Key Smart

This Key Smart is part of my EDC.

About two years ago (maybe a bit more) I tired of the jangle of keys in my pocket, their weight, and from being poked when I sat or moved such that they snagged me through my pocket. After reading about a number of alternative modes for carrying keys (which we all must carry), I purchased an original Key Smart from Amazon.

The Key Smart is not the most expensive tool for carrying keys. It is adjustable and can carry more keys than I do (about a half-dozen). Care is required to get the tension right on the screws or you might strip the female end or leave them unsecured, which means you might have a “key explosion.” I read a few reviews that included horror stories of lost keys, which were accompanied by negative reviews and “star” ratings. I believe these are undeserved as they represent user error (or SUE, AKA “Stupid User Error”) and a lack of care and attention to one’s carry kit. I have had no problem with the carrier after making some adjustments to the tension on the retaining screws.

After two years of EDC, the anodizing is holding up well. There is a bit of brassing at high-contact points, though.
I noticed a few follow-up questions on Amazon a few weeks ago. There was some concern that the “paint” might wear off. As far as I can tell, my Key Smart is anodized aluminum and has held up quite well. There is some brassing along the edges, which is to be expected for an EDC piece of kit. I don’t think this detracts from the appearance; I think it shows that an item is used and loved.

To carry my Key Smart, I purchased an S-Biner (Nitecore, I believe and actually I purchased a multi-unit kit). I hung the unit from a belt loop for awhile, but decided I didn’t like that. It didn’t feel secure. It was “floppy” and banged around a bit when I was active or in a confined space. Therefore, I fashioned a loop from some Coyote Brown paracord, with the loop about eight- or ten-inches in length. I use a larks head knot over my belt and clip the Key Smart’s S-Biner to the loop, which then hangs in my pocket without touching the bottom of my pocket.

The weight is carried on my belt (which is beginning to look like a Bat Belt), there is no wear-and-tear on my pocket, and my keys don’t touch the bottom of my pocket or any of the contents of my pocket.

This works for me. I carry all my regular-use keys in the Key Smart with the exception of my 4Runner key. That lives in my second-level EDC kit.

I’ll make a photograph of a pocket dump one of these days and post the contents. I might do the second-level EDC kit then, as well as the third-level and my pack kit at some time.

Schrade SCHF15 EDC Blade

The Schrade SCHF15 is a fine EDC blade.

Some time ago (can’t remember anymore) I bought this Schrade SCHF15 blade. Although Schrade has a rather mixed reputation, some of their knives are quite good. I like this blade quite a lot. It is a full-tang fixed blade with a useable 3.5-inch (more or less) Tanto point blade. The weight is about right for a fixed-blade EDC, the G10 scales are nicely sculpted, and the finger choil and jimping work for me.

I like Tanto blades for their penetrating power. The hollow grind lightens the blade and provides very good cutting power. The sheath that accompanies the blade is decent and is adjustable. I’m going to put a lanyard on the sheath, remove the belt loop, and make it an IWB draw that will draw when the lanyard is stretched. That will make appendix carry straightforward and I won’t have the blade digging into my side or blocking access to my sidearm.

The honed/stropped edge of my Schrade SCHF15 EDC blade.
I noticed that the edge needed some attention, so I put the Schrade in my KME sharpener and rebeveled the edge and get it nice and sharp. The bevel angle was a little flat at 27 degrees (I prefer about 25 degrees for edge strength) and the factory bevel was a little uneven. But it cleaned up well and only took me about a half-hour to finish the job.

I stropped the edge on my Stropman strop (wonderful product) and it has nearly a mirror edge. It is razor sharp as well.

I think this will be my EDC fixed blade for quite some time. I like the design, the heft, the balance, and the scales. I think this one is a keeper.

Key and Lanyard

I made this lanyard quickly because my key needed one. It's not the final step, I think.
I made this lanyard quickly because my key needed one. It’s not the final step, I think.

The key to my rig has been bouncing around in my pocket for a couple-three months now. I’m in the process of adjusting my EDC to better fit my lifestyle. It appears there are about three stages for my EDC. The first is the always carry and those things are on my person just about all the time. The key to my rig is one of those items.

So, I decided a month ago that my key needs a lanyard. Unfortunately, the lanyard hole was too small for standard 550 paracord. So I didn’t make any progress.

This morning, after walkies and getting my bite adjusted on the new appliance in my mouth, I had a few minutes and remembered putting a small triangular file in my portable toolkit. So, I retrieved some paracord from my kit, got the file out, did test fit to ensure my recollection was correct (measure twice, cut once) — it was — so I started to work with the file.

After about 15-minutes of cut-and-check, I was pretty sure I could pull a length of line through the lanyard hole in the key. so, I cut a piece of paracord, singed the new end, and pulled it through.

Then came the knot-experimentation phase. I tried a couple of times, then decided the project was good enough for the moment and quit. I needed to get the rig to the Toyota House for service and didn’t want to be late.

So this is my first shot at a short lanyard for my 4Runner key. I’m going to work up a finishing knot for the lanyard. Then I expect to use an S-biner or carabiner to clip the key into my new EDC kit.

I’ll get around to describing it and my other levels of EDC at some point. I’m still sorting all that out.