Key Machine Test: Keyline Ninja

July 1, 2013
With the exception of Medeco keys, virtually every type of key using wafer or pin tumbler construction can be duplicated or originated on this new electronic key duplicating machine

An explanation for the word Ninja is one who is skilled and has stealthy movements. Although movements of the new Ninja electronic key duplicating machine from Keyline may not be considered as stealthy, the available key cutting operations are both skillful and varied.

Right out of the packing box, I was impressed with the size, weight, design and modern style of the Keyline Ninja machine.  A large, transparent shield completely encloses the key cutting area to protect the operator from stray key chips.  This is a vast improvement over tiny inefficient cutter chip shields usually found on key cutting equipment.

Additional noticeable features include a removable box located below the key blade designed to automatically catch a large percentage of key chips. The box can be easily removed for emptying.  A larger-than-normal cutter blade is standard. More teeth touching the key during each revolution provides a smoother finished key cut.  Cutter speed and movement are adjustable for cutting brass, aluminum, steel or nickel silver key blank material. Four-way jaws easily and firmly hold small or large single-sided keys. Double-sided keys can be accurately held regardless of where the key grooves are located or if the key is shoulder stopped or tip stopped.  Finally, a wide row of LED lights are included which illuminate the entire key machine work area.

A separate portable console with a 3 1/2" by 6" touchscreen is designed to control the Ninja machine.  Key machine console functions include code cutting, duplication and decoding.  Ninja also has a basic key duplication function which can be used without a console or PC connection.   Choices on the main menu include bookmarks, copy, users, setup, database, PC and lockout. 

User Login

The console takes a few minutes to synchronize with the Ninja machine. The first screen displayed is called "Login." Administrator and User choices appear on the Login screen. The Ninja machine can be password protected to prevent unauthorized parties from using the machine.


When the 'copy' choice is pressed, the Ninja automatically begins the duplicating process. Before pressing the 'copy' choice, users must first choose the correct four-way jaw section, shoulder-stop or tip-stop the keys as needed, and tighten the original and blank keys firmly into the vise jaws.  Close the transparent shield, then press 'copy' on the console screen.  The Ninja machine automatically completes the duplicating process with one single movement across the key blank. 


When Database is chosen, seven different choices appear on the touchscreen. Choices include serial number, code, card, cylinders, car, motorbike and key blanks. Key codes and key blank comparisons are stored in the Ninja machine memory.  Sections of the information in memory are displayed according which section is pressed.

Every code series in memory has a numeric serial number.  Code series can be chosen according to the code program serial number.

Key Code series resident in the Ninja machine can be quickly sourced.  When the 'Code' logo is touched, a keypad is displayed.  After the desired key code is input using the keypad, press the 'next' button to proceed. A new screen will display the key cuts for for the requested code number.  Press the 'next' button again and a picture will appear showing the correct part of the 4-way jaw to use.  Once the key blank is secured in the jaw according to the picture, press the 'cut' button to start the automatic key cutting procedure.

Card numbers for hundreds of depth/space dimensions are held in memory.  If the key cuts  and the depth/space card number are known, an operating key can be made by pressing the 'card' button.  A silhouette of the key will be displayed and two primary buttons will appear, 'direct' and 'decode'.

If the 'direct' button is pressed a keypad will be displayed and the user can input the desired cuts needed.   When the 'next' key is pressed a picture will appears showing the correct jaw holding procedure. Once the key is firmly installed in the jaw, press the 'cut' button to begin the key cutting process.

If the 'decode' button is pressed, instructions will appear on the screen indicating how to install the original key in the jaw. Once the original key is firmly installed in the jaw, press the 'OK' button to start the cut decoding process.  Once the key has been decoded, additional keys can be originated by pressing the 'cut' button.

Cars, Cylinders and Motorbike options all operate in the same manner. As one of the buttons is pressed, a keypad appears near the bottom of the screen. By pressing one or two of the letters, such as "NI" for Nissan, the requested name will appear on the screen. Car and cycle choices reduce the search even further by showing displaying the various years and models. Once the lock name or vehicle model is chosen, available key codes for that subject are displayed.  Subsequent screens are operated in the same way as the 'code' choice above.

Key origination can also be accomplished by using the 'key blanks' choice.  A keypad on the bottom of the screen allows inputting of a known key blank. Key blank numbers from approximately 25 different key blank manufacturers are in memory. Choices on the screen allow you to access either all possible key code series for that key blank or to enter known key cuts in order to originate a key. 

PCs / Code Programs

Key code programs such as Instacode can be accessed by pressing the 'personal computer' button.  Data files can be downloaded to the Ninja machine to keep memory records updated.

Additional choices on the console screen allow electronic machine adjustment, saving of key cut information, management of multiple users, and an onboard users’ manual. 

All directions on the console are easily learned and intuitive.  With the exception of Medeco keys, virtually every other type of key using wafer or pin tumbler construction can be duplicated or originated on the Keyline Ninja Electronic Key Duplicating machine, making this a key machine for the lifetime of your business.

For further information contact your local Keyline locksmith distributor or Keyline, 800-891-2118,