Ilco 057 HS Key Machine Gets The Job Done

Oct. 7, 2011

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.

Depending on the lock design, high security keys can either use shoulder stops or tip stops. For shoulder stop keys, insert the operating key into the left vise jaw and loosely tighten the jaw. Slide the key forward until the shoulders touch the front edge of the jaw, then firmly tighten the key in place.

Tip stop keys require the use of tip stop gage bars which are furnished with the machine. The 057 HS vise jaws contain two machined slots. Depending on the key length, begin with the left vise and insert the tip stop gage bar in one of the two slots. Slide the key blank tip against the tip stop gage, tighten the key in place and remove the tip stop gage.

Next, use the Z axis lever and move the guide downward until it lightly touches a cut area of the operating key, then use the Z-axis locking knob the hold the guide in position.

Depending upon whether the keys are tip-stop or shoulder stop types, follow the corresponding instructions for installing the proper uncut key blank in the right vise jaw.            

When viewed from above, the cutter blade rotates in a clockwise direction. The key blank must always be moved in the proper direction to allow the sharp edges of the cutter blade to remove necessary material. If the key blank is moved against the cutter in the wrong direction, very little cutting action will take place and damage to the cutter blade may possibly result.    

When cutting a key which has external cuts: Begin cutting nearest the bow on the right side of the key blank. Using the traverse lever, move the cutter towards the tip. Next, start at the tip of the key on the left side of the blank and move the cutter back towards the bow of the key.

When cutting a key which has internal cuts: Begin cutting at the tip of the key blank and move the cutter along the right side of the key cuts. At the end of the cuts, move the cutter to the left side of the key cut groove, then move the cutter back towards the tip of the key.

*When cutting 2-track external keys: Remember that the cutter blade rotates in a clockwise direction. Always move the key past the cutter in a direction which allows the cutting edge of the blade to remove the necessary material.

When duplicating external-type high security keys, do not expect to remove all the material in one pass. Make several passes along the blank, removing small portions of the key blank material during each pass. Before removing the cut key from the vise jaw, check the new key to ensure that all unwanted material has been removed. Also, remove any burrs on the key surface before reversing the new key in the vise jaw and repeating the cutting operation on the second side.

When duplicating internal-type high security keys the blade will be removing the optimum amount of material from the blank. During the first pass, slow the jaw movement down to allow the cutter to remove material without clogging. Once the first pass is complete. make several additional passes to make sure all necessary material has been removed.

The first outstanding feature of the 057 HS is the large X/Y table. Half-inch rods provide a solid bearing surface, which assures a sturdy, accurate table for key duplication. Vise jaws are designed to secure almost every type of high security key in current use. Jaw Surface Plates can be replaced.

A small percentage of high security keys are 2-track, external-type which are not easily retained in many high security key machines. Kaba-Ilco solved this problem by offering two types of special clamping adaptors, BD0723 and BD0722 which can be used to firmly retain a few types of high security keys which have 'offset' edges and cannot normally be held firmly in the machine jaws.      

Learning to use an Ilco 057 HS machine is extremely simple. Since a majority of people are right-handed, the traverse lever used for vise jaw movement is located on the right side of the machine. Major parts of the 057 machine are made of castings for strength and long life. Operating levers, knobs and the power switch are in easy reach of the operator. Kaba Ilco Corp. has been recognized for many years as the manufacturer of quality key machines and the 057 HS adds one more machine to this legacy.

For more information, contact your local locksmith distributor, visit or call 800-334-1381 (select option 1 for customer service).

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