KeyPal – Keeper Of The Keys
KeyPal is the new, sleek way to organize keys.Nearly everyone has had the experience with a massive tangle of keys bulging from a pocket or lodging itself like lead in the bottom of a bag. The KeyPal is the smarter, more attractive solution to keeping track of keys.
These customizable, size to fit key racks start with the number of keys needed. Designs are available for 3 to 15 keys, and include rubber washers to modify the rack as needed. Next, decide which of the three luxurious woods to use. Goncalo Alves is a rich and classic looking wood with color similar to light mahogany. Zebrano is stunning with natural light and dark striping wood grain. Wenge, the darkest of the three, has a deep espresso color grain. Finally, there is a choice of a circular loop or squared loop end. Both are equally strong and durable, just a matter of personal preference.
The brain behind the KeyPal is Eric Schleicher. He started playing with the designs using plywood and a laser cutter, initially giving the prototypes to friends and co-workers for fun. However, after receiving a lot of positive feedback, he has since expanded the line using the three beautiful hard woods above.
Eric works with Obrary.com, a company that strives to bring Open Source ideas to a tangible level. The idea is that design files are posted so that anyone can use them to further a project and/or make their own spin.
I was given three KeyPals to test and review. Each with a slightly different style and one of each of the three currently offered materials. I chose to long-term test the Wenge wood with squared loop end, since it seemed the best fit for my personality and my three standard keys. Getting the keys onto the KeyPal requires a Phillips head screw driver and a small amount of eye-key coordination. To get the keys onto the KeyPal, one has to back out a screw from the piece and slide the key eye-holes onto the screw shaft. The trick here is to keep the screw end exposed from the wood in the wood gap (see photo) in order to place the key eye-holes securely and be able to screw to tighten for use. I highly advise a second set of hands for this assembly process.
I really enjoyed testing the KeyPal and found it quite useful. It kept all of my standard keys in one place and eliminated the annoying clank of metal on metal of a usual key ring since the keys fold into, and stay nested in the unit. I was very impressed by the durability of the wood. In the six weeks of testing the piece looks brand new: not a dent, scratch, or blemish.
Unfortunately, I have a majority of items on my keychain that do not fit the KeyPal. I have two car keys (one unlocks the car, and the other is for the ignition), in addition to a car key fob and a fob for my office building. Finally, a flurry of key cards (grocery store and library card, gym pass, etc.). Eric assured me the desire to fit car keys and key cards has been taken into consideration and is in the works. As for fobs, given the wide range of size and shape, this opens the door for a challenging future project.
Currently, the customizable KeyPal is only available for purchase online with a going MSRP of $24.95. This afterhours project turned chic key rack is the perfect holiday, birthday, or anytime gift for those who enjoy (or need) attractive & clever organization for their keys!