Have a couple of keys you use and an old multi-tool lying around? So did I!

So I hate a jingling key ring and getting poked by my keys when they get disheveled in my pocket.  I also love things that provide utility and for my preparedness.  This project tackles both problems in a sleek little multi-tool.  My keys do not have the little transponders in them but I have done this successfully with those keys and I'll be including details on how to do that as we go.

As per usual, I am not responsible for death, dismemberment, disembowelment, getting attacked by rabid wolves, or spontaneous human combustion that may result from the undertaking of this project.

Materials/ Tools:
  - Dremel Tool with cut off wheels, grinding bits, and drill type bit.
  - WD-40
  - Some sort of vice to hold stuff steady while you're working.
  - 2 screw drivers of the same type as your multi-tool's screws (mine are torx screws)
  - Sharpie
  - 1 multi-tool
  - Copied Keys (if your key is 'chipped' or has a transponder, you're going to need both a chipped copy and a non-chipped copy)
  - Washers or spacer (see step 4 if you want to know what it's for).
  - Sugru (for transponder keys)

So I used the 'Bear Grylls compact multi-tool' because Gerber generally makes good stuff and it was cheap while being a good size for my project, but mostly because I had it lying around.  If you have more than two keys you want to add I'd suggest going for a bigger multi-tool.

Only use copied keys for this project: if you cut up your originals and mess everything up you'll have only yourself to blame.  This goes double for chipped keys.  The automotive section of Walmart copies keys cheaply and has even done chipped keys on the cheap for me (comparatively).

Note to transponder key havers: The reason you need both a normal key and a transponder key copy is because the chip in the key usually shortens the useable metal part of the key to accommodate the chip.  If the chip is located on the side of the key rather than in the middle, you won't need an extra, non-chipped key.

Step 1: Make Decisions

So you know you want to do this project and you're ready to start gathering materials. Great!  I've chosen 2 keys for my demonstration, a longer car key and a shorter house key.

This is also the time when you want to choose what tools you'll be removing from the multi-tool to replace with the keys.  This will most likely require you to move some around, but we'll get to that later.  Know that each key will require an entire 'slot' in which there may be more than one tool.  I've removed a saw blade and the phillips and flathead screwdrivers, opting for the tweezers, bottle opener, and knife blade.

Before you start with the screw drivers you should spray the entire multi-tool down with WD-40.  This is an important step and makes taking the thing apart much easier.  Let it soak for about 5 minutes while you set up a work station.

Clamp the tool down really well (making sure to protect it to avoid scarring the metal- either use a wood vice thing or wrap the tool in a shop cloth).

Go ahead and loosen all of the screws but don't entirely remove them yet.
wonderful idea and nicely explained ,
Brilliant and Very impressive Products, Sir i'm very Excited
Really nice and creative! I have never done something similar to any of my multi tools, but after watching this I got some motivations. I have posted some pictures of the tools I have and made reviews on them at <a href="http://bestmultitoolreview.net" rel="nofollow">BestMultitoolReview.net</a>&nbsp;Hope you can take a look as well and let me know which one could be a good choice for this project.
Glad you like it! Several of those multi-tools look like they would work well for this project. The main thing you're looking for is accessibility- can you take it apart easily? Are there screws holding it together or rivets? The other thing to look at is if there are springs or casing that could interfere with the keys, or if there's bulky casing that would make it so that the key wouldn't fit into the lock well. <br> <br>Also, I'm not sure how well those with curved handles would work- I'm not saying they wouldn't, I'm just not sure.
Nicely done. Have you tried carrying it onto an airliner, and did the security people give you a hard time?
Thanks! <br>Because it has a knife on it and because US security measures are absurd, I would not take it on an airplane or to jury duty or anything like that (even without the knife as it would make a pretty good weapon on the lanyard too).
Make sure you have a copy of all the keys you put on there.
Wouldn't want to do this with my Leatherman but it is very cool.
I love seeing these. I made one from aluminum angle stock years ago when I was a cable guy. I had the idea when I realized that my keyring had nearly as many keys on it as my leatherman had blades. I think I was also inspired by the VW key a friend (who insisted on calling me Steve) carried. Very nice conversion.
nicely done. really neat idea :)
That is a really clever and handy idea!
Clever idea, thanks for sharing.

About This Instructable


326 favorites


Bio: I am Dapper Hippo. I am a secondary science teacher currently working on my masters in curriculum and instruction. I love projects of all kinds ... More »
More by Dapper Hippo: All Lego Trebuchet Multi-tool Keys Best Ever Cat Collar
Add instructable to: