26 April, 2014

Key Smart

Aside: Is it Key Smart, KeySmart or Keysmart?

In my Kickstarter post, I mentioned key organisers/holders. I finally decided to get the KeySmart. The Keyport had these problems:
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to add new keys - ok I might accept the USD$60 startup cost, but I'm not spending $5 and waiting a month for them to send me new blanks
  • Despite their exhaustive library, there are some keys they simply don't have blanks for. I have a Kaba Star key that cannot be copied.
  • Limited to 6 keys

Compared To Keyz
Keyz was my next choice. It is, er, very similar to KeySmart.
  • Keyz starts at $35, compared to $21 for the KeySmart. In fact, when I bought mine, the KeySmart titanium version was going for only $39, just a bit more than the normal Keyz!
  • Keyz's plates are 0.025" or about 0.6 mm thick and made of steel, while KeySmart's are about 1 mm and aluminium. I'm not sure how strong Keyz's plates are, my spudger is 0.5 mm thick and seems sturdy, but if you look at Keyz's comments around 28 Mar, people complain it's too flimsy. KeySmart can barely be deformed with 1 hand and, when assembled, even squeezing with 2 hands bends it less than the width of a key.
  • Keyz is polyurethane coated, while KeySmart is anodised. I don't know which will last longer, but I don't think either will last in an abrasive environment with keys.
  • The loops built into the handle of Keyz are a bad idea and any rings placed there severely restrict key movement, while KeySmart's movable loop, while not closable with rings attached, don't restrict keys as much.
  • Keyz claims their screws are better because they're 1) steel 2) "smaller" (shorter? narrower? flatter?) 3) have a fixed stand-off. Well, I think KeySmart's are steel too, at least their expansion rods are, and the screws also screw into a fixed "nut". I think the most important measure of the screws is their thickness (the thinner, the more keys compatible), and Keyz doesn't mention their screws' thickness, so I don't think theirs is special. KeySmart says their diameter is 4 mm. Lastly, Keyz even has an update due to their screws breaking.
  • Keyz's metal washers are one area that's better than KeySmart's rubber ones.
  • Possibly due to the better washers, no reports of Keyz coming loose.

KeySmart came in a nice padded envelope.

Contents: 1 card, 1 KeySmart, assembled, and 1 pack of accessories (washers, split ring, expansion posts)

The KeySmart came with 2 key blanks that they inform you are real and usable. I don't think I'll use them as 1) I don't have any locks that fit them (might be a US thing) 2) I think the shop will charge you the same if you BYO blanks anyway. It also came with a "spacer" washer - thicker, meant to balance out if you have different numbers of keys on both sides.

One of my keys' holes was too small. Here, you can see KeySmart's attachment loop.

After a while with a Dremel, it now fits! It's hard to drill straight, though. The key was surprisingly hard to cut. I mean, when you cut keys, it only takes a few seconds, but this took much much longer, even though less material was removed. Are key cutting machines that much more powerful? Is the handle of the key harder than the teeth?

I tried to arrange my keys so that their teeth don't end up hitting, by matching teeth with keys cut on their wide side (not their edge, like normal keys). The recommended arrangement is teeth hitting, to minimise pointy bits sticking out.

Final front shot

This is what it looks like from the side. Plastic keys are thicker. I put washers between keys and the panels to prevent scratches.

  • Feels very sturdy and secure, especially when using keys
  • Reduces overall key volume
  • Reduces scratching
  • Reduces noise
  • Vibrant colours
  • Wide key compatibility
  • A bit narrow for advertised number of keys. I'm supposed to be able to hold 10 keys; from the picture above I only have 5 keys + 1 loop and it's already full.

After I bought and received mine, they had an Easter sale and ran out of stock on many items - I thought they were clearing stock for a new model. However, they've refreshed their store, and the prices went up! I bought my EXT for USD$16 and it's now selling for USD$21. Titanium was $39 and is now $59! The models have changed slightly. The logo used to be KEY|smart, now it's KEY|SMART. I want to buy more expansion posts and a new back panel, but the back panels haven't been restocked yet. Update 5 May 14: They've lowered their prices. Original $17.99, EXT $18.99, Titanium $39.99.

No comments:

Post a Comment