Buy It For Life: Keychain and Pocket Tools

In our “Buy It For Life” posts we feature products that are built to last a lifetime. We also give preference to products that are very durable, are warrantied for life, and are made in the U.S.

The Fenix LD01 is barely large than the AAA battery it uses (we recommend using a low-discharge rechargeable NiHm AAA battery). It is very bright — it produces 80 lumens on its highest setting, which is brighter than most full-size flashlights.

The Fenix LD01 is solidly built — it uses a Cree Q5 LED as its light source, and the lens is made of toughened, anti-reflective glass. It weighs 1.6 ounces, and it is “IPX-8 water proof”, meaning it is suitable for continuous submersion. The flashlight is also RoHS compliant — it does not contain non-toxic heavy metals or flame retardants.

You can the Fenix LD01 from Amazon for about $40.


Schrade Titanium Keychain Pry Tool

Weight: 0.5 ounces (14 grams)
Titanium Type: 6AL-4V Titanium Alloy

This Titanium Key Chain Pry Tool by Schrade is made with solid 6AL-4V titanium — an alloy that is stronger than pure titanium (the exact chemical composition is: 6% aluminium, 4% vanadium, 0.25% iron, 0.2% oxygen, and the remainder titanium).

This is 6-in-One tool, it’s: a seal belt cutter, a bottle opener, a flat head screw driver, a wrench driver, a scraper, and a pry tool. It weighs just 0.5 ounces, and it’s 3.25″ long (8.2 cm).

 The Titanium Key Chain Pry Tool is available on Amazon for about $20.


Titanium Inka Pen

Weight: 0.45 ounces (12.7 grams)
Titanium Type: Solid Titanium

The Titanium Inka Pen is designed to be attached to a keychain. Weighing just 0.45 ounces, the pen’s case is constructed with titanium, the and pen components are built from carbon fiber composite. It has a pressurized ink cartridge, which means the pen will write wet or dry at any angle, any temperature, and any altitude. If you’re going to be writing for some time, you can unscrew the stainless steel fob and reconfigure your pen into Full-Size mode.

The pen is made by Inka, a company based in Colorado, and created by Greg Adelman, a former marine engineer who worked for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Refills for this pen are available for about $4.

The Titanium Inka Pen is available from Amazon for about $32. You can get a stainless steel version for about $20.


Titanium Split Pea Lighter

Weight: 0.5 ounces (14.3 Grams)
Titanium Type: 6AL4V Series Titanium Grade 5 Alloy

The Titanium Split Pea Lighter can be used as an candle in an emergency and carried on your keychain. A removable lighter insert allows it to be used as a waterproof titanium pill vial. It sells for $30 from County Comm.

Leatherman Charge TTi Titanium Multi-Tool

Weight: 8.2 ounces (232 grams)
Titanium Type: Alloyed Titanium Handles, S30V Stainless Steel Blades

The Charge TTi Titanium Multi-Tool by Leatherman is one of the few multi-tools that incorporates titanium into its construction. This tool has titanium handles and a titanium outer coating for extra strength, and a little bit less weight.

You can get the Charge TTi Titanium Multi-Tool on Amazon for about $100.


Leatherman Micra Tool

Leatherman Micra is a keychain-sized multi-tool that contains a total of ten tools, including a pair of scissors. The Micra weighs 1.6 ounces, and it’s 2.5 inches long when closed. Leatherman tools are guaranteed for 25 years (10 years for their lights). Specifically, the company says “we will gladly repair or replace it, at our discretion, with one of equal or greater value”. Over 120 buyers on Amazon, rated it an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The Leatherman Micra is available on Amazon for around $20.

Another good keychain-sized multi-tool is the Gerber Shortcut Mini-Scissor Tool.


Arc-AAA LED Flashlight

Designed for keychains, Arc-AAA flashlights are barely larger than the AAA batteries they contain. The exact dimension are: 2.5 inches in length, 0.5 inches in diameter, and 0.75 ounces in weight. The Arc-AAA is made in Phoenix, Arizona by Arc Flashlights. The company only makes keychain-sized flashlights, and put a lot of attention into the design of their lights (see the FAQ page of all the technical details).

Arc AAA LED Flashlight

The Arc-AAA is warrantied for life against manufacturing defects. It features a Nichia white LED light, and is waterproof to 100 feet. I’ve used this flashlight for about five years, and I’ve never had any issues with it. It has fewer scratches on it than my other keychain lights, perhaps due to its “Type III Hard Anodized 6061 Aluminum” casing.

The price is $29.95 for the standard model, and $44.95 for the premium model Arc AAA. It’s available directly from the manufacturer Arc Flashlights. There’s also three titanium models available that range in price from $125 to $140.

We like this flashlight because it’s made in the U.S. with a lot of attention to design detail. It’s also slightly smaller than the Fenix LD01 (below). However, the Fenix LD01 (see above) is much brighter than the Arc AAA, producing 80 lumens, which is quite bright for a keychain-sized flashlight. 

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