Is There a Universal Key that Gives Access to All Vending Machines?
The first thing you need to know is that there is no such thing as a universal key that will open all machines. For security purposes, vending machine keys are all keyed differently. The locks on these machines can only be opened by a key that has a compatible "key code". Key codes are what distinguish one key from another. There is no key on the market that is compatible with all key codes.
Types of Vending Machine Keys
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.
The Carousel Gumball machine is a unique case as the traditional lock and key sets for these machines are no longer being produced. Instead Carousel Industries has replaced the lock with what is known as a "screw lock".
These screw locks can be opened with a flathead screwdriver.
Which brands use which type of key?
- Titan / V-Line -Tubular
- LYPC - Tubular (previosly flat)
- Beaver - Both flat & tubular
- Wizard - Tubular
- Roadrunner - Flat
- Carousel - No key required (opened with a flathead scewdriver)
The way to tell keys apart is by determining the key code. Key codes are usually a combination of numbers and letters, for example 'T-008' and 'B230'. These codes are typically found on the front or side of the key. It is important to note that the key code can only be found on the original key itself. Unfortunately, the number stamped on the lock face is not useful and will not help you determine which key code is required.
Key codes are distributed randomly across the country, it is especially important to randomize codes sent to the same region as to prevent end users in the same area from having the same key. In some cases, users with multiple machines will request to have their machines keyed alike so that they may use a single key to access all of their machines.
What if I lost the original key or what if I don't know my key code?
Often times, vending machine owners are unable to determine their key code as the original key has gone missing or they bought a machine secondhand and it did not come included with a key. Many times this happens when machines are purchased from places such as the internet, swap meets, thrift stores, or garage sales. Do not worry though! You will still be able to use this machine. What you will need to do is remove and replace the lock that is currently installed. We have detailed instructions on this procedure at the following link:
Once the lock is removed. You will then need to purchase a new lock & key set for your machine. Install this new lock, and gain access to your machine by using the key that came included in the set.
Where to Buy a Replacement Lock & Key Sets
- Titan / V-Line - click to buy
- LYPC - click to buy
- Beaver - click to buy
- Wizard Spiral Gumball Machines - click to buy
- Roadrunner Spiral Gumball Machines - click to buy
- Carousel - no longer produced and now considered an antique. Shop eBay or replace with screw lock - click to buy
We offer a comprehensive selection of gumball and candy machine lock & key sets at the following link:
You can view our entire selection of vending machine replacement parts at the link below:
If you have additional questions in regards to gumball machine locks and keys, give us a call at (800) 260-0010 or send an email to email@example.com.