How to Cut Keys: Everything You Need to Know about Key Cutting

How to Cut Keys: Everything You Need to Know about Key Cutting

James Kayal
Key cutting is a skill that is often taken for granted but is very important in many fields, from locksmithing to the car industry. People who are locked out of their homes or cars can use it as a lifesaver, but it's also an art form where accuracy and attention to detail are very important. If you're a professional locksmith, a beginner enthusiast, or just someone who loses or breaks their key, let's take a look into the complicated world of key cutting. This will help you understand its importance and challenges.

Why keys cutting is important in many fields

Key cutting isn't just about making a copy or new key for a locksmith; it's also about giving people safety and peace of mind. In the automotive business, cutting keys makes sure that customers can easily get into their cars. In the residential sector, people depend on perfectly cut keys for safety and access. Cutting keys is important for everyone because it's the link between safety and ease of use.

How do you cut keys?

Key cutting is the act of cutting a pattern into metal to make a key. The skill can be used to make master key systems, keys for cabinets, homes, cars, and almost every other place in our lives where security is needed. Bit, barrel, and double-sided keys are the most popular types of keys that are cut.

In the traditional method, a trained craftsman uses special tools to grind down the metal of the key to make a shape that fits the lock. By doing it by hand, this method makes a key that works and doesn't break easily, so it will last a long time.

Today, automated machines that cut keys (for example: Triton Plus ) have changed the business, focusing on accuracy and speed without losing quality.

Different Kinds of Keys

But first, let's get to know the different kinds of keys that might need to be cut before we talk about how to cut them.

Keys for bits

Since the Roman Empire, bit keys have been around longer than any other type of key. These flat keys usually go into warded locks because they have a set of slots that match the wards inside the lock.

Snake or Barrel

Barrel keys, also called skeleton keys, are round and have a number of ridges on them that make the lock work when you turn them. A lever tumbler lock is also needed for these, which have different holes inside.

Keys on both sides

Double-sided keys, which look a bit like bottle openers, usually have teeth on both sides and are symmetrical, which means they can be put into the lock in two different ways.

Methods for Cutting Keys

Traditional Key Cutting by Hand

Cutting keys the old-fashioned way by hand takes a lot of skill and care. To do it, you hold the key blank in a vise and form it by hand with a file. This method lets you make a key with the very small errors needed to make it work properly with the lock you want to use it with.

Automated machines that cut keys

Automated tools that cut keys have made the process much easier. Their work is based on a computer template or the original key, which they use to copy the pattern onto a new key. When compared to human methods, they offer the highest level of accuracy.


Popular machines that cut keys

There are many types of key cutting tools on the market, and each one is best for a certain job. Here are some of the most famous machines:

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These machines are great for making copies of standard keys because they are very simple to build. 

A lot of locksmiths and car repair shops can cut keys for you. It's important to get skilled help from someone who knows what they're doing and has the right machine for the type of key you have. Things to think about when it comes to key cutting security Before picking a key cutting service, you should think about how it will affect your safety. A reliable service provider will make sure that the keys are cut correctly and that the information is kept secret.

Limits on Key Duplication

Due to security reasons, some keys, like those with computer parts, may not be able to be copied. Some may even need permission from the maker to make copies.

Pros of Hiring a Professional to Cut Your Keys

When you get your key cut by a professional, you can be sure that it will work exactly as it should. They can also make keys that are very hard to copy, so they can work with even the most complicated locks.

Making Keys Yourself

It can be dangerous to try to cut keys at home. Equipment that needs to be precise is often pricey and needs to be adjusted correctly. Even the smallest mistake can make the key useless or stop it from opening the lock.


In conclusion

The ability to cut keys is an important skill in many fields that keeps our lives running smoothly and our most valuable things safe. Getting a reliable key cutting service or learning how to do it yourself is a very important step for anyone working in locksmithing or a related field. Key cutting is taken very seriously and with great care, which shows how important it is to our safety and security.