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Can you buy the key cutting machines


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#1 daddybump

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:16 AM

Can you buy the key cutting machines and how hard are they to use for a newbie? Anyone know any sites or web related info on how to use them?

Im in Australia by the way

#2 theopratr

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 07:46 AM

In the United States, it is legal in most states to buy a key cutting machine, although some retailers will require that you be a licensed locksmith, if such a license exists in the state in which you reside. Others require proof that you own a business that would commercially require a key cutting machine.

Other retailers will happily sell you one with no questions asked, because the machines are relatively expensive. Even the simplest, non-automated varieties will cost you at least 300 USD, and these varieties are very limited in scope, have a definative learning curve and require a good deal of time and effort to cut a single key. They will not, for example, cut a key to certain code specifications; they will only duplicate existing keys. To make a code key using such a machine, you need old school depth keys, which, given the forum you're posting on, is what you're probably trying to make in the first place.

I own a key cutting machine myself, but it's a dinosaur from the 1950's, with about the same bells and whistles as the bare-bones model I just described. With practice, simple duplication is possible, but anything other than that is just about as much an art form as filing by hand.

Thus, if you're considering a.) cutting a LOT of keys or b.) you can find an old used one somewhere, then I recommend a machine. Otherwise, a bench grinder to supplement your files will do almost the same thing as a simple key machine, with a fraction of the cost.