The Amazing Flex O Loc Keyring

Flex O Loc keyring

I’m always on the lookout for gear improvements. Whether it’s a better backpack, shelter, jacket, or even something as small as a keyring – I’m comparing and analyzing. As it turns out, so are many of you!

About a month ago I posted a photo on Instagram (shown below) in order to share my EDC pocket dump with a friend. In the photo were all the pieces of gear that I had on my person at that exact point in time. The items shown represented years of trial an error and small, incremental improvements. To my utter amazement I received a flurry of emails and comments asking me what type of “keyring” I was using. You heard me right, not my knife, sunglasses, watch, or other sexy piece of gear – my keyring…

Enough people asked me about this tiny piece of gear that I’d thought I’d share it with you and the story of how it came about.

CountyComm Mechanic Cables

A few years ago I stumbled upon the CountComm mechanics cables that are made of stainless steel aviation cable and screw close. I even shared a blog post about them (I know you’re not at all surprised). They seemed to be the perfect solution for an ultralight reusable D-ring and for carrying my keys and other EDC items – in fact that was how CountyComm was pitching them.

However, over time I discovered that there were two problems. When the cable is closed it is hard to know which way it unscrews or opens, so I would often incorrectly guess which end of the cable contained the large knurled stopper, resulting in all of my keys and small items falling to the floor. Even worse was that the cables would slowly unscrew by themselves and fly apart spreading my bits on the floor again.

I became paranoid about checking that the cables were tightened and overly cautious when unscrewing them, to the point that I didn’t like using them any more and needed a better solution.

Flex O Loc Keyrings

After many weeks of searching and Googling I came across an alternative looking metal cable that was smaller, had a completely different closure mechanism, and nylon coated for corrosion resistance. The only problem was that at the time I didn’t know what they were called or where I could buy them.

Flex O Loc Keyring

Eventually I tracked down a store on Etsy that was selling the small cables as a baker’s dozen for roughly $10. They were referred to as Flex O Loc keyrings and were identical to the photos I had seen online. I placed an order and received them in three days from the store owner, David. That was almost two years ago now, and to be honest I had forgotten about how much effort it took me to find them until the emails came flodding in from the Instagram photo.

Super Secure

To open the Flex O Loc cables you have to bend the cable back on itself and slide the tiny ball out of the socket it is slotted into. Trust me when I say that I have never had one of these open accidentally. The resistance of the stainless steel aviation cable wanting to maintain the ‘loop’ shape actually keeps the closure snapped tight and securely in place. These open and close with a very clear and satisfying ‘pop’ sensation.

Flex O Loc Keyring

The blue Flex O Loc cable shown in the photos has been on my keys for roughly two years now and has been flexed back and forth more times than I can remember, yet there are no signs of fatigue or wear and tear. When I bought these I had wanted to have plenty of spares for when they break or wear out – I have a lot left!

Flex O Loc keyring

If you are looking for a simple, reliable keyring that won’t let you down then the Flex O Lok keyring is the best solution I have found, period. You can buy them from David via his Etsy store. If you think you have a better solution I’d love to hear it.

Important Update: The owner of the online Etsy store where I bought these from has advised me that he has sold out of his entire stock thanks to a rush of orders from all of you! He will not be getting any more in stock unfortunately. If you are looking to buy these cool little keyrings elsewhere I have been informed that the precise name for them is “Lucky Line #71101 Flex O Loc Key Ring”

Related Posts You Might Like:

Disclosure: The author paid for the Flex O Loc keyrings with his own funds.

(Visited 2,593 times, 1 visits today)
Be Sociable, Share!
  • http://samh.net/ Sam Haraldson

    I smell a “group buy” a’ brewin’.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Hey that’s not a bad idea!

  • Knotty

    Have been using the same CountyComm mechanics ring and have had the exact same concerns. Just placed an order with the Etsy seller for some Flex-O-Locs but it looks like it was the last batch he had in stock. Hopefully he gets more.

    • David

      Thanks to Brian’s post I had several orders at once, so it looked sold out briefly. But I’ve added several more listings – just check the front page of the store. I do have a selection left, albeit limited. Once they’re gone that’s it.

      Thanks everyone and special thanks to Brian,

      David

      • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

        Yikes! Even though I have a bunch left, I’m tempted to buy more..!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      The owner of the Etsy store, David, was great so I’m betting he will. They’re worth waiting for. Good to hear it wasn’t just my own user error with the CountComm cables, but sucks that they fail.

  • http://thefloridasteampunker.blogspot.com/ The Florida Steampunker

    I used the CC mechanics ring for a while. Problem is it was prone to bending and eventually the metallic wave frayed. Got cut rather annoyingly. I switched over to a plastic covered version I found at Wal-Mart. Similar to the Flex O Loc.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Yup, that kinda resembles my experience too. Funny how the small things can make a big difference :)

  • Snctool

    Brian,

    Here is my own version I make from 14 guage AWG insulated copper wire with a 4 millimeter stainless quick disconnect airline coupling…works great and will not come loose without depressing the end ring on the fitting.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Thanks for emailing the photos. Here we go…

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      and…

  • Snctool

    Let me try the pictures again.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Now I’m not even seeing my photos! I’ll figure it out. – BG

  • Snctool

    I give up Brian. I drag and drop the pictures but nothing happens.

  • George Phoenix

    Ordered mine! I’ve been needing these!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Yay! Give one or two to friends and share the love!

  • David G.

    Another agreement, you’re exactly right on the CountyComm ones. I see Amazon has them, be sure to search for “flex o loc key ring” for the most options.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I wanted to love the CC ones – I also bought way too many of them, but they didn’t stand the test of time unfortunately. – Brian

  • http://twitter.com/bikemech_ca Paully The Wrench

    Great keyring idea! But what I’m more interested in is the Elevation Church tag. You go there? That’s awesome!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Pauly, yes we do! My two kids love it the most and my wife volunteers a lot of her time there. Are you in the CLT area, do you go? I’m feeling a outdoor/hiking e-Group coming on…

  • Terrance Kennedy

    If any one what’s to know, these are the “Lucky Line 71101″ I personally use the “Lucky Line 81101″.. It’s basically the same but you have to do a twisting motion to take it apart and it takes time to break in the cable.. If you take it apart allot.

    You can fine them both on Amazon and or a Lucky Line authorized retailer (Key shack or Locksmith)

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Awesome info Terrance, thanks for sharing. I had one of the twist versions of these loops (81101) and it popped apart a few times on me, I think the clasp got worn. I was looking to replace it when i found the ball and socket version (71101) in bulk.

      Thanks for all the helpful info and letting people know how to find them, much appreciated! – Brian

  • http://sticksblog.com/ Chad “Stick” Poindexter

    These are interesting, and definitely look more ideal than regular key rings… I will have to pick up some sometime. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Doh, I should have given you a couple last time. Yeah order some, they won’t go to waste.

  • Justin

    Alright, I gave in and bought a baker’s dozen, thanks Brian for the info! And thanks to Greg for the original discovery and selling them!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Did mean to add any peer pressure :) You’ll find all sorts of uses for them, or share a few with friends. And who is Greg? David is the owner of the Etsy store.

  • Ernest

    Home Depot, Key Section.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Really? I’ve looked several times and didn’t see them. Now I have to go and check it out again!

  • cobradu

    Just ordered mine from David , thank you !!

  • George Phoenix

    I bought a bunch of these a while back and they’re great keyrings. I brought a couple of them on an overnight backpacking trip because they seemed pretty handy and noticed that the bear box wasn’t exactly closing securely. Since it’s a steel cable, I just snapped one on the lock and had an instantly secure bear box.

  • Audrey LaCrouix

    Brian, I saw the screw-type closure cable rings used as cable locks on luggage to keep the dual zippers from inadvertently opened (Red Oxx), but agree that the cable rings you shared with us is a better product with the bend/snap closure. I’m thinking of tracking some down to replace my key fob (mini carabiner) and to use on my GR Echo exterior zipper (looks like a lock but would-be pickpockets won’t bother with the extra step to get into my ruck).

  • Ronda C.

    My dad has been using these ever since I can remember and he is 80 years old. I think he used to get them from Academy back when it was just an army surplus store in Austin. They last forever and even now with his arthritis he can open and close it with ease.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Funny, I’ve seen these around since I was a kid. Probably why I am still fascinated with them :)

      • cobradu

        Has the price drastically went up on these ?

  • daniel smith

    I have one of these and it accidentally opens on me about once a month if the latch is in just the right place when I turn my keys. Usually results in everything on the key ring flying off and going everywhere.