As there appears to be variances in the quality of machine cutters, only careful operator use will ensure a long life.

Tips to help :

1.  Cut off excess material before inserting in key machine.

2.  Ensure that the keyblank is held firmly in the vice otherwise cutter damage could occur.

3.  Apply cutting lubricant (check with your local engineer) to help reduce heat build up and aid in cutting efficiency otherwise damage could occur.

4.  Apply firm and constant pressure to reduce "slip causing loss of sharpness" otherwise cutter damage may occur.

Cutters are not warranted against breakage or abuse.





Metal chips should never pile up on the key machine.  If cutting 30-50 keys per week, the machine should get a complete cleaning at the end of the work week.  If cutting over 100 keys per week, the key machine should get a complete cleaning at the end of the work day.  A complete cleaning should consist of removing the hood and cleaning all the metal chips from the machine.  Regular general maintenance would prevent the metal chips from binding up and spreading on the electrical connectors on the key machine.


Compressed air should NEVER be used on the key machine for cleaning metal chips.  A shop vacuum cleaner or paint brush is highly suggested for cleaning off metal chips.  Using compressed air will allow metal chips to spread around the machine and on to the electrical contacts which could create a short circuit. Clean vise jaws regularly so that no metal chips lay under key blanks.  It is essential that both keys lay flat across the entire width of each vise jaw.  Neither key blank should be tilted.  Apply a small amount of grease to the inside surface of top vise jaw.  Thin layers of any kind of household grease will allow the vise jaw to make better contact with the key blanks.


Lubricating of moving parts is important.  An oil cup is provided to keep the cutter shaft bearings will lubricated (5 drops of lightweight machine oil is sufficient for the oil cup).  The lubrication procedures should be performed as follows:

1.  If cutting 30-50 keys per week, key machines should get oil every 3-4 weeks.

2.  If cutting over 100 keys per week, key machines should get oil every 2-3 weeks.  The motor requires lubrication on an annual basis.  See motor label for details.


When replacing or installing any parts on the key machine, always use a rubber mallet instead of a metal style mallet to prevent burrs on parts.  Burrs will allow the key machine to bind up on the working areas.  It may also make other working parts effective.


Carriage Studs : Always use blue removable Loctite when installing vise jaw studs.  Loctite should be applied to the lower threads on the vise jaw studs.  Using either an appropriate stud wrench or grip pliers is highly recommended for installation.  If using grip pliers, clamp on middle surface section of stud to prevent damage to threads.  Never bend vise jaw studs in carriage casting.  Bending a vise jaw stud will strip out your cariage casting.  Apply a small amount of grease to upper threaded portion of studs for longer service life.  A thin layer of any kind of household grease is suggested and would allow the vise jaw stud to make a better contact with the wing nut.

Bearing Washer : Never reverse the order of the thrust bearing washer set.  The bearing washer should always be in the middle of the flat washers.  In addition they should always be under the wing nuts and on top of the vise jaw assembly.  Any other arrangement could strip the wingnut, vise jaw stud or carriage casting.

Belt : Periodically check belt tension on cutter shaft and motor pulleys.  Belt tension should allow for approximately 1/2" of deflection (1/4" up and 1/4" down) at a point midway between thetwo pulleys.  Not having the proper tension in the drive belt  may cause wear on the belt, cutter shaft and motor pulleys.

Wing Nuts : Do not use pliers or other tools to tighten the wing nuts on the vise jaws.  Using tools will strip the wing nut, vise jaw stud and carriage casting.  Firm hand pressure is sufficient.  Apply a small amount of grease on threads of wing nut for longer service life.  The grease will allow the wing nut to make better contact with the vise jaw stud.

Carriage Shaft : Keep the carriage shaft free of metal chips.  The carriage shaft should be lubricated with a thin film of oil and wiped free of metal chip build up.  The carriage should move freely without binding.

Cutter : Keep the cutter clean.  Do not let any foreign objects or instruments come in contact with it.  This is a precise cutting tool and should be handled with care.  Do not run the cutter into the vise jaw as this will dull the cutter and reduce cutter efficiency.  Cutters are not warranted against breakage or abuse.

Three Signs of a dull cutter : 

Time - a dull cutter takes longer to make the cuts

Sound - a dull cutter will emit a shrill sound as it cuts the key

Burrs - a dull cutter will leave a heavy build up of burrs on the key.




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