The 8 Best Key Finders
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in February of 2015. If you often lose your keys, attaching one of these handy trackers to them can help you find them in a jiffy. Equipped with loud alarms and flashing lights, these devices are also useful for keeping tabs on items like cell phones, wallets, luggage, and even pets. Some models allow you to tag multiple possessions at once, so you can rest assured your valuables are accounted for at all times. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 24, 2020:
While many of the models we selected last year remain good choices today, we did end up removing a few choices due to availability issues, namely the DinoFire Locator, Click ‘n Dig E4 and Magicfly RF Remote.
November 24, 2019:
This update brings in plenty of new brands, as well as newer versions of existing entries. The Tile Pro is one of the best-known products in this space. It’s similar in design to the manufacturer’s Tile Mate, but this one is louder and has a wider rage, of up to 400 feet. Tile was actually one of the first companies to incorporate Bluetooth technology into a tracker, and both of these models have been redesigned with a smaller size that makes them easy to fit into a wallet, attach to a pet’s tag, and much more.
For a reliable choice that provides a lot of bang for your buck, the Magicfly RF Remote comes with four receivers, so you can keep tabs on your most valuable possessions, such as your wallet, purse, tote bag, or even a cat or a dog. They emit a clear, 80-decibel alarm that will help you to find whatever you’ve lost in seconds. The base has colored buttons that correspond with each of the four receivers.
For a model even more receivers, look to the Esky Wireless, which lets you keep track of six things at once, and each is equipped with a handy, red LED light that makes it easy to spot it in the dark. All of the pieces are made of durable ABS plastic, but they’re also equipped with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can purchase them with confidence.
The DinoFire Locator comes with a handy string for attaching it to your keys or the zipper of a backpack. It’s also easy to slip into your wallet or billfold, thanks to its slim build. When you pair it with your cell phone, you can use the companion Nut app to alert you whenever the tracker goes out of range. The Nut app can also record the last position where the phone and the item were disconnected, and show that to you on a map. Up to 12 of these trackers can be paired at a time for an iPhone, and up to six for an Android device.
The final new addition in this update is the Rinex Org-50, which comes in a bright orange, a mint green, or a bright white. It’s convenient for tracking a variety of possessions, as well as children and pets that tend to roam. It won’t ever get in the way, thanks to its slim profile and size that’s less than an inch long. It’s conveniently compatible with Apple’s Siri application.
Leaving our selection today are a number of trackers that are no longer available: Luxsure Mini Tracker, Where's the Remote, Xcellent Global Wireless, Chillax, and K-Berho Nut 3.
If you want to keep tabs on a person, pet, or vehicle within a broader range, check out our list of GPS trackers, many of which are designed with a host of useful features that are sure to give you peace of mind.
Why Do You Need A Key Finder?
You can choose from two different basic types of key finders.
Are you one of those people who is frequently misplacing your keys? Have you ever dropped your keys in a crowded public place and been unable to find them? Have you ever absentmindedly placed your keys in the refrigerator and frantically searched your home for hours with no success?
If any one of these scenarios applies to you, you need a key finder. This handy little invention eliminates the stress of wasted time and frantic searching when your keys get up and walk away.
You can choose from two different basic types of key finders. The first is a Radio Frequency key finder. This key finder operates somewhat like a cordless phone. It has a base unit that you use to activate the beeping on the keys or other item to which you have attached the tag to.
The Bluetooth key finder operates by using an app on your smartphone. The tag pairs with the Bluetooth capabilities on your phone so if you lose your keys, you simply open the app, press a button, and listen for the beeps.
Most key finders that attach to your keychain are small and discreet with attractive designs. They don't make your keychain look cluttered or frumpy and are easy to carry around. Some Bluetooth key finders can even make your smartphone ring just in case you misplaced it too.
Key Finder Uses
There are a lot of practical uses for key finder technology that goes beyond simply finding your misplaced keys somewhere in your house. They can be used in professional settings for effective communication and convenience and even used for enhanced safety.
Key finders can be utilized in a hospital setting too, as a way to call a nurse or other healthcare professional. They work as a short range pager system to alert the professional that they are needed by a colleague or a high needs patient.
They are especially useful to patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other memory issues so they can find important items around their homes.
Museum tour guides sometimes use Bluetooth key finders to bring up information about their current exhibit location and provide the people on their tour with additional information concerning their surroundings.
Key finders are excellent for use during travel to ensure that no important items are lost in transit. They can be attached to a smartphone, cameras, wallets, passports, laptops, or other important items for easy locating.
A form of key finder is often given to restaurant patrons when they are waiting for a table. It is activated to alert them of when their table is ready and they can be seated.
They can also be used with child safety in crowded public places in the event that they are separated from their parents. While it is not a fool proof method and additional safety precautions should be followed, they are excellent for finding a child within a short range who has wandered out of sight.
Finally, key finders can be used to assist people with serious medical conditions or disabilities. They are sometimes used to help blind people find their way around a room and improve their location abilities. They are especially useful to patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other memory issues so they can find important items around their homes. They have also been used by combat veterans with PTSD to help combat triggering memories, and by people with severe ADHD who struggle to focus and remember where items have been placed.
A Brief History Of The Key Finder
There have been several versions of the key finder developed over the years. The first versions were activated using sound such as a clap or a whistle. For instance, if you lost your keys in the house, you would only have to clap loudly and listen for the beeps. Unfortunately, this wasn't a fool proof method. If the keys were too far away to pick up the sound, then you would be out of luck. Also, any loud clapping or whistling sound could set off the beeping, even if you were carrying the keys in your pocket.
They filed the patent under Key Buddy, Inc and proposed the key finder in which a button on the base unit was used to locate the keys or other item attached to the tag.
The second type of key finder developed was the Radio Frequency key finder that operates on a radio transmission. These are still sold today even though they are dipping in popularity due to more advanced versions. The biggest problem with the radio frequency key finder is that if you lose the base unit, you need a key finder to find your key finder.
The second generation key finder was patented by Cheryl J. Skeffington and Kathy S. Walker in 1998. They filed the patent under Key Buddy, Inc and proposed the key finder in which a button on the base unit was used to locate the keys or other item attached to the tag.
The third type of key finder was developed on a peer-to-peer system. This meant that any part of the device could act as both the base unit and the tag. You could attach these tags to each important item: smartphone, keys, wallet, etc and if you lost one, you would simply use one of the other items to locate it.
Now, with the rise of Bluetooth technology and smartphone apps, these systems are becoming less popular in favor of convenience.