What are the Different Types of Keyrings?

R. Kayne

For an item we carry with us everywhere we go, keyrings don't generally receive much thought. But keyrings can be as expressive as the jewelry we wear, from diamond stud earrings and gold bracelets to rugged digital wristwatches and military tags. There are probably as many different kinds of keyrings as there are people!

A family photo made to look like a miniature framed picture can be used on keyrings.
A family photo made to look like a miniature framed picture can be used on keyrings.

For those that like classic elegance, there is the gold ring with dangling gold medal. These gold-plated brass medals are round or rectangular with gently rounded corners and can be engraved. Personalized gold keyrings make great gifts at an affordable price for any occasion, not just for friends or family members, but for co-workers as well.

Car key fobs often contain remote starters.
Car key fobs often contain remote starters.

If you prefer more whimsical keyrings, there are online vendors that will affix personal photos to an acrylic key fob. The fob is made to look like a miniature framed picture. This presents another world of possibilities for gift ideas. A wedding photo, water-skiing shot, baby picture, or even a photograph of a beloved pet can make a great keyring.

For the person who appreciates handcrafted items, consider a wooden keyring. These keyrings vary widely in appearance. Some wood fobs are made of highly polished, intricate inlays to form beautiful designs. Others are cylindrical wood fobs that might have gold-capped ends. One online company accepts customer-supplied wood of sentimental value to make custom keyrings. This might be wood from your house or the gazebo where you proposed, or maybe from your son's first little league bat or your grandfather's rocker.

For the car enthusiast, there are a multitude of keyrings available from any automotive center. Choose from all major makes and models to find the silver or gold-plated insignia of choice, commonly backed by a finely stitched leather fob.

Even items that aren't intended as keyrings can substitute for the real thing. Carabiners used in climbing, for example, make great keyrings. "Pocket chain" keyrings are made from a length of chain with a spring or snap ring at each end. A ring of keys goes in the spring ring, while the snap ring attaches to a belt loop.

If you have more than one set of keys, you may appreciate a keyring with a quick-disconnect. This depression-activated small connector allows you to attach and detach a second keyring easily with a simple push of a pin on the sleeve of the connector. The inner sleeve remains on the primary set of keys, for example, while the outer sleeve separates to remain with the secondary set. This is especially handy to separate work and personal keys. When you need to take all of your keys with you, the keyrings quickly re-attach.

So take a look at your keyring. How long have you had it? Does it say anything about you? Maybe it's time to treat yourself to a new one!

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Discussion Comments


i think keyrings are so interesting.

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