• Where can I buy a key for a gumball or candy machine?
  • Spencer Williams
Where can I buy a key for a gumball or candy machine?

Do you have an old gumball or candy vending machine that you've lost the key and want to buy a replacement? It happens all the time.

Types of Vending Machine Keys

The first thing you need to know is that there is no such thing as a universal key that will open all machines. The most common vending machine keys are either tubular or flat.

The tubular version, sometimes referred to as a barrel key, has a hollow, cylindrical shaft with grooves of varying length cut into the exterior surface at the end of the shaft. These grooves cause the pins in the lock to slide to the end of the groove and open the lock.

The flat key looks like your typical house key and can have teeth on one or two sides, the latter being more secure.

Beaver machine flat key and lock

Where to Buy a Replacement Key

Vending machine manufacturers have many versions of lock and key sets and they assign key codes to distributors and end users randomly across the country. This practice is to prevent route operators in the same area from having the same key. How'd you like it if your competitor "serviced" your machine and cleaned out your hard earned cash each month?

Ok, here's the good news. If you happen to know the manufacturer of your machine AND know the "key code" that was stamped ON the key (not the lock), then you might be in luck. The following manufacturers sell individual keys without locks:

  • Carousel - no longer produced and now considered an antique. Shop ebay
  • Wizard Spiral Gumball Machines - click to buy
  • Northwestern

If you don't know the "key code" then you will be forced to drill out the lock (click for instructions on how to do this). Unfortunately, the number stamped on the lock face is not useful and will not help you determine which key code is required. We offer a comprehensive selection of gumball and candy machine lock and key sets, click the link to shop.


  • Author avatar
    Spencer Williams

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