Key machines


Kaba Ilco offers the most complete line of key duplication and code cutting equipment available, providing "just the right product” for virtually any key cutting need.

Whether your specific requirement involves residential, commercial, automotive or high security keys, you will find the key machine that fits your needs and price point. Kaba's Ilco & Silca brands represent the utmost in quality key cutting products for the professional.

For more information on key machines please visit the Kaba-Ilco website.

Choosing the right Key Machine

Will you be duplicating keys or originating them from a code number?

Key blanks are generally cut for use in a lock by one of two processes; DUPLICATION or cutting by CODE.

DUPLICATION requires that a “working key”, capable of operating the intended lock, be available to duplicate (copy). An example of this process would be a consumer visiting a local locksmith or hardware store to obtain an “extra” key for their automobile or residence. Using the consumer’s working key, the appropriate key blank is selected, and the pattern of cuts on it is traced using a duplicating type key machine to re-create the same cut on the key blank. Key machines used to create additional keys by copying a working key are referred to as Duplicators.

Cutting keys by CODE is the process used to create a key for a lock when a working key is not available. One example of this process would be a consumer losing the keys to their car and having a locksmith or car dealer originate a working key by means of a code number. In this example the code number is the unique number, usually supplied along with the car’s original keys to the consumer, when they purchased the vehicle. A locksmith or car dealer would use the code number to identify the specific pattern of cuts required on a key to operate the locks on that vehicle. Keys may also be cut by code number for applications other than automotive. An example of this would be a master key system generated and controlled by a locksmith. Key machines that originate keys are referred to as Code Machines.

What type(s) of keys will you be cutting?

Most Key machines are designed for cutting normal or “traditional” type keys such as those commonly used with door locks, padlocks, cabinet locks and most automobiles. Other classifications include flat steel keys (as used with safe deposit locks and some letter boxes), bit keys (skeleton keys), and high security keys (requiring a special kind of key machine).

• What style of operation are you looking for in the key machine you purchase?

Key machines are often categorize by their method of operation; manual, semi-automatic, or automatic.

Manual: A manual key machine is one that requires the operator to provide forward pressure and lateral movement of the machine’s key carriage in order to cut a key. While generally priced less than other key machine types, manually operated key machines are also much slower to operate, and provide less consistent accuracy in settings where several individuals will use the same machine.

Semi-Automatic: Often referred to as “lever operated”, semi-automatic key machines provide the forward cutting pressure necessary to cut a key through the use of a spring mechanism, and lateral carriage movement is supplied simply by moving a lever. These attributes allow semi-automatics to cut key far quicker than other designs, and provide for more consistent accuracy when multiple machine operators are involved. Semi-automatics are generally the “machine of choice” for busy key cutting locations.

Automatic: Automatic key machines, like semi-automatic models, provide the necessary forward key cutting pressure, and pressing a button or a “start lever” provides for lateral carriage movement. Slower to use than semi-automatics, this style of machine is quicker however than manually operated models.

• How much will a key machine cost me?

Pricing will be dependant upon the model you select. The key machine products we offer span a broad price range, allowing purchasers to identify models suitable to their needs based upon various factors. When considering which key machine to buy, consider both price and included product features in your decision. You should first consider your specific use for the product, then…the number of individuals that will regularly operate it, the selection of special features you would like the machine to have, and the level of accuracy the machine should provide. Speed of operation is another important consideration, especially where key cutting demand is high or staffing is minimal. As with other kinds of equipment, key machines are priced according to the capabilities they provide; lower priced units tend to be more basic in function.