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when should you replace a tracer on a cylinder or mortice machine

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ok, i'll hold off ordering replacement tracers, thanks everyone for the speedy replies, I had a bad run of a few keys coming back and just couldn't see what could be the problem. hopefully it was just bad luck.

wow, i'm not even near doing 200000 keys yet.

13 minutes ago, grahamparker said:

Only ever replaced one tracer once on my Rekord plus but it had cut well over 200,000 keys.


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2 hours ago, grahamparker said:

Use a Vernier caliper, keep your cutter sharp and check alignment of you machine.

Do all these and you should be ok.

not sure where to use the vernier caliper. i usually put 2 blank keys in to see if the cutter starts at the right point and just barely touch the blank through the whole motion.

i wasn't sure if a slight wear on the tracer was giving inaccurate cuts at certain points of the profile of some keys

Would using a Vernier caliper be more accurate?

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15 hours ago, grahamparker said:

Measure the original key and the copy this will tell you if your machine is cutting to high or to low.

A vernier caliper is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of cutting keys.

feeling like a novice now, i've never used one. do you have a recommendation for what Vernier Caliper i should get or what specs it should have?

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