Popular Automotive Key Machines

May 2, 2018
Machines from HPC, Ilco, Framon, Intralock Tools and Laser Key Products will get the job done

A recent Locksmith Ledger survey asked readers what type of key machine they were using for automotive code work. We appreciate the volume of readers who answered our survey. Automotive lock and key servicing continues to be an important segment for locksmiths. The following five key machine manufacturers topped the list of code machines in popular use. Although one key machine from each of the five companies is featured, some of the companies mentioned may offer several different mechanical or electronic driven models. Contact your local locksmith distributor or the companies directly for further information.


Original HPC 1200 and newer 1200 Blitz code machines feature a card system. 1200 machines contain two turning cranks, one for depth and one for spacing. Individual cards contain depth/space markings and information required for originating keys. Cranks are used to move dials to the required depth and space position markings on the cards. First, the spacing dial is set to the required position which moves the key into the proper space position. The depth crank is then used to move the depth dial to the desired depth. The key blank is moved inward toward the cutter in unison with the depth dial movement.

Several hundred code cards are available for most popular key types. Optional attachments are available for originating Tibbe and tubular key types.


Framon 2 code machines have been available since the 1960s and still remain a locksmith favorite. Framon 2 machines have two turning cranks, one for setting spacing and one for setting depth of cut. Framon Manufacturing offers a depth and space book which is annually updated and contains information for originating almost every type of single sided and double sided key. Both depth and space jaw movement is in a stable horizontal direction which produces accurate cuts for every possible depth of cut.

One revolution of the spacing crank is equal to .050". Calibrations on the crank dial are in .001 increments. As example, four revolutions of the space crank plus revolving an additional .031" would set the spacing at .231". Most lock types use common spacing such as .098" or .156". Framon offers space blocks for all popular space increments. Once the key has been set for the first space, the auxiliary space block is adjust for cut-to-cut spacing. A locksmith can then move from space-to-space without concern for setting each space by number.

One revolution of the depth crank equals .050". An indicator plate on the Framon 2 contains markings from depths if .100" to .350" in .050" increments. Calibrations on the depth crank are in .001" increments. As example, if a depth cut of .275 is required, the depth crank would be turned until the space pointer was at .250. The crank would then be turned an additional .025" to achieve a depth of .275".

ITL 950C

Intralock Tools manufactures a 950C computerized code machine. It features semi-automatic operation. Continual manual revolution of a single crank performs jaw spacing motion while the 950C automatically cuts the required depths. Key cutting can be electronically set for plunge or laser cut modes. ITL 950C code machines are preloaded with popular automotive code series. A computerized masterkey program is also included in the 950C key machine.

ITL 950C machines are preloaded with hundreds of depth and space dimensions. New or special depth/space dimensions can be manually added to the ITL 950C memory. A keypad can be used to source the correct depth/space dimensions before entering the desired key cuts. The keypad can also be used to electronically re-calibrate the ITL 950C in order to change depth of cut, spacing, cutter flat width and cut feed rate. ITL 950C code machines can also be operated by some popular computerized code programs.


Ilco Futura One is a computerized key code machine which is controlled by a removable 10" touch tablet. Step-by-step instructions on the tablet screen guide the user through all cutting operations. As example, vehicle make, model and year can be chosen on the screen which then will display the code series, key blank and correct jaw and cutter blade for originating the key. Designed and engineered to originate, decode and copy laser or dimple keys. Compact, lightweight and portable, the small size of Futura One makes it ideal for either mobile or storefront use. Decode and copy laser keys by electrical contact to OEM specifications. It includes an extensive range of depth, space and code tables for originating laser keys. Jaws are included for accommodating almost all North American laser keys. BMW and Mercedes laser keys require optional jaws. LED color changing indicates status of the cutting process.

Futura One accessories include Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze packages. Top of the line Platinum package includes an unlimited software subscription and optional jaws, clamps and cutters. Gold package includes a 10 year software upgrade while the Silver package includes a 5 year software upgrade. All three packages include an engraving option. Bronze package includes a 3 year software upgrade and no option for engraving.


3D Pro Extreme was one of the first electronic code machines to offer both a vertical cutter for laser keys and a horizontal cutter for flat type keys. 3D Pro Extreme is built by a locksmith for locksmiths. 3D Pro Extreme is computer controlled. Drop down menus, pictures and drawings on each screen of the software provide easy steps for originate keys. Quick change collets and well designed jaws simplify changing from originating one type of key to another. Color coded jaws assist in making the correct jaw choice between laser keys and flat type keys. One jaw can be used for all laser auto keys except for VW type keys. All Code machine calibrations can be completed by following instructions on the computer screen. An adapter is available for originating Tibbe keys.

For more information contact your local locksmith distributor or:

  • HPC, 800-323-3295, www.hpcworld.com
  • Kaba Ilco Corp., 800-334-1381, www.ilco.us
  • Framon Mfg., 989-354-4238, www.framon.com
  • Intralock Tools (ITL), 888-264-6627, www.intralocktools.com
  • Laser Key Products, 281-339-3501, www.laserkeyproducts.com