Types of Key Blanks

Written by cristina puno
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Types of Key Blanks
Keys blanks come in various shapes and sizes. (ICHIRO/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Locks are commonly used for security in a wide range of applications, from the front door of your house to your car door and boot to your bank safety deposit box. When setting up a key duplicating business, you will need an assortment of key blanks in order to provide your customer with a duplicate that matches the original. Each key blank serves a specific purpose and some may require special equipment to be cut.

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Flat Keys

As the name suggests, flat keys are flat on both sides. These keys are usually made of steel or silver nickel. Flat keys are typically used for safety deposit boxes and luggage locks.

Corrugated Keys

Corrugated keys are similar to flat keys but have corrugations or grooves along the length of sides. Corrugated keys are commonly used for padlocks and desk drawers.

Cylinder Keys

Cylinder keys are one of the most popular keys in use today. They are typically used with pin tumbler locks as well as disc tumbler locks. These locks are found on the front door of your home, and on your car door and boot. Car key blanks are categorised by car make.

Four-sided keys

Four-sided keys are also called "cruciform" keys because they fit into a cross-shaped slot. Unlike other key blanks, the four-sided key is cut on four sides as the name suggests. You will need to use a special key duplicating machine capable of cutting this type of key in order to duplicate it.

Dimple Keys

Dimple keys are used in pin tumbler locks. Dimple key blanks are usually flat and rectangular. They are called dimple keys because they are cut by means of cone-shaped indentations or holes drilled into the surface of the key.

Transponder Keys

Transponder keys are car keys that have a computer chip embedded on the head of the key for added security. These chips are programmed to transmit a signal to the on-board computer of a car that will recognise the key's unique signal and allow the car to start. When duplicating, in addition to cutting the key, the transponder key chip must be programmed for the key to be used for that particular vehicle.

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