Can a Locksmith Make a Key from a Lock?

Find out if locksmiths can make keys from locks and how they do it! Learn about printing locks, code cutters, and more.

Can a Locksmith Make a Key from a Lock?

Locksmiths are trained to make keys from the impressions of the lock. This is done by taking an impression of the keyhole with a special spatula and then making a wax impression of that. Can a locksmith make a key out of a lock? That's a really good question, and one that most people don't stop to ask. Fortunately, the answer is yes, but the steps necessary to do so are a little more complicated.

Basically, they involve understanding why a locksmith would need to make a key out of a lock and also understanding the ways in which this can be done. A locksmith can make a keyless key by cutting new keys according to the code, printing the lock, and disassembling the lock. Printing a lock allows the locksmith to manufacture a key from a lock without having to disassemble the entire lock cylinder or having to decode the lock. The shape or slot of the key that allows it to fit in the lock cylinder is known as a “bite”.

In order for a locksmith to make a key with a lock using the key code, he will need to use a code cutter. This means that you should choose a blank key that is sturdy, but isn't too strong to be archived. The printing process begins by inserting the blank key into the lock and moving it back and forth to create small marks on the key blade. Aluminum blanks are prone to wear and cracking easily under pressure, while steel blanks are extremely strong and durable, making them difficult to file. Although it is the easiest method, this process cannot be used at all times, especially when there is no original key.

In most cases, the key code is stamped on the original key or, in the case of high-security locks, users receive cards with the access codes. Too small a quantity will not give effective results and too large a quantity could damage the blank key and the lock being printed. However, as I pointed out earlier, it's not always possible to print a key correctly and make it work as it should, so some locksmiths often have to resort to disassembling the lock. The most commonly used methods to obtain the necessary marks on a blank wrench are to pull a wrench, hit it, and move it. Some people will need to know if a locksmith can make a key out of a lock because they have lost the original keys or broken them in a lock.

This process doesn't always work because a locksmith won't always have access to the code they need, especially if they don't have the original key. An electrical code machine can also cut new keys manually through a physical card or automatically through key cutting software.

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