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About Keychain and Keyring

update 2022/03/10

What is Difference between Keychain & Keyring?


Keychain, also known as keyattach, key ring, key chain, key hanger, etc. It is a ring loop with both keys and a chain of item helping holding the whole body and giving something expression or brings some kind of mood for the owner. The materials for making key chains are usually metal, leather, plastic, rubber, wood, stone, glass, diamond, zircon, polyester, amber, fabric and other artificial and natural materials, etc. This object is exquisite, compact, stylish and ever-changing in shape. It is a daily necessity that people carry with. A keychain is a decorative item hanging on a key ring.

Keychains have a variety of shapes, such as cartoon shapes, brand shapes, square or rectangle, water drop, simulation models, and even shoes. The materials are generally zinc-alloy, copper, aluminum, leather, rubber, plastic, glass, amber stones, polyester, real or artificial cotton, fabrics, diamond etc., and the metal surface is mainly nickel-plated or rhodium-plated with anti-rust elements, furthermore, the chain body can be added logo or other content that express core meaning of purpose. The keychain has become a small gift or promotional craft widely.

A keychain (also key chain) is a small ring or chain of item to which several keys can be attached. The length of a keychain allows an item to be used more easily than if connected directly to a keyring. Some keychains allow one or both ends the ability to rotate, keeping the keychain from becoming twisted, while the item is being used.

A keychain can also be a connecting link between a keychain and the belt or bag of an individual. It is usually employed by personnel whose job demands frequent use of keys, such as a security guard, prison officer, janitor, or retail store manager. The chain is often retractable, and therefore may be a nylon rope, instead of an actual metal chain. The chain ensures that the keys remain attached to the individual using them, makes accidental loss less likely, and saves on wear and tear on the pockets of the user.

In all, keychain has a chain something attached to key ring, many English speak nations call it keychain such as United States, Australia, United Kingdom, while other Non-English speak nations call it keyring usually, such as Germany, China, Japan.


Keys can be added to a key ring by forcing an end of the loop open and sliding the keys along the loop.

Keyring, also know as key ring or "split ring", key loop, key hoop, is a ring that holds keys and other small items, which are sometimes connected to keychains. Most types of keyrings are made of leather, metal, wood and rubber, it also can be added logo on ring bring promotional purpose. Keyrings were invented in 200 BC by Shangyang, Jin Dynasty in ancient China, while the ring is in the shape of iron loop in big diameter at that time. The most common form of the keyring is a single piece of metal in a small 'double loop' in the late development. Either end of the loop can be pried open to allow keys to be inserted and slide along the loop one by one until it becomes wholly engaged onto the ring. Novelty carabiners are also commonly used as keyrings for ease of access and exchange. Often the keyring is adorned with a key fob for self-identification or other items to be recognized for anti-loss and decoration, which is called keychain lately by people widely populated. Other forms of rings may use a single loop of metal or plastic with a mechanism to open and securely close the loop. Usually, keyring has no other attachment except keys, however, it is considered as keyring with something on it because it is commonly used to hang chains of item on it, That is why keychain and keyring became confused concept in people’s mind, which makes some countries called it keyring, some countries called it keychain, though they all regard it as same item nowadays when people get used to call it, specially businessmen.

Keychain & Keyring History

Around 2000 BC, several tribes in the Savannah near the Black Sea took Malay to the Tigris-Eupharates River Basin and began to use lock to keep their horse and sheep in the fence. This lock always has some chain of rope helping hanged on the wall or fence, or easily carry on the carts, some woman woven braided on this rope makes it beautiful, there it is original one how a keychain & keyring created and looked like.

For more than 1,000 years thereafter, this keychain develop for some kind of styles in all countries in the world. Later on, material on chain of key ring had been updated from fabric to leather by shoemaker, thereafter leather is updated by metal on blacksmith hands, keychain became exquisite and durable. Some royal nobles usually make a diamond made keychain as a symbol of power and wealth just like finger rings. In the 17th century, the diamond keychain became a symbol of royal status. The most luxurious British royal keychain was carried by King Joe in 1784 and is known as "the most magnificent keychain & keyring."

In the centuries to come, this type of keychain was replaced by batches of stronger, lighter, more beautiful, and cheaper by some designer. However, the manufacture speed of the keychain was still not meet market demand by hand-made workshop. People hope to invent a machine that is can make it faster. With the industrial revolution, keychain & keyring were first mass produced in the United Kingdom in the late 17th century, and quickly spread to European countries and worldwide in the following years. Before long, in some parts of the United Kingdom and the United States, a few imaginative people began to create some popular keychain to make money, which it became a real industrial business from that on.

In late 1940s, keychain & keyring manufacture center started to move to Japan, or other countries of South of Asia. In the 1970s since the reform and opening-up policies of China, many western business man place massive keychain & keyring orders to the cities in South of China such as Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Foshan. Guangzhou, Shenzhen. The manufacturing industry has played an important role in promoting economic and social development. After 30 years of development, the scale of country's manufacturing industry has been continued expand, keychain making had been nationally-wide spread to inner land of small cities such as Yiwu county. However, with the quality issue, cheap cost keychain cannot sell good in the long term, keychain business came back to Guangdong province recent years, nowadays, many hardware factories which make keychain in Dongguan city of Guangdong, China. Shengjia Hardware Factory is one of it. And the whole country has become a veritable "world factory" and the largest manufacturing country in the world.

Use of Keychain & Keyring

Keychain & keyring is one of the most common types of souvenir and advertising item. Keychains are commonly used to promote businesses as a promotional gift with logo on it. A standard advertising keychain will carry the businesses name or elements and contact information and often a logo.

In the 1950s and 1960s, with the improvement of plastic manufacturing techniques, promotional items including keychains became unique. Businesses could place their names on promotional keychains that were three-dimensional for less cost than the standard metal keychains.

Keychains are small and inexpensive enough to become promotional items for larger national companies that might give them out by the millions. For example, with the launch of a new movie or television show, those companies might partner with food companies to provide a character keychain in each box of cereal.


A souvenir astronaut keychain for China Space Bureau.

Keychains that currently hold keys are an item that is never long misplaced by the owner. People sometimes attach their keychain to their belt (or belt loop) or bag hook to avoid loss or to allow quick access to it. Many key chains also offer functions that the owner wants easily accessible as well. These include an army knife, bottle opener, an electronic organizer, scissors, address book, family photos, nail clipper, pill case and even pepper spray or pillbox. Modern cars often include a keychain that serves as a remote controller to lock/unlock the car or even start the engine. An electronic key finder is also a useful item found on many keys that will beep when summoned for quick finding when misplace

The most popular focused keychain collections are advertising, souvenir, monument, popular characters and nostalgia-related items.

Collectors display and store their keychains in several different ways. Some collections are small enough that the collector can place all of their keychains on their standard key ring. Some larger collections can be stored and displayed on dowels, cork boards, tool racks, on large link chains, in display cases, hung on walls, displayed on Christmas trees. Some collections are large enough that entire rooms are dedicated to the keychain collection.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest collection of keychains consists of 62,257 items, achieved by Angel Alvarez Cornejo in Sevilla, Spain, as verified on 25 June 2016. His collection began at the age of 7. Due to the tremendous size of his collection he now stores his keychains in his garage and a rented warehouse.

The previous record holder was Brent Dixon of Georgia, United States with the largest collection of keychains, at 41,418 non-duplicated ones.

Keychains don't hold their value as well as other collections. A standard keychain that was purchased for five dollars new may only be worth less than a dollar once it has been owned regardless of condition.

Costs of Keyring & Keychain

A key with a simple text label keychain

The costs of keyring & chains vary widely depending on their purpose. Advertising keychains begin at only a few cents one piece to a few dollars each. They are normally purchased in large quantities often over 500, this scale became smaller with the e-commerce business emerges.

Keychains are found in retail stores to represent things such as television shows, movies, video games, nostalgia, hobbies, interests and personalities. These keychains range from one US dollar up to ten US dollars and more in United States market for instance.

Electronic keychains including games and small organizers start at a few dollars and can be up to 50 US dollars. Other keychain electronics including cameras, digital photo frames and USB drives cost 10 to US$100.

Souvenir keychains are one of the most popular keychains that sell. These are keychains that represent a trip or a location that a person is visiting. These most commonly cost US$1 to US$10.

Manufacture of Keychain & Keyring

If you want to make your own keychain by hand, it is best to have certain tools and materials, we need a diameter of 1.6mm and a length of 50mm wire. Ordinary pliers are generally available at home, but for bench vices, they are generally available where keys are provided. Only with this is it convenient to make keychain & keyring. After the tools and materials are ready, we will start to make the keychain. Firstly, use pliers to fold the stainless steel wire in half from the middle. Secondly, use pliers to stagger one of the lines forward at the first bend and fold loop, Thirdly, Use pliers again to bend the double-stranded wire upward at the front end, and bend the single-stranded wire twice loops to make a key-hanging ring. It is best to find a thinner cylinder to assist in circle shape. Finally, find a cute souvenir or some item you like to be attached on this formed key ring. A useful keychain is simply created now.

If you want to make it by machine, it is widely common to bend wire by auto-machine in factory to form a standard key ring, usually that will be diameter 15mm, 20mm, 25mm, 30mm, 35mm five difference ring size. While to make chain part, factory will use different technique process to make it, such as punching press, plastic or metal molding, 3D printing, wooden carving or hand woven, hand knitting, needlecraft for different materials to meet different market needs. Final job to attach to ring will be by hands usually, recently years, some Chinese factories develop a key ring chained machine to make this job successfully, which greatly improved keychain make speed and save manpower

Typical Category of Keyring & Keychain


Car logo keychain & keyring

Also called car buckle, car logo keychain, simply car keychain, auto remote controller keychain & keyring. The car logo keychain is a newly developed zinc alloy car product. The surface is treated with dripping oil, PVC or rare metal plating. It is an exquisite small gift for car owners in the promotion of car 4S shop. It is also a must-have car accessory for car owners as a pendant, personalized fashion items.

Product use: commemorative promotional items for corporate brand promotion, new product promotion, souvenirs and other industries.

The car keychain has become a small gift, which can be given to friends or yourself to express your feelings.


Memorial keychain & keyring

Also called commemorative keychain, let us give an example. Fuwa is the mascot of the 29th Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Its color and inspiration come from the five Olympic rings, from China's vast mountains and rivers, rivers and lakes, and animals that people love. Fuwa conveys friendship, peace, positive spirit and good wishes for harmony between man and nature to children all over the world. Fuwa are five lovely close friends. Their shapes incorporate the images of fish, giant pandas, Tibetan antelopes, swallows and the Olympic flame. Each doll has a catchy name: "Beibei", "Jingjing", "Huanhuan", "Yingying" and "Nini". In China, repeated names are one of the favorites for children. A traditional way. When the names of the five dolls are linked together, you will read Beijing’s warm invitation to the world "Beijing welcomes you". Fuwa represents the dream and the desire of the Chinese people. Their prototypes and headwear contain their connections with the ocean, forest, fire, earth and sky, and their image design uses the expression of traditional Chinese art to show the splendid Chinese culture.


Crystal decorative keychain & keyring

Also called artificial diamond keychain, zircon stone decorative keychain, rhinestone keyring, the crystal and cast steel materials and craftsmanship are exquisite and durable, fashionable. It is a kind of keychain has metal base with rhinestones trimming on it. Rhinestone (crystal, rhinestone) is also known as crystal diamond, water crystal in Chinese meaning. The main component is crystal glass, which is a kind of accessories obtained by cutting artificial crystal glass into diamond facets. This material is more economical and has a diamond-like dazzling visual effect. Therefore, it is very popular, and rhinestones are generally used in mid-range jewelry design. Classification of rhinestones: According to color, it can be divided into: white diamonds, colored diamonds (such as pink, red, blue, etc.), colored diamonds (also called AB diamonds), and colored AB diamonds (such as red AB, blue AB, etc.). Keychain with crystal décor are very popular among young girls for a decoration item of handbag. In the beginning, factory may have taken into account the "cold shape" of the hardware. From these keychain designs, it has changed from the past. The exquisite shape is very attractive to the little girls. When Festival is coming, it is also a good decoration and hot seller.


Solar keychain & keyring

Also called sunlight powered keychain, the solar flashing keychain is the latest development and production of solar energy application products. It uses the power supply principle of low-light amorphous silicon solar cells to make high-quality LCD flash and shine. It is a brand-advertised craftsmanship and a novel gift. Symphony LCD display, full of fun and sense of science and technology between flashes!

Product Usage: Corporate brand promotion, new product promotion, tourist attractions, souvenirs, school celebration souvenirs. Commemorative plaques for the opening of hotels and hotel buildings and commemorative promotional items for industries such as banking, telecommunications, networks, insurance, post and telecommunications, communications, railways, aviation, shipping, and advertising.


Static removal keychain & keyring

Also called static clean keychain, the functional electrostatic remove keychain is a keychain that eliminates the static electricity of daily life such as the human body, automobiles, computers, and household appliances. When using, hold the keychain to touch the static electricity objects to eliminate static electricity.

How this electronics power removal keychain work? Principle of anti-static remove keychain is as follow: The pain of hand power discharge is due to high-voltage discharge, because the hand and the iron pin are in contact with a very small area when the hand suddenly comes into contact with the iron pin during discharge, which generates instantaneous high voltage. Thus we have two work technologies to solve this problem. One is the contact hand-held keychain with static electricity is used to touch the metal conductor with static electricity through the handheld device, and the static electricity will be removed at the moment (0.2 seconds) when the human body touches the static electricity/metal conductor, and the static keychain are connected in one line to be eliminated. But this is only temporary ideal. Static electricity is generated all the time in life. After using the contact hand-held anti-static keychain for a period of time, when our body touches electrostatic objects/metal conductors, there will be a feeling of electric shock. Therefore, when we use a contact hand-held anti-static keychain in order to contact static-charged objects/metal conductors, it is best to do what we should do immediately after use.

The second is that the full-automatic anti-static keychain realizes the elimination of static electricity through specific electric field detection technology and electric field neutralization technology. Just take it with you. When a person carrying a fully automatic anti-static keychain passes by an object with static electricity or when the carrier generates excessive static electricity, the keychain will automatically remove the static eliminator. We don't need any operations. The biggest feature of this fully automatic anti-static keychain is its exquisite workmanship, anti-static load of 40,000 volts, and continuous elimination of static electricity. In all, the anti-static keychain eliminates static electricity by the pole tube discharge inside the keychain body.

Product Use: It can eliminate all daily static electricity (excluding industrial static electricity) such as the human body, automobiles, computers, blankets, rugs, bedding and metal objects, and so on.


Electronic lock keychain & keyring

Also called e-buckle, key fob, electronic key lock keychain, electronic control keychain & keyring, the keychain electronic tags can be widely used in access control on lifter, parking, public transportation, public safe gate, identity authentication, attendance management, all-in-one card payment, tickets, product tags, and so on.

How to match new key fob? First, if you remember the row of numbers on your key fob keychain, you can go directly to the key repair store to get one. Second, if you don't remember the number on the keychain, go to the seller and ask for a spare access key fob.

The core part of the electronic key lock access control system is equivalent to the CPU of the computer, which is responsible for the processing and storage of the input and output information of the entire system, control and so on. Each electronics key control keychain has its own number, as long as you remember the number.


Photo customized crystal keychain & keyring

Crystal keychains also called photo in glass keychain & keyring, custom picture & photo keychain, it generally use man-made crystals as materials and can be made into crystal keychains of various shapes. Factory provides customized crystal keychains in batch for funeral parlor, church, school, or hospital, etc., Types including illuminated crystal and no-illuminated crystal, illuminated type keychain has 3 pieces of SR621SW cell batteries powered let the crystal glow in different color if need. As for shape, it has in square, waterdrop-shaped, heart-shaped pentagonal and other shapes of crystal keychains, all processed with high-quality K9 class crystal material which makes it shine like real natural crystal does.

The crystal keychain cost generally ranges from tens to twenty of RMB. The content on crystal part can be made according to the actual LOGO, company name, text, image etc., This shine keychain carried event content, personalized design or your pet picture, 3D internal engraving photos, product pictures, novel element become the favorite hot seller recently years.

K9 Crystal and cast steel materials with great craftsmanship make it exquisite and durable, which is very popular among young friends. In the beginning, perhaps it was precisely the "cold shape" of the hardware that was taken into account. From these keychain designs, it changed from the past. The exquisite shape is very attractive to the little girls and boys, pet’s owner, especially with your photo on it, etching your love and memory on shine glowing crystal.

Computer keychain & keyring

By analogy to the physical object, the terms keychain and keyring are also often used for software that stores cryptographic keys. The term keychain was first introduced in a series of IBM developerWorks articles. The term is used in GNU Privacy Guard to store known keys on a keyring. Mac OS Xuses a password storage system called Keychain. A "keyring" is also the name of a password manager application working under the GNOME desktop manager (used for example in Ubuntu operating system). In cryptography a keyring is a database of multiple keys or passwords. There are also portable Password manager programs, such as Keepass and KeePassX.

Nowadays, in 3c field, Keychain is also the password management system in macOS, developed by Apple. It was introduced with Mac OS 8.6, and has been included in all subsequent versions of the operating system, now known as macOS. A Keychain can contain various types of data: passwords (for websites, FTP servers, SSH accounts, network shares, wireless networks, groupware applications, encrypted disk images), private keys, certificates, and secure notes.

Keychains were initially developed for Apple's e-mail system, PowerTalk, in the early 1990s. Among its many features, PowerTalk used plug-ins that allowed mail to be retrieved from a wide variety of mail servers and online services. The keychain concept naturally "fell out" of this code, and was used in PowerTalk to manage all of a user's various login credentials for the various e-mail systems PowerTalk could connect to.