Three Common Questions About Parallel Machine Keys

You may have heard your co-workers discussing a parallel machine key or how the parallel machine key broke. A manager may ask you to order a parallel machine key and fix the jammed machine. It is very difficult to complete this job task when you do not know what a parallel machine key is, how it works, or where to buy one. Here are the top three common questions about parallel machine keys.

  1. What Are Parallel Machine Keys?

Parallel machine keys are also known as shaft keys. The keys get their name because of their rectangular shape. Parallel machine keys are crucial to the functioning of many machines. The key works by holding a part to a shaft by locking into a keyway channel on the part and a specific key slot on the shaft. The keys must be made of the strongest metals so that the part and the shaft turn simultaneously. Parallel machine keys must withstand pressure and high rotation speeds. In some cases, a parallel key will break or jam. The key must be replaced as soon as possible for the machine to operate.

  1. Why Are Parallel Machine Keys Important?

Parallel machine keys are designed to break. This fact may sound odd, but this design serves an important purpose. When a machine jams, the parallel machine key breaks to prevent further damage to other expensive parts of the machine. It is not uncommon for parallel machine keys to be replaced during unrelated repairs and maintenance. The cost for a parallel machine key greatly varies by brand, size, and make, but you can expect the cost to be anywhere between 60 and 200 dollars.

  1. How Do I Buy a Parallel Machine Key?

The parallel machine key must fit into the keyway channel on the part and the shaft. Every shaft and part will be built differently. Some parallel keys are built with a square knob on the end, while others are built with a rounded oval shape. If you start searching for a parallel machine key on the Internet, you will find there are dozens of different kinds with various shapes and thicknesses. The best way to shop for a parallel machine key is by reading the machine’s manufacturer instructions. They will tell you exactly what model and part number you need to replace the key. Once you have the part number and the specifications, you can order a key online.