If you’ve ever lost your house keys, you know how frustrating it can be. You can avoid this headache by learning how to use a key cutting machine. With this handy tool, you can make a copy of your key in minutes. Keep reading to learn how to use a key cutting machine.
What is a key cutting machine?
A key cutting machine is a device used to cut new keys from old ones. They are available at most hardware stores but are also available to rent from some locksmiths. There are a few different key cutting machines, but the most common is the manual key cutter. This machine has a pair of cutting blades controlled by a hand crank. The blades cut the key blank to the correct size.
Another type of key cutting machine is the motorized key cutter. The motorized key cutter receives power from an electric motor and can cut a key in a fraction of the time it would take to cut it by hand. However, the motorized key cutter can be more expensive to rent or purchase. Key cutting machines come in various sizes, but all work in the same way.
How do you use a key cutting machine?
The first step in using a key cutting machine is to measure the length of the old key. You can measure the old key’s length using a ruler or calipers. Next, determine the width of the key by measuring the distance between the two notches on either side of the key blade. Once you have these measurements, you can select the corresponding size die for your key cutting machine.
To turn on the key cutting machine, locate the power switch. The power switch is usually on the side or front of the machine. Next, find the clamp that holds the key blank and release it by pressing down on the lever. Then, insert the old key into the die and press down on the lever until it snaps into place. Use a saw to cut along the outline of the key blade, and keep your fingers out of harm’s way while doing this to avoid cuts and other injuries. Finally, use a file to smooth any rough edges on the new key.
To remove a key from the cutting machine, you must loosen the set screws that hold the key. There are usually two set screws, one on each side of the key. Once you loosen the set screws, you can remove the key from the cutting machine.
How do you check the machine’s dept and alignment?
Depth and alignment are essential factors when using a key cutting machine. The depth of the cut is how deep the blade cuts into the key blank. The alignment is how the blade lines up to the key blank. If you do not consider these factors, it can lead to a poorly cut key or even damage the key cutting machine. To check the depth, hold the key blank in one hand and use your other hand to hold the blade of the key cutting machine at a 90-degree angle against the blank.
Gently apply pressure and move the blade along the entire length of the blank. You should feel resistance as you reach each notch on the blank. If there is too much or too little resistance, you will need to adjust the blade’s depth or alignment. Place one end of the key blank against a straight edge like a ruler to check alignment. With moderate pressure, slide it down until you reach where you want to make your cut. Then, look at where both ends meet to make sure the ends are perfectly aligned. If they are not, you will need to adjust either depth or alignment accordingly.