Table of Contents
If you want the best key programmer for your money, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve picked out the top 5 key programmers 2020, breaking down their features side by side, so you can see the difference between them. Read on to see the full reviews.
Let’s have a look at the editor’s top picks.
Editor’s Top 3 Picks Of Key Programmers:
|Editor's Pick||Perfect for Professionals||Best affordable|
XTOOL X100 Pro2
XTOOL X100 PAD
3.2 / 5
4.4 / 5
3.5 / 5
|Package Dimensions||12.2" x 9.9" x 3.9"||8.2" x 5.5" x 0.6"|
|Programs New Keys||✔||✔||✔|
|Reads Pin Code||✔||✔||✔|
|Vehicle Compatibility||1996-2011 vehicles (31+ manufacturers)||59+ Manufacturers (most model years)||2006 and later (57+ manufacturers)|
Best Key Programmer Reviews
1. XTOOL X100 Pro2 Auto Key Programmer
Let’s start things off with arguably the best value in key programming: the XTOOL X100 Pro2. It’s easily the most affordable way to get access to advanced programming features from a hand-held key programmer. In addition, the straightforward layout is easy to navigate and use.
Key Reading and Programming
Programming keys is easy with the XTOOL X100 Pro2, and you can do it on almost every North American and European vehicle. While the compatibility is limited on Asian models, this still makes it a versatile key programmer for both home users and professional locksmiths. Along with programming new keys, you can read keys from the IMMO memory. The XTOOL X100 Pro2 also supports remote programming.
Most key programmers at this price point can read and make keys, but the XTOOL X100 Pro2 takes this a step further. Included advanced features include programming VIN and IMMO data, as well as reading and adjusting the mileage.
- IMMO and VIN programming included
- Capable of reading keys from IMMO memory
- Supports most vehicles from Europe, Asia, and North America
- Anti-seismic and ruggedly built
- Supports reading and reprogramming mileage
- Excellent value for supported features
- Free updates supported
- May not work with vehicles pre-1996 or post-2011
- Doesn’t support Japanese vehicles
2. XTOOL X100 PAD Professional Key Programmer
The guided interface of the XTOOL X100 PAD makes it easy to program new keys—when it works. What’s frustrating for many users about this tool is that it’s difficult to identify which vehicles are compatible, and the included instructions aren’t very helpful. While it supports 59+ manufacturers, it doesn’t support all model years. Once you’re up and running, however, making new keys is a fast process.
The XTOOL X100 PAD can program your immobilizer information, VIN, and mileage information. In addition, however, the X100 PAD also allows programming of the ECU itself. This makes it a more useful option for professional garages.
Beside Full OBDII Functions, XTOOL X100 PAD supports Reset Functions such as EPB calibration, Oil Reset, Throttle Body adaptation, DPF regeneration, Battery reset, Steering Angle Calibration, TPMS light reset, etc.
- Easy to use the key programming tool
- Supports a wide range of compatible vehicles
- Allows programming of the ECU
- Can read and program VIN
- Free lifetime updates through the web
- Pro-level functions without the professional price tag
- All features not available on all vehicles
- Select model years from some manufacturers aren’t supported
3. Carrfan CK-100 Car Key Programmer
The compatibility with a variety of American, Asian, and European cars makes CK-100 one of the most versatile hand-held key programmers. The flip side of this is the SKP900 is the most expensive item on our list.
The CK-100 can program new keys for over 57 different vehicle manufacturers. In most cases, you can also read the pin code directly from the vehicle. The inclusion of remote programming is a helpful feature, too. Even better, the Carrfan CK-100 is easy to use, even if you’ve never programmed keys before.
The Carrfan CK-100 Car Key Programmer includes the full ECU and IMMO programming features. Also, it does give you more tools than other DIY devices. This includes reading and adjusting mileage data. You can also identify chips in most keys, as well as programming smart keys and transponders to work with your vehicle’s IMMO system.
- Full functionality for professional mechanics and locksmiths
- Can read pin codes for most supported vehicles
- Supports Toyota G chip keys
- Wide vehicle compatibility
- Free online updates for life
- Easy to use for both pros and DIYers
- Poor instructions
4. ICARSCAN Key Programmer
If you’re looking for a more affordable way to make new keys for a Toyota, the ICARSCAN Key Programmer can make keys for vehicles with both G and H chips. The good news is it costs less than fifty bucks. On the other hand, though, it’s limited in its features and compatibility.
The ICARSCAN Key Programmer is one of the easiest key programmers to use. In fact, it’s so easy the instructions are printed right on the key programmer. This makes the ICARSCAN an excellent choice for home use, when you simply need the option of making new keys for your car.
There aren’t a whole lot of features to talk about on the ICARSCAN Key Programmer. While it’s true it’s a bit of a one trick pony, it does what it does well and at a great price. That’s the trade off you’ll need to make if you’re shopping for a key programmer in this price range.
- Quick, simple set-up
- Very easy to use
- Costs less than other key programmers
- Allows remote key programing
- Works on most Toyota vehicles
- Compatibility limited to Toyotas
- No IMMO or ECU programming functions
- Will need to have master key to use
5. FICBOX 4D Chip Keymaker/Programmer
If you’re looking for the cheapest key programmer around, the FICBOX OBD2 Keymaker is the most affordable choice on the list. Similar to the ICARSCAN above, it doesn’t provide any programming functions, and has a limited compatibility.
You can program any Toyota or Lexus key that uses the 4D chip using the FICBOX OBD2 Keymaker. Programming a key takes less than a minute with this handy device, so it gets high marks for convenience.
The best thing about the FICBOX Keymaker is that it’s completely safe for your car. You won’t accidentally disable your anti-theft systems, or allow unwanted intruders. It simply gives you the power to make new keys quickly and easily.
- Most affordable option
- Makes new keys in 20 seconds
- Safely makes keys without impacting anti-theft systems
- Doesn’t require updates or maintenance
- Easy for anyone to use
- Limited vehicle compatibility
- No IMMO or ECU programming features
Can I Program A Car Key Myself?
You absolutely can! With some key makers, you’ll need to have the master key on-hand to do so, but more sophisticated models are able to read keys from the vehicle itself. Expect to spend a bit more generally if you need this level of functionality.
As you can see, the price of key programmers varies greatly. There are two main factors in this: the number of vehicles supported and the range of programming functions.
If you just want to make new keys for your own car, don’t pay for professional features you don’t need. A more affordable model will serve you just as well. For locksmiths and mechanics, however, a higher-end product like the SKP900 may be worth it in the long run. Best of luck picking the right key maker for your needs!