Introduction: Multi-tool Keys - Mod / Hack

Picture of Multi-tool Keys - Mod / Hack

Modify your keys to fit in a leatherman. This is a real clever way to pack some spare keys around. You can fit up to six keys in one mini multi-tool.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

NOTE: Let me first state that I stumbled on this Idea browsing through the edcforums. There was a post a while back where user, shadeone had posted some pictures and a short tutorial on building one of these sweet little babies. Check out the original forums thread started by shadeone here. I take no credit for originating this idea, I've just documented my own experience building one. This is a modification to his original half micra design which allows me to keep the pliers and a few tools.
Also Stop by for more cool projects.

Leatherman Micra - ( I used a cheapo Husky clone that I got at home depot for $2)
Keys - (be sure to make copies of them first)
Something to cut the keys with - (I used a Dremel with a cutoff wheel.

Step 2: Disassemble the Multi Tool

Picture of Disassemble the Multi Tool

Start by unscrewing and Disassembling the tool. Make sure you save all of the little parts and washers. Note that I was able to fit 3 keys per side so only undo one side if you are doing 3 keys or less.

Step 3: Select a Matchup Piece

Picture of Select a Matchup Piece

Set one piece aside to use to match your key against when you are cutting it.

Step 4: Cut Your Keys

Picture of Cut Your Keys

Cut down your keys to roughly match the end of the piece you picked in the previous step. You will be drilling a hole in them so be sure and leave as much meat as possible. You can fine tune it later.

Step 5: Mark and Drill the Holes

Picture of Mark and Drill the Holes

Place each key one at a time inside the tool in the direction you will be placing it and mark the hole with a fine point marker through the hole in the tool. I placed mine teeth down so it is easier to pull them out by hooking a fingernail in the grooves across the top.

Once you have marked all keys, mark your starting points with a punch or nail and drill your holes. The size of the hole may vary depending on what kind of multi tool you choose. Start small as you can always bore it out more if necessary.

Step 6: Put It Back Together

Picture of Put It Back Together

Re-assemble the tool substituting the keys for the tools. Be careful of three things. 1) Be sure you put a washer in between any metal-on-metal contact. 2) Make sure you place the keyring attachment piece somewhere where it will not interfere with a key. 3) Most importantly, remember to leave a gap in the middle of each side for the pliers/cutters to fit into when you collapse the tool. ( I placed two keys all the way to one side, then a bunch of washers and then a key against the other side.

One little tip: If there is a skinny leather punch or mini screw driver piece, you can stick this through the hole when re-assembling the tool to help keep the washers and the pin in place. This also worked well to wiggle around to get everyting to fit together properly.

I was thinking for my next attempt to use a slightly wider, folding style alan wrench set and try to get a bunch on each side.



speckone (author)2008-07-24

This thing is gonna get me killed by a highway patrolman someday.

태영최 (author)speckone2015-05-13


Sebastien Loo (author)speckone2013-10-25

OMG! My father is actually a policeman and we laughed a lot once I showed him this. It will be so cool to post this as the Best Multitool for your car! We can't stop laughing! Thanks for sharing Speckone!

bucko92 (author)speckone2009-12-20

Lol, that image has made my day
Cops: have you stolen this car and rammed a mulitool into the ingnition switch?
me: *removes key* No officer, *procedes to open multitool to show off the other keys*
Cops: *pulls hand gun* Put down the weapon, exit the vehicle and put your hands on our back!

lol again.

bobert610 (author)speckone2009-09-19

hahahahahahahhAHA lol man good 1

dude, my mom, and dads car uses the chip in the key, I wanted to give them one for Christmas.

you can bring it to the store and have them fit a normal key for around 9 bucks

Father Christmas (author)guydie52009-07-20

If you try to use a regular key in a vehicle that requires a chip key, it will actually lock out vehicle use on the internal computer. You HAVE to get the EXACT key from an auto retailer, or online, otherwise you will go through a great deal of trouble and money.

Sandisk1duo (author)speckone2008-08-23

looks like you just hotwired that car

cry_wolf (author)speckone2008-08-23

Bahaha dude thats awesome.

R4Man18 (author)speckone2008-08-20

hahaha Nice instructable but is pretty heavy so it may screw up your key switch and they are annoying as hell to replace.

fancypenguin845 (author)speckone2008-08-16

hey... is that... MY car??? :D

DIY Dave (author)speckone2008-08-09

i'm planning on making one of these

pyro222 (author)speckone2008-07-27

hahaha. Yeah, that doesn't look suspicious at all. Very Cool!

Everlong (author)speckone2008-07-26

Haha, that is hilarious! Nice one!

=SMART= (author)speckone2008-07-25


ben_c_g (author)2015-01-01

This is the most practical thing I've ever seen on instructables

dianneowens13 (author)2014-07-07

Wow that awesome, so detailed info and thats a great idea also! I just discovered this site and I am amazed! Regards, Dianne from

mbanes1 (author)2014-04-17

Amazed at your patience in this review.
Dissembling and putting it back together, I can only imagine the time
needed just for this post.

I've worked in a multitool factory for
years, and this might not be the best multi tool out there, but the
thoughts in the comments and the article itself really made my day.

Sebastien Loo (author)2014-04-08

This can double as the Best EDC Knife. It will be cool to have this type of key for your car, but at the same time use the same key as a good blade. :)

Maybe this will be coming soon. :)

NCJustin (author)2014-01-30

Reminded me of this, Would hate to get stopped with that in your ignition.

OKflyboy (author)2013-08-30

Nice! I'm working out of the country right now, but I will be doing this as soon as I get home!

iminthebathroom (author)2012-02-06

Nice, love this idea. I did a variation where I turned the entire leatherman into a key chain, but this by far cooler - Tips the virtual hat

westcoastbuilders (author)2010-01-01

I'm always breaking keys in my pocket, this is a great idea!

how do you manage to break keys? That seems really difficult especially without trying

Breaking keys can happen quite easily, falling off your bike or skateboard, slipping on a banana peel and landing on an edge, getting hit by a bus can do some damage to your keys.  Typically these activities will only result in the breaking of one key.  It is possible to break all keys, crashing in an airplane will do it (especially if the keys burn in jet fuel for 1-2 hours).  Being a martyr for and Islamic extremist group can tend to destroy keys in your pocket among other things!  Well the list goes on and on, I hope this gives you an idea of how really easy it is to break keys in your pocket!

That's the best rely EVER!

what if your bomb needed that key and you broke it? bet you'de be in trouble then! Who do Martyrs/Islamic extremists get in trouble from anyway? I cant imagine a small terrorist child being given 300 lines of "I must check the polarity of the detonator" by his teacher

jk for all those who are a "bit" touchy

firefletcher (author)Doddity2011-07-03

I just laughed so hard at these comments..


Wish they would stop acting like children and destroy something worth destroying...... like spammers........ or most of youtube.

Badetise (author)Doddity2011-07-03

lol i love instructables

vienershnitzel (author)Doddity2010-12-08

agreed... some of the stupidest comments i've ever heard/seen...

MicioGatta (author)2012-02-02

This is brilliant! You could use colored keys like these :)

CatTrampoline (author)2011-07-28

This is great! While not suitable for newer (chipped) car keys, I have a bunch of door & padlock keys that I carry around. When kept on a ring they wear holes in my pocket & gouge my leg, and those little leather key wallets keep breaking.

Ward_Nox (author)CatTrampoline2012-02-01

if you nee a chipped key just get a Keyport similar deal but they have the chips that can be programmed 2

freakyqwerty (author)2011-07-09

Now you just need to add a couple of Lockpicks and a torsion wrench on the other side!

SirBrittanicvs (author)2009-12-23

Very cool idea. Though you do lose a few tools by doing so the whole thing is pretty clever. Perhaps you could sacrifice just one tool and replace it with a bump key.

musick_08 (author)SirBrittanicvs2011-05-19

maybe make handles for the other tools?

Broberg (author)2011-02-03

This is a great idea! I have a couple of those cheap buggers around right now! I usually get them as a free gift for signing up for stuff or as promotional items. I really don't think it will be something that I could use on a day-to-day basis as some of the keys I carry can not be copied (Federal law) but for the house and car, this will be great to have that spare set in case of loss. Woulderful Instructible!

Biggsy (author)2010-12-22

That's a great idea! Welldone!

jiajunwang (author)2010-11-15

NIce, but you surely can't carry that with you on a plane, with all the blades

Shiftlock (author)2009-12-19

I would never be able to operate this when drunk, and I would end up sleeping on my porch.  I have a hard enough time with a normal key sometimes.

alivia (author)Shiftlock2010-11-06

Maybe that would be better than a dui or killing someone (including yourself)? You could market them as a test for seeing if you are too drunk to drive.

Tecknojock (author)2010-05-04

I think Im gonna fill one of these up with assorted bump keys for common locks.

BOOM5601 (author)Tecknojock2010-09-14

You do that, and while you're at it, get caught trying to break in to someones house.

destrolennox (author)2008-07-22

I REALLY like the idea of this mod, and I started thinking about what I would need to buy to make one myself... but toekneebullard's makes a really valid point. With all of the blades removed, technically you shouldn't have any problems with airport security, but this is reality and I can almost guarantee that you will at LEAST have to do a lot of explaining before they allowed you to take it on the plane. More likely though I believe they wouldn't even let you board with it. :( sad clown.

kyledcline (author)destrolennox2010-05-27

 Put it in your luggage. Problem solved.

incorrigible packrat (author)2008-07-24

Neat use for a cheapie Leatherman knock-off! Considering making one myself, but I'd probably need a 37 blade tool, for all the stupid keys I use. For the car key, I'd suggest leaving a little nub on one of the modified keys, that you could drill an extra hole through. Attach a chain to this, and stick the car key on the end. Maybe even a hook in the middle of the chain, to hang the whole works on the shift stalk (or wiper control stalk, if'n you don't have column shift), while driving, to limit stress on the ignition switch. Funny thing that so many have mentioned airport security. I've attained the ripe old age of almost 35, and have not yet had the need to travel by airplane. I was just wondering, do most people use air travel so often, that there would be a huge problem with Leathermanning their keys?

im only 13 and i travel by airplane a lot and yeh it probably would cause a problem... i had an electrical box circley thing stuck in my sock and i didnt know, i no seems imposible but i did, and it took them like 10 minuts in security and they had to get like 20 people to come and help and if i was older i prabably woulda goten arested lol.

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