Can I Get A Keycut Without A Key?

Have you been locked out of your house without a key? Or did you lose the only car key you have? If so, then you’ve probably asked the question, “can I get a keycut without a key?” Well, you’ll be glad to know that the answer is yes!

A locksmith can easily help you out with this dilemma. You need to note, though, that this task is no easy feat, even for an experienced locksmith, as it will require a few complicated steps that you wouldn’t usually need to go through when you need a regular key cutting job.

This blog aims to help you understand how exactly a locksmith’s key cutting service can help you get a key that perfectly fits without needing an original key.

Why Would A Locksmith Need To Cut A Key Using Just A Lock?

Most of the time, locksmiths are asked to cut a key for a lock with an intact and functional original key. All they have to do is make use of a key duplicator and a blank key to make a spare key or a duplicate key.

However, there are instances where the key is broken, worn down, or lost, and that is when a professional locksmith would need to make a key without a lock. Professional locksmiths only make use of three methods to cut you a replacement key without the original.

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What Types Of Locks Are There?

Before we begin, it is essential for you to know that the methods which will be enumerated below are not at all interchangeable with each other. Instead, the approach as to which you can get your key cut will depend on the kind of lock you have. However, for some lock types, locksmiths cannot cut a duplicate key without an existing key. Here are the most common types of locks that one may encounter:

  • Cylinder Rim Lock (Yale Locks)
  • Mortice Lock
  • Car Lock
  • Restricted Lock / Secure Lock
  • Padlock
  • Nightlatches

How Does A Locksmith Produce A Key Cut Without The Original Set?

Impressioning A Lock

Tools A Locksmith Would Use:

  • Key Blank (Brass)
  • Vice Grip
  • Key File (6-inch Swiss #4 cut round file and a Pippin File)

The Process:

Of the three methods to key cutting without a model key, impressioning a lock is the most straightforward. Many locksmiths use this method the most because of how quick and efficient it can be. Impressioning locks, however, are not very easy to learn or to execute. Instead, it requires a lot of practice, experience, and fine-tuning.

Impressioning a lock is relatively simple. All a locksmith has to do is insert a blank into the lock, and turn, pull, tap, or wiggle it to bind the pins within the lock cylinder. This process will help mark out the sections that your locksmith will have to file down. However, as an ordinary lock contains multiple pins, your blank must be marked and cut numerous times. That means the locksmith will have to move the blank in and out of the lock several times. Once the blank has been appropriately marked, the locksmith may file the key down to a working one.

Easy as it may seem, impressioning a lock requires multiple trials to make sure that the markings are all accurate. Additionally, the amount of pressure applied is also very crucial to this task. Using too little force will be useless, while too much force may potentially damage the uncut key and the lock itself. Hence, locksmiths consider this skill as something that will require a lot of fine-tuning.

Cutting The Key To The Code

Tools A Locksmith Would Use:

  • Code cutter
  • Key blank

The Process:

A locksmith can easily cut a new key to the code.

A key code is essentially a set of characters used to make a key for a specific lock. There are two types of codes usually used for keys, namely:

  • Blind Code
  • Bitting Code

In cases like these, a locksmith will need to focus on the bitting code. However, because a locksmith does not always have access to the said code that they need, this is not always feasible. Most of the time, the code is printed onto the original or master key, or in the case of high-security locks, given to the user. If you’re looking for more information on key codes, check this out.

Of course, you may always track down a specific lock model’s bitting code by contacting the retailer or the manufacturer, but this would only work if you are working with a legitimate locksmith.

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If you’re lucky and require a key for a cabinet lock, though, you’d be glad to know that these kinds of locks usually have the key code imprinted on them. In cases like these, all the locksmith has to do is find the code and cut the key based on this code.

To do this, a locksmith will need a code cutter. They simply have to insert an uncut key into the cutter, ensure the correct blades are in place and cut a new key.

Disassembling The Lock

Tools A Locksmith Would Use:

  • Key Cutter
  • Blank Key
  • Lock-picking tool
  • Miscellaneous tools

The Process:

When both key cutting based on the code and impressioning the lock both do not work, your locksmith will try disassembling the lock. In fact, because impressioning the lock is always either a hit or a miss, many people resort to disassembling the lock directly.

This process, however, is much more challenging as the locksmith will have to reverse engineer the bitting for the key based on the arrangement and height of pins in the cylinder in order to produce a new key.

One thing that locksmiths will have to do, though, is to make sure that the lock is disassembled in a non-destructive way, as this could damage or throw out the alignment of the pins in the lock cylinder.

To do this, your locksmith will have to remove the lock from the door and adequately disassemble it. Often, your locksmith will have to pick the lock in order to do so. Once disassembled, your locksmith may take direct measurements of your lock’s internal components and pins. These measurements will be used to fashion you a new, working key.

Final Thoughts

And that is how a locksmith can offer key cutting services without the need for a working key! The solution may not always be quick and easy, but it is definitely feasible!

Need a locksmith to come to the rescue? Book for an emergency locksmith service at Aerialforce today!

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