What’s the difference between laser cut and traditional cut car keys? If it has been a while since the last time you had keys made, you might be surprised to find out how much technology has “taken over” in the key world.
An Overview of Laser Cut Keys
Today you’re likely to find a lot more laser cut keys on the market. They’re commonly called internal keys or sidewinder keys. You’ll know you’ve got one if you take a look and notice they’ve got a constant depth down the middle, making them thicker and more sturdy than traditional cut keys. Meanwhile, there’s an indentation made on the key, equally on both sides, so that the key can be inserted and the engine will start no matter which direction the key is put into the ignition. Hence, that’s why they got the name “internal key.”
Laser cut keys made their debut in the 1990s in high-end vehicles. People liked them because they added security– they couldn’t be easily duplicated! Indeed, laser cut keys need special equipment to be duplicated. They are harder for thieves to try and use to pick locks. Also, you might notice laser cut keys have transponder chips in them– the chips are programmed to work with the specific car or truck. If the normal and proper transponder chip isn’t in the vicinity of the receiver, then guess what? The vehicle won’t start. This is a valuable security feature.
An Overview of Traditional Cut Keys
What about traditional cut keys? They’re made mechanically by a key cutting machine. Since these machines are ubiquitous, you’re likely to find them in many places, including discount stores and hardware stores. Duplicates of traditional cut keys are easily made and readily available. While traditional keys are common, they don’t have the added security features that laser cut ones do. You can tell if you have a traditional cut key by looking at it– it’s got a thinner metal cut with grooves on one side of the key. With traditional cut keys, some might have transponders. In general, locks which use traditional cut keys are easier to pick than ones that use laser cut.