OnlyKey Durability Tests | NSC #70

OnlyKey Durability

Why Do OnlyKey Durability Tests?

We recently sat down with the creator of Onlykey, the hardware password manager. One thing that came up during our conversation was the durability of the Onlykey. If we are going to recommend carrying this around with your passwords on it, it needs to be able to withstand everything. We’ve already soaked it in a sink and tried bending it and it’s quite durable, but we want to go overboard and see what the actual limits are. During this very special digital update, we are going to do something we’ve never done before. We have seven Onlykeys that will each go through separate challenges with the hopes that they still work when we are done with them. We are calling these challenges: OnlyKey Durability Tests. If they do survive, we are giving them away in our tactical store by using the code NSC at checkout.

Enjoy 5% off your OnlyKey purchase using our referral link: https://onlykey.io/tpidg

Survival Chart

ChallengeExposure TimeDid it survive?
Boiling Water10 MinutesYes
Frozen in Ice12 HoursYes
Buried in Dirt36 HoursYes
Exposed to Fire1 MinuteYes
Smashed with HammerNo
Ran over with Car4 TimesKinda
Swimming1 HourYes


Boiling Water

The OnlyKey that was unlucky enough to be boiled was sat at the bottom of a pot that maintained a constant boil for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes was over, it was taken off of heat and cooled for 5 to 10 minutes. After drying it off and inspecting it, we plugged it into a computer and it was immediately recognized by the OnlyKey software.

Frozen In Ice

We made a popsicle out of an OnlyKey by leaving it in a bowl of water in the freezer for 12 hours. It then thawed and sat in water for another 24 hours. To no one’s surprise, it worked flawlessly after being dried off.

Buried in Mud

We buried an OnlyKey in a muddy hole and left it there for over 36 hours. After digging it up, we washed it off with water, dried it and plugged it in. It worked with no issues whatsoever.

Exposed to Fire

Ever need to access your passwords while in a burning building? It will pull through for you. We took a lighter to the OnlyKey and melted off some of the clear coating on the back in the process and charred the buttons on the front. A quick wipe down and it works perfectly!

Soaked in Water

Water and electronics don’t typically go together very well. This is because water can cause a short when power is supplied to components often causing severe damage. The OnlyKey has two things going for it: 1. It has no internal power source and 2. it has a clear coating on the back to protect the component from water, dust, dirt and the like. So we left it in water for an hour. No big deal for the OnlyKey. It operated just fine after drying off.

Ran Over with Car

If you ever lose your OnlyKey in a parking lot, the first thing you are thinking is: I hope it doesn’t get ran over with a car. Fear not, after being ran over four times in a row, the OnlyKey still functioned. The only issues it had was the LED does not work anymore and the clear coating on the back is cracked which would allow liquid to kill it further.

Snapped in Two

We tried to snap it in two, but that didn’t work, so we grabbed a hammer and smashed it a few times. As with most things smashed with a hammer, it didn’t work, not even slightly. It will never hold another password ever again.

What Did We Learn?

The OnlyKey is very durable, much more durable than we thought it was going to be. While it’s not officially rated, during our many tests we can be certain of a few things.

  • It is very much waterproof, just make sure you dry it off before plugging it into your computer
  • It can withstand both high heat and freezing conditions
  • The OnlyKey can withstand most blunt trauma to a point, but the hammer always wins in the end
  • Get it as dirty as you want, you can always rinse it off

So if you’re worried about carrying this thing on you 24/7, don’t be. The amount of damage you can cause the OnlyKey is not going to be nearly as much as we did and we only broke one. Those are some pretty good odds, but always remember to backup your OnlyKey.

Don’t think we tried hard enough or have an idea for another durability test? Leave us a comment below and we will put it in a future Digital Update. Also, check out our previous articles on the OnlyKey!


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