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Guest Phill


Was in B&Q yesterday and noticed a key cutting machine. Happened to have a Squire padlock key on me so tried it out. Got 2 keys for £3.97 and they did work although takes about 5mins each key. They scan the customers key and the machine tells the staff member which blank to choose. Then they insert the blank and it cuts the key. Although the stock of keys was limited Around 30 cylinder and 15 mortice it will take business away from the high st key cutters and the technology will only improve.

Still I'll take it back and tell them your machine is rubbish and the key didn't work so i had to go to a propper key cutters. You never know if we all done that they might stop buying the machines(only joking) mr ASSA Abloy group :lol:

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This is quite a worrying topic If B&Q do it, as with us and our multiple cousins so to will Greatmills, Focus etc.

If advertised mainstream this could potentially have consequences for our own key turnover.

But before doom & gloom sets in I believe this will only appeal to a limited section of the overall market. Trade customers play a large hand in my key business which need a broader spectrum of blanks. I expect B&Q are in the main trying to offer extra keys for the stock they sell but only time will tell on this one.

I will try to nip into my local store over the weekend to see if this system is in place there yet.




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Our local B&Q had key cutting set up 4 years ago and I trained their key cutter.

It has now ceased to exist due to the following reasons.

a, the trained staff could never be at the cutting counter all the time so customers did not wait to find someone.

b, getting the right variety of blanks for that area was very difficult.

c, getting trained staff to cover for holidays/sickness/shifts was almost impossible.

d, special keys were almost impossible to get as the one who ordered it was not there to receive it and it went missing.


My view is that they are just after the cream, but hey, isnt that what we were after when we first started with Keys/Watches/Engraving.

Now we are a force to contend with because of our expertise, cant somehow see B&Q developing to that extent due to the above reasons.


Mmmmmm maybe there is an opportunity for a retired old git to point them in the right direction!!!!! What's the hourly rate nowadays guys for a "Consultant" :lol: :lol:

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hahha, may i suggest renumeration in the form of two pints of tan and black and a swift gin?


our B & Q also offered this service for a short while; short being the operative word lol.


i suspect for nearly all of the reasons that hugh pointed out.


it's the same thing when you need somebody to operate the panel saw there :cry: i can never bloody find anybody, when i do, the halfwit i get never takes into account the kerf cut from the blade (even though i always ask them to), hence i used to end up with my panles being 2.3mm narrower than what i needed :evil:


i wouldn't see this as a threat fellas :lol:

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Guest richard

the machine b&q are using was road tested dy tel200 for about 2 years,

they paid him £1k a month for his efforts, thing is like he said if he hadnt have some one else would!

and it will do a lot more than what its doing to start with

the program will if i remember make the blank if it cant identify it!

so - the future is very bleak,.,.

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Yup that'll be Laserkey UK


The future for B&Q is only as good as the staff can make it.

Until they can get and train stable staff who will be there to operate the machine


With video & audio prompts the Laserkey machine is very user friendly, so much so a kid could operate it, & so little training needed

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I still stand by my statement that the staff have to be there to man the thing!!!

No matter how easy it is, if there is no-one there then the machine wont work on its own (or will it)(could the customer be in control?).


Both ascap and myself could operate the Saw for cutting wood to size, it is quite a simple machine to us yet they still get it wrong and invariably when I need any cutting doing I can never find anyone. All the Tannoy calls made by the till assistants never produce the desired effect of staff materialising from wherever they are hiding to avoid work.

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I like it :lol:


I have offered to cut my own but it did not go down very well, I then notified Trading Standards via mobile phone that they were advertising a service that they could not provide.


Got a letter of apology from the HQ there still aint an operator there.


Maybe the Key thing will work in a new store where they are generally overstaffed to start with but as soon as they start to tighten the apron strings were back to the Saw operator syndrome.

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Guest blank

dont want to disagree , but feel i have to-

i saw this "laserkey machine! with tel,

and have to tell you that the machine/computer is still in developement

and every week that goes by more and more software added.

it all started in america where we were told it was sited at supermarkets

the only problem that they faced was some people struggled to use it

BUT they are over coming that problem on a daily basis.

ebventually every asda/tesco etc will have one!

the company have spent over 30 million getting it to the stage it's now at.

5 years the co; will have this thing placed every where. and they will not sell one to any one, they are going to make all there money on the key blanks!

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k4mrc, thanks for that, this throws a different light on the subject.

I think you can safely say that B&Q would not be a major problem, but Tesco,Asda etc is a worry.

If that company were to supply the current key trade with those machines then I foresee that the ones to worry would be the Key suppliers if as you say they would be using their own blanks. Interesting. :roll:

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what do you mean by 'they won't sell one to anyone'?

how do they expect the people to cut the blanks they expect to make all their money from if they won't supply the machines?


ahve any of our current suppliers got anything like this on the drawing board?



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The Laserkey machine/service & back-up is all supplied free of charge, they will make their profits from their own unique branded key blanks which cost from £1.50 each for a cylinder key, with an RRP of £3.99


I've trialed the first prototype in the UK for them & although it's an amazing piece of technology it is slow,


It has been manufactured not for exsisting key cutting shops, but for busy areas e.g. shopping malls, DIY sheds & the like, that can become involved in the industry without the outlay of buying machinery & training operators


When the yanks installed it, I suggested programming a 'repeat last key' function in to the PC, so you could cut another key the same without scanning the original again, this they thought would be useful and added it to the software,

but it took a British guy to come up with that idea in the first place lol

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Well, if it all goes Pear shape for us we cant really complain can we, we did a similiar thing to the Locksmiths years ago, to the Jewellers by engraving and selling silverware and are doing the same thing by taking their bread and butter lines, the Watch Batteries and Straps.


As me old mucker would say, "He who kick people in the Nuts should beware of men with big Nut Crackers".

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