Key rings or split rings are made from a variety of metals. Stainless steel key rings are far superior to the regular everyday ones found almost anywhere. Fisherman using key rings or split rings will like stainless steel because they are not as likely to rust. Key rings are more than just a simple metal. They need to hold their spring or ability to stay closed. They can be made from hardened or tempered steel. The plated finishes can include brass, gun metal and nickel. These plated key rings are great for everyday use like holding keys and doing crafts.
Key rings and split rings come in all sizes and shapes. Round ones come in the largest variety of sizes or diameters. These round split rings come with either rounded or flat sides. It depends on the shape of the metal they are being made of. The most common split rings are made from round wire and end up with round faces or sides. When the split ring is made from flat wire, the wire is bent so the larger or flatter side is facing out. The wider flat side can be engraved and they reflect more light, making them brighter to look at. The flat ones seem a little less classy.
Now for the fun ones. Key rings and split rings come in oval, star, apple, heart and mouse heads, to name a few. These allow for some personality and fun to show through. They can be the center piece of a craft or just used for keys.
The normal everyday person only sees a key ring or split ring because its attached to a keychain. We all have houses, work places, cars or toys and that's what we do with our keys.
In the survival, every day carry (EDC) and emergency preparedness (preppers) community self-defense is a focus point. A well build self-defense keychain is a very useful weapon. A tactical keychain sounds a little aggressive. Lets stick with self-defense. One example is a monkey fist at one end of a keychain and a set of keys on the other held together by a piece of 550 paracord. The paracord is attached to a key ring for your keys (the more the better for this example). The cord is then braided back to the monkey fist end. The braided length could be from five to eight inches long. I would use a large braid so you can hold the keychain easily. The monkey fist on the other end has a steel ball that has been enclosed in paracord using the monkey fist or monkey paw knot. For self-defense you can hold the keys or the ball to swing your key chain. Attackers don't want to be hit with a ring of keys (again, the more the better). They don't like a steel ball swinging around either (even though they probably won't know its a steel ball, it's really the something swinging at them thing, but you can know its a steel ball). Just so you know, the steel ball end will cause the most damage. The keychain can be worn with the keys in your pocket and the monkey fist hanging just outside of the pocket. This makes it easy to grab. Ladies, it's just one more accessory for your purse.
If you decide to make a monkey fist keychain, please check out the DYNA X paracord also. Regular 550 paracord is a great product and comes in an unbelievably large variety of colors and patterns (almost every self-defense monkey fist is made with 550 paracord or mil spec paracord). The DYNA X cord has the same flexibility, size and weight of 550 paracord with over twice its strength. It costs more and will last longer.
Some uses of key rings.
1. Roll up a poster and slip a key ring around it to stop it from unrolling. Slips off easier than a rubber band when you go to use it.
2. Use for the center piece of a paracord bracelet. Decorate it with your favorite beads or charms.
3. Closet saver. Put a key ring over the neck of a hanger. Now you can hang another hanger on the first hanger.
4. Loop paracord or other kinds of small rope around the ring for hanging flower pots or bird feeders. The metal ring will last longer and is easier to put on or take off a nail, screw or hook than a cord loop. The cord will also wear better when attached to the loop. The metal loop will take most of the wear while swinging in the wind.
5. Make a wind chime out of assorted sizes.
6. Hook the handles of measuring cups or spoons on a key ring.
7. Fun shaped key rings can be used as napkin holders for dinner and will make an interesting conversation piece.
8. Replace a broken zipper pull with a key ring.
9. The center piece or the most useful part of most keychains.
10. The center piece of a necklace decorated with beads and charms.
11. Hold a fishing lure and hook together.
12. Very small split rings are used in jewelry. They are more secure than a jump ring. Also a great way to attach charms securely to a bracelet.
13. Use it for keys. What a concept, keys on a key ring or split ring.
14. Attach the key ring to a keychain. Now we're cooking.
15. Keychain for-self defense.
OK, you make up something and have fun.
M. Shane Sullivan, Owner/Manager of Paracordgalaxy.com