How to Cut A Key
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How to Cut A Key

Views: 2     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-03-03      Origin: Site

Key Plants

Do you have to jiggle your key to get it to work? Or pull it slightly out of the lock before it will turn? Do you have a spare key for your home in the event that you're locked out? It may be time to get a duplicate key made.

Keys are typically made of brass or a nickel-brass mixture, and the pins in a lock are also made of brass. Over years of use, keys and pins do wear down. In addition, it's important to have spare keys around (perhaps left with a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor) in case you're ever locked out or need a friend or family member to get into your home for some reason.


How are keys made?

Keys are cut with a machine called a key duplicator. Your original key is placed in a vice on one side of the key duplicator, lined up with the cutting tool (or blade), and a blank key is placed in a vice on the side of the machine that contains the alignment tool. The alignment tool is a piece of metal that is even with the blade. The key guide, or alignment bar, on your key duplicator, ensures the keys are even with one another.

The key duplicator is then turned on, and as the original and blank keys move horizontally across the machine, the blade cuts into the blank key, using the original as a sort of template. Afterward, the lock tech will sand the duplicate key for a smooth finish. The final product is a duplicate key that matches the original.


Make sure the correct key blank is used

For residential keys, selecting the correct key blank is typically easy. At Anderson Lock, we have about a million different key blanks. We try to choose one as similar to the original as possible to ensure accuracy and quality.


Don't make a copy of a copy of a copy

How accurate is the key that needs to be copied? When keys are worn down, they should be decoded before copies are cut. The key gauge shown in the center right-hand photo was used to determine the depths of the original cuts. In general, however, one should not make a duplicate key without the original on hand.


How long does it take to cut a key?

A professional locksmith can accurately duplicate a standard key in just a few minutes. Duplicating a more complicated key can take up to 25 minutes. How long it takes to get a key copied could depend on where you go to get your key copied.

Key Plants


Where to get keys copied?

While self-service key cutting kiosks are increasingly popping up in big box chains and hardware stores, these machines aren't necessarily reliable over time. While they likely work well when new, there is no guarantee that they're regularly recalibrated or well-maintained in the long run.


Can I make a duplicate key without the original?

It's possible to have a duplicate key made without the original. If you don't have the original key or it has been too worn down over time, you'll need to see a professional locksmith who can use a code cutter to identify the groove depths of your lock's key code. This will inform the locksmith how your key needs to be cut to create the right match.

However, as mentioned, we do not recommend making a copy of a copy. In other words, we do not recommend making a duplicate key without the original.


Can I duplicate skeleton keys?

Perhaps you collect antique skeleton keys, or you live in an old home with interior locks that still use skeleton keys. If so, a professional locksmith can create duplicates of your skeleton keys.


What are jiggle keys?

Jiggle keys are keys that come in a range of groove patterns and are used to attempt to open a lock in absence of the correct key for that lock. Termed “jiggle keys” because they typically require some jiggling around to successfully open the lock, these tricky keys are often used to pick locks. Also called “bump keys,” jiggle keys should not be used by the average person as an alternative to having a spare. It's best to visit a professional and have duplicates made of all your important keys.


We are a brass key blanks supplier. Please feel free to contact us if you need them!

If you would like to know more, please contact us and we will reply to you at the first time.

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