How to make a key for a vending machine

Written by stanley washington
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How to make a key for a vending machine
Tubular lock keys are most commonly used in the vending machine industry. (key image by Albo from

Vending machine manufacturers design vending machines with tubular lock systems to safe guard the contents while unattended. The use of tubular locking systems prevents traditional lock picking and key bumping by limiting the direct access to the internal locking mechanism. A vending machine key can be made by using a tubular key duplicator.

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Things you need

  • Tubular key duplicator
  • Vending machine tubular key and matching blank key

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  1. 1

    Acquire a vending machine key. If you have lost your key you can acquire a new one through the vending machine distributor through which the machine was originally purchased. A list of distributors can be found online. Contact the distributor and tell them that you need a replacement vending machine key. They will ask you to provide the model information and will ask you about a 4 digit number located on the tubular lock assembly. This number corresponds to the key configuration. The distributor will send you the key in the mail.

  2. 2

    Use a tubular key duplicator to make the vending machine key. Each tubular key machine employs different techniques to make vending machine keys. Some machines will copy one key and cut another at the same time and other machines will measure one key and the key will have to be replaced with a blank to start cutting. Read the instructional material that is included with the tubular key duplicator to identify specifically where and how to place your two keys into the machine.

  3. 3

    Test your vending machine key.

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