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Best supplier - your personal opinion

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So let me start with the statement that we were originally photo & gift printing shop. And I got used to being very close with our suppliers, you always want to get best deal but sometimes buying is more than that. Most of my favourite suppliers (photo & gifts) visit my shop once a month or if they can't do it there is a phone call.

Loads of advice on what sells, how to improve the shop, free marketing materials etc.

Since we got properly into the key cutting business,I don't feel that our business counts. I will not be naming anyone but the people we bought the machine from and 8 key boards with keys, they seem to be pretty useless. Some keys were missing I had to chase it and still didn't get what was missing. Asked them to identify the key, no answer whatsoever, after a phone call they asked me to email the photos again. Another week passed, no answer so called them the guy said "We don't know, what it is."

I did say, that it would be nice if they would phone me up and say it. Emailed another supplier, no answer.

Is this normal?

I'm in the process of putting my brand over their boards as they don't deserve to have their logo displayed in my shop.


Take into account that I have emailed the sponsor with completed Account opening form 2 months ago and they didn't even reply. Is it me?



In few weeks I want to buy laser key cutting machine. I would like to buy it from people who care, so my question is


Who is your favourite supplier? In your personal opinion.


Thanks for advice,


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I will not be naming anyone but the people we bought the machine from and 8 key boards with keys, they seem to be pretty useless.


That sounds a bit like Davenport-Burgess.

I've spent thousands with them over the years, They have not had a order now in over a decade and no rep phones or calls to see me.

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SKS used to be good for key blank and machine support , if this has changed then possibly down to Tony aka John leaving , if the case as he has now moved to davenport burgess maybe there support will improve on machines and keys.


ive not had to use a supplier for key support , but for machine support on the few occasions ive needed help , matt at silca has been better than excellent, outstanding on my machine bought from aldridge , the 1 issue i had on my ninja was resolved quickly by tradelocks and keyline and peter at lock decoders has an excellent reputation for support on his machines .

no matter where you buy your machine from , the support from silca , keyline and miracle is normally excellent.


support on keys tends to be more hit and miss from supplier to supplier , but for support with key id and sourcing , then this forum is a far better and quicker resource than most suppliers can offer , posting a picture or reference here will normally get you useful responses from members far quicker than from suppliers , so on keys id say the forum is your best resource .


for supply , whether Citysafe , Aldridge , SKS , Davenports etc , alot will come down to personal experience and preference , we all have our favourite suppliers and opinions , some based on price , some on relationships , some on quality and some on service , you will get good and bad opinions of all depending who responds and their preferences.

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Agree with everything said above, especially about Matt @ Silca who is excellent on most occasions.


It does also help knowing who to speak to when you need help and what sort of help you require.


Best person in this industry for me was Tom Morrison when he worked at Aldridges, he always went the extra mile for me and is one of the main reasons i spend so much with Aldridges each year.


There are some great people working for all the companies mentioned you just need to find out who they are and contact them when issues arrise.

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With regards to key blank and machine supply, we would be more than willing to help you in any way we can.

We are a master distributor in the UK of Keyline electronic key cutting machines, and offer as much support as your need to get you up and running (we also have a free technical line which you can call and we'll be able to guide you through anything you need).


And since the start of the year we have started to sell our own blanks which have been very well received. These are made from steel, and have HD, JMA and Silca references on one side to make them very easy to identify. We are just developing a revolutionary new keyboard which will allow you to stock the blanks you actually need and lets you decide - details of this will be released soon.


We also have a whole range of free marketing materials, and we will even design custom leaflets, posters and graphics tailored to what you need using our in house graphic designers. Again this service is complimentary. At the end of the day, we will do everything we can to help you sell more, as then if you are selling more hopefully you will buy more from us. 

Our reps are based all over the country, and we visit customers very regularly.

If anyone is interested in anything we supply, you can contact Tony Hill at tony.hill@citysafeuk.com or you can call him on 02380 010 871 or 07484 541 568 and he will be more than willing to give help and advice on anything key related :)

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It is a Dial caliper

Instead of using a vernier mechanism, the dial caliper reads the final fraction of a millimeter or inch on a simple dial.


Digital caliper

The replacement of the analog dial with an electronic digital display on which the reading is displayed as a single value. Rather than a rack and pinion, they have a linear encoder.


I wouldn't be without my Mitutoyo Digital caliper.

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Back on subject, i now buy all my keys from a small but rapidly growing key wholesaler called IKS. Based on the South Coast they have an owner/rep (and another maybe on the way soon) who calls in to see me. Can't beat personal service, product knowledge and helpfulness.

I know he has been working on an eCommerce so he can supply nationwide.

I haven't got their contact details to hand but in the meantime search "Independent Keys" on Facebook.

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