The best self defense tool is that one you’ve got in your hand when you need it. It should also be discrete and easily carried.
Pocket knives and batons are excellent but they often stick out like a sore thumb, however holding keys in your hand arouses minimal suspicion.
Read on to see the best options for your needs and learn why these are great tools for self defense.
Check The Legality of Your Keychain!
The state of the law around any type of self-defense tool can be confusing, frustrating, and altogether infuriating.
Even in gun-toting states like Texas, certain self-defense keychains can be illegal.
Check with your locality before you purchase one and get busted for it.
Seven Self-Defense Keychain Options
The Munio Self-Defense Keychain
The Munio is a straight-forward choice for folks who want a tool that doesn’t look like a tool.
It has a good ergonomic shape and advertises itself as being safer than pepper spray and tasers.
Geared and marketed towards women, it’s colorful design allows this keychain to “hide in the open” and can easily be matched to whatever style and color combination you want.
- Appealing design means you can display your self-defense keychain openly
- Feels nice in the palm of your hand
- Includes an ebook on self-defense using the tool
- Small size makes it difficult for large-handed users to operate
- Flashy and colorful design can stand out for more conservative individuals
Street Smart Spike Keychain
The design I’m most familiar with is also one of those that’ll get confiscated at airports and other public venues. That’s probably on account of the two piercing spikes on the thing; put this tool between your knuckles and strike an assailant, and they will take off running. This is one of the more dangerous keychains to use for self-defense and its uses are limited compared to others on this list.
- Single designed use makes this keychain extremely effective in its one method of use
- Decent size (almost 6” long) allows it to fit most hands well
- Good quality construction not likely to dent or ding from bumps and scratches
- Designed for one type of attack makes it more situational to use
- Paint chips and wears easily
- Most likely illegal and will be confiscated at the door of clubs, venues, airports, and other
CJESLNA Self-Defense Weapon Keychain
Love this straight-forward design, but it unfortunately has the word “weapon” right there in the name of it.
Legalities aside I have to suggest this keychain because of how darn effective it is. It also includes a handy-dandy whistle for alerting people to your presence or for finding someone in the crowd.
- Good size to fit in most hands
- Straight-forward design allows for practically instinctive use
- Included whistle can be useful in and out of self-defense scenarios
- It will likely be confiscated at airports, etc.
- Stands out blatantly on most keychains
Like the CJESLNA above the Kubaton keychain possesses a straight-forward design but has no pointed end. You’re less likely to feel like a vampire hunter with the Kubaton on your keyring.
It is made of light aluminum that is strong and resistant to damage, and the less aggressive look makes this a better option for the conservative minded.
- Intuitive design
- Less obviously a self-defense tool
- Light and strong design
- Seems to be “rushed” out of facility complete with minor machining faults and chipped paint
- Still a bit large for some users
This one definitely is going to pass by unnoticed as a self-defense tool. It looks more like a dog's chew toy than anything, but boy is it effective.
Like the Munio above, this Yoogo tool is discrete and offers multiple methods of use. There’s really no wrong way to use this on your keyring as this video demonstrates.
- Very nondescript design
- Can be used in many methods/styles
- Durable design
- Less useful if you’ve got a big bundle of keys
Titanium Triangle Keychain Tool
Constructed from titanium this handy tool has multiple purposes outside of strict self-defense.
It can be used as a glass-breaker, or as a “titanium worry stone” as one reviewer uses it. The titanium construction promises this self-defense keychain will outlast any other in a SHTF scenario.
- Relatively non-descript
- Durable construction
- Multiple uses beyond self-defense
- Varying reviews of finished machining quality (sharp edges, scuffs, etc)
- Smaller than most reviewers expected
Keychains for Self-Defense?
While not the ideal tool, it is better than nothing. These tools arouse little attention, are a breeze to carry, and are easy to use.
Discrete and Easy to Carry
The no-frills design makes the keychain blend right in. Few people would look twice at any of these designs or suspect they are anything more than decoration.
Other defense options on your belt can bring unwanted attention but a keychain is hardly noticeable.
Chances are you’ve got keys to carry around with you day to day. Adding a small tool like the ones listed above blends right in.
Simple Design and Ease of Use
Most keychains are of a very simple construction; usually a solid piece of metal that fits in your hand.
Others will have larger projectiles or features for defending yourself, but as a rule they are nondescript and self-explanatory to use.
That means that with minimal practice you can become proficient in using this basic tool in a self defense scenario.
I’m Sold, But How Do You Use It?
It really is a simple process, but a good video demonstration always helps visualizing what to do. The video below is for a specific brand of these tools, but the quick and clear demonstration it offers is universal.
There you have it.
You can use your keychain as a striking object by itself or as a handle to strike with the keys attached to it.
I like that second method for striking an opponent in the eyes but I’d be hesitant doing it in the real world; what if you lose an important key in the process and can’t get to a safe location?
Think strategically and situationally when using these tools and always remember to practice with the tool before you rely on it. It’s foolish to rely on something you’ve never practiced with.
Recommended Reading – A Quick and Dirty Guide To Self Defense
Let’s say you’re caught somewhere without your self-defense keychain, but you’ve got your keys in hand.
You are still in luck and can defend yourself, but do not do the old “knuckle duster”, Wolverine thing where you stick keys between your fingers to scratch and fight. Chances are you’re going to cut your hands up more than you effectively defend yourself.
Hold your keys in one clump and “stab” with them.
It ain’t glamorous, but it’ll work.
Finishing Things Off
I love that keychains are intuitive, readily accessible, and provide multiple methods of use. They should be a solid option for every serious devotee of self defense.
But that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t practice with them, drill with them, and develop a solid foundation of use. Read over the options and purchase a few to see what works for you.
Your life might not depend on it, but then again, it might.
Born and bred in rural Pennsylvania, Matt embraced the backwoods lifestyle. An early exposure to knives, firearms, gardening, and foraging developed him into the outdoorsman he is today.
Matt is fueled almost entirely by beer and hot sauce. Learn more about Matt here.