I am testing out my Miracle A9. I am on my way to paying it off; I have cut multiple laser keys successfully with no problems reported by my customers, so I invested in Miracle’s conventional sidecut key clamp, which at $250 you hope will work (you probably have to cut well over 100 keys to make this pay for itself). I have high hopes for this machine and hope that maybe I can use it as a single solution for all keycutting in my van. The Miracle A9 is not ready for prime time in that regard though and here is why:
If you are trying to replace your HPC 1200 and whatever duplicator you use you need to trust the database built into the Miracle A9. Cutting a simple Schlage SC1 proved to be a failure. With a blitz it is a sixty second job. With the A9 it is a confusing series of menus and more like five minutes all resulting in only partial success…
When I tried to duplicate a Schlage factory original key with a bitting of 45422 I went to the menu and selected Schlage as the manufacturer. There were three different options for Schlage blanks. Going into the various submenus, the first didn’t list any key blanks. The second listed lots of keyblanks but I didn’t see SC1 anywhere. The keyblanks supported under the second option actually continued off of the A9’s screen so it might have been listed offscreen. I determined by trying to decode the Schlage key under this setting that it was the incorrect one. The decoder was not going into the center of each cut and it was getting depths that were wildly different.
I selected the third option and the Miracle A9 successfully decoded the blank. Proceeding on with the test I put a blank in the clamp using the shoulder stop and told the A9 to cut the blank. I punched in the code manually and used the same menu settings I had used to correctly decode the key. Success, I thought, was certain!
The key that the A9 produced was not very conventional looking. Instead of a regular sidecut key with teeth it produced a key with flat mesas. That could be good: the key is less likely to catch your pocket lining or handkerchief, I thought. When I stuck the key into the Schlage B660 cylinder the factory original came with, it didn’t turn. I jiggled it a little and discovered that if the Miracle A9’s codecut key is pulled out about 1/4 of a space it does turn. Not ideal. The entire point of the shoulder stop is to get the correct spacing so customers can stick a key all the way into a lock cylinder and it will just work.
Using the Miracle A9 to codecut Schlage keys may work in an emergency where your other codecutting options are not available. Be aware that the depths will be correct but the spacing probably won’t be. You have to figure out the correct menu order which is not at all self-explanatory and then you get a key which the homeowner will tell you doesn’t work. Now it is time to check if there is some firmware update or if using a computer attached to the Miracle A9 will fix this problem. Until then I guess I will just use this machine to cut high security car keys.