Can a locksmith make a key from a lock?
“Working backwards” its not a easy task, and with locksmithing is no exception. Have you ever wondered what happens if a locksmith needs to recover a key and the original key is lost or broken? Often, they will use the lock to make a new key. Here are some of the ways this can occur.
A locksmith can use a key’s code (the characters used to make the key for a specific lock) to recover a lost key. The most important code in this case is often the bitting code, which makes the key from a key blank. If you can provide the lock, the locksmith can research the model to find its bitting code. In some cases, as with cabinet locks, the code is stamped right on the lock. All the locksmith has to do is cut a new key to the specific code using a code cutter.
Impressioning a key is another way to make one from a lock. This allows a locksmith to form a key directly from the lock without decoding the lock or disassembling the entire lock cylinder. To do this, the locksmith inserts a key blank into the lock and turns it to bind the blank to the cylinders. The areas the pins bind to are the areas that need to be marked on the key blank. The locksmith may need to move the key in and out of the lock a few times to make sure all the necessary areas are marked. These marked areas will then be filed down to make a new key. This can take a lot of time and practice or a practice for a locksmith to be able to achieve good results. It is also important to use the right type of key blank for the job, as different materials will interact differently with different tools. Aluminum blanks can be filed easily but will also wear quickly. Steel blanks, on the other hand, are durable but more difficult to file down. Brass key blanks are ideal because any marks made during binding are easily visible when it is time to cut the key.
Disassembling a lock entirely is a third way to make a key from a lock. This option is usually used if there is no way to cut the key to code or impressioning fails. The locksmith carefully takes the lock apart to avoid damaging any of the internal components or destroying their alignment. Picking the lock is often the preferred method to accomplish this. Once the lock is disassembled, the locksmith will be able to measure its internal components and use these measurements to create a new key to fit that specific lock.
Using a lock to make a key may sound strange, but it is sometimes the only way to make a new key. Hopefully, this article has given you a better appreciation for some of the finer points of locksmithing and the skill set your local locksmith brings to the job every day.
In Naples FL or Marco Island and need a Locksmith? Call us any time at (239) 227-3487