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Cutting by code- Single sided vs double sided cutters

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L4R3L2

Familiar Face

Posts: 228

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:48 am

Location: Sutter County, CA

Post Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:50 am

Cutting by code- Single sided vs double sided cutters

My key duplicator has a single sided blade on it right now, but I plan on doing a lot of cutting to code using sets of depth keys (An HPC key originator is out of the question for now. Sigh!).

I can see the single sided cutter won't work so well for this. If I install a double sided cutter (along with the appropriate tracer), what would I be giving up? Are there some cutting aspects that cannot be done with a double sided cutter? I know I have to be careful not to bump the shoulder, but other than that? Primarily house keys.
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6275LA

Newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:21 am

Post Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:05 am

Re: Cutting by code- Single sided vs double sided cutters

I believe typically single sided cutters are 45º. When cutting keys that have 45º cuts (like Corbin), you can cut them with the depth keys and then put it backwards in the jaw and clean up the other side of the cuts (carefully) with the cutter. Very convenient and quick. I do it when cutting Corbin with depth keys.

I do a lot of Sargent keys as well, and my 45º cutter gives me problems, especially with a low cut followed by a high cut when duplicating. I have considered getting a double sided cutter which has an angle less than 45º (and an appropriate stylus) but I have never gotten around to it.

My main problem is duplicating factory Sargent keys when there is a low cut followed by a high cut. I'm not talking about near-MACS, but lets say a 8 followed by a 4 or a 3. The stylus "bottoms out" on the next cut ramp before completing the flat part of the cut, and as such, the copy has a short bottom on the low cut, preventing the pin from making proper contact. The workaround for now is that I use my key gauge and fix them with depth keys. Usually works reasonably well most of the time. This is on an old Ilco 025 duplicator.

I have used a double sided cutter on a borrowed machine to cut Sargent keys by code with depth keys and it seemed to work reasonably well, although with Schlage, Yale, Corbin, etc. you might have too steep angles for proper operation. Long term, I would like two duplicators : one 45º and one double sided cutter.
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L4R3L2

Familiar Face

Posts: 228

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:48 am

Location: Sutter County, CA

Post Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:01 pm

Re: Cutting by code- Single sided vs double sided cutters

Thank you for the reply. Most around here are Schlage and Kwikset/Titan. Reversing the blade is a good idea, but hopefully I can find a double sided blade for a reasonable price soon.
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jharveee

Prolific Poster

Posts: 979

Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:14 pm

Location: San Marcos, Ca.

Post Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:47 am

Re: Cutting by code- Single sided vs double sided cutters

Often for sale on Ebay, you can find Foley-Belsaw key machine. I used to have one that came with 3 wheels. Model 200 (I think). It had a single side for duplicating, two sided for code cutting and a slot cutter for flat steel keys. It worked great with depth/space keys.

https://foleybelsawlocksmithing.com/col ... rts?page=1
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Visitor

Familiar Face

Posts: 116

Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:48 am

Post Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:27 pm

Re: Cutting by code- Single sided vs double sided cutters

Double sided cutters have a fixed angle, single sided will do most angles.
That said, unless you're going to be really anal about sticking to manufacturers specs a slight change of angle hurts no one.
I've got a shelf full of cutters but I'm in the UK, I still prefer single sided and gave up code cutting years ago.

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