Flex-O-Loc key ring review

{ 14 comments }

flex-o-loc_00Key rings have been around for quite a while and a whole lot of us carry them in our pocket or purse every day, so there can’t be a whole lot new with them, right? Not so fast, gadget fan! Have a look at Flex-O-Loc. It’s a short length of plastic-coated cable that can hold your keys, small tools and other tidbits. Yes, there are other cable-type keyrings on the market, but what makes Flex-O-Loc unique is its quick, easy, secure locking mechanism—basically, you flex it, and it locks. It’s all in the name! Let’s check it out. Gadget on!

Click any image to enlarge.

Background

I’d been on the hunt for a cable-type key ring for some time.  I found one at a big-box hardware store on a rack near the key section.  It had a closure that threaded closed.  It did the job OK, but I wasn’t a big fan of the threaded closure, which had a tendency to unscrew itself over time while carrying it in my pocket or ruck.  Not good!  A while later, while doing some online searching for alternatives, I stumbled on Flex-O-Loc, which appeared to have a unique locking mechanism.  I kept my eye out at the hardware stores in my area and finally found one in black, so I picked one up for less than $5.  Note that Flex-O-Loc is manufactured by Lucky Line, but they do not appear to offer Flex-O-Loc for retail sale online.  However, there are online retailers where you can find it, but your best bet is probably to stop by your local big-box or mom-and-pop hardware store and look in the key section like I did.

Packaging

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Flex-O-Loc’s packaging is a pretty standard cardboard backing with shrink wrap.

Specs

Per the Lucky Line site:

  • Strong, flexible, corrosion-resistant aircraft cable core
  • Nylon coating
  • Length – 5 inches (forms a loop about 1 5/8″ in diameter when closed)
  • Location of Manufacture – USA

Options

Flex-O-Loc is available in the following colors:

  • Clear
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Teal
  • Magenta
  • Red

Features & Performance

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Above, a photo of the Flex-O-Loc’s patented “ball knob and socket closure.”  It’s a ball on a post that fits into a matching socket on the opposite end, slides down a channel, then locks in place.  After releasing it, the tension from the cable keeps it locked.flex-o-loc_05

To unlock Flex-O-Loc, squeeze sides of the cable so that the ends curl into the center, forming it into a sort of heart shape.  This slides the ball back up the channel and releases the ball knob from the socket with a satisfying pop.flex-o-loc_06

Once unlocked, keys or other items can be loaded onto Flex-O-Loc.  Then reverse the process described above to lock it closed.

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Conclusion

I’ve only been using Flex-O-Loc for a few weeks, but so far I like it.  It hasn’t unlocked spontaeously yet, and it’s quick and easy to add or remove keys or other items from it.  Plus, it’s cheap and comes in multiple colors.  What’s not to like?

Update 04/18/15

Flex-O-Lock is exactly what I had been looking for in a keychain for a long time. I still use it today and am looking for more of them.

Source: This product was purchased with the reviewer’s own personal funds.  For more information, please visit http://www.luckyline.com.

 

Product Information

Price:about $5 or less
Manufacturer:Lucky Line
Retailer:Hardware stores or various sites
Requirements:
  • keys or other key-type items
Pros:
  • Quick and easy to open and lock
  • Strong
  • Flexible
Cons:
  • None
Posted in: Pocket Gear, Reviews
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Julie Strietelmeier February 4, 2015, 10:37 am

    This one looks much easier to use than the ones I’ve used before that are a real hassle to open and close:
    http://www.amazon.com/Aircraft-Cable-Keychain-Stainless-Steel/dp/B00A9OOG2A

    • Andy Jacobs February 9, 2015, 9:49 am

      Yep, that is the kind I was using prior to finding the Flex-O-Loc. And I agree about the hassle to open and close.

  • Forrester February 4, 2015, 10:57 am

    My thumbnails and I approve of this post

  • marcus bennett February 4, 2015, 11:02 am

    In Europe or Japan of course you could always instead go for the Muji minimalist keyring. 4 grams. screws together

  • Andrew Baker February 4, 2015, 11:08 am

    We have been using these since about 1990, for key-chains, tool clips and a million other things. History (as I know it). These are used to attach the flags to clips at (at least our airforce airway) for plane maintenance. “Remove before flight” http://www.aeroconsystems.com/misc/beforeflight.htm#rbf1 They got them in boxes of thousands. I had the same blue one on my keychain from around the 5th grade until I was almost 30. And it broke. Took me forever to find them again. Kept finding crappy knockoffs that didn’t hold. We used them for everything. Best keyring I ever used. I’m guessing now they sell them as a keyring we were not the only one’s that used them.

    • Andy Jacobs February 9, 2015, 9:54 am

      Andrew – Are you talking about the kind that where the ends thread together, or the Flex-O-Loc?

      • Andrew Baker February 9, 2015, 4:15 pm

        I’m talking about the ball lock. I hate the threaded one’s I bought those once in an attempt to replace the ball lock. They always opened.

  • Rick Smith February 4, 2015, 7:25 pm

    I’ve been using one of these (a red one!) for about 15 years. The SAME one. I am definitely a believer!

  • Lee February 4, 2015, 7:35 pm

    I’ve been using one for a while and I won’t trade it for another spiral type keyring. The only problem I have is when I’m not being careful. If you don’t securely hold both ends and one gets free it dumps all of you keys off. Bummer.

    • Andrew Baker February 5, 2015, 10:35 am

      I’m assuming if you don’t hold it when you OPEN it the keys go everywhere (done that) However it’s that high tension that keeps it from opening accidentally on it’s own.

  • Gene February 5, 2015, 8:12 am

    I’m bewildered by the thought of the “satisfying pop” sound. It would probably be worth the cost of the device just to have something that would deliver such a refreshing experience. I’m just saying….

    • Andy Jacobs February 9, 2015, 9:55 am

      Well, maybe not as dramatic as a “pop” but more of a tactile feedback. 🙂

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