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Reverse Key Blanks: 5 You Should Know

Working with locks and keys often presents challenges that require a seasoned eye and years of experience to overcome. One such challenge that every locksmith will face at some point in their career is the enigma of the reverse key blank. It's that moment when you pick up a key and it looks familiar, yet upon closer examination, you realize it's the reverse of a keyway you recognize.

So, to make your job easier, here's a compilation of five reverse keyways you should familiarize yourself with:

1. 1646 Key

  • Recognition: A very popular keyway.
  • Reverse: The answer is the 1646R.
    • Usage: Predominantly used for the C9100 and C9200 complex mailbox locks.

2. HD75 Key

  • Recognition: Common among Automotive, ATV, UTV, and older motorcycle keys.
  • Reverse: While HD74 is the direct opposite, the HD63 is also a reverse that's more widely available and often cheaper.
    • Usage: For older automotive, motorcycles, and similar equipment.

3. Y11 Key

  • Recognition: Likely one of the most popular keys on the planet.
  • Reverse: Y13 is the reverse of Y11.
    • Usage: Commonly used, and if you're stocking Y11s, you definitely want to have Y13s on hand.

4. M1 Key

  • Recognition: An iconic key known for its unique appearance.
  • Reverse: The M15 (or 1092R) is the reverse key blank of M1.
    • Usage: Fits various padlocks, especially those from China.

5. HD57 Key

  • Recognition: Another typical key but less common compared to others on this list.
  • Reverse: HD56 is the reverse of the HD57.
    • Usage: Part of a larger family of similar profiles.

Key Takeaways:

  • Often, the reverse of a key can be one number above or below the original key blank. However, this isn't a strict rule and there are exceptions.
  • Familiarizing yourself with these key reverses can save time, reduce mistakes, and increase your service quality to clients.
  • While it might seem logical for manufacturers to label reverse keyways with an "R" suffix, this isn't always the case, adding a layer of complexity to the task.

In summary, the world of locks and keys is ever-evolving, and as professionals, constant learning is key (pun intended). Whether you're a seasoned locksmith or a newbie in the trade, getting to grips with these reverse key blanks will undoubtedly come in handy. Don't get caught out – familiarize yourself with these key reverses and stay a step ahead!

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