Lesson 5: Key Machines - Part 3

Key Generating

Key Generator

Key generators enable you to cut brand new keys. Instead of copying a key from another pre-existing one, the computer allows you to generate a new key for whatever make, model, and cut code you desire. This gives your keys unparalleled accuracy, perfect for generating high-security keys. Key generators are made by different companies and have different instructions for how to operate them. I prefer to use the ITL key generator. I have been using the ITL for many years and it has always exceeded my needs.

Parts of a Key Generator

  • Power button: Activates or deactivates the key machine.
  • Motor: usually found at the back of the key machine and within metal housing.
  • Belt: The belt transfers the motor energy to the blade.
  • Cutter: This blade cut the blank key.
  • Vice Grips: Key generators have a vice grip which holds the blank key. This vice grip either moves electronically or has a spindle attached to it which moves the key across the blade.
  • Access Control Panel: Key generators have complex computer components. You utilize these through the access control panel and view screen.
  • Spacer: These are inserted into the vice grips depending upon the manufacturer code you wish to use.
  • Alignment mechanism: The alignment mechanism ensures that your key is aligned with the cutter. This is crucial for maintaining key accuracy. Alignment is measured from the point of the key where the shoulder meets the blade.

How to Generate a Key

              1. Put on safety hardware.
              2. Determine the make and model of the key you require. Check chapter one for more info on how to identify key blanks.
              3. Insert the spacer into the claps of the vice grip. Refer to the instruction manual to determine the appropriate spacer.
              4. Place the blank key in the vice grip. Check to make sure the key is aligned properly. The alignment guide should fully butt up against the shoulder of the key.
              5. Activate the power button.
              6. Look at the view screen on the access control panel. Usually there are instructions you need to follow at this point. On an ITL key generator, you need to rotate the spindle clockwise, and then counter-clockwise as part of the activation process.
              7. Refer to the instruction manual to determine manufacturer code of your key blank. On an ITL, Schlage is 391 and Weiser is 167.
              8. Input manufacturer code and key code. On an ITL machine, type in the manufacturer code, then the MNFCT button.
              9. Input desired key code combination then press, CODE, and CUT.
              10. The access control panel will ask you to rotate the spindle a few times as it calibrates itself. The cutter will begin activate. It will then ask you to slowly rotate the spindle counter clockwise as the cutter cuts into the blade of the key. This step should take about 3 seconds. This process will cause brass fillings to shoot everywhere and will be noisy.
              11. The access control panel will ask you to rotate the spindle back to the original position. Release the vice grips to remove your new key.

Congratulations! You successfully generated a key!


What is the difference between duplicating a key and generating a key? When would you want to duplicate a key?

When would you want to generate a key? What is potentially hazardous about operating a key machine?

When should you put on your safety hardware?

What is the “Do Not Copy” legislature in your area?

What do you do if a customer wants you to cut a “Do Not Copy” key?

When duplicating a key, if your copied key does not work, what are some possible explanations for this?

List the manufactures code for some of the most common keyways – Schlage, Weiser, Kwikset, Assa, and Yale. Review the final picture from this chapter. What is the purpose of including this picture in a chapter about key machines?

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