door locks

What happens when you have lost your keys or even worse, they’ve been stolen? How will you get into your house and does this mean that you will have to replace all your locks?

Fortunately, there are a variety of different options available to you to resolve this issue. One of these is to have keys made from your existing locks.

However, how does this work and what are the alternatives to fashioning a new key from an existing lock? Some options include:

  • Calling a locksmith to rekey a lock
  • Having your locks replaced
  • Finding out if there is a master key for your locks or if there are generic keys that can fit the lock
  • Having keys made to fit your existing locks.

In order to choose the best option to suit your needs, it is recommended to call an expert locksmith and ask for their professional opinion. You also need to consider safety and security.

If your keys have been stolen or lost, it puts your home security at risk. Rekeying or replacement are therefore often considered to be the better option although this may be the more expensive route.

How Does A Locksmith Make Keys From Locks?

In most cases, a locksmith will only need to make a key from a lock when there are no keys available for them to make copies of.

The process is a little more complicated than having duplicate keys made or one of the options listed above.

First, the locksmith will need to visit your home to determine whether it is possible to make a key from the specific type of lock. If it is possible, there are 3 techniques that the locksmith may use to create a new key:

  • Cut a key according to the lock code
  • Create an impression for the key
  • Disassemble the lock to determine the cut of the key.

1. Cutting A Key To Code

The locksmith will need to establish the bitting code of the lock in order to cut a key. Each type of lock has a unique bitting code.

However, this code is not simply displayed on the lock and the locksmith may need to match a code according to the make, manufacture and type of lock or decode the lock.

This is the simplest means of creating a key from a lock. The locksmith will then cut new keys according to the code.

2. Keys Cut From Impressions

Creating an impression for a key from a lock may seem simple at first glance but it requires skill and experience from an expert locksmith.

Impressioning involves inserting an appropriate blank key into the lock and then turning the key in order for the pins in the cylinder to bind with the key.

This binding process will create marks or impressions on the blank key as to where it should be cut. The process may need to be repeated a few times in order for the right etching impression on the lock.

The locksmith will then file the key according to the impressions in order to create a working key.

3. Disassembly Of The Lock

This is the most time-consuming technique and is often only used as a last resort when the lock cannot be decoded and the locksmith fails to create an impression.

The lock will need to be picked and then disassembled in a way that causes zero damage. The pins and tumblers can then be used to determine how the key should be shaped and cut.

It takes an experienced locksmith to disassemble a lock, analyse it and cut an exact key. Expertise, experience and skill are essential factors when choosing a locksmith to cut keys from existing locks.

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