Space and Depth Keys For the starting locksmith or company looking to begin work on locks, space and depth keys can be one of the best tools to purchase. Space and depth keys are a way to cut keys by the bitting number without the use of a code machine. There are a number of space and depth keys available for use, from single sided Kwikset or Schlage sets to high security sidewinder keys for many late model vehicles.
Using Space and Depth Keys
Many options are available, but to explain space and depth keys, we will use the example of Kwikset. Kwikset KW1 key blanks have five spaces or cuts and 6 standard depths (sometimes a seventh depth is used). In a standard set of Kwikset space and depth keys, the first key is cut to a depth of a one at each of its five spaces. So the bitting would be as follows: 1 1 1 1 1. The next key is cut with a depth of a two at each of its five spaces. The bitting would be 2 2 2 2 2. This continues for each key through the deepest depth, in this case a seven. To use the keys to produce a key by code, or by bitting, you would insert the appropriate space and depth keys into the tracing side of your duplication machine and a blank in the cutting side. To produce a Kwikset key with a bitting of 45432, you may begin with the #4 space and depth key in the tracing side and carefully cut into the blank key the first space and the third space, taking care to fully lift the tracer up and away from the key blank for each individual space. Next, insert the #5 space and depth key into the tracing side of the duplicator without removing the key from the cutter side. Line up the #5 space and depth key to the other key (which now should be cut with a four in spaces one and three). Move the tracer to the second space on the space and depth key, again being sure only to cut into the second space. Continue this for each of the other two spaces with their appropriate key. When finished, you will have a key cut by bitting(code).
Space and depth keys can also be used to decode a lock. Continuing with the same example of a Kwikset key, one can remove the inner plug or cylinder of the lock from the outer housing, taking caution to not drop any of the pins. Then by inserting the space and depth keys and inspecting which pins come up flush with their appropriate key, one can decode a lock. The newly discovered bitting can be cut using the above mentioned method of cutting a key using space and depth keys and a working key will be successfully generated.
These are just two of the many benefits of space and depth keys. From standard pin tumbler locks to high security sidewinder locks, we hope you enjoy the benefits of making space and depth keys part of your tool box.