3 min read

A key ring and fob are two different things. Despite this fact, you may have seen or heard these two terms being used interchangeably. For people in general, understanding and clarifying the difference may not seem too important as long as the message gets conveyed.

However, it is important for you to know what these two terms exactly are and what their point of distinction is. This could be highly useful if you ever find yourself in a situation where using the words interchangeably could cause confusion. It will also be useful if you are planning on buying a wallet with a key ring holder since you would know what this feature actually means.

What is a Key Ring?

First things first, what exactly is a key ring? You may have heard the word being used colloquially to describe any attachment or accessory that a key is fitted with. In reality, it’s just the metallic circular part that acts as the connecting point for the attachments/accessories and the keys themselves.

The keyring itself is not any sort of decorative object or ornament. It is the point where the same can be attached.

Some people may also just use the ring and not put any sort of accessory in it. A keyring can be essentially used to store a number of keys in one place so that the latter is not misplaced or lost. Keyrings are also used in clip on keychains.

What are Key Fobs?

A key fob is, in the broadest sense, the name given to any decorative item or trinket that is attached to a key ring. There are different meanings that have been associated with this term nowadays, which we will discuss further on in this article.

People sometimes have fobs that have their names or initials on them. Oftentimes, you get to see some that are given out by companies as a promotional effort. Fobs are useful as they make carrying keys easier, and less likely to be misplaced.

What does the word Key Fob mean nowadays?

The word has quite a different and specific meaning nowadays. People use it to describe any digital device using which a wireless system is accessed such as a car or a garage door.

Car locking system any such similarly device that people may use to open hotel doors, restricted area entrances etcetera are termed ‘key fobs’ in today’s sense of the word.

You may be wondering about the reason behind the assignment of this particular meaning. Basically, since these digital devices/controls are fitted alongside other keys on a key ring, they became (in the public perception) the very meaning of ‘fobs’.

The thing to note here is that these sorts of devices and digital trinkets do fall in the category of key fobs. Since they are attachments that you can fit on your key ring, they do fall in this classification. The problem, however, is the idea that only these devices are called fobs and nothing else.

key fob ring

What should you look for when buying a keyring?

There is not a lot of variety and choices that you get when buying a keyring. It is, after all, just a circular piece of metal. Nevertheless, you should look out for two things when taking your pick: size and material.

If you are looking to buy one for keeping a large number of keys, be sure to pick one that is sizeable enough. Normally, you would want to bunch together three to four keys in one ring. The standard size is sufficient for such purposes. However, if you are looking to keep, for instance, 10 to 12 at once, you should look for something a bit bigger, like a clip keychain.

As far as the material goes, stick to something strong and durable like stainless steel. It won’t be very pleasant if the coils of the ring get spaced apart after a couple of additions and removals. This could happen if the material is weak and flimsy.


And that’s pretty much it. Once you’ve read this post, you will be able to give satisfactory answers should someone ask you about the difference between a key ring and a key fob. Keyrings can be really helpful in keeping your keys altogether and organized. And if you happen to have a wallet with a key ring holder, it gets all the more convenient. 

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