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Locksmithing 101 | SFIC Training Part 4: Learn What SFIC Keys To Order!

The Small Format Interchangeable Core can get you caught up if you don't know very much about it, especially the key blanks. There are a couple of different types of keys you can order, and many people, unfortunately, learned the hard way about this. So, I want to cut through the noise and give you the information that will be most helpful for keys.


When it comes to the best SFIC keys, it can get confusing with what's out there, what you're ordering, and the likes. But the two different types of SFIC best keys are nickel-plated brass keys and nickel-silver keys. These key blank part numbers originated from Ilco, but JMA and Jett used these as references.

 SFIC key codes

The big thing with this is that it's easy to think you're getting to order one thing and getting another, so let me break it down. The best key with key blank part number A1114 will be your standard nickel-plated key, plain. In other words, it doesn't have to not duplicate on it, and it doesn't have anything of that sort.

 SFIC Keys

Essentially, in part number A1114, that's where you want to plug in the key.  So, if you need the best E-key, you need to put in an E here. Now you had ordered the best E-key, the A1114E. It's going to be nickel-plated and plain.

SFIC key codes

The other part number is going to be 1A1_1. The blank is where we're going to put the key in, so if we want another best E-key, it'd be a 1A1E1. The key is going to be a nickel silver key with Do-Not-Duplicate stamped on it.

 SFIC key codes

Tip: When it comes to best keys in general, keys that you're using in-house for practice, test, or temporary, using the nickel-plated plain keys is great. But for normal production use, order the 1A1E1 keys. They're going to be nickel silver with Do-Not-Duplicate or Duplication prohibited depending on the manufacturer. They're a lot tougher, which is important on those long, best keys, especially if they're not keyed right, or they're not kept right, and they're a little sticky or something you don't want to be dealing with.

Note: Since there's a lot of confusion and almost everybody wants to order this 1A1E1, what we did at CLKsupplies is we call the 1A1E1 as Best E key. Meaning to say, if you order the Best E key, you will be getting the 1A1E1 or the nickel silver with Do-Not-Duplicate or Do-Not-Prohibit on it.

 How to read SFIC key codes

To sum it up, when ordering the best SFIC key, take part number A1114_ or 1A1_1, then add the key that you need on the blank. So, if you are looking for a B keyway, there will be A1114B or 1A1B1. But the Best B key will be the nickel silver with DND, which is the 1A1B1.

There you have it; I hope that information was helpful. Make sure you download the PDF in the notes below to give you all this information and serve as a reference sheet. I'd love to know what you think in the comments below. Thank you, and we'll see you next time. 

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