Mechanical or electronic key cutting machines? The ancient art that never ceases to amaze or the latest astounding innovations of the microchip? Let’s face this dilemma head on, so important for those who want to set up a work station to enter or enhance an activity in the key sector, so rich of possibilities, clearing the field from the idea that electronic means inevitably better. It can surely be, but it depends. Let’s see from what.
The first issue concerns the kind of keys involved or that have to be cut. Let’s imagine that our core business is flat door keys. In this scenario, what makes the difference is the quantity: if the numbers are really high, it would be advisable to use an electronic machine, but if they’re medium-high a good mechanical one will be just perfect.
An example? If we talk about a retail service with just a few keys to cut, we should go for the mechanical machine, if we reach several hundreds of keys, such as the multiple copies for public buildings or huge condos or apartment complexes, we should go for the electronic one instead, better if with an automatic key feeder to relieve the operator from this task.
If, on the other hand, we’d like to handle also automotive or costly safe keys, an electronic key cutting machine will prevent any mistake, will shorten the execution time and will allow the operators to carry out other tasks during the cutting.
However, it is essential to think about the type of key cutting. Due to their conception, the mechanical machines work only by copy and not by code. Therefore, when it comes to security systems with certificate of ownership, or to a key cutting where the key specialists has to start from the lock, it is necessary to use an electronic machine. These machines have been invented precisely to meet the most recent demands of the field.
The operators experience certainly can’t be ignored. Some types of keys, such as the high-security ones, require excellent manual skills and a good knowledge of the key to be cut successfully. For this reason, an electronic machine represents a valuable investment if we consider that not only it reduces the work time but also the personnel training time, that it facilitates the businesses that do not have an expert in the shop and that it makes the cutting of complex keys easier.
Last, but not least, the economic point of view. It’s clear that we’re talking about two orders of magnitude very different from one another. For this reason, it’s very important to know that, although the electronic machines are definitely more versatile and precise, in some cases they are not recommended due to their excessive size, while in other cases they are an investment to consider, bearing in mind the saving that they will generate. But for limited uses restricted to simple keys, the mechanical machines are simply still perfect.