Home Make Your Own Tools (360) Making Keys by Hand

(360) Making Keys by Hand


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My vises are made by Panavise, a U.S. Company.  The one with the wide jaws is the model 350.  The smaller one is the model 301. Both have the 312 Base mount – www.panavise.com



  1. Hi Bill,
    Love your videos. Long time subscriber to your UT channel
    I wonder if you can make a video about hand cutting keys for wafer locks. I am restoring an antique car, I have the lock cylinder (10 wafers, 5 on each side) and some blank keys and I would like to cut a key for it by hand.
    I can do it for one side, but I think I may run into problems duplicating the same cuts to the other edge of the key. A short video or some tips are greatly appreciated. Cheers

  2. Hey Bill, awesome videos. I was looking at the Home Depot site for files/kits but it's a bit overwhelming. Do you (or any viewers) know the size of the rounded file?

  3. Hey great video,My father is a locksmith and I just recently took an intrest in picking locks and attempting to make keys by hand. I have a pretty nice pick and file set but I still haven't gotten a "follower" tool to remove the core from my dad. is there anyway to make one or do I need to ask him?

  4. Let's say I've got an old lock with a removable core and just for kicks I want to try cutting my own key by hand! Call me a masochist, I guess! Would I need any special license or some such to purchase key blanks, or can I waltz into Home Depot or someplace and just buy a few?
    To be honest, this looks like a lot of fun!

  5. on this video where you hand cut a key to repin the lock i noticed you used a round file first but i was wondering if a small triangular file could be used thank you in advance

  6. I used to put some throw-away pins into the holes and tap them with a small hammer.
    Left a neat dimple for each pin.
    I also preferred the half-round needle file for hand cutting.

  7. can you do this with an old school, ('69) ford ignition key? The two sided key harder? I can get the cylinder out, actually have a key but it's not exact, have to "jiggle" it

  8. where do i buy these tools to make keys for locks or one key for all the locks.  I am a landlord and have lots of keys and would like to copy each one   thanks i live in surrey , british columbia  canada.   phone 604 589 3303

  9. Tomas,
    Thanks for the compliments – I appreciate it. Yes, I have an EVVA 3ks and have spend many, many hours trying to pick it. That is one lock that, if I had to call one unpickable, would be on the list. It provides absolutely NO feedback and the sliders remain free no matter how much tension you put on the core. Anyone that can pick one of these reliably (blind) is incredibly gifted.

  10. Bill i have a lot of respect for your, you must be the best lockpicker in the locksmith industry, i know locksmith that have more than 20 years and never master this skill like you! They think that "raking" is lockpicking! I was wondering if you have tried to pick a EVVA 3ks euro profile? Please let me know!

  11. To keep it semi-sane, just recycle the pins you took out. Put them back in hi-lo-hi-lo, with the shortest pin in the last position and the longest pin right in front of it. If you have two long pins, put one of them in position #1. That will still be possible to pick but will give a bit more challenge. If you want to make it even harder, throw in a security pin or two.

  12. nice video.Just a few things to add:
    In that set of files , you'll probably find a square file with different angles , 110° and 70°. The 110° is perfect for key cutting. Either cut it directly with that file , or cut it to depth with the round and then shape it with the square.
    – When rekeying , avoid deep cuts next to small cuts if you can.
    – If you would do a wafer lock this way , the key will get caught on the wafers. So smooth out the cuts first. I prefer to do all cuts at the same time.

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