Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Crazy Keyrings

I have, or have had, countless key-holders.
But never a really satisfactory one.

Yet it's a pretty universal device, with years of development time accumulated.
And wasted, apparently.

All the various spring-clip variants seem like over-kill & are inherently bulkier, heavier & more complicated than necessary.
They usually have the potential of suddenly opening completely if they snag on something, which can result in disaster.

Keys are often delivered with simple round-wire rings, usually spiral-wound with just over one complete turn & with rough chopped ends.
OK for temporary use & easy to open, for adding & removing keys, they are unsatisfactory in general use as the wire is usually too weak & deforms when pulled.
The sharp, unprotected ends are unpleasant to handle & often catch threads in pockets etc.

The most common device is a ring with just under 2 complete turns of wire.
Instead of a steady spiral winding, it is normal to find a sudden kink at the midpoint, which allows the ends of the wire to be sunken & not catch threads.
Often the wire ends are rounded & smoothed or polished so they feel pleasant.
But then they all go wrong with the choice of wire section.
Almost invariably, the section is such that you would break a finger-nail if you tried to add or remove a key without a tool (knife or screwdriver).
Occasionally, you find a 2-turn keyring with thin-enough wire that it can be opened with bare hands, but usually it is then too weak for general use & ends up distorted.
Yet there is no need for significant force holding the coils together; keys will not come off anyway.
The obvious answer is flat wire, which would allow separation of the ends by finger-nails, but still be strong & rigid enough to maintain the ring shape.
Still with nearly 2 turns, kink in the middle and nicely smoothed ends, of course.

The example at bottom right in my illustration is nearly there, but still too stiff for bare hands.

I suppose somebody, somewhere is making keyrings like that, but I have not found one.

Parting thot: "If you drink and drive, you might as well smoke." - Anon

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