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.
- Dremel Tool with cut off wheels, grinding bits, and drill type bit.
- 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)
- 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
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.