Every day, locksmiths encounter situations where they either need to make a copy of an existing key or make a brand new key to replace one that has been lost. Having the right tools on hand can make this key cutting locksmith process far easier.
Perhaps the most basic key cutting tool used by locksmiths is a key duplicating machine. These machines are designed to cut a duplicate of an existing key. The original key is placed in the machine where a vise holds it. A second blank key is also inserted into the machine. The locksmith guides the machine along the contours on the edge of the existing key. As the machine follows these contours, it also cuts the blank key to the match. As long as the locksmith doesn’t slip or go off course while guiding the machine along the edge of the original key, the duplicate key should be an exact copy. This type of service can be useful for people who want to duplicate their house keys or car keys.
Another tool commonly used by locksmiths is a code machine. As you might guess, these machines can cut keys based on code that is entered into the machine. This allows the locksmith to make a new key without the need for the original. Key codes are published in a book that is only available to licensed locksmiths. These machines are far more expensive than basic key duplicating machines. However, they are also far more versatile. They allow a locksmith to not only duplicate existing keys but also to make new keys if the original key was lost.
The process of using one of these machines is quite simple. The locksmith first determines the correct code based on the manufacturer of the lock. The code is then entered into the machine along with a special code known as the bitting code. This code tells the machine how deep each of the cuts should be and how they should be spaced along the edge of the key. Once the data is entered into the machine, the locksmith simply inserts a matching key blank and presses a button to start the cutting process. The machine then goes to work cutting the key by the code that was entered. When it is done, the customer will have a brand new working key for their home, office, padlock, or vehicle.