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DESIGN

CW&T's Key Wrangler

A carefully considered organizational device by Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy

by David Graver
on 07 March 2017

The best design objects counter everyday problems with considered minimalism. Most of us know the key ring cluster sensation in our pocket or jangling in our bag, which, when pulled out, leads to fumbling. There are other types of key people, of course—carabiner folks, and the key bar person. With the Key Wrangler, on Kickstarter now, artist and design duo CW&T incorporate the best of all worlds. The resulting item combines a spring-clip and a knurled key post (that can hold 17 standard flat keys, or any combination including fobs, etc). It's small enough to be stowed into a pocket and sturdy enough to be clipped to just about anything. Of course, there's also the visual organization that makes searching for a key quite simple. We had the opportunity to test out the classic stainless steel version, but CW&T also plans to produce orange and black Cerakote finished pieces.

"We tested and tweaked a ton of tiny details as we iterated toward our final design," CW&T's Taylor Levy explains to CH. "Some tweaks we made right away after seeing a 3D print. Stuff like the overall geometry, the way it feels in your hands and when you use it. Early on, we realized that a springy carabiner clip works and feels much better than the hook-like designs we were going for. A carabiner also makes it way more secure, which is important if you're running around a lot."

The next step was a functional, machined prototype—which led to further insight. "For example," she continues, "The key post that holds your keys used to be much different. We used to have a hex-shaped thumbscrew that poked out of the keychain. Now the key post is fully integrated, has a knurled post to give your fingers extra grip when switching out keys, and it also has a nylon pad on the thread to keep the post securely in place." The Key Wrangler was developed over the course of two years, while the duo was working on other design projects as well.

CW&T is offering the stainless steel Key Wrangler for an early bird bid of $45, with delivery expected in July 2017 if the campaign receives full funding. The orange and black Key Wranglers both start at $60.

Images courtesy of CW&T

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