Cutting keys by code is the simplest and most efficient way to produce reliable keys to precise original specification.
There are many reasons to have keys cut by code.
Keys may be cut by code to replace lost or stolen keys.
Keys for cars and trucks, mail boxes, desks, filing cabinets, and cupboards are often cut by code when no original is available to copy.
More commonly for the purposes of Re-Keying or Master-Keying locks, when generation of new keys is required.
Different lock manufactures, have specific key-ways, or unique “key blanks” that fit into their cylinders. Additionally, they may also also use unique bitting that dictate the incremental depths and spacing or placement of the cuts along the blade of the key.
Common duplication machines “copy” keys by tracing the original cuts and transferring them to a blank. Conventionally these machines have a pair of jaws or small vice like clamps that hold the original, “cut key” and the blank, to be cut in alignment with a corresponding reader, that traces the cuts in one key, and a cutting blade that removes material from the blank in the same pattern. Calibration and variance due to mechanical wear of these machines dictates the accuracy of copies produced by these machines. More importantly is the quality of the key provided for duplication, and the accuracy of the operator when aligning the keys in the jaws of the machine.
Over time as keys are copied and re-copied, slight variances in the depth of the cuts or their spacing along the blade of the key can compound issues for users like “keys that stick” or have to be “jiggled” in the lock. Cutting new keys by code in combination with re-keying or re-pinning can often times simply make the difference between a lock that works or not.
Pictured in the image at left, the key in front is cut by code with appropriate depth and spacing of cuts, the key behind was cut to the right depth but at the wrong spacing and as such would not operate the profile cylinder in the customers door when the key had to be withdrawn slightly to align the cuts with the pins, and failed to engage the clutch to rotate the cam at the back of the cylinder.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.