Designer Erik von Schoultz of Sweden didn’t need to reinvent the wheel to improve the key ring. When he decided to make an easier split-ring key chain, he found that a simple, strategically placed bump could make a world of difference. He ironed out the details of the invention, dubbed FREEKey, with Oscar Löwenhielm of Stockholm-based Drosselmeyer Design Group.
The problem FREEKey solves is all too familiar. It’s a hassle to manipulate conventional split-ring key chains. Adding or removing a key requires prying apart the overlapping metal loops and wedging the edge of the key in between the gaps. FREEKey is completely different. With a simple press, the end of the FREEKey ring lifts open to allow a key to slide in or out. You can take a single house key with you when you go for a walk, or leave a car key with a valet, or ditch your work keys for the weekend without wrecking your nails or jamming your fingers.
Made from high-grade stainless steel, FREEKey’s press-to-open key rings are manufactured in the U.S. and made available through Exotac, an outdoor gear business in Georgia started by engineer Rob Falkenhayn. Once you try FREEKey, you won’t miss wrestling with other split-ring key chains.