Picture of Swiss Army Key Ring

Most people have to keep track of at least a few keys. The easiest way to do that is to just keep them all on one key ring. But the more keys that you have, the more they fan out on the ring. If you have a lot of keys, then your key ring can get pretty bulky and impractical to carry in your pocket. Here is an alternate design for holding and organizing your keys that is a little more efficient.

The design of this key holder is very similar in construction to a Swiss Army Knife. The keys are arranged on two parallel bars. Each key can be rotated into the handle for compact storage and rotated back out for use. So here is how to make a Swiss Army Key Ring.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Two pieces of wood (about 1" x 3.75" x 1/8" each)
Thin sheet metal (about 2" x 3.75")
Two #8 machine screw lock nuts
Two #8 machine screws, 3/4" long
Ten #8 machine screw washers
Glue that is able to bond wood to metal (not pictured)
Wood stain (optional)
Polyurethane (optional)

Drill and bit set
Tin snips
Sand paper/sanding block
Small binder clamps

Source Tips:
Paint stir sticks are a good size to be used for the wood pieces. These are generally free at the paint section of most hardware stores. For the sheet metal, I used a baking sheet that I found at dollar tree for $1. This yields about 13" x 9" of metal.
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I need make this happen, right now. Thanks for this !!

nana.atuah5 months ago

are you able to remove the keys after useage?

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  nana.atuah5 months ago
Yes, all, you have to do is remove the screw and nut. So you can remove the keys, but not very quickly.
grannyjones7 months ago

Hubby made several on the 3D printer. He found the files online.

Qwertyfish9 months ago
Could you add other things other than keys?
And how would you go about making a locking mechanism?
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  Qwertyfish9 months ago
You could add anything that will fit between the plates. For most things, simple friction is enough to hold them in place. A lock would be a little more involved.
ottawafm1 year ago
You could also make this out of stainless metal too.
ottawafm1 year ago
This is a good way to store Schlage or Kwikset depth keys. Awesome idea!
Very clear, I made it without the tin and no complications until now. Really usefull though I dont have that much keys to organise
tunney5986 made it!1 year ago

Great instructions, I didnt know this was such a following. I just got a KeySmart, and love it. Worth the $15 if you want to avoid the cutting

KeySmart (6).jpg
andgraf1 year ago
It has, I imagine, the added benefit of giving enough leverage to help those with arthritis turn the key
CaTTeN2 years ago
made tihs from 2 old RAM blocks ;)
2013-07-21 23.42.09.jpg
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)  CaTTeN2 years ago
wdsims632 years ago
Wow. Really nice. This is probably the best quality instructable I have seen. Clear instructions and nice photos. Just enough steps.

Thanks for the idea. I got a "Key Flip" from kickstarter and I was less then excited about it. This seems like a much better solution for me than the product I paid real money for. :)
arain22 years ago
you can also use meal spray paint (or nail polish) and paint the top of your keys colors for organizing them. just the top before the hole so it doesn't mess with the mechanism.
I might build this
Sharad2 years ago
Thanks for giving very clear instructions to make this useful key ring.
I sooo have to do this!!! my keys mingle and tangle and sometimes i have to untangle them for a few minutes before i can unlock the door. its no fun, but no more...
Zikkurat2 years ago
I saw a similar product on Kickstarter a few days ago, and immediately came to Instructables to see if anyone had made one themselves. I am glad I did. I managed to make one out of what I assume is extra furniture hardware that the previous tenants of my apartment left behind. Thanks for the Instructable!
folding keyring.JPG
LuisQP2 years ago
la mejor solucion!!!!
marcuccione2 years ago
Saw this for sale on kickstarter
Yeah. I just saw that earlier today. It's always annoying when I have a good idea, and only after building it find out that someone else has already made it. Like when I made the magnetic stapler http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Two-Part-Magnetic-Stapler/ and then I found this http://www.quirky.com/products/310-Align-detachable-stapler#
I wouldn't mind except for the fact that it looks like I am copying other people. I really need to do more research before starting a project.
agis682 years ago
Today i made my own with an old pcb from tv remote control. The pcb is free of parts and cutted and sanded. Also i add at the end some electronics for decoration.....
swiss keys.jpgswiss_keys.jpgdetails.jpg
Well done
LITTLEski2 years ago
This is amazing!!
agis682 years ago
this wood is like balsa? or more like pop sicle wood?

excellent job and brilliant idea

Try to get some Chicago Screws (www.chicagoscrews.com/‎). It should make the design a bit slimmer and easier to swap out the keys.
It's a very nice idea, but it must be nearly impossible to find the key you want without opening them all out.
That's where nail polish comes in! Step 7
granthams2 years ago
What a great idea.
Wow! I like this idea. And your Instructable is so easy to follow.
darklotus2 years ago
this is a really clever idea! I'm with Fugitive_Bill, you should patent it!
Simple and elegant. Job well done. I've seen tons of great , yet complicated instructables but this one just strikes a 'nice' chord with me. Congrats. - B!LL!
This is a brilliant idea and really nicely documented too.
tryb012 years ago
This is similar to key holders sold for people with disabilities. They usually only have one or two keys on them. People who have a hard time holding & turning keys due to arthritis or injury to hand & wrist can sometimes use them with good results.The handle provides a lot of extra force. You have to be careful not to torque it too hard in the lock as you can bend or snap off your key. Learned that one the hard way. Very nice design.
Wingloader2 years ago
OMG. What a hilarious/awesome idea! I wish I cold come up with stuff like this. I agree with @green. Patent this...HURRY.
Ooops...I meant @helena
I am all over this.
Horef2 years ago
excellent !!
HelenaTroy2 years ago
excellent idea! make sure you patent it - I can see a market for this
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