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Hi, I just had a customer come in with a Timpson UL066. I used a UL050 as I have done before and the customer came back and said it too tight for the lock. I tried it and is very tight and hard to take back out. Could someone please give me a key id on this, Thanks Urbantek.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Problem right here with so many places just using 'universal' rather than stocking correct blanks or training staff to ID properly or giving a shit.

Bet the cylinder is not particularly tight profile just that the UL is not a very close match in shape. Also bet most of these are not rare unusual profiles to start with.

So now the next key gets even thinner and weaker and the copy after that even worse.


Clearly when you are presented with a universal then nothing to do but use another but always think it is bad practice when I see a place with boards full of keys and most customers walk out with new UL copies.


Sorry rant over 

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This issue has been around for more than a decade!

Lazy key cutters that use Universal profile blanks for every job, instead of taking a moment to select the correct blank.

Therefore the purists among us have no alternative to do the same (when presented with one to duplicate) unless the lock manufacture is known.

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While i agree with the comments above it is not always an option to use original blanks as they don't exist.

There are more and more chinese import locks and keys than ever before and sometimes the only option is to use a universal.

To try and blame lazy key cutters/market stall is not giving the full picture.

Last week a customer wanted 20 keys for a no name brass padlock and Silca UL050 was the best fit snug in the plug with little movement.

So it isn't always the fault of the cutter.

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On 6/25/2019 at 8:48 AM, Auto Key Wizard said:

Therefore the purists among us have no alternative

Perhaps Purist was the wrong term to use, and Professional/Expert would have been better. 

16 hours ago, grahamparker said:

I am a Professional key cutter with the best equipment

As am I, but you missed my point

Many main stream branded cylinder keys, ER1/2, YA1E, YA89, YA91, CS206, CS204, WMS2 etc. get duplicated on universal blanks

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I bet we've all done it. Friday afternoon, one of the hotels needed two titan cylinder keys cutting, straight away. Told them I could order the proper blanks, be in Tuesday. Wanted them now. Cut them on universals, it was either that or lose the sale to another key cutter. Keys worked a treat, customer happy. 

Bit of a shame, as I was looking forward to ringing  sks on mon to order a pair of tits (1d)

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30 minutes ago, kirkybob said:

I was speaking to a person who cuts keys ( will not call him a keycutter) in my local cash and carry. He told me that he cuts all cylinder keys for £2, all cut on UL2s and never gets any back. Where am I going wrong, I got thousands of blanks and somtime get some back.


I think he may be telling you porkies, mate. NO-ONE is that infallible or lucky.


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  • 3 weeks later...
39 minutes ago, cowers lane 583 said:

Had a quite clearly labelled yale genuine basic cylinder key in a few days ago, obviously cut 4 on  yale 1As. Didn't work. Customer bought in the yale padlock, series YE1, cut four universals that worked very well. Didn't see a yale alternative in the blank book.

We have seen quite a lot of Yale branded keys that are not YA1E at all.

I believe these are done on the machines in B & Q, Asda and so on.

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Hi this Yale  pad lock, was it from British railway, as I been getting these for the last few month and can not find the blank myself.

Any chance you can get a photo of one so we can all see it. if not as soon as I get ask again I will get  a photo myself and post it here.

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