Key cutting is part of the bread and butter of the locksmith industry. Other than just locksmiths, the business opportunity available to anyone with a storefront is huge! As an owner you are able to make a small investment into locksmith tools, and turn it into a great secondary profit! The opportunity is also available for mobile key cutting technicians hoping to capitalize on key duplication for homes and businesses. We hope to outline some popular key blanks found in residential and commercial key cutting. As a smart investor, you know that you can’t stock every available key blank if you ever hope to begin making a profit. The idea is to stock what will be popular for the customers in your area. Take your time and think through the locksmith tools you will need for your new business.
Residential House Keys
The first category we will discuss are residential house keys. Manufacturers like Kwikset, Schlage, Weiser, and Yale all utilize a different key blank. Kwikset use a KW1 and KW10 (KW10 are used for Titan locks and can be distinguished by their longer length from the bow to the head), Schlage use SC1, Weiser use WR3/WR5 (these keys have the same keyway but use different style on the head), and Yale the Y1. These are by far the most popular keys for locks used in the last 30 years.
Next are the popular smaller locks that we often come in to contact with. Padlocks, mailboxes, garage door t-handles, and gates all share some common keys. Many padlocks, regardless of brand, use a Master M1 key. Mailboxes can be diverse, but many use the HL1/HL2 (these are the reverse of one another), NA12/NA14 (NA12 is slightly longer), or Y11. Regardless of what area you may be working in, it is always a good idea to stock the Y11, Y12, Y13, and Y14 keys. These are used for everything from fuel tanks, ignitions, padlocks, camp trailers, etc. Few keys are as diverse as these 4 Yale keys!
Commercial Key Blanks
Commercial business has many cross over key blanks from residential locks. Some keys you may encounter more often when working in commercial settings are the Schlage SC4 (6 pin version of the SC1), Arrow AR1/ AR4 (5 and 6 pin), Corbin (CO91), and DO NOT DUPLICATE keys (above mentioned keys with larger head and stamped DO NOT DUPLICATE). Having some of the popular commercial type key blanks in stock, especially if you are in an industrial area, may be a great idea!
Each area and business is different. Depending on your business location, you may or may not need some of the above mentioned keys. There are also many less universally common keys that may be more prevalent in your area. At CLK Supplies, we strive to carry as many key blanks and locksmith tools as possible, and continue to bring in more inventory as the industry progresses.