Laser key cutting is a very popular technique used by professional locksmiths. Just as the name implies, the laser cut is an electronic model that is especially designed to cut ignition keys by laser, for various automotive applications. In other words, the key pattern is simply cut into metal using a laser beam. The process is extremely accurate and makes the ignition keys a lot harder to duplicate in the future.
The cutting process is done with a special electronic device that uses the latest technology for both transponder and non-transponder keys. Moreover, these special machines come with adjustable clamps and various cutting tools that are controlled by a software. As a matter of fact, the laser cut key procedure is so widely spread that some locksmiths can reproduce keys with no more than a photo of that particular key!
The process is quite simple, and everything is based on computer control. The laser key cut machine has several useful features, such as an electronic probe function or a built-in code software. Having said that, this is how the locksmith cuts a key using a laser machine:
1. The locksmith will reproduce the key with the help of the special computer software that comes along with the laser key cutting machine. In a nutshell, the locksmith has to choose the car manufacturer, the car model and the year. After that, the software will automatically generate the main characteristics and cuts of the ignition key, and create a virtual model of the original key. That is basically the toolpath of the cutter – the laser will follow that precise toolpath when creating the new key. Basically, the machine does 90% of the job;
2. After creating the toolpath, the locksmith will place a brand new key (a blank key) inside the machine, for the laser to cut it according to the initial model. It is a fast and accurate process done mainly by the laser key cutting machine rather than by the locksmith – the locksmith only creates the toolpath and supervises the machine during the process. The laser beam is not only very powerful, but also very accurate and able to create models to the finest and the smallest details;
3. After the key cutting process is complete, the locksmith will carefully inspect the two ignition keys to make sure they are identical. The whole process usually takes less than five minutes, but the time may vary based on the type of laser key cutting machine as well as the manufacturer. It is a fast, efficient and cost-effective process, as reproducing a key using laser machines is significantly cheaper than reproducing it using traditional, manual methods.
The latest laser machines even come with a 3D function that is especially designed for standard, high-security ignition keys which are usually more difficult to copy.
To summarize, this is how a modern laser key cutting machine can accurately duplicate an ignition key. More and more locksmiths start to use these machines as they are very simple to operate and they are very time-effective.