KeySmart CleanKey Brass Hand Tool Review – $24.99

As the Novel Coronavirus continues to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, we’ve come to realize the “New Normal” that surrounds us. Wash your hands, limit contact, wear a mask, etc – It’s can be overwhelming, and we’re seeing a lot of new products to help alleviate the common concerns of limiting chances of contracting Covid 19. One tool in particular is the KeySmart CleanKey Brass Hand Tool – 



The CleanKey is composed of 70% Brass and 30% Zinc this combination of metals produces the alloy Brass. One of the most pertinent properties of brass is that it’s antimicrobial. There are countless scientific studies backing this up, microbes just can’t sustain themselves on brass surfaces, so much so that Laboratory testing has shown that copper and its alloys, brass and bronze, kill more than 99.9 percent of bacteria, such as the superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, within two hours.

The Cleankey measures about 3.5” long and weighs 1.8 ounces, or about as much as a pack of gum for all you metric folk. It has a large trigger for leverage and knurling along the top for grip. The machining is actually pretty decent and smooth.



I just want to get possibly my biggest caveat out of the way, your hands will smell like pennies from handling this. It’s perfectly ok, but that’s just the price you pay for Brass. I’ve been using the KeySmart CleanKey almost non stop for a month now. I’m out and about quite a bit for my secular job, and this has been great for opening doors and punching buttons at gas stations. 

With a little finesse you can even get some turn knob doors to open. I find the stylus capabilities a little lacking. It sometimes takes a few tries for a touch screen to register a punch, but it does work. The included retractable carabiner makes it so accessible it becomes second nature using the CleanKey.


The CleanKey is actually pretty good looking. It’s simplistic design and solid brass construction really leave no kinks in the looks department. It doesn’t seem out of place and looks pretty slick hanging from your belt loops. I think it fits in with my EDC quite well. They say form follows function, but here we’re rarely treated to both in equal measures.



I am very pleased with the Keysmart CleanKey. It’s small footprint and ease of use really makes it a formidable weapon in the war on cooties. At just $24.99 I think it’s more than a bargain, considering it will last you for years. The natural properties of brass means this tool will also never lose its antimicrobial properties. They’ve been selling like hot cakes, so if you want one, I’d suggest visiting the site often. 


BennyBee Leather 13” Messenger Bag Review – $282.05

Too often when discussing durability of bags, there is talks about utilizing rivets, metal bars to attach handles, and other rugged components. When I first started buying bags, that’s all I knew to look for. After seeing and handling some French/Swiss packsaddles from the early 1900s, I was taken back and realized what ensures quality and longevity. These packsaddles were made when rivets and a lot of reinforcements weren’t so prevalent – yet they’ve lasted nearly a century due to bare-bones materials – quality leather and quality stitching.  With that in mind, when I stumbled upon BennyBee Leather of Edinburgh, UK, I was not so hesitant when I noticed the beauty and simplicity of their bags.I was overtaken by first the look of the bags, and spent less time looking for rivets and reinforcement bars.  After reaching out, Dani of BennyBee decided to let us test out the 13 inch messenger in chestnut, one of their top-selling bags.

As for those who have read some of my previous reviews, I am a big fan of discovering the etymology of company names. BennyBee is broken down from “Benny” which is the nickname of Dani’s brother, and “Bee” to signify the preservation of nature and respect for the namesake insect. Dani began making small leather goods after borrowing tools from his late grandfather’s shop, who had worked as a cobbler. Upon advancing to making bags, BennyBee Leather was born in 2014. They currently offer a variety of bags and wallets for both women and women.

It’s not often I talk about aesthetics before going into the construction and build quality, but the chestnut color of this bag is absolutely gorgeous. Indoors, the color at times looks a nice dark brown. Outdoors, the chestnut-red color really blooms into a hue that I cannot stop gazing over. Even while taking photos at a nearby park to me, I was interrupted a few times by passerby’s to explain who made the bag and how to get it. I must also mention that the shipping time internationally was fast – 3 days from shipment to receiving. To add icing on the cake, the bag comes nicely packaged inside its shipping box with brown wrapping paper, a twine closure with a red candle stamp seal. Included was also a can of homemade wax and instructions to treat the bag.

The overall construction of the bag is quite simple. The exterior boasts one large piece of full-grained, vegetable tanned leather from the front flap to the back; One long strip to serve as the gusset, a front piece and a small front pocket constructed of two pieces of leather. Considering the shape and size, it is easy to tell the bag was constructed to avoid patchwork – stitching of multiple small pieces of leather, which often leads to poor durability. The entire bag is saddle-stitched by hand, with lovely characteristics such as the honey-comb like corners decorating the handle pieces and belt keepers and the slightly angled stitch pattern from the classic saddle-stich. Avoiding traditional rectangular patterns, I believe is a nice feature. The front buckles, side d-rings, and handle mounts are constructed of aged brass hardware. The buckles are riveted in, with the rivet partially hidden under the leather keeper. Over my use I have gotten more familiar opening and closing the buckles quickly so it really does not seem time consuming when compared to quick-release bags, also with the benefit of being much more secure against pickpockets. Each bag of this style takes roughly 15 hours to assemble, and is well worth the time spent.

The interior pocket of the bag sports a small sleeve insert as well as a panel with pockets for business cards, a cellphone, and pen holder loops. Being complete unlined, the suede finish is lovely to touch. If carrying a small laptop or tablet, I would suggest keeping it in a small sleeve or case, as this is not necessarily a tech bag, but would protect contents fairly well.  My iPad mini fits perfectly in the insert, as would a full sized iPad. BennyBee also makes a larger 15’’ messenger that accommodates a MacBook Pro and other larger laptops. The front pocket on the bag is perfect for holding field notes, a cellphone, or other small items for quick access without digging into the main compartment. The main compartment is spacious enough for a leather-bound notepad holder, a few books, and other daily carry items.

Cased iPad Mini with plenty of room in the sleeve; iPhone SE, business card wallet, two pens and carabiner with keyset attached. 

The strap is constructed of one thick piece of full-grain, vegetable tanned leather, with a non-padded shoulder pad. I love the feel of the pad as it is just one piece of thick, soft leather with the suede side exposed. Though it is not padded, it is quite comfortable and contours well to your shoulder whether wearing off one shoulder or crossbody.  Longevity wise, the shoulder pad may be the first component to wear out, especially if one neglects to condition their bag. However, a replacement or repair would be an easy fast fix if a problem ever developed. The brass buckle is riveted in as well as the lobster-style clasps at each end. These attach to the d-rings at on the sides of the bag. While the d-rings are not riveted to the bag, I highly doubt under normal use and the intended amount of things carried that they will fail to support the load. Like I refereed to earlier in the post, early Swiss packsaddles did not have rivets, and they are proven to hold up. The bag handle is thick and sturdy, stitched from two pieces of leather and quite comfortable.

The rear of the back is sans pocket. When I asked about it, Dani said the number of requests for a rear pocket (2) compared to the one thousand-plus messenger bags made so far didn’t constitute a design change. Of course, Dani did say they can accommodate as they do honor custom requests, so do not hesitate to ask if you are wanting a rear pocket or other design modifications. Quite frankly, the only modification I would request is a key keeper on the inside pocket panel; however, that is easily remedied by slipping a carabiner upside down through one of the three pen loops as I’ve shown above.

Truthfully, this bag has become my go-to for daily carry. I’ve typically enjoyed slightly bigger bags in length and interior dimensions, but the BennyBee Leather 13 Inch Messenger bag has convinced me to just carry what I need to carry. Priced at roughly $285 plus shipping, I honestly would pay more and still be impressed knowing and having experienced the bag thus far. I need to make it a point to say that even though BennyBee is based in the UK, buyers in the United States can breath a sigh of relief as we won’t be charged hefty import and duty taxes as long as the value of items shipped is below $800. This makes it a clear benefit for US customers to explore leather products internationally. You can check out BennyBee Leather on Etsy as well as Instagram to see more shots of their products.



Spencer Collection by Design Unsanctioned $25-$40

Style comes and goes, but class is timeless. That’s how I feel when it comes to brass, and even more so when combined with timeless materials like wood and leather. In a high tech world of poly plastics, carbon fiber, and titanium trinkets, there is something sacred in hearkening back to the materials our great grandfathers knew and used in their everyday carry. Just as well worn leather is a beauty to behold, brass achieving it’s own patina over time makes it a favorite for anyone who appreciates a good vintage vibe with their EDC.



Design Unsanctioned is a Brooklyn based design studio that jump started their brand with a successful Kickstarter campaign introducing their Spencer Collection. This small collection is a blend of classic materials with a modern design. Precision milled solid brass bottle openers and key hooks, with beautiful walnut inlays and top-grain leather straps.

Solid and beautifully simple were my first impressions when holding a piece of the collection. At first I considered this a fairly modern design, but I’ve found myself thinking this has a early 60’s feel and I can imagine Don Draper from the show Mad Men using one of these brass bottle openers. Brass, wood and leather truly are timeless and these pieces echo that in their form.

When it comes to function, these pieces perform exactly as you’d expect them to. I find the mini bottle opener to be much more direct in function as compared to the larger model. With the larger bottle opener you may find yourself having to find the correct side to apply to the bottle cap. And that may become more difficult depending on how many bottle tops were popped previously, if you take my meaning. They’re both enjoyable bottle openers, and I love handing them to people and seeing their amazed expressions while they closely examine the piece and inquire where to get one.





The keyhook looks great on raw denim, and does great at holding your keys in a classy manner. I’ve found that it’s better to wear it without a belt, or you may find that the sharper edges of the key hook maybe possibly mar the outer finish of your belt. If you put the kind of money into a leather belt that I do, then that’s not something you’ll want to find out the hard way so be wary of how you carry with it. What I really like the idea of quickly hooking up your keys to your satchel.


The leather is full grain with a quality finish. The pieces are perfectly cut with laser precision, so you’ll never find a flaw in the shape. Some folks will prefer their leather goods to be die cut, but these leather pieces are small and it produces a fine end result in my opinion. The sturdy key fob makes for a great accent on most belts, and a comfortable way to carry your keys about. Unfortunately for me the key fob won’t quite fit on my 1.75″ wide Mountain Belt from Craft and Lore. But I’m in a very small minority of folks who wear such a wide belt, and just about any belt would fit this piece of the collection.

All in all this is a great collection from Design Unsanctioned, and I look forward to their future collections. Be sure to check out their Look Book and if you own any pieces from their collection be sure to let us know what you think.