If you’re in need of a spare key or have to share access with family members or house-sitters, getting a duplicate is a simple, convenient process. Having an extra set also helps prevent lockouts by allowing you to gain access to your home even when the original keys are lost or misplaced. However, before having your keys copied, be sure you know what to look for in a quality key copy.
There are a few places where you can have your key copied, including at many chain hardware stores. Many of these locations offer a self-serve key copying kiosk, where you simply insert your key and select a design to have an identical duplicate made.
Another option is to visit a locksmith. This is the best way to get a high-quality key that will work properly and last longer than a generic key. When you go to a locksmith, they’ll use a machine called a key duplicator. This will take your original key and place it on one side with the blade, then take a blank key and align it with it, using the original as a kind of template. Once they’re lined up correctly, the blade cuts into the blank key, creating an exact replica.
While it is possible to make a key by hand, the result will be less accurate. It’s important that the grooves are cut precisely, so if you try to do it yourself, you could end up with a key that doesn’t fit in your lock. To ensure the proper grooves are cut, it’s better to have your key copied professionally.
You should also check the inscription on your key to see if it says “Do Not Duplicate.” These keys are usually marked with a short number, and if they’re not cut correctly, they won’t work in the lock. In addition, these keys may have a special key code that can only be copied by a locksmith who has the appropriate software.
A third option is to use an app like MinuteKEY, which allows you to scan a key with your smartphone, then print and mail the new copy directly to you. This service is great for busy people who don’t have time to make a trip to the store or to a locksmith, and it also allows you to customize your key with cool designs such as sports team logos.
If you’re looking for a key that will work perfectly every time, it’s always best to have it professionally duplicated. This will ensure that the grooves and teeth are correctly cut so that it fits into your lock properly and opens it easily. While you can technically make a key at home with common materials, it’s much easier and more accurate to have a professional do it for you. This will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. In fact, it can even prevent the potential of lockouts, which can be dangerous and frustrating for any homeowner. key duplication