Ilco 057 HS Key Machine Gets The Job Done

With a label marked “Proudly Made in USA,” Kaba Ilco Corp. is putting its reputation on the line with a new 057 HS manual key duplicator for high security automotive keys. After our thorough testing of the new 057 machine, Kaba Ilco has good reason to...


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With a label marked “Proudly Made in USA,” Kaba Ilco Corp. is putting its reputation on the line with a new 057 HS manual key duplicator for high security automotive keys. After our thorough testing of the new 057 machine, Kaba Ilco has good reason to be proud.

High security automotive keys have been in existence for more than 30 years. The noteworthy feature of high security keys is that locksmiths must have a special, vertical mill machine for key duplication. Since no domestic vehicles and only a few high-cost import vehicles used high security key systems 30 years ago, locksmiths often bypassed the opportunity to get involved in high security automotive key duplication.

High security automotive locks can be found on a majority of car models today. The Ilco 057 HS key guide for the machine lists 28 different car models which use high security, sidewinder-type keys. Owning a high security duplicator for automotive keys is now a necessity.

Descriptions of high security keys refer to the amount of key blank surfaces which can operate a vehicle lock. High security key designs can either have cuts made on the outer surfaces (external) or cuts can be made on the center surface of the key blade (internal). 4-track keys require four edges of the key blank to be duplicated. 2-track keys require two edges of the key blank to be duplicated. External 2-track or 4-track keys are easily identified by the amount of cut surfaces. Tumblers for internal high security keys can either be operated by one side of the key cut (2-track system) or various tumblers can be operated by opposing sides of the internal cut (4-track). For purposes of key duplication, it is not necessary to know what track system is used. The Ilco 057 HS can duplicate keys for all four types of lock systems.

The 057 HS duplicator consists of two key vises, one vise to hold the customer key and one vise to hold the key blank to be duplicated. Space dimensioning is factory-set.

Note: Before adjusting any key machine, make sure the power is disconnected. Before operating any key machine, check to see that all cutter guards are in place and additionally wear safety glasses or some form of recommended eye protection.

Correct depth adjustment is very important. Two unique calibration keys are included with the 057 HS machine. The calibration keys are specifically marked “L” and “R”. Whenever a new cutter or a change of cutters is required, the cutter depth setting must be adjusted using the calibration keys.

Begin adjustment by installing and tightening the “L” calibration key in the left vise and the “R” calibration key in the right vise. Insert the correct guide fully into the guide holder and tighten it in place using the provided hex wrench. Loosely install the correct cutter in the cutter holder. Using the Z-axis lever, move the cutter assembly downward until the guide touches the surface of the “L” calibration key. Tighten the vertical cutter assembly in place using the Z-axis locking knob. Manually move the cutter downward until it touches the “R” calibration key and tighten the cutter in position. Two set screws are provided for positive positioning of the cutter. The “R” calibration key is .002” thicker than the “L” calibration key which positions the cutter .002” higher than the guide pin. This prevents the cutter from ever contacting the surface of the vise jaw during key duplication.

Cutter/guide calibration is only necessary when replacing a worn cutter or when changing a cutter for duplicating “new style” Lexus keys. The standard F22 (2.5mm) cutter can be used for duplicating all other types of high security keys. An optional F44SFL (2mm) cutter and guide are required for duplicating Lexus new style keys. According to the 057 HS manual, cutter life should allow for effective cutting of approximately 30-50 high security keys before cutter replacement may be needed.

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