Impressioning a key is one way to originate a key without having to disassemble the lock or having the depths of cut available. Impressioning is totally dependent upon the ability of the locksmith or security professional to create the impression marks, identify them and file away the unwanted material of the key blade.
Having the right file can be the difference between creating an operating key and not. To some degree, talent or perseverance is required. However, using the wrong file is a sure way to not succeed.
Files are available in a variety of cuts (teeth) from rough to very smooth. The size and shape of the file’s teeth determines the materials that are designed to be filed and results wanted.
A flat, round or Pippin file that is not fine or very fine will produce a surface that is rough enough to make identifying impressioning marks difficult to just about impossible to see. Although you can use an emery board to smooth the surface of a key blank, there is no emery board or similar product to smooth the curved surface of a filed area.
Files used to impression keys should produce an almost smooth surface. The near smooth surface produced by the round or pippin file makes it much easier to see minimal impressioning marks, even within the curvature of a cut in the filed key.
The cost of impressioning files are not inexpensive, but the results significantly improve the possibility of a locksmith or security professional to successfully impression locks within a minimal amount of time and wasted key blanks. Using the appropriate tools make it possible to work faster and become better at impressioning.
The cost of using the wrong files is the money spent for the purchase, the time and key blanks wasted learning that there are the right tools or just giving up and not bothering to using impressioning.
Do you impression locks?
What type of files do you use?