The 5 Best Key Finders in 2020: Never Lose Your Keys Again
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Tile
Remember the childhood song “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”?
It’s basically a ploy adults use to make children flail around and exhaust themselves so they go to bed when they’re supposed to.
The problem is, even as we grow up, many of us sing a similar song every morning as we rush out the door— “wallet, glasses, keys, and phone.”
And it’s still exhausting.
Some things never change.
Here at The Adult Man, we’ve found ourselves searching around for our keys a few too many times, so we decided to solve the problem once and for all.
We put together this list of five great key trackers so you never have to wonder where your keys ran off to again.
What Is A Key Finder?
We can all guess what a key finder does. But knowing the differences between the types of key finders available will be what decides whether you actually find your lost items or not.
There are three main types of key finders:
1. Bluetooth Key Finders
Bluetooth key finders sync your phone with a designated finder.
For example, the Tile App can connect several finders at once, which you can ping directly from your phone. Attach a tracker to your keys and you can check where they were last seen right from your phone.
As an added bonus, with Tile, if you’ve misplaced your phone, just double-tap the finder and your phone will ring—even if it’s in silent mode.
Bluetooth trackers aren’t limited to just keys, though. Add a finder to your wallet, bag, camera, and even your turtle.
They’re able to work within a 100-200 foot range, so you need to be fairly close in order to locate your keys. But if you lose your keys somewhere out and about, you can use apps like Tile to track them down to where you’re phone last had connectivity.
Many of the top Bluetooth finding products have communities you can join, too.
With Tile, for instance, you can activate the community to help you find your missing items. If anyone of the two-million-plus members come within range of your keys, you’ll get a notification telling you where your missing things are.
Bluetooth finders aren’t as precise and don’t have the ability to locate your keys like a GPS tracker can (we’ll get into that below). But in terms of bang for your buck, a Bluetooth tracker is your best bet.
You still have hope if you lose your keys while you’re out of the house (which radiofrequency trackers are useless for), but you skip the expensive equipment and monthly fee of a GPS tracker.
2. GPS Key Finders
GPS key finders are your best option if you really need to keep tabs on where your keys go.
These types of finders are not for your “oh, I misplace my keys too often” sort of person.
They’re more for the “I think my teenager is going for midnight joyrides” crowd.
The devices are much more expensive, and that’s because they don’t just connect to your phone.
They send and receive signals from satellites. In outer space.
And that sort of connectivity comes with a steep price. Many subscriptions are at least $20 per month, and that will get you a precise location every hour.
If you want more frequent data (like every 30 minutes, or every 5 minutes) it’s going to cost you even more.
A GPS tracker is only a good fit for those who have serious safety and security concerns. Otherwise, the recurring costs can add up. Bluetooth trackers are far less expensive and will give you all the information you need to hunt down a set of missing keys.
3. Radio Frequency (RF) Key Finders
Radiofrequency finders are the most economical option, but they have the least capability. Many RF key finders come with a single remote control and six to eight trackers.
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They’re convenient if you tend to misplace things around your house. For instance, if you find yourself looking for the remote way too often, an RF finder is a good option.
The downside to RF finders is that they don’t work outside the house.
With Bluetooth finders, you get data on where your tagged items are wherever they go (so long as they’re in range). With GPS trackers, you get info no matter where your item is (as long as it’s on the planet).
With RF, you basically have to be within 50 feet of the missing device or you’ll just get silence. You can’t track down where the missing item was last seen.
So while RF finders are an economical option for finding the keys in the couch cushions, you’re out of luck if you misplace your keys anywhere else.
The 5 Best Key Finders
Last update on 2020-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
3 Things to Consider When Buying a Key Finder
1. Battery Life
A key finder is useless if the battery’s dead.
Some are rechargeable (but that usually means the battery doesn’t last very long on a single charge). Others can last for six months before needing to switch out the battery.
Our top choice, the Tile Mate, lasts up to a full year. When the battery finally kicks the bucket, it’s super easy to switch out for a new battery. You don’t need to take the device anywhere special. Just slide out the battery tab and make a quick swap.
2. Where Do Your Keys Usually Get Lost?
Do you find yourself running around the house like a maniac every morning looking for your keys?
If that’s the case, pick up a simple RF finder. You can buzz your keys every morning and find them in no time.
Chances are, if you lose your keys at home often, you probably also lose your keys at work, the gym, your chiropractor’s office, the airport—you get the point.
If you ever lose your keys outside of the house, an RF tracker isn’t going to help you one bit. A Bluetooth finder will have a detailed map of where your keys and your phone last had a connection. You can retrace your steps to where your keys were last ‘seen.’
From there you can buzz your missing keys and save yourself a world of headache.
This one’s a bit obvious, but with key finders, you really get what you pay for.
RF finders are the least expensive, but for a little bit more, you can pick up a Bluetooth finder and get the benefit of finding your keys outside the house.
To us, that tradeoff is too big to skip.
Although, if you’re looking for precise data on the whereabouts of your keys at all times, a GPS tracker is the way to go. The price jump between Bluetooth and GPS is huge, though.
A GPS tracker often costs double the price of a Bluetooth key finder. And on top of that, you have to pay a monthly fee to keep your tracker connected. That monthly fee alone is the same price as a high-quality Bluetooth finder.
Again, unless you need something super-precise for security reasons, we think the price jump isn’t worth it. For the forgetful folks, Bluetooth is the perfect middle-ground.
Picking up one of these handy finders can save you a world of headache.
And if you do find yourself relying on this little piece of convenient tech, you’ll agree that they’re worth every penny.
So do your peace of mind a favor and get out there and start tracking.
You may even start tossing your keys around just trying to lose them.