Best of 2021: Keys, Tools & Equipment

Dec. 1, 2021
New products help locksmiths to get the job done and make sales.

Locksmiths always are looking for faster and better ways to get their work done, so new tools, which range from key machines to small, inexpensive gadgets, always catch their attention. Here, we take a look at some of the best tool and trade products of 2021.

KSP Capping Press

Capping presses have been in high demand for many years, but the discontinuation of the A1 machine left a void. If you pin a lot of interchangeable cores, you know that it can take a long time. A capping press speeds up the process significantly.

KSP’s CPM-SFIC-150 Capping Press was designed to do the job. This new machine is used with six- and seven-pin cores that have 0.150-inch spacing.

Using capping strips saves time and is more precise versus using individual caps. Each Capping Press comes with 50 KSP P/N 614 capping strips. Each capping strip can cap four cores.

The capping strip punching die is designed for minimum effort. A 12-inch-long handle is standard on the KSP press and has an option for an extension bar that increases the handle length to 20 inches and includes a comfortable grip. Each unit is delivered set to original-equipment capping-depth standards.

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LAB Products

LAB, known for its pin kits and last year’s IC-Pro 150 capping press, introduced six- and seven-pin decapping tools that can be used with the LAB Annex or as a stand-alone tool. The tools are made of stainless steel and help locksmiths to save time when they work on 0.150-inch or 0.140-inch small-format interchangeable (SFIC) cylinders. The tools can be used to evict all SFIC cylinder chambers simultaneously.

In addition, LAB designed a new set of four Anodized Aluminum Followers for use with most rim, mortise, padlock, key-n-knob or lever cylinders that have or don’t have tail pieces.

The followers are color-coded and laser-engraved with the follower’s diameter size. They come in a reusable box for easy storage and field use. Diameters are: 0.550, 0.500, 0.495 and 0.398 inches.

LAB also added the 6-n-1 Stainless Steel Key Gauge to support common lock companies in use. The tool is designed for Schlage, Kwikset, Medeco, Yale, Master Lock and SARGENT. It features a half-moon cutout for most C-clips. Dimensions are 3-7/8 in. (l) x 2-9/64 in. (w) x 3/64 in. (d).More info:

Framon Genericode Update

Every locksmith has to have quick access to key codes. Users of Framon’s Genericode program enjoyed several new features this year as well as hundreds of new code series.

The vehicle section has been updated to include 2021 and some 2022 models as well as many new key blanks. The View Key Data screen now includes a picture of the key blank and cross-references to 26 manufacturers. Users can add notes to a vehicle for future retrieval. Also new is the option to add notes to any key blank in the program.

For users of card-based code machines, Genericode has the capability to print out a card for almost any series. Continuing support for electronic key machines, such as those by ITL, Laser Key Products and Framon, is built into the software. Genericode tech support is 100% U.S.-based.

Framon also added a couple new tools to its lineup. The CPB1 SFIC Pinning/Capping Block was designed for locksmiths who work with interchangeable cores. The CPB1 comes with a pinning or capping block, ejecting pin and capping tool. You can insert the core into the tool and eject the old pins quickly and easily. Flip the block over to load the chambers and cap the core.

Framon's Tubular Lock Saw, the TLS1, allows you to quickly and easily open tubular locks when the key is lost. Use the tool to drill out the bottom pins, which gives you the ability to simply insert a blank tubular key and open the lock. The TLS1 fits in any three-eighths-inch  or one-half-inch  drive drill and works with standard-size tubular locks.

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Ilco Flash Mobile

The Flash Mobile is a portable, mobile duplicator for edge-cut keys. It’s a battery-powered version of the popular Flash 008 machine.

The 24-volt battery allows the machine to operate at 2,200 revolutions per minute and will cut 300+ brass keys in a single charge. The Flash Mobile is designed to cut typical residential, commercial and automotive keys, including those that have large bows or long blades as well as tip-stop and flip-type keys.

Clamps are nickel-plated to provide long life. The clamps can be rotated into four jaw positions quickly and smoothly by simply loosening the knob and rotating the clamp into the proper jaw position. Two large, ergonomic clamp handles tighten with a minimum of force to hold the key securely.

A mounting bracket, supplied as standard, allows the machine to be secured to a workbench, and the built-in handle makes it easy to transport the machine to the job site.

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American Key Supply Black Widow Key Machine

American Key Supply released its own key machine, in two versions. The Black Widow is a full-featured key-cutting machine that can cut commercial, residential and automotive keys by code.

The Black Widow AUTO comes equipped to handle most automotive applications out of the box. The COMPLETE version adds a single-sided jaw to cut single-side auto, residential, commercial keys and more. Dimple, tibbe and tubular keys require the purchase of additional jaws or cutters.

The machine operations are app-driven rather than using an integrated touchscreen interface. Most current Apple iOS or Google Android devices can control key-cutting operations without issue. The pairing process isn’t cumbersome, and the app is intuitive and delivers a full suite of features one would expect from a modern, computerized key-cutting machine.

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Lucky Line Keys & Accessories

Lucky Line added an engraved Brass House Key to its Key Shapes line. The ADA-friendly large key head provides better leverage, which makes it suited to those who have grip difficulties. It’s made from high-quality brass to slow the spread of germs and help to keep hands clean while providing superior strength and durability. KW1/11 and SC1 keyways are available, and the Brass House Key comes one per card or in boxes of five.

Lucky Line’s new key bands, made of plastic that shrinks to form-fit over the key head, enable customers to identify their keys easily. Simply slide the band over the key head and apply heat. To label, use a Sharpie or a printed label.

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