What’s the Difference Between Laser-Cut and Regular Keys?

Like most people, you probably give your car keys little thought until they become damaged or you need to get a duplicate. How you approach replacing your car keys depends primarily on whether your keys are regular keys or laser-cut keys:

Regular Keys

Traditional, regular-cut keys are also referred to as mechanical keys. This is because the keys are made using a mechanical key-cutting machine. Your local hardware store or even big-box retailer likely has a key-cutting machine on its premises. This type of key is very common and is made with thin metal with cut grooves on one side. Some traditional mechanical keys have transponders, but not all do. This chip is programmed for just one specific vehicle. If this chip is not near the receiver, then the ignition won’t turn. Regular keys offer the least amount of security when it comes to their vulnerability to being “picked.”

Laser-Cut Car Keys

Laser keys, also referred to as side-winder keys or internal keys, are easy to distinguish from regular keys. These keys are thicker than regular keys and are, in general, sturdier. Indentions on the key are the same on either side of the key’s face, which allows the driver to insert the key in the ignition from either side. This type of key started becoming popular in high-dollar vehicles in the 90s and became beloved for the added security it brings since special equipment is needed to duplicate the key. The locks that laser-cut keys are keyed to fit are also harder to “pick” than traditional door/trunk locks that are keyed for regular keys. Laser-cut keys usually have onboard transponder chips.

Need Key Replacement? Contact Us Today!

Although regular, mechanically cut car keys are relatively inexpensive to duplicate, the same is not true of laser-cut keys, especially if you rely on a car dealership to produce the keys for you. Many locksmiths lack the type of expensive equipment required to make laser-cut keys, but you can count on Car Keyline to make the keys you need. For more information about our auto key replacement and key making services in Bucks County, PA, and Mercer County, NJ, reach out to us today!

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