Getting locked out is a dreadful feeling and one that could cost you money if you have to call in a locksmith to help you get back into your home. Having a spare key can prevent this stress from occurring and save you time, money, and hassle. The best way to have a spare key is by having it duplicated. This process is relatively simple and affordable, but there are a few things you should know before pursuing key duplication.
Before you get a key duplicated, check with the company who made your locks to find out their policy regarding keys. Some companies make “do not copy” keys, meaning that they cannot be duplicated. Others only allow their keys to be copied by licensed locksmiths. Some even require that you contact them to request a duplicate. Having a spare key is important in case you accidentally lock yourself out or need to give access to a friend or family member.
Most types of keys are able to be duplicated, except for restricted keys, such as those used in some automobiles or padlocks. Restrictive keys are often made of brass or a nickel-brass mixture, and are highly polished to a high sheen, which makes them difficult or impossible for most tools to cut. Most of these keys are also engraved with specific information that is used to control the locking mechanism, so it is very difficult to duplicate them.
The simplest way to make a duplicate is by using a file to create an identical shape to the original key. This can be done by clamping the original key and the blank in a vice, then filing it to produce an exact replica of the original key. This technique requires a lot of precision, but it is a cheap and simple method for producing a spare key.
Another option for making a key duplicate is by using a photocopy machine. This can be found at many office supply stores, and is usually fairly inexpensive. You can also use this method at home with a regular copying machine, although the resulting key will be much less durable than those produced with a professional tool.
If you don’t have the time or resources to make a spare key yourself, you can always visit a store such as Walmart or Home Depot, and they will have a machine that can duplicate most types of keys within minutes. However, these machines are not as accurate as those provided by a professional, and they may result in a key that does not fit well or does not work properly.
Key duplication is a convenient and affordable way to have a spare key for your home, car, or business. However, there are some considerations to take into account before pursuing this service. By understanding the pros and cons of key duplication, you can make an informed decision about whether it is the best solution for your needs.