Key Features Of A Keyline 994

Code machines have come a long way in the last 50 years. The 994 Laser machine by Keyline USA is an excellent example. The 994 Laser can either automatically originate automotive keys by code or decode existing automotive key cuts and originate duplicates with the decoding feature. Key types which can be cut on the 994 machine include external 4-track keys, internal 4-track keys, internal 2-track keys and Tibbe keys such as for Jaguar and the Ford Transit Connect. A new jaw has been developed which can now be used to originate double-bitted flat automotive keys such as 8-cut key types used by Chrysler or Ford.


Vise Jaws

Key blanks come in many sizes and shapes and no single vise jaw can accurately retain every type of blank. Vise jaws for the 994 Laser machine are each works of art and especially designed to retain specific key blanks. A Keyline USA jaw application chart lists the correct vise jaw to use for all popular vehicles by year, make and model. One of four separate Keyline vise jaws marked A, B, C & D is required for originating sidewinder keys depending on the exact vehicle model and year.

One feature of the Keyline 994 Laser sidewinder vise jaws is the enclosed bridge area at the front of the vise jaw. Key blanks are inserted through the bridge area before being tightened into place. The bridge serves as an additional positive holding point for key blanks.

Vise jaw ‘G’ is designed for cutting automotive double-sided flat keys such as for Chrysler, Ford or GM. Double-sided key blanks are securely held by the sides of the blank near the bow and by a spring-loaded bridge which presses against the wide top surface of the key blank. A raised area supports flat key blanks above the vise jaw surface so the cutter can remove key blank material as needed without coming in contact with the vise jaw surface.

Vise jaw ‘H’ is used to originate Tibbe keys. Merkur Scorpio vehicles sold by Mercury dealers in 1988 first used a Tibbe key system. This system uses six disc tumblers and four possible depths. The identical key system has been used on Ford Transit Connect vehicles starting in 2010. The ‘H’ vise jaw has four depth angle positions, each with a spring detent. After each cut is automatically made, the machine pauses while the operator turns the Tibbe key to the proper depth detent for the next space cut. Jaguar Tibbe keys are longer and have eight cuts and three depth positions. The ‘H’ jaw will not originate Jaguar keys.



At the heart of the Keyline 994 system is the console. The 994 console program can be password protected to prevent unauthorized persons from operating the machine. The console screen contains eight initial sections. These include bookmarks, search by car model, search by code series, search code series by key blanks, search archived information, set operating parameters, search code database and search additional code information from an optional key code program loaded on a remote PC.

In order to simplify the normal machine search procedures, locksmiths may add keys/systems most often used for later retrieval.


Car Model Search

A selection of car, cycle and truck model names is included. A keypad on the screen can be used to type in a vehicle name. As example, when GMC is entered, 17 different GMC model names are displayed. When a model such as GMC Suburban is chosen, key codes for every model year which have used either double-sided flat key or sidewinder key codes are displayed.


Code Series Search

An inventory of key codes for double-sided flat keys, sidewinder keys and Tibbe keys is included in the 994 Laser machine memory. When the code series function is chosen, locksmiths can enter any desired key code. As example, when T123 is input on the touchscreen, six different code series are displayed. A ‘manufacturer’ section provides secondary information such as Buick, Dodge, Toyota or Ford (Australia). Once a choice is made by touching one of the listed code series with a stylus, a picture of the cut key plus the key cuts are displayed. The next screen shows how the key should be installed in the vise jaw. Key cutting is started by touching the ‘cut’ designation on the screen.


Code Search By Key Blank Number

A comprehensive list of automotive key blank numbers for domestic and European key blank manufacturers is included. Once a key blank number is input, a list of possible key code series for that blank is displayed. Screen choices then include either a listing of comparative key blanks from over 20 different key blank manufacturers or a specific key code can be input and the screen changes to display key cuts and a finished key. A touch of the stylus on the ‘cut’ choice sends cutting information to the 994 Laser for key originating.


Key Decoding

In order to decode a key, the 994 Laser must know the depth and space measurements. Depth/space specifications can be sourced either by searching the ‘codes’ file, the ‘cars’ file or the ‘key blanks’ file. Which file is used depends upon the known information.

As example, if the key is known to be for a Cadillac CTS, then use the cars file. Press ‘cars’, ‘Cadillac’ and ‘CTS’. A new screen will appear and one of the choices is ‘decode’. When ‘decode’ is pressed, a new screen will display a drawing of the correct vise jaw to use and the correct tip stop position to use. When the correct vise jaw and the key to be decoded are installed, pressing ‘next’ will start the automatic reading of the key cuts. Key cuts can either be saved for future reference or the cuts can be immediately used to originate additional keys.

The 994 Laser code machine can simplify the workload for every automotive locksmith. Instructions are easy to follow, all possible procedures for originating a key are included and the machine is manufactured by a company with a long record of serving the needs of the locksmith industry. For more information, contact your local distributor or Keyline-USA: 800-891-2118 or