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.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Key Programmer Reviews
- 1.1 1. XTOOL X100 Pro2 Auto Key Programming Tool
- 1.2 2. Autel MP808K Diagnostic Tool with Key Programming
- 1.3 3. Carrfan CK-100 Car Key Programmer
- 1.4 4. Autel MaxilM IM608 OBD2 Scanner with IMMO
- 1.5 5. XTOOL X100 PAD Professional Programmer with EEPROM
- 1.6 6. Autel IM508 All System Scanner with Key Programming
- 1.7 7. XTOOL X100 PAD2 Full-System Scan Tool and Key Programmer
- 2 Can I Program A Car Key Myself?
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Key Programmer Reviews
|Editor's Picks||Product||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||XTOOL X100||9/10|
|Runner Up||Autel MP808K||8/10|
|Best Budget Buy||Carrfan CK-100||9/10|
|Best Value||Autel MaxilM IM608||8/10|
|Also Great||XTOOL X100 PAD||8/10|
1. XTOOL X100 Pro2 Auto Key Programming Tool
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. Autel MP808K Diagnostic Tool with Key Programming
The Autel MP808K offers professional diagnosis and features at a relatively affordable price. In addition to its key programming functions, the MP808K allows bi-directional testing of components, full OBDII diagnosis, and 23 service and reset functions.
The vehicle compatibility of the Autel MP808K is impressive, as well. You can use this key programmer with cars and trucks from more than 80 manufacturers. While some features aren’t available for all vehicles, that’s still quite impressive for the price.
Now the key programming capabilities of the Autel MP808K aren’t as robust as with other key programmers. It doesn’t allow programming of the VIN, IMMO system, or ECU, for example. As a key programmer, it’s basic but functional, both resetting and creating keys easily.
- Programs new keys, even if they’re all lost
- Bi-directional component testing
- 23 service functions and all-system diagnosis
- Wide vehicle compatibility
- Data management system makes it easy to review data
- One-click push updates through Wi-Fi
- Enhanced diagnostics and key programming not available on all vehicles
- Not as many IMMO management functions
While the Autel MP808K doesn’t offer as much control over the key and IMMO systems, it is an affordable key programmer for those who need wide vehicle compatibility.Check Price at Amazon
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. Autel MaxilM IM608 OBD2 Scanner with IMMO
If you’re looking for the best key programmer for professionals, the Autel MaxilM IM608 is your answer. This multi-functional diagnostic tool has powerful functionality you won’t find anywhere else. It is one of the most advanced all-in-one programming tools available, and to top it off it’s compatible with abou 80 different manufacturers.
You’ll get full access to the IMMO system using the Autel MaxilM IM608. This includes programming new keys and remote controls, as well as reading keys and reading data from the engine computer. The Smart Mode is especially helpful, walking you through the process step by step. More experienced mechanics can use Expert Mode to access individual functions.
So what’s not to love about the Autel MaxilM IM608? The price. At over three grand, it’s the most expensive option on the list. Having said that, professionals who need full ECU control for a variety of vehicles will find it well worth the investment.
- Professional key programming with complete IMMO support
- IMMO Smart Mode walks you through making keys step by step
- Reads and writes data to ECU
- Compatible with more than 80 manufacturers
- 10” touchscreen easy to read and use
- All-system diagnosis with bi-directional control
- Built-in 8MP camera with flashlight
- Most expensive option
- Inexperienced mechanics may find it intimidating
The Autel MaxilM IM608 is the best key programmer for professionals, giving you complete control over key programming and IMMO systems. While it is more expensive, the cost is worth it if you need full functionality and wide compatibility.Check Price at Amazon
5. XTOOL X100 PAD Professional Programmer with EEPROM
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
6. Autel IM508 All System Scanner with Key Programming
The Autel MaxilM IM508 comes with their XP200 Key Programmer included, and they’re designed to work together as a unit. This gives you access to advanced key and IMMO functions, at less than half the price of the IM608 above.
Like the other best key programmers, the Autel IM508 can do more than make keys. It performs a range of helpful service functions, including resetting the oil and battery lights. With the Autel MaxilM IM508, you get factory-level diagnostics of all systems on more than 80 manufacturers.
The only significant lack in the Autel IM508’s key programming features is that it can’t program the ECU. It’s also not available for all compatible vehicles—you’ll want to double-check with Autel if you’re looking for a specific make and model.
What the Autel MaxilM IM508 does well is strike a balance between performance and value. It lets you make keys, reset the IMMO data, and perform a host of other helpful maintenance tasks. You’ll get the same high build quality Autel offers on their pricier models, with an interface that’s easy to use and read.
- Allows writing of new keys, even if they’re all lost
- Write and refresh IMMO and ECU
- Wide vehicle compatibility
- Resets BMS, TPMS, Oil light, and more
- Full OE-level diagnosis of all electronic systems
- Higher cost
- IMMO programming not universally compatible
The Autel MaxilM IM508 provides professional key programming functions at a more affordable cost than the IM608. It is an excellent choice for professionals on a budget or advanced home mechanics.Check Price at Amazon
7. XTOOL X100 PAD2 Full-System Scan Tool and Key Programmer
The XTOOL X100 is a powerful tablet key programmer that’s built for use in a professional garage. It has a durable and rugged construction, with a rubberized housing that resists damage. While it’s built for professionals, it’s relatively easy to learn how to use it.
For some vehicles, the XTOOL X100 is the only diagnostic equipment you’ll need. It has 4-system diagnosis as well as robust reset functions. Handy features include a one-click oil reset, battery reset, and DPF regeneration.
As for the key programming functions, the XTOOL X100 can read keys from IMMO memory, program new keys, and reset ECM and IMMO data. Basically, it gives you full control over the vehicle’s lock and security system. The only downside of this key programmer is that it won’t work with all vehicles. Its key programming is available for only 31 manufacturers.
- Full IMMO and key programming capabilities
- Interface is easy to navigate and use
- Performs full OBDII diagnostics in addition to programming keys
- 4-system diagnosis with advanced reset functions
- One-click automatic updates via Wi-Fi
- Supports CAN BUS and UDS
- Limited vehicle compatibility
- Not all functions available for all supported vehicles
The XTOOL X100 is a powerful car diagnostic tool in addition to its key programming capabilities. While its vehicle compatibility is limited, it’s the best key programmer for Toyotas and Hondas.Check Price at Amazon
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!