers are great!

    I got mine from A.G. Russel for $7.95 if part of bigger order.



  8. Phill says:

    The tweezers are great- madein the USA.I bought mine from Campmor $4.50 each if you buy more than 1(I buy xtras for friends & relatives) I have my screw-keys from CountyComm also. But I only carry the philips (it’s a #2) for a flat head keychain tool is a Sears Craftsman 4 way (US made) they sell for 99 cents (I’ve worn it on my keys for more than 20 yrs & recently bought some for my nephews)

  9. Aaron Baca says:

    These are neat, but I’m constantly trying to trim down my keychain. Every new vehicle has a chipped key, which is great, but none are less than a quarter inch thick.

  10. sD says:

    The tweezers that come on Leathermans are useless garbage. The Sliver Grippers really are that much better, and are good enough to go head to head with many full size tweezers.

  11. russ says:

    I had one like the flat head screwdriver (wider though) but TSA took it away at the airport after I had been flying with it for over a decade. It came in very handy at times. Mine was a gift from a customer.

    Interesting post, thanks.

  12. area_educator says:

    Atwood’s stuff is interesting, sure. But the price is insane if your interest is practical rather than in collecting.

  13. Shopmonger says:

    I still keep one of those little Swiss made cheapo things in the car and i find i use it way more than I would have ever thought…….. opening packages, prying things….again i know not the best tool but functional for $1.25 it used to be on my key chain, but now I have one office instead of 3-4 locations…. so i have a -there…


  14. Rob1855 says:

    I could really use the screwdrivers, but worried I’d lose them the next time I went through either TSA or a courthouse security scan. Anyone have any experience with this?

    • Chris says:

      TSA shouldn’t be taking away anything under 7″ with no blade on it. If they try, give ’em hell and ask for a supervisor.

      I imagine courthouse security varies pretty widely, but reasoning with local sheriff’s deputies ought to work. It’s pretty clear these things aren’t as dangerous as any lawyer’s fancy solid-metal pen.


  15. PutnamEco says:

    I have one of those old Proto key chain screwdrivers, must have had it for 25+ years now. I have to say that I have used the little bugger for far more prying jobs than actually driving screws, comes in real handy for opening paint cans. I think I paid $1.99 for it. I also have a special chrome plated anniversary edition that was given to me as a gift.

  16. waq says:

    if you’re in the mood to make one yourself take a regular screw driver bit you use in a drill and get a blow torch. heat the blunt end until its red hot then flatten it with a hammer on an anvil. the temper will disappear so it will be easily drilled for attaching to a key ring. to keep the useful end from losing its temper keep it wrapped in wet paper towel. if you are up to it you could just heat and hammer then heat treat the whole thing since its small enough to be able to do it with just the torch. a small and useful way to learn about heat treating and tempering

  17. Joe says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve had a gerber ‘shard’ on my keychain for several years… it comes in handy all the time. It’s got the prybar, flathead, Phillips and bottle opening functionality built into a very flat, non-bulky item. Don’t get me wrong… you’re not going to be doing any heavy-duty work with any of it, and mine mostly just opens beer, but I’ve been glad to have the phillips driver enough time to justify the $5 and minimal space on my keychain.

    If I ever lose it, I’ll be very sad.

  18. Rob O. says:

    I’ve had one of these little pill containers on my keychain for well over a decade and it’s never failed me. I’ve never used the inner vial but my pills fit just right in the metal capsule and they’ve never gotten damp. The ends being rounded means it won’t snag on other things in your pocket as easily.

  19. PutnamEco says:

    Rob O. says:
    I’ve had one of these little pill containers

    You can find a this containers direct from their creators at bisondesigns.com They are not quite as expensive there, and they also have them in different sizes and styles

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