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The Right Way to Stamp Keys

Locksmith Tool | HPC Stamp Aligner SA-7 - The Right Way to Stamp Keys!

Have you ever been in the middle of cutting keys for a customer, and they ask if you can stamp some letters or numbers on them when you're done, maybe it's a service you offer for free to your customers, or perhaps it's a service you provide as an upcharge, as an upsell. Either way, it's excellent, but the question is, 'When your customers get the keys, are they going to look professional after you're done with them? Are they going to represent the professional you are that they came to get the keys cut?' I admit that I've stamped some keys in my time, and it looks like I was blindfolded when I was doing it, something I wasn't proud of. I'd sit there, grab the stamps and the key, try to get it lined up perfectly, and hit it. And as I look, it would seem like I didn't hold it perfectly square, or it's a little up or a little down. That is why I don't want to cut a whole new one and waste an excellent key.

There's been sometimes where you should have charged but didn't because you are embarrassed with how your work looks. The good news is you don't have to do that; you don't have to try hard and have a bad result coming out of it. You can use the HPC stamp aligner. This is an excellent tool for that kind of job.

The HPC stamp aligner works with any stamp with a quarter-inch shank on the 3/32 and the eighth-inch letters. This is the Young Brothers' eighth-inch letter and number set, and I'll put a link below and then in the notes if you have any questions about it.

And what I've noticed is that sometimes these little quarter-inch shanks have some imperfections. Because when you put them in the little hole right at the stamp, they won't go all the way in, and that's because there are some imperfections. So if you buy one of these jigs, you might have to do some basic filing or grinding to get them to work.

Typically, you'll put the key on with a stamping plate, grab your stamp, align it, and then stamp it.

 Key blank and stamping plate

That's fine; if you do it in one number or one letter, you can make it look good. But if you a nice professional look, you need the HPC stamp aligner. The first thing you need to know is that you can move the whole upper jaw out of the way to see these alignment marks.

 HPC stamp aligner

There are center lines horizontally and vertically.


What you're going to do are take the key, put it to where the alignment marks are, and align to where you want. It could be off the center, ideally in the center for some reason, or to the side. It all depends on the shape of the key or avoid some other letters or numbers that are already on the key.

 using a stamp aligner for locksmithing

In this example, I'm going to align it to where I think it's well-centered and then clamp it down.

 HPC stamp aligner

Once the key is in position, flip the top jig around in place. You can see numbers on top of it. There's a 0 in the middle of 1, 2, and 3 on each side. And these are going to help you get it aligned.

 stamp keys using stamp aligner

And there's another ball bearing that you can move or stay in place, wherever you decide to turn it to.

 HPC stamp aligner

I've gathered my stamps as I'm going to inscribe 44HOX to the key. Since 44HOX is composed of 5 characters, I will start at 2 on the left side. And have a nice even space on the key. There's always like this tiny marking on the stamps that lets you know that it's the right side.

 locksmith toll - stamp aligner

Once the stamp is set, take the hammer and hit it just like that.

Note: There is no need to hit the stamp that hard. When it's perfectly aligned, it's much easier to stamp than trying to hold it by yourself.

 HPC stamp aligner

Since I'm going to do another four, all I need to do is push it over to 1. From 2, now we're at 1. Once it is set, hit it again.

 stamping keys for clients

Take the stamp and set it aside. Please move to the 0 for the third space of what we're going to inscribe is H. Grab the stamp for H, put it in, and hit it.

 HPC stamp aligner

We're done with 4, 4, and H. Time to set the fourth one, which is O. Take the stamp for H out, move it over to the fourth position, insert stamp O, and hit it.

 HPC stamp aligner

Now the fifth position, right there on the 2 (right side). Grab the X stamp, put it in, and just like that.


All we need to do is slide the jig, unclamp the key, and there you go.

 stamped key using the HPC stamp aligner

As you can see, I probably should have gone a hair lower, but all the stamps are in a nice straight line and look great. So, if you're looking for a way to stamp keys professionally and be proud of what they look like when you're done, this stamp aligner will surely do a great job. Also, think about the time and effort to stamp manually instead of using a jig like this. On the other hand, a jig like this pays for itself quickly, so check the link to the notes below. Thank you, guys, and we'll see you next time!

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