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What's the best manual machine for side cuts and safe key cutting?


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I cut a fair amount of mortice keys that have side cuts and use a lancer plus. I find even when I cut side cuts slow and gently that the top hat cutter doesn't last long before it snaps which is making it pretty costly to replace them. Is there a manual machine that would be better for these types of keys and safe keys ? Thanks 

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3 hours ago, Dave the locksmith said:

I have used 3 top hats in 10 years and cut thousands of keys with side cuts never had on break just wear out.

 

Thousands of keys cut using 3 top hats wow. I must be heavy handed with them? I have snapped 2 in a month 

Edited by cobblers.keys
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I only recall one of them shattering a number of years ago when a colleague was being a bit heavy handed. There’s nothing like hot shards of cutter going everywhere. 
 

That cutter was one of those with a fixed collar on it and thinking back may have been a copy one, rather than an original Silca one. 
 

After that I told everyone to keep an eye on direction of blade rotation and decide to appropriately use an up stroke or a down stroke on the main pass depending if cutting on the right or left, especially on heavy steel blanks. 
 

Also went back to using the cutter with the separate collar and the centre screw as they’re a bit cheaper to change just the blade. Also no particular issue using copy ones from the likes of RST. 

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On 4/13/2023 at 7:13 PM, aam said:

After that I told everyone to keep an eye on direction of blade rotation and decide to appropriately use an up stroke or a down stroke on the main pass depending if cutting on the right or left, especially on heavy steel blanks. 
 

That may be your problem!!

It should be a plunge cut, as it in get it level with key and move in slowly. Only use up and down at the very end of the cut.

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