The 5 Best Key Finders in 2020: Never Lose Your Keys Again

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by  William Barton | Last Updated:  Jul 09, 2020
tile mate closeup on keyring

That’s it, you’ve lost your keys for the last time. You know why? Because we’ve set up a list of the five best key finders of the year.

1.
  • Easy to connect Bluetooth finder with attractive design
  • A huge community of over 2 million users
  • You can use the Mate to ring a lost phone, too
2.
  • “Painfully loud,” but effective
  • Radio transmitter, so no smart device needed
  • Durable and long-range, but bulky
3.
  • Radiofrequency transmitter
  • Single remote and six trackers
  • Color-coded
4.
  • App-based, Bluetooth finder
  • Leather fobs
  • Short battery life
5.
  • Real-deal GPS—connects to satellites to keep track
  • Tracked through a monthly subscription app
  • Expensive, but covers worldwide range—more for anti-theft

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:

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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 in 2020

1. Tile Mate

tile mate closeup on keyring

What We Like

  • Tile Mate has a 200-foot range, which is broader than most Bluetooth trackers.

  • You can check where your keys and phone were last connected. That means if you lost your keys at a restaurant or bar, you’ll know where to start looking.

  • If you give up and just can’t find your keys, you can activate Tile’s community. If any of the 2-million-plus members get in range of your keys, you’ll get a notification straight to your phone.

  • Connect to a phone or smart-home device. Tile is offering a free Google Nest if you buy four or more trackers.

What We Don’t Like

  • Sometimes you have to close the app and open it again to connect with your Tile. If you’re having trouble, just restart the app and try again. That did the trick for us when we gave Tile a shot.

What Other Reviewers Say

We tried Tile for ourselves and loved that the Mate didn’t just act as a key-finder. If you lose your phone, you can just double-tap the Mate and give it a ring—it works even in silent mode.

Tile has thousands of reviews, and each of their products has at least a 4/5-star average. For some, a five-star review isn’t enough. How can you put a star-rating on finding a lost pet? How can you rate the experience of recovering your wallet?

The Verdict

If you want something that blends right in on your keyring, relieves the stress of misplacing your keys, and can help you find your phone—all on the cheap—the Tile Mate might just be for you.

Connect your valuables to your phone with the Tile app and unlock the power of their two-million member lost-and-found community.

While Tile will help you keep track of your keys, it can help you do so much more. Wallets, phones, passports—even turtles. Never lose anything from your every-day-carry again.

Tile Mate

The Tile Mate has a range of 200ft and rings up to 90 decibels. If you’re the kind of person who misplaces your keys often (no shame), this little guy will save you a lot of stress.

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2. KeyRinger Key Finder

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What We Like

  • 18-month battery life is pretty great.

  • The 300-foot range is one of the best you can find for an RF key-finder.

  • Easy to attach to your keys

  • You can link multiple KeyRingers together so each calls the other.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s an RF key finder which means it will only work if you’re within 300 feet. You have to be in the same location you lost your keys. If you lose your keys out and about, you won’t have any luck with the KeyRinger.

  • The long battery life and loud alert come at the expense of bulk. The KeyRinger doesn’t blend in on your key fob whatsoever.

What Other Reviewers Say

Amazon reviewers love the KeyRinger, giving it a 4.2 out of 5 with over 600 ratings.

Some say it’s “painfully loud,” which we count as a good thing. Of course, if you live with a prankster, this positive can turn to a negative pretty quickly.

The Verdict

How often do hear the phrase, “well, where did you put them last?”

If you answered “more than once per week,” it may be time to pick up something to save you a few minutes every morning.

KeyRinger has a broad enough range to signal throughout the house, even if you live in a mansion (if you live in a mansion, perhaps your butler will just drive you where you need to go). Even better, the alarm is loud enough to hear across the house, too.

You may want to take the step up to a Bluetooth tracker if you find yourself misplacing your keys outside of the house, though.

KeyRinger Key Finder Pair


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3. Esky Key Finder

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What We Like

  • One remote and six finders make for an inexpensive way to track a lot of different items.

  • A 100-foot finding radius means it won’t take long to track your keys down if they’re around the house.

  • Set one up on the remote, your house-phone, or anything else that seems to disappear just when you need it.

What We Don’t Like

  • If your missing keys are between couch cushions or behind a door (which they probably are) the Esky has significantly reduced range down to 50-feet. That’s still good enough to find what you’ve misplaced, but it may take a little longer than you’d hoped.

What Other Reviewers Say

Over 450 reviewers on Amazon give the Esky Key Finder a 4.4 out of 5-star average.

Many reviewers admitted to being a bit forgetful, so having a set of finders helped with more than just missing keys. Having a remote that signals multiple items at the same time is an important feature for those who went the Esky route.

The Verdict

The Esky Key Finder is great for families—having six different trackers all for an affordable price is crucial if you have a whole clan of forgetful folks.

You don’t get quite the same performance as the other options on our list, but you will get the ability to track a ton of moving parts.

Esky Key Finder


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4. Safedome Smart Key Locator

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What We Like

  • The leather fob isn’t recognizable as a tracker.

  • The clip is easy to put on and take off. You can attach it to any loop on a backpack, purse, briefcase—you name it.

  • As with other Bluetooth finders, you can use an app to find where your phone last had contact with the key-fob. So if you misplaced your keys while out for drinks with your friends, you can get a good idea where you left them.

What We Don’t Like

  • While the Safedome app does have the same “where it was last seen” feature as the Tile app, there’s no option to activate the community. If your keys aren’t where the Safedome app says they are, they’re gone.

What Other Reviewers Say

There aren’t too many reviews of the Smart Key Locator yet, but 29 reviewers on Amazon have given it an average four-star average rating.

Some wish the alarm was a bit louder but other than that common gripe, the trackers seem to keep their connection and get the job done.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a Bluetooth tracker that blends right in with a set of Mercedes Benz car keys, the Safedome Smart Key Locator is a great option.

The leather looks great and doesn’t make changing the battery too difficult.

It’s not the best Bluetooth tracker on the market, but we’ve included this because the “new-millennium” sleek plastic look isn’t for everyone. For those who like a classic look, the Smart Key Locator is for you.

Safedome Key Finder


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5. Trak4 GPS Tracker

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What We Like

  • It’s GPS, meaning it sends signals to freakin’ space.

  • Rechargeable batteries only need juice every year and a half.

  • Real-time tracking means no matter where your keys are, you can find them.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s big and ugly.

  • In order to track the unit, you need to pay a monthly fee.

What Other Reviewers Say

With over 700 reviews on Amazon, the Trak4 has a 4.4 out of 5-star average rating. If you choose to go with this heavy-duty key tracker, do the Amazon Prime option.

Some reviewers that bought from secondary sources ended up with refurbished products.

And those that pay for the minute-by-minute updates noticed that it’s really more like updates every two minutes. This can make a difference when you’re trying to catch up with someone of the move.

But in most cases, an update every two minutes is plenty.

The Verdict

The Trak4 is the most accurate option on our list. Even if your keys get flushed into the ocean, you’ll be able to locate them (even if you can’t get down with the fishies and crabs and find them).

A GPS tracker is more precise but more expensive than a Bluetooth tracker. Of course, if you need a key tracker to precisely monitor someone’s movements (like a teenager or an elderly parent with a need for speed), a GPS key tracker is just the ticket.

Trak-4 GPS Tracker


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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.

3. Price

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.

Get Trackin’

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.