Key duplication is the process of creating a duplicate copy of an original key. The method is commonly used by locksmiths and hardware stores to produce high-quality copies.
A photocopy of a key can be used to break into a home or business. At a recent hacker conference, researchers were able to use this technique to gain access to high-security locks.
Identifying the original key
When key duplication occurs, the original key must be identified. This is important because key copying machines can only duplicate the depths and spacing of the original key. They can’t replicate the wear that the key has experienced over time. This means that even if you’ve traced the pattern of your original key onto a piece of paper, it won’t be an exact match.
If you don’t have a spare key, you could be locked out of your house, car or office. This is frustrating and it can be costly to get back in. This is especially true if you have to pay to repair or replace locks that have been damaged by a forced entry.
Most hardware stores and lock shops have staff members who can help you with key duplication. These employees have access to professional key cutting equipment and are well-versed in the process. They will identify the original key and then use it as a template for the new copy. They will also test the copy to ensure that it works properly.
Tracing the key
A key duplicate is essential when you get locked out of your house, car or business. Without one, you will have to break a window or risk exposing your property to damage in order to gain entry. This can be expensive and time-consuming. A duplicate can prevent you from doing this and save you a lot of money.
A key duplication machine is a convenient way to make multiple copies of your keys. These are automated self-service kiosks that scan the original key, then cut a perfect duplicate in minutes. They can also copy house padlocks and car keys. Some even have the ability to copy RFID key cards or chips.
These machines are a good solution for quick and easy access to spare keys for emergencies or shared access. However, they may not be suitable for restricted keys that require a locksmith to copy. These types of keys are often stamped “do not duplicate” or have a patent lock, which makes them harder to copy.
Cutting the key
The key duplication process typically involves a machine called a key duplicator. The original key is placed in the vise of the machine, and a blank key is laid directly on top. The key duplicator then cuts the blank using the original key as a template. A lock technician then sands the duplicate to ensure that it fits the lock perfectly.
Getting a key copied can be extremely useful, especially if your home, office, or car is shared by multiple people. This can help prevent them from losing the key or getting locked out of your house, car, or office.
However, if you want to give a spare key to someone else, it is important to be very careful who you give it to. Some keys have a “do not duplicate” inscription on them, and these are not meant to be duplicated. Some big-box hardware stores and key duplication kiosks will not duplicate these keys, but a professional locksmith will be able to do so without a problem.
Testing the key
Having a spare key can be extremely helpful when you lose your keys or forget to lock the door. It will also save you from the stress of breaking a lock or exposing your property to any kind of damage.
Whether you are a homeowner or an employer, having duplicate keys is necessary for many reasons. If you are going on vacation, for example, a spare key can help you let someone in to feed your pets or water plants.
Most locksmiths will have no problem duplicating standard keys, such as Yale or Chubb keys, which are common in homes and offices. However, some types of keys have a “do not duplicate” inscription. These keys are typically made in quantity for shared facilities, such as community pools or office buildings, and are carefully tracked for return upon the end of membership or employment. In these cases, the inscription is intended to prevent security violations by former tenants or employees.