When you need to get keys made, there are several types of key making machines that could be used. The most commonly used types of key making machines are the automatic key cutter, punch machines, code-key cutters and cylindrical key making machines. Laser key makers and manual key making machines are also available.
Automatic Key Cutter
Most keys are made by key cutting with an automatic key cutter. A flat key “blank” is put in a vise. The key to be copied is put on one side. As the locksmith traces the outline of the master key, a duplicate key with the same tooth pattern is made. The new key will be scrubbed to remove any burrs or foreign object debris, since the bits of metal would ruin a lock when the key is used. Most automatic key cutters only make mortice keys, like the flat key used to open your front door.
Keys made by stamping metal with a punch machine are an option to replace your lost or stolen keys. The pattern for the key is put into the punch machine. Then the entire key pattern is punched into the new key at once. Keys can be made with a punch machine for which there is no original or using a pattern drawn on a piece of paper. Punch machines are also used when many versions of the same key need to be made.
Tubular Key Making Machines
Tubular keys are cylindrical, with the key pattern inside of the tube. Tubular keys are commonly used to access the coin storage on vending machines and video games. They were traditionally labor intensive to make. In 1982, a patent was granted for a tubular key manufacturing machine. This type of key-making machine uses a pivotable indexing plate to create the internal key pattern. This key making machine is more accurate than a locksmith using a broach to cut key patterns inside of a new tubular key.
Code Key Cutters
One of the lesser known key making machines is the code-key cutter. A code-key cutter creates key cards such as those used to access hotel rooms. Code-key cutters may be used by hotel staff or a professional Locksmith in Kirkland. One of the benefits of their low-tech, low cost operation is that all of the hotel code keys can be changed and new keys issued in a single day.
Manual Key Cutters
Manual key cutters are still around, though they are fading away because they are not as accurate as other types of key making machines. Manual key cutters are used to duplicate keys. The cutter has a master key in its jaws, while the manual cutter cuts the key blank. Some manual key cutters can have multiple keys made simultaneously. Depending on the manual key cutter, it may be able to create a two sided key.
Laser key cutters are able to read the key’s biting with opto-electronic scanners and cut the key to its exact dimensions. Laser cutters can create one sided and two sided keys. They are rather versatile key makers, and they can make pin and pump keys. One of the benefits of laser cutters is a reduction in foreign object debris, the small pieces of metal thrown up by a metal cutter.