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16 Different Types of Key Chains (Practical, Novelty, Multi-function and More)

Three key chain on table.

Key chains are such a simple but necessary item. If you are like me, you probably have not put much thought into your key chain but are glad you have one.

On the other hand, if you are nothing like me, you have placed a tremendous amount of thought into your key chain or selected it for a specific reason. Key chains are functional, and many of them are design oriented. 

Key chains come in many colors, styles, shapes, and designs. Their main function is to prevent your keys from getting lost, but they may have a secondary function.

These functions may include flashlights, bottle openers, and smartphone chargers. This guide gives you all the details you need about key chains to help you select the best one for your needs and style.

Types of Key Chains

1. Bluetooth Key Chain

Tile Mate (2022) 1-Pack.Black. Bluetooth Tracker, Keys Finder and Item Locator for Keys, Bags and More; Up to 250 ft. Range. Water-Resistant. Phone Finder. iOS and Android Compatible.

A Bluetooth key chain links to your phone, allowing you to keep track of your keys in the event that you misplace them. In addition, this keychain may play a sound or signal you in another way to attract you to your keys wherever they may be. 

2. Carabiner Key Chain

Spigen Carabiner Key Ring Clip, Car Keychain Clip, Bottle Opener Key Chain Ring for Men and Women - Gunmetal

A carabiner key chain is a popular style, especially for those that enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Not only can a carabiner key chain hold your keys, but also a water bottle, flashlight, and other tools you may need handy.

In addition, this style key chain attaches to your belt loop, bag, or backpack, so you do not have to shove your keys in your pocket. A carabiner key chain has a large clip with a stainless steel key ring looped through the space at the bottom of the carabiner.

You can open the carabiner without keys or other items getting in your way. The carabiner itself may be made from stainless steel or aircraft-grade aluminum. This material is durable and lightweight. These key chains can help with many tasks.

3. Decorative Key Chain 

Chala Purse Charm, Key Fob, keychain Decorative Accessories, Mini Key Chain Sunflower

A decorative key chain comes in many different designs and styles. It may have an intended function, such as being a bracelet and holding your keys. The main purpose of a decorative key chain is to look nice.

The fact that it can hold your keys is secondary. Sometimes the decorative part of this key chain becomes more important than its function. This can result in a key chain that is not an effective key chain. 

A decorative key chain may be wood or die-cut metal. This type of key chain is perfect for someone that wants a personalized key chain. The styles and prices for these key chains vary widely. 

4. Embroidered Key Chain

Luso Aviation US Navy, Embroidered Key Chain

An embroidered key chain gives your key chain a bit of a retro look. It is typically made from fabric and thread. This type of key chain is lightweight, flexible, and available in multiple colors. In addition, they are soft and do not make any noise while carrying them around. 

They are often so colorful that you have no problem locating them. You can make your own embroidered key chain if you like. Or you can purchase one. An embroidered key chain comes in various sizes and designs. 

5. Flashlight Key Chain

NEBO Mycro Rechargeable LED Keychain Light | Key Ring Flashlight Features 6 Light Modes, Includes 400-Lumen Turbo Mode and 3 LED Color Options; Use as a Necklace, Lanyard or Keyring, Red, One-Size

A flashlight key chain often has multiple lighting functions. It can provide a direct beam of light, intermittent flashing, broad beams of light, and color lights. This type of keychain requires batteries to enable the light to work.

It has a push button that allows you to turn the light on and off and control the type of light you see. These key chains are made of various materials and range in size and weight.

Some flashlight keychains look like a miniature flashlights, while others have different shapes with a small lightbulb at the end. 

6. Lanyard Key Chain

Personalized keychain, custom name number Wrist Lanyards, Keychain Clip - Key Chain Holder accessories, embroidery Wrist Lanyards for luggage,crate,belt,gear,keyring

A lanyard key chain combines a standard key chain and a lanyard that you can wear around your neck or wrist. The key chain is attached to the lanyard with a connector that is typically made of steel and can move in 360 degrees.

This type of key chain can be constructed from various materials. You may find this key chain in satin, nylon, polyester, braided paradors, and many other materials. 

A satin or silk lanyard is softer to the touch than others. Therefore, it may not be the most durable material. Braided lanyards are the most durable but may be irritating to the skin when worn around your neck. The best material for a lanyard is polyester or nylon. 

A lanyard key chain is typically useful for carrying identification cards into secure buildings like schools or hospitals. Often you will find them with a quick-release buckle or plastic clip. This clip allows you to undo the lanyard if it becomes stuck on something quickly.

This is also helpful when you need to remove your keys to open a door or show your ID. In addition, the clip allows you to remove the keys without pulling the lanyard over your head.

7. Laser Pointer Key Chain 

CHUQIANTONG 2-in-1 Cat Pet Toy Red Laser Light LED Pointer Pen White Flashlight Torch Interactive Training Pen for Cat Dogs

A laser pointer key chain is similar to a flashlight key chain. However, this key chain has a laser pointer instead of a flashlight. This type of key chain is an ideal way to keep your audience’s attention when you are giving a presentation. 

These key chains are small and easy to carry. In addition, they have a long battery life, but when the battery dies, you typically have to purchase a new laser pointer keychain.

8. Personalized Key Chain

Bold Letter Personalized Keychain, 3D Printed Keyring, Custom Name, Personalised Party Favor, 3D Printed Keychain, Stocking Stuffer (Custom)

A personalized key chain is a great gift idea. In short, they are a key chain that is personalized to the person. It usually has a special meaning or memory to the person receiving the item. These may come in various materials like plastic, metal, rubber, or leather.

9. Leather Personalized Key Chain

Graphics and More Personalized Custom Monogram Fancy Font Scalloped Outline Black Leather Keychain

A Leather Personalized Key Chain is often considered a luxury material and key change. This type of key chain may have a painted message or picture on it. It is usually remade. It can have a custom message or even be the first letter of someone’s name.

10. Metal Personalized Key Chain

Custom Engraved Personalized Metal Keychain

A metal personalized key chain may be the most expensive option, but it is an attractive option for a key chain. This key chain may be inscribed or embossed with a personal message or image. The type of metal used drives the cost associated with the key chain. 

11. Rubber Personalized Key Chain

HSYHERE Boys Men Girls Women Creative Novelty Ugly Big Small Eyes Funny Soft TPU Silicone Rubber Zoo Animals Pendant Strap Keychain Key Ring Holder Clip -Brown Monkey

A rubber personalized key chain is among the least expensive options you will find for a key chain. They are usually mass produced and pre-painted. There is a wide selection available in rubber personalized key chains. 

12. Metal Key Chain

100PCS Swivel Snap Hooks with Key Rings, Premium Metal Swivel Lobster Claw Clasps Assorted Sizes (Large, Medium, Small) for Keychain Clip Lanyard, Jewelry Making, Crafts, Silver

A metal key chain is the traditional and classic type of key chain. They are sturdy, durable, and well constructed. A metal key chain is a nice compliment to any style.

They tend to make noise when you move or while sitting in your purse. Some people enjoy the sound, and it makes them easier to track. Unfortunately, metal key chains tend to have some weight to them. 

A metal keychain often has a metal symbol or emblem attached to a metal keyring. They are often large enough to fit multiple keys. A traditional metal key chain is constructed from plated nickel. It may be all metal or painted with enamel colors.

13. Smartphone Power Cord Key Chain 

Sinjimoru Cell Phone Lanyard for Phone Case (2Packs), with Adjustable Phone Strap for Wrist Compatible with Key Holder & ID Card Holder. Sinji Strap Navy

A smartphone power cord key chain is one that allows you to charge your smartphone with a computer, tablet, or power bank. This prevents you from having to hunt down a power outlet, especially when you are on the go or in a car. 

14. Standard Key Ring 

Uncle Mike's Kodra Duty Nylon Web Standard Key Ring Holder, Black

A standard key ring is the circular ring that can hold keys on the key chain. This refers only to the ring on the key chain. This ring is a piece of metal that overlaps and creates a secure loop to hold keys.

To attach or remove keys, you must pull apart the metal and thread a key on the ring, one at a time. Key rings are typically made from stainless steel and do not corrode or rust. Stainless steel is flexible but durable. They come in a wide variety of sizes and thicknesses. 

15. Utility (Multi-functional) Key Chain

Maarten Multitool Folding Mini EDC Knife, Multifunctional Coin-Shape Pocket Knife with Keychain Hanging Chain Combining Wire Rope Cutter Ruler Allen Wrench Screwdriver and More for Outdoors

A utility key chain is also known as a multi-functional key chain. You may also hear of this as a Swiss Army knife. Not all utility key chains are Swiss Army knives, but all Swiss Army knives key chains are multi-functional key chains. 

This key chain is like having a mini toolbox with you whenever you need them. A utility key chain has a large number of tools available to you in your pocket. These tools may include a pocket knife, bottle opener, screwdriver, scissors, and possibly pliers.

Depending on the tools that are on this key chain, it may start to get heavy and not something you want to carry in your pocket. 

If you have a large utility key chain, it most likely has a carabiner attached to it. These key chains could be titanium, rubber, ceramic, and stainless steel. A utility key chain comes in varying shapes, sizes, weights, and functions.

16. Wallet Key Chain

Wristlet Keychain Bracelet Wallet, Key Ring Silicone Bead Bangle, Tassel Card Pocket Key Chains for Woman

A waller key chain is a combination key chain. This type of key chain provides you the function of a wallet, like carrying cash and cards along with the ability to carry a key on the same item. For example, you may be able to attach your wallet to a purse or bag so that you do not lose it. 

A wallet keychain typically comes with one or two standard key rings. However, the wallet size ranges from simple coin purses to card holders. It can also be a full size wallet which might be bulky.

A coin purse keychain might be constructed of plastic, rubber, denim, or leather. This type is the smallest wallet keychain. It is intended to be a storage for loose change. This type of key chain guarantees that you always have change when you need it. 

A card holder key chain is the middle size type of wallet key chain. It is bigger than a change purse but is still slim. It can hold cards but not much more than that. It will not be able to hold your change.

This type of wallet has about six sleeves to hard your cards, including identification. These wallets may be leather, nylon, or aluminum. A full wallet keychain is the largest of all the options. It can hold cards, cash, and coins.

When you attach your keys to this key chain, you do not have to worry as much about leaving your keys behind. With this type of wallet, you will always have your keys with you. These wallets may be constructed of leather, nylon, or polyester. They are durable.