Keyrings, also called keychains, are little metal chains that hold small items such as keys, charms, and decorative pieces. These are common memorabilia for various life events such as trips, celebrations, and promotions. Keyrings are commonly used as an excellent marketing strategy by different companies and institutions. These can serve as a powerful promotional item for a company’s product and/or service. Custom Keyrings can also be used as a corporate gift that freely advertises the company’s basic information – business name and address, logo, contact numbers, etc.
Metal and rubber are two of the most commonly used materials in making keyring designs. While metal keyrings and custom rubber keyrings excel in different aspects such as durability and usefulness, it is also important to know when and how to use these materials. If you want to know how to decide between a metal or custom rubber keyring, this blog article is for you.
Metal keyrings are made out of stronger metals such as iron, steel, copper, magnesium, and nickel. Metal grades are more durable than plastic and rubber. Metal keyrings also have a much higher melting point, which makes them more heat resistant compared to other materials. Metal is a versatile material that can undergo a series of fabrication procedures like welding, casting, chipping, forging, and soldering. This is also cost-efficient, especially in high-volume production.
But note that metal keyrings are not always ideal for every event or application. Since they undergo various fabrication processes, metal keyrings can be costly and time-consuming. Also, some metals have high viscosity levels, which limit their ability to make more complex designs.
Custom Rubber Keyrings
Rubber keyrings are often made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a soft, thermoplastic material that can be used repeatedly. Compared to metal keyrings, custom rubber keyrings are more lightweight and less expensive. Rubber keychains also have more vivid colours and better edge transition compared to metal keychains.
Rubber can be easily formed into highly complex geometric designs. This is because rubber has a significantly lower melting point. Rubber keyrings are also not vulnerable to chemical reactions such as oxidation or rusting. When they get dirty, you can simply wash them with plain water or detergent solution. While most metal keyrings have classic, elegant designs, custom rubber keyrings are more playful and aesthetically pleasing, particularly if you form a raised 2D logo on the front side. They are also more flexible and long-lasting.
Metal Keyrings Versus Custom Rubber Keyrings
To help you better understand the differences between metal keyrings and custom rubber keyrings, here is a clearer comparison:
- Price and Cost of Production
Metal keyrings are commonly more expensive than custom rubber keyrings. This is because they undergo a wide range of fabrication and manufacturing processes such as welding and machining. They also require secondary operations or post-fabrication processes such as painting, deburring, and finishing. Rubber keyring, on the other hand, does not require intensive fabrication processes to finish. Rubber can be coloured before the operation to eliminate secondary treatments. And since rubber is way cheaper than metals, manufacturers can easily accommodate high volume orders within faster turnaround times.
- Target Market
It is essential to consider your target audience when you are learning how to decide between a metal or custom rubber keyring. If you have a formal and classic audience, go with the metal type. But when your audience is young, adventurous, and quirky, then go with the rubber type. Take note that metal keyrings never go out of style due to their clean, classic look. If you’re having a hard time deciding, you can always choose the classic.
Since metals are often expensive, they produce high-quality keyrings with a pristine finish. They are perfect gift items to valued customers, employees, and personalities. The only thing about metal keyrings is they can be prone to oxidation or rusting if not designed and manufactured correctly. Custom rubber keyrings, on the other hand, are made from less-expensive materials and can reach a wider market. Since they can be easily mass-produced, the quality sometimes suffers. So when it comes to quality, both have positive and negative sides.
Due to its internal composition, metals are more versatile than rubber. Metal keyrings can be fabricated using various fabrication processes such as deep drawing, soldering, casting, and chipping. Rubber keyrings can be easily fabricated and do not necessarily require these processes and treatments to finish.
- Strength and Durability
It is a known fact that metal is stronger and more durable than rubber. Metal keyrings can withstand wear, pressure, and any damage. Meanwhile, custom rubber keyrings can be torn and cannot withstand pressure. So if you’re giving more weight on strength and durability, go with metal keyrings.
- Custom Designs
You can make your custom design or logo using PVC rubber. You can also choose a two-dimensional or a more sculpted three-dimensional design that is more colourful and pleasing to the eye. Using 2-D and 3-D molds, your logos and designs will be ready in no time. You can also choose double-sided keyrings to make it more artistic and personalised. You can use the same raised images on both sides or two different designs on the two sides. On the other hand, 2D and 3D designs in metal keyrings are not that sharp and colourful. But if you prefer a classier, less aesthetic, and more professional design, you can always choose metal sculpting.
- Mode of Distribution
There are factors to consider when it comes to the mode of distribution of the keyrings. Whatever marketing channels you’re using – direct selling, intermediaries, dual distribution, or reverse channel, consider these things:
- Metal Keyrings: Functional and long-lasting
- Rubber Keyrings: Less functional and fanciful
- Metal Keyrings: High maintenance
- Rubber Keyrings: Low or no maintenance
- Metal Keyrings: Expensive
- Rubber Keyrings: Cheap, economical
- Metal Keyrings: more elegant, classy, professional-looking
- Rubber Keyrings: fun, more aesthetic-looking, novelty
Learning how to decide between a metal or custom rubber keyring is never an easy task. You need to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of the materials used in the production. You also have to consider different factors such as price, strength, and quality. If you’re planning to purchase promotional keyrings for your company, be sure to refer back to this article as a reference.