How To Get A Key Made For A Lock Without The Original?

new car key without the original
Publish at Jan 09, 2022 By: Dustin Fernandez
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I think most people have experienced this at one time or another. You come home after a long car trip, ready to finally get inside, sit in your favorite easy chair, and relax, but there is a problem. You reach into your pocket, and your keys aren't there!

You remember with a frustrated sigh how you ran off without them this morning. You know exactly where they are on your nightstand next to your phone charger, but you have no way to get them.

Taking a deep breath, you try to figure out a way to get inside. No one in town has a spare key, and you don't wish to break into your own house. You realize with slight trepidation that your best bet is to call a locksmith. As you research for the best locksmith in the area, you wonder, how will they get in without my key? Can they make a key from my lock?

This article is to answer that question. In most cases, a locksmith will be able to cut you a new key without the original. Having the original is always better, but that isn't possible in some situations, like the one we discussed above. It also may not be possible if your key is broken or worn down to where it no longer works. There are different ways a locksmith will make you a key without the original, and we will cover them here.

Create An Impression

By far, the most straightforward way for a locksmith to create a key without the original is to make an impression of the lock. This is a direct method that can be done efficiently. In this method, the locksmith will not need to disassemble your lock, which will minimize any damage that could be done. While this method is very simple and straightforward when performed by a licensed and trained locksmith, it is not a method that is easy to learn. It takes extensive practice and expertise to make an impression of a lock.

The locksmith will insert a key blank into the lock and turn it in this process. This process will create the cuts of your specific lock on the key. When the key turns in the lock, it binds the pins with the lock cylinder, making the correct cuts on the key bitting. As there are multiple cuts on a key, this process will need to be repeated several times to assure all cuts are made.

Since this method involves cutting into a key blank, the cut material is essential. The key blank needs to be made of a material that is strong enough to handle being turned but not so strong that it cannot cut the impression. Aluminum keys typically don't work because the material is too weak. Steel keys also pose a problem because they are too strong. The best key blank to use is a brass one. This is a material that falls in the middle ground perfectly.

Once the key blank has been cut, the locksmith will file it down to fashion it into a working key. This process takes time and training, but it is one method that will almost always work. However, if possible, the locksmith will more likely use the following method as it is much easier.

Cutting The Key To Code

This is the easiest option for the locksmith to make a new car key, though it is not always available. Sometimes, a locksmith cannot gain access to the code they need. Locks are connected to a legend identifying that lock and key, which can be recreated if needed. This code can often be found printed on the key, which would cause a problem if you are without the key. The owners are often given a card with the key code for higher security locks. Still, other locks have the code stamped into the lock itself. If the locksmith has the code, they will have no issue making you a new key.

There are two different types of codes your lock could have. There is a blind code or a bitting code. The blind code is mostly found on the key, lock body, or a special card given to the lock owner. The bitting code is much harder to find. This code is not printed on the key or the lock body. The only way this code can be retrieved is by researching your specific lock type to find out the code. A licensed locksmith can do this research by contacting the retailer or the manufacturer. This information is not privy to everyone, so this has to be done by the locksmith.

Disassembling The Lock

If there is no other option, the locksmith will disassemble the lock to determine what type of key is needed. This is the last resort option because it involves the most work and time. Locksmiths will use this method if they don't have access to the key code and/or making an impression doesn't work. Disassembling the lock is also much more complex than the other options. It takes care and precision to do so without damaging the lock.

When the locksmith disassembles the lock, the aim is to gain access to the pins inside the lock cylinder. Once they do this, they will measure the dimensions to make you a new key. It may be more prudent to have new locks put in instead. Some locks have features that make it almost impossible to make a key without having access to the original. If your lock has this feature, the locksmith will have to replace the lock to give you a new key.


ASAP Locksmith

These are all the different ways a locksmith can create a key without the original. This is a more complex fix than other repairs, but in most cases, it is entirely possible as long as the locksmith has patience and training. These methods are not meant to be used by a novice or a DIY project. It is very easy to damage your lock if you are not skilled in locksmithing. We hope that this information proves valuable for you and that you will reach out to us here at ASAP Locksmith Dallas if we can be of assistance.

Article written by: Dustin Fernandez
I am Dustin Fernandez, and I'm the owner of ASAP Locksmith in Dallas. My company is a family business, and we provide locksmith services to residential, commercial, and automotive customers. I've been in the locksmith industry since 1995 when I was just 20 years old. I started by working for another locksmith company before eventually starting my own. Over time, my father joined me as a partner in this venture, which made him proud to help his son succeed at something he loved doing!