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I have been a huge fan of KeySmart for a couple years now, and have owned their original version for quite a while. And recently even wrote up a feature of the product!
KeySmart has now been kind enough to send me out the Rugged version of their product, as well as the knife accessory to review and I’m super excited about it.
The Rugged version offers thicker steel plates, a belt (pocket) clip, blue coloring and an expansion pack.
The knife accessory showed up, not branded as KeySmart but rather a Klecker Kives and Tools branded knife. I am in no way saying that is a bad thing though, just interesting!
I have already talked about who KeySmart is, and what they do in another post, so I don’t want to get too in depth with that. So let’s get right into the review!
I am a big fan of great packaging, smartphone companies like Apple and Samsung offer some great experiences when receiving the product. Even gun safe manufacturers like Vaultek strive for that.
The packaging for the KeySmart though is a bit lacking, and reminds me of what you would find hanging on an end cap at Walmart.
That said, it is very informative, and shows you exactly what the product does without much question.
Assembling the KeySmart Rugged
So I have to admit, I didn’t read the instructions on how to put this together, and probably should have beforehand.
This resulted in me putting it together incorrectly a couple times (even though I have done this before with my old one).
It can be quite difficult to put together, however it is definitely worth it in the end.
The main issues I had, were that the keys would slide off the stack and I would have to start over again. However after spending some time looking at the product, I don’t think they could have made it any easier.
Quality and usability
I believe this is really what counts when it comes to a product. For the most part, putting this together, and getting the packaging is really only a once or twice experience, but the quality and usability is something you are going to experience ever day.
KeySmart has really hit it out of the park with this.
The steel plates on the rugged version are a bit thicker, and every part of the product is really really well made. After tinkering with the layout of your accessories and keys, and getting used to it for a couple days, it become second nature every time you need to use it.
My old original style had been used for around 3 years, and it was still holding up great with just some rub marks from years of throwing it around, however the usability was never impacted by extended use.
I expect this rugged version to hold up much better than even that.
Thoughts after a couple days
After using the KeySmart Rugged for a couple of days, there were a couple new things that I noticed.
I noticed, that this thing feels so much nicer than the original. Even though it isn’t much thicker than the original, it does have rounded edges, making it much nicer in the pocket.
Another thing is the color! I really like the blue color of the rugged, and feel like it is nicer than the original’s red.
Lastly, I highly recommend paying attention to the layout of your keys for a bit. Then when you notice something you don’t like, then take it apart and make sure to adjust it to what you need.
After a while, I now have the knife, and all of my keys accessible in a way that is easy to remember, and quick to use.
The Klecker Knife Review
This knife was an added accessory that I had really wanted. It showed up exactly like I thought it would, and works perfectly.
It has awesome quality, but is pretty much as thin as a normal key would be.
The knife does appear to be ever so slightly too long for the keysmart though. However I believe that can be resolved by putting the knife in the same order as the key loop, allowing it to move into that spot on the other end.
UPDATE: 1 Year Later
I have now been using the KeySmart Rugged for over a year, and continue to be enjoying it! I think the one thing that really surpised me over the last year, was how much I really use the included pocket clip. It keeps my keys easily accessible, and means my keys don’t jumble up in the bottom of my pocket.
It also has become second nature as to where each key is in my key organizer as well, so I never have to look at my keys to know which one I should be using for a lock during my day.
Final Thoughts on the KeySmart Rugged
I highly recommend this product for anyone that has more than 2 keys. It is awesome for those that don’t even have many keys, as you can add tons of different accessories to it, and basically turn it into your own customized multi tool.
This is also a piece of gear, that you are going to use daily, and is so much better than having your keys on a standard key ring.
Something I always wished I had was a knife on me at any time. However I never really wanted to keep a bulky knife on me. Having the knife accessory on the KeySmart gives me the best of both worlds.
In the end, I recommend you take a look at all of the options KeySmart has to offer. Most people will be just fine with the Original KeySmart, as it holds up just fine.
If you really need a belt clip, then the Rugged is your choice. If you want to be able to track down your keys, take a look at their Pro version.
You’ll also find this KeySmart Rugged at the top of my list of best key organizers! Read more here.
Editors Note: This article was originally posted on Oct 14, 2019, however has been updated for formatting, and to add updates to my thoughts over the past year of ownership.
More reading: Did you know that KeySmart also has other awesome products like these Urban 21 backpacks?