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  • Writer's pictureAdam Docherty

Can a Locksmith Make a Key from a Lock?

Locks are an essential part of our daily lives, and when we lose the key, it can be a frustrating experience. Fortunately, locksmiths can help us in such situations. One of the most common questions people ask is whether a locksmith can make a key from a lock. The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of lock and the skills of the locksmith.

Understanding Locksmith Services is essential to know how they can help in different situations. Locksmiths are trained professionals who can handle various types of locks and keys, including residential, commercial, automotive, and safe locks. They can help you with key duplication, lock installation, lock repair, and emergency lockout situations. Locksmiths have the skills, tools, and knowledge to handle different types of locks and keys, and they can provide you with the best solution for your needs.


man holding lock and key

Key Takeaways

  • Locksmiths can make a key from a lock, but it depends on the type of lock and the skills of the locksmith.

  • Locksmiths offer a wide range of services, including key duplication, lock installation, lock repair, and emergency lockout situations.

  • To get the best service, it is essential to choose a reliable and experienced locksmith.

Understanding Locksmith Services

The Role of a Locksmith

A locksmith is a professional who specializes in the installation, repair, and maintenance of locks. Locksmiths are also trained to provide emergency services such as lockout assistance, broken key extraction, and rekeying. They are skilled in the use of various tools and techniques to open, repair, and replace locks.

Locksmiths play an important role in maintaining the security of homes, businesses, and vehicles. They are often called upon to assess the security of a property and recommend appropriate measures to enhance it. Locksmiths are also responsible for ensuring that locks are functioning properly and are in compliance with building codes and regulations.

Types of Locks Handled by Locksmiths

Locksmiths are trained to handle a wide variety of locks, including:

  • Deadbolts: Deadbolts are a popular type of lock commonly used on exterior doors. They are designed to provide extra security by extending a bolt into the door frame.

  • Padlocks: Padlocks are portable locks that can be used to secure a variety of items, such as lockers, gates, and storage units.

  • Mortise locks: Mortise locks are commonly used in commercial buildings and are designed to fit into a mortise in the door.

  • Cylinder locks: Cylinder locks are a type of lock that uses a cylinder to hold the locking mechanism. They are commonly used in residential and commercial buildings.

Locksmiths are also trained to work with electronic locks, such as keyless entry systems and smart locks. These types of locks require specialized knowledge and tools to install, repair, and maintain.

In conclusion, locksmiths play an important role in ensuring the security of homes, businesses, and vehicles. They are trained to handle a wide variety of locks and are skilled in the use of various tools and techniques to open, repair, and replace locks.

Key Duplication Process

When it comes to duplicating a key, there are several techniques that locksmiths use. These techniques include key cutting and impressioning a lock.

Key Cutting Techniques

Key cutting is a process that involves creating a duplicate key from an existing key. Locksmiths use a key cutting machine to cut a new key that matches the original key. The machine is programmed to cut the key based on the key's unique code.

There are two main types of key cutting techniques that locksmiths use: manual key cutting and automatic key cutting. Manual key cutting involves using a file to shape the key, while automatic key cutting involves using a machine to cut the key.

Impressioning a Lock

Impressioning a lock is a technique that locksmiths use to create a new key from a lock. This technique involves inserting a blank key into the lock and then manipulating the key until it matches the lock's internal components.

To impression a lock, a locksmith must first insert a blank key into the lock and then apply pressure to the key while turning it. This pressure causes the key to leave an impression on the lock's internal components. The locksmith then uses a file to shape the key based on the impression left on the lock.

Overall, the key duplication process requires a certain level of skill and expertise. Locksmiths must be knowledgeable about key cutting and impressioning techniques in order to create accurate duplicates.

Tools and Skills Required

Professional Locksmith Tools

To make a key from a lock, a locksmith needs to have the right tools. The most important tool is a key code cutter, a machine that can cut keys to precise specifications. This machine can be used to cut keys for a variety of lock cylinders, including those in cars, homes, and businesses.

In addition to a key code cutter, locksmiths also use a variety of other tools to make keys from locks. These tools include lock picks, tension wrenches, and plug followers. Lock picks are used to manipulate the pins inside a lock cylinder, while tension wrenches are used to apply pressure to the cylinder. Plug followers are used to remove the cylinder from the lock without damaging it.

Skills for Making Keys

In addition to having the right tools, a locksmith also needs to have the right skills to make keys from locks. These skills include the ability to read and interpret key codes, as well as the ability to create a key based on the bitting of the lock cylinder.

To create a key based on the bitting of the lock cylinder, a locksmith needs to understand how the pins inside the cylinder interact with the key. This requires a deep understanding of lock mechanics and the ability to manipulate the pins inside the cylinder.

Finally, making keys from locks requires practice and experience. Locksmiths must be able to quickly and accurately create keys for a variety of lock cylinders, and they must be able to do so without damaging the lock or the key. With practice and experience, a locksmith can become proficient at making keys from locks and can provide this valuable service to their customers.

Security Considerations

When it comes to making a key from a lock, security is a top concern. Homeowners and business owners want to be sure that their property is safe from intruders and that the locksmith they hire is reliable and experienced. In this section, we will discuss some security considerations to keep in mind when hiring a locksmith to make a key from a lock.

High-Security Locks

High-security locks are designed to provide an extra layer of protection against lock picking and other forms of forced entry. These locks are often more expensive than standard locks, but they are worth the investment for those who want to ensure the safety of their property. When hiring a locksmith to make a key from a high-security lock, it is important to choose someone who has experience working with these types of locks. Not all locksmiths have the necessary skills and tools to work with high-security locks, so it is important to do your research and choose a locksmith who is qualified for the job.

Ensuring Reliable Service

In addition to choosing a locksmith with experience working with high-security locks, it is important to ensure that the locksmith you hire is reliable and trustworthy. Look for a locksmith who is licensed and insured, and who has a good reputation in the community. Ask for references and read online reviews to get a sense of the locksmith's level of expertise and customer service. It is also important to ask about pricing upfront, so you can avoid any surprises when it comes time to pay the bill.

Overall, when it comes to making a key from a lock, security should be a top priority. By choosing a locksmith who is experienced with high-security locks and who has a good reputation for reliable service, you can ensure that your property is safe and secure.

When to Replace Your Locks

Locks can last for many years, but there are times when replacing them is necessary. Here are some situations when a homeowner should consider replacing their locks.

Lost or Broken Keys

When a homeowner loses their keys, they might be tempted to simply have a locksmith make a new key. However, if the keys were lost or stolen, it might be a good idea to replace the locks entirely. This will ensure that anyone who finds the keys won't be able to use them to enter the home. Additionally, if a key is broken and the homeowner needs to have a locksmith make a new one, it might be a sign that the lock is old or worn out and needs to be replaced.

Upgrading Your Security

If a homeowner wants to upgrade their security, replacing their locks is a good place to start. New locks can provide better protection against break-ins and burglaries. There are many different types of locks available, including ones with advanced features like keyless entry or smart technology. Homeowners should consider their needs and budget when choosing new locks.

When deciding whether to replace their locks, homeowners should consider the age and condition of their current locks, as well as their security needs. If they have lost or broken keys, or if they want to upgrade their security, replacing their locks is a good idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible for a locksmith to create a new key if the original is missing?

Yes, it is possible for a locksmith to create a new key even if the original key is missing. Locksmiths can use various methods to create a new key, such as using the codes on the lock, creating a key impression using the lock, or disassembling the lock. However, the complexity of the lock and the type of key required can affect the time and cost of creating a new key.

What is the cost range for duplicating a key without an existing copy?

The cost of duplicating a key without an existing copy can vary depending on the type of key and the complexity of the lock. On average, the cost of duplicating a standard house key can range from £3 to £10. However, the cost can increase for more complex keys such as car keys or high-security keys.

How does a locksmith fabricate a key from a broken piece?

If a key has broken inside the lock, a locksmith can extract the broken piece and use it to create a new key. The locksmith may also need to disassemble the lock to determine the correct key shape and size. The cost of fabricating a new key from a broken piece can vary depending on the complexity of the lock and the type of key required.

Are locksmiths able to produce keys for antique or obsolete locks?

Yes, locksmiths can produce keys for antique or obsolete locks. However, the process of creating a new key for an antique or obsolete lock can be more challenging and time-consuming than creating a key for a modern lock. Locksmiths may need to use traditional methods such as hand-cutting keys to match the lock.

What methods do locksmiths use to create a key impression for duplication?

To create a key impression for duplication, locksmiths use a key blank and a tool called a key gauge. The locksmith will insert the key blank into the lock and use the key gauge to create an impression of the lock's internal mechanism. The locksmith will then use the impression to create a new key that matches the lock.

Is it more cost-effective to rekey a lock rather than replace it?

In most cases, rekeying a lock is more cost-effective than replacing it. Rekeying involves changing the lock's internal pins and tumblers to match a new key, while keeping the existing lock hardware. This process is quicker and less expensive than replacing the entire lock. However, if the lock is damaged or worn, it may be more cost-effective to replace the lock rather than rekey it.

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