What you need to know
The process of cutting a car key uses specialized machines. These will use metal cutting tools to grind away the softer metal of the mechanical key. The metal of the key cutter’s blade must be harder than the metal of the key. The average key is made from brass, which is a metal used for key making due to its machinability. It is hard, resistant to weathering, and does not corrode easily, but it is still easy to machine. This makes it the ideal material for a key. With a key cutter that uses a hardened steel blade, shaping the physical key is very easy. The key cutter takes a full blank, which will have the proper warding for the car cylinders.
Within general standard cut that a particular manufacturer uses, some models will have a different key blank. Often the different key will be based on the year of the car, but higher-end models may also have dissimilar keys as compared to lower-priced models from the same year. A locksmith’s expertise will be needed in order to guarantee that the correct key blank is being cut. Without the correct blank, even if the key is cut from code, it will not have the proper shape to open the locks or work in the ignition of the car.
How long does it take a locksmith to cut new car keys?
There are several ways to cut car keys. Car key cutting can be done with the use of an existing key, or it can be cut by code. The code can be procured by using the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), by decoding a key, or even by decoding the ignition cylinder. The fastest way of car key cutting is to simply duplicate the key by using an existing key. The slowest method will be to decode the ignition cylinder. With that being said, a professional locksmith with experience will be able to do such a task very quickly. With no complications, this will only take minutes. If the key cutting is requested after the locksmith has arrived to service the vehicle, then they may need to find the appropriate key blank. If the blank is not the right dimensions, then the key will not work.
Does car key cutting require the original key?
No. Car key cutting can be done by using an expert locksmith and the VIN of the automobile. Even if there is no mechanical key on hand to copy, a key can still be made. This type of service does cost more, as using the vehicle database for this function passes on a charge to the locksmith. This is done to prevent unscrupulous individuals from using your information to make keys for cars they do not own. Because of the severity of this measure, the locksmith will have to verify your ownership of the car more thoroughly than if you had already had working keys somewhere in your possession. The verification process may take a bit longer than you would like, but it is there for your protection.
Why should I use a locksmith for car key cutting?
When you choose a locksmith to deliver their high-quality car key cutting service, you are getting experience, dedication, and craftsmanship. You also have all of the available knowledge of a security expert. This will allow you to get multiple services all from the same professional. You will be able to get your car key cutting accomplished, and if you need a transponder or key fob programmed, this can be done altogether. The locksmith will also be able to tell you what you need. Having an experienced professional will give you some direction beyond the research you have put into your service request.
Can a locksmith make any car key?
Yes. If a key exists that will open your car, then a locksmith can make a new one. All of the keys that are made for cars have tons of information available to professional locksmiths. When something is standardized so heavily, that just makes the job easier for your local locksmith. Do not get us wrong, it is still work that takes craft and time to perfect. Just rest assured that there is no key that will stump our expert locksmith technicians. If a lock or key has ever worked, then we have the skills that are needed to get it working once again. No matter if you have a laser cut key or a double-sided wafer key, we can make the key. Our company invests in the state of the art tools and training needed to be ready for every eventuality.
Will car key cutting damage my existing key?
No. Car key cutting can seem like a very violent action, but it will not harm your existing key. There is some danger involved in the process because metal is being cut. That requires sharp and fast spinning metal blades. This process will also send many metal shavings into the air, so it is important to give the locksmith some space to work. If you would like to monitor the process, eye protection is a must. No damage will be done to your key, and in fact, it may get a little polishing if the locksmith notices any burrs or scuffs. If anything, your key has a chance of coming out a bit nicer after the car key cutting process.
How does a locksmith find my key code?
Key codes for car keys are available from several sources. There may be a small tag that came with the keys to the car. On this tag, there will be the vehicle’s key/lock code. If you are not the original owner of the car, there is a chance that the previous owner has written down the code in some of the documentation that you were given. Don’t have any of these things? No need to worry. A professional locksmith can find out your key code with only your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This number can be located most commonly on the dashboard, or on the inside of the driver’s side door. If your car is locked, or you cannot get into it because you do not have a key, then your locksmith will also be able to help you out with that.
Is there a DIY method for car key cutting?
In certain states, private citizens can own code cutting and key duplication machines. This type of investment does not make much sense for people who are not security professionals. Also, you will need certain levels of clearance to gain access to programs that enable you to find key codes from the VIN of a vehicle. The most DIY that you could go is to use a file or cutting tool, and measurements to cut a key by hand. Without years of specialty experience, being successful in this way is very unlikely. I would not recommend that you use any DIY methods for car key cutting. There is a lot that could go wrong, and this will potentially create bigger issues than it would solve.
Car Key Cutting
In order to successfully cut a car key, you need a great many things. To get around the years of training and financial investments in professional equipment, you can simply call on a person that already has the things required. You will need to find a locksmith. Car key cutting can be done by the dealership, but there are several issues with turning to them. The first is the experience. The dealership may know cars, but locksmiths know keys. Go with the company that has a true knowledge of the processes and tools they are using. The dealership will also be the most expensive option. There is no real incentive for the dealership to give you competitive pricing, especially if you are only interested in getting new keys cut. There are options such as big box stores, which offer key machines that you can use yourself. In some cases, there may be a customer service representative that does the work for you. This will be very cheap, but you are going to get what you pay for. There will be no professional insight that the worker can offer. In fact, these employees are often misinformed, or they do not understand security enough to be helpful in instances of locksmithing.
Cutting Keys By Code
As was stated earlier, car key cutting can be done by code. Key codes refer to the numbers and characters that are used by professional locksmiths to fashion or remake keys. This is an integral part of the car key cutting process. There are two main kinds of key codes that locksmiths make use of and these are bitting codes and blind codes. The bitting code refers to the specific numbers or code that a locksmith would use on a blank key whereas the blind code is a key code that employs the use of specialized programs and charts in order to derive the bitting code. The bitting code is also referred to as the direct code while the blind code is also referred to as the indirect code.
A majority of keys make use of a blind code, which is why it is important to make sure that you utilize the services of a professional locksmith to carry out the car key cutting process. In order to cut the car key by code, it is essential that the locksmith have the code available for use. In some cases, it is really easy to get the code that is required to cut the key. For instance, the key code might be attached to the tag that came with your keys on the first day you obtained your vehicle. In other cases, the code might be stamped on your key. The key code might also be stamped onto the lock face plate (this is popular with much older models of cars). In addition to these methods, the car owner or the locksmith can also opt to call the car manufacturer and provide them with the VIN so that they can obtain the code for cutting the key.
However, if the code cannot be obtained by any of the above methods, then the locksmith will have to disassemble the lock. This is done because the key code is usually stamped on the barrel of the lock, so a locksmith will have to take the lock apart so that they can obtain the key code for the car key cutting process. In lieu of this, the locksmith can also opt to decode your key in order to obtain the code. This is done by measuring the key to determine the cuts of the bitting and outline the profile of the keyway.
The process of fashioning a new car key by code was once handled manually, but now it is as simple as entering the key code (once it has been obtained) into a code cutter that cuts the key to correct specifications, which are derived based on the key code.