The Best Key Finders

Table of Contents

We’ve all experienced the frantic hunt for our keys. Ripping open cabinets and rummaging through draws only to find them in the freezer next to the ice cream. A key finder can make that search a lot less stressful.

A key finder makes it easier and faster to find your lost car keys when you do lose them. Most operate using Bluetooth, though some use RF (radio) frequencies which don’t require a smartphone or app. Both variants have an inbuilt speaker that chirps to help you locate it; RF-based units chirp when you press a button that’s separate from the finder itself and a Bluetooth units chirp when you ask them to via the inbuilt app. They often have other features like a rough location tracker.

The best key finders have a large range that allows you to find them anywhere in your house or car. They’re also compact, durable, and inexpensive. Here are some of our favourites.

1. Editor’s Pick: Tile Mate Essentials Package (2022)

1. Editor’s Pick: Tile Mate Essentials Package (2022)
  • Water-resistant
  • Up to 3 year battery life
  • Network of users help find things out of range
  • Comes with 2 Tile Mates, 2 Tile Slim, and 1 Tile Sticker
  • Compatible with Android, IOS, and Smart Home devices
  • Pricey
  • Requires app
  • Battery isn't replaceable
  • No option to use without sound
  • Some pieces may work inconsistently

Key Specs

Connectivity: Bluetooth
Weight: 59g
Batteries: 3 lithium metal batteries (included)

This set is from the best-known and most innovative key finder on the market.

This Tile Mate Essentials Package has everything you’ll need, not just a tile for your key ring, and gives you options for the type of finder you want to use. Its Bluetooth system is effective up to 250' and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and the Google Assistant so you can use those devices to activate the locator. The biggest pull of the Tile app is that it uses an extensive network of users to “ping” and help locate out-of-range tiles so if a Tile device passes another phone with the app installed, it notices it. Later on you can use that feature to narrow down a rough search area for your missing keys, wallet, or phone. Tile Mate has a 3-year lifespan and it's water resistant, too. This is the one most people will use for their car keys.

2. Runner Up: Tile Pro

2. Runner Up: Tile Pro
  • Up to 400' range
  • Battery is replaceable
  • Also comes in a 2-pack and a 4-pack
  • Network of users help find things out of range
  • Compatible with Android, IOS, and Smart Home devices
  • Bulky
  • Requires app
  • Notifications require premium subscription
  • Problems with battery cover coming loose too easily

Key Specs

Connectivity: ‎Bluetooth
Weight: 14g
Batteries: 1 lithium metal battery (included)

This key finder is a step up from the kit above because it offers the loudest possible ring in the Tile line-up and the best range of up to 400 ft.

The Tile Pro is a better option for those of you with bigger properties or garages. It has double the range of the Tile Mate and a much louder ring. It also utilizes the Tile network of users to help locate lost items attached to it, although in both cases you’ll need to subscribe to Tile premium services to access that feature. Like most Bluetooth-based units, it requires a smart phone app to use and operate. The Tile Pro is also larger than the Tile Mate, and like its smaller sibling is only water-resistant, not water proof. Still, if you need large-range and loudness from your key finder there is no better option on the market than the Tile Pro.

3. Also Popular: Samsung Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth Item Tracker

3. Also Popular: Samsung Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth Item Tracker
  • Lightweight
  • Up to 400' range
  • One-touch IoT control
  • Uses Galaxy Find Network to keep track of item
  • SmartThings app can activate sound on the tracker
  • Not loud enough for some
  • SmartThings app required
  • Galaxy Find Network only pings to other Wi-Fin connected Samsung phones
  • Only compatible with Samsung smartphones running Android 8.0 or higher

Key Specs

Connectivity: WiFi
Weight: 10g
Batteries: 1 lithium ion battery

If you have a Samsung phone, this item tracker pairs easily with your device and can be found by others with Samsung phones.

Affordable and compact, this Samsung Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth Item Tracker has a range of 120m (almost 400') making it ideal to find misplaced items or objects in your home. The Galaxy Find Network lets your device be found by other Samsung devices and you can use the SmartThings app to activate sound on the tracker.

4. Best RF Key Finder: Esky Key Finder

4. Best RF Key Finder: Esky Key Finder
  • 110dB volume
  • Bright indicator lights
  • Doesn’t require an app
  • Comes with 5 receivers
  • Fully charged in 1.5 hours
  • Bulky tags
  • Short lifespan
  • Limited features
  • Short charging cable
  • Receivers need to be turned on before use

Key Specs

Connectivity: Radio frequency
Weight: 141g
Batteries: 3 CR2032 batteries (included)

This radio-frequency-operated key finder is an affordable and effective solution, especially for those of you with multiple sets of keys.

Each Esky Key Finder contains five RF receivers with a speaker built in and an RF transmitter to locate your keys with. The receivers are colour-coded so you can always find the one you need — assuming you remember which colour tag you put on which key ring. The modestly sized tags ring at up to 110 dB and the transmitter range is up to 197' in open space and up to 98' indoors. There’s an LED light on top of the transmitter to help illuminate your search. The tags take three CR2032 batteries that are good for about a year and come preinstalled.

5. Most Durable: Innway Tag

5. Most Durable: Innway Tag
  • Waterproof
  • Two-way locating
  • Last known location is enabled
  • Battery is replaceable
  • Battery meter in app lest you know when the battery is low
  • Glitchy app
  • 3 month battery life
  • Problems with updating last known location

Key Specs

Connectivity: Bluetooth
Weight: 59g
Batteries: 1 CR2025 battery (included)

This key finder allows you to find your keys using your phone and your phone using your keys.

This robust and waterproof aluminum Innway Tag connects via a Bluetooth app and regularly marks its location so you can find it even when it’s out of range or out of battery. The party trick here is a neat little button on the tag that will force your phone to ring, even on silent mode, so you can find your phone without attaching anything to it. That function is powered by the smartphone app, which is clever, but some users report occasional glitches with it. The battery life on the tag is also only three months, and while the app does have a battery meter on it to keep you from surprise failure that’s a shorter period than most other options here. We like this product because it’s well-built and offers two-way communication, though.

6. Best Indoor RF Finder: Vodeson Wireless RF Item Tracker

6. Best Indoor RF Finder: Vodeson Wireless RF Item Tracker
  • No app required
  • Long indoor range
  • Comes with 2 receivers
  • Limited features
  • Transmitter is small

Key Specs

Connectivity: Radio frequency
Item Weight: 68g
Batteries: 3 CR2032 batteries (included)

Find your device even through cushions and walls with this powerful RF key locator.

This Vodeson Wireless RF Item Tracker includes two colour-coded radio-frequency triggered beeper tags and a two-button colour-coded RF transmitter. We love this set for its reliable 100' of indoor range that promises to work even through walls and cushions. The 75 - 80dB buzzer is loud enough for most households, and the RF transmitter system requires no app or smart phone; just press a button on the finder and it will work. On the downside, you don’t get any tracking or leave-behind warnings. The buttons are large and clearly marked, though the transmitter itself is small and compact; that makes it easy to store but easy to lose as well. Another benefit of RF type devices is long battery life, and the CR2032 supplied with these will get you two years of reliable key location.

7. Best Value: Chipolo ONE

7. Best Value: Chipolo ONE
  • 120dB volume
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with Android, IOS, and Smart Home devices
  • Mediocre range
  • App can freeze occassionally
  • Compatibility issues with some devices

Key Specs

Connectivity: Bluetooth
Weight: 7.65g
Batteries: 1 CR2032 battery (included)

Even your neighbours will be able to find your keys thanks to the whopping 120dB of sound emitted from this keyfinder.

Available in colours including blue, red, white, green, yellow, or grey, the cute little round Chipolo ONE pairs with a Bluetooth app to give you easy search functionality for your keys, wallet, or phone. You can also use the Chipolo ONE to find your phone by double clicking the key tag which will cause your phone to ring even if it’s on silent. This is a great value device that offers up to two years of life from the CR2032 battery on board and free out-of-range alerts when you leave it behind. It’s compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, and the app will record recent locations for those times you need to retrace your steps to find your keys. The biggest draw back is a modest indoor range, but it works well in open air and is extremely loud.

8. Honourable Mention: Segauin Key Finder Locator

8. Honourable Mention: Segauin Key Finder Locator
  • Able to locate up to six different items
  • Two ways to locate: noise and LED light
  • Pricey
  • 9 month battery life
  • Requires 7 batteries

Key Specs

Connectivity: Radio frequency
Weight: 150g
Batteries: 7 CR2032 lithium batteries (not included)

You’re going to pay a bit more for this key finder, but it’s worth the extra cash as this radio frequency-based device can be used to locate up to six different items.

This Segauin Key Finder Locator comes with six colour-coded tabs that you attach to the items you don’t ever want to lose. There are two ways the remote will help you locate what you are looking for: one way is to emit a 85dB sound and the other is through an LED light which makes it easy to find your wallet in the dark. The RF key locator has a decent target range of 100' outdoors and 85' indoors and is powered with seven CR2032 lithium batteries that will work for around nine months.

How Do Key Finder Tracking Systems Work?

All the options on this list are powered by radio frequency waves or by Bluetooth connections. The radio versions are simple, the transmitter sends a signal to the speaker in the tab and it beeps. These only communicate when you tell them to, and so you get longer battery life. But you also don’t get passive step tracing, nor any alerts when the two ends of the system get out of range.

Bluetooth options are more complicated, and you need to connect them to an app. The Bluetooth signal sends and answers continuously, which is how they notify you when they’re out of range, and the signal drops. It also allows them to record a rough trace of your key location, by recording its proximity to your phone as you go throughout your day and plotting that on a map.

Some advanced Bluetooth options allow your tile to be pinged by any phone with the appropriate app installed. Those pings are all recorded on a central server, so you can use the network of users to help find lost or stolen keys, wallets, or phones. A less-common and less effective key finder is a whistle or clap type. These beep and flash lights when you whistle at them or make a loud clap. They can be activated accidentally by loud noises, which makes them less useful outdoors, in crowded areas, or in urban environments. They’re often much, much cheaper than Bluetooth or RF types.

Are There GPS Key Finders?

Not really, no. The reason is that GPS requires a subscription of some type. Your smartphone provider pays the GPS fee and allows you to use that function. If you wanted one for your keys you’d need to pay a separate fee.

Also, GPS is less effective indoors and when obstructed. A GPS antenna that works in those conditions would have to be much larger than is practical. That’s why the best key finders use Bluetooth or RF to find your stuff.

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We're always looking for more feedback! How do you keep track of your keys? If you’ve got a great way to keep tabs on yours, we want to hear about it. Please leave a comment below.

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