Locksmiths use a variety of tools and equipment on a daily basis. Some of this equipment is generic in nature such as drills, bits, screwdrivers, chisels and hammers. Other pieces are specific to our trade. These items include follow tools, picks, shims and lockout tools. One piece of equipment...
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Purchasing any key machine requires some research on your part. In addition to cost, determine the value the machine will bring to your business. By offering additional services to your customers, you can build more business. Determine what attachments and options are available for a given machine. The addition of a brush or work light can increase your productivity.
Consider the warranty or guarantee along with the manufacturer's reputation. Ask your colleagues in the industry. See what machines your friends are using and how they like them. Recommendations -- both good and bad -- can have a strong impact on how you spend your hard earned dollars.
What are the features, advantages and benefits of each machine? A feature is 'what it is,' an advantage is 'what it does' and a benefit is 'how it helps you.' See if different cutter blades are available and how much replacement cutters will cost. Examine the accuracy of the machine and read the factory specifications before you buy. Are the jaws two-way, four-way or fixed? Four position jaws allow much more flexibility in duplicating customer keys. They can also allow for broken, worn or odd key duplication.
What is the application of this machine? Will it be used in a shop, in a truck or both? Buy the right machine to do the right job.
A key machine is an investment. It is a tool that will allow you to make money. Check with your distributor to find out what options are available. Some machines come with a group of free key blanks. Free key blanks are almost as good as cash. Some distributors may be willing to work with you by offering extended dating. There are companies that will allow you to lease or finance a key machine.
Do your homework before you buy your next key machine. The time and effort you spend is worth it considering that key machines are a long-term investment, usually offering a substantial return on that investment.