What You Should Know About Duplicating Keys

Many people don't think twice about using a duplicated key to make another copy of a key; however, such a habit has its own problems. Read on and discover the dangers of that habit and what you should do instead.

Why Using Duplicates to Make Copies Isn't Good

The degree of accuracy of key duplicating machines varies. Consequently, each new copy that you make comes with a slight variation from the original key. However, those variations don't initially have an immediate effect on how easily you can open the lock.

Over time, each subsequent duplication takes the copied key further from the dimensions of the lock mechanism. It then becomes harder for the key to open the lock smoothly. This is why you might have to wiggle the key in the lock to get it to work properly.

Such wiggling can stress and eventually damage the components of the lock, such as the locking pins. Having to wiggle the key also takes up your time. Such delays can be an inconvenience to you, especially when you are trying to get into your house to escape from unfavourable weather conditions.

What Should One Do?

The ideal option entails using the original key each time you want to have a copy made. The original key can be identified by the markings, such as a logo, made by the manufacturer of the lock. These markings are on the sides of the key.

Make sure that you keep at least one original key in a safe place so that it is always available when copies of keys have to be made. For example, you can keep that key in a safe deposit box.

What happens when the original keys were also lost or aren't available? Call a locksmith and ask him or her to rekey your lock.

The process of rekeying a lock involves disassembling the lock after uninstalling it. The locksmith will then adjust the lock pins so that they align with the cuts that they have made on a key template.

The new key that is made will now be your new original key. Mark that key and keep it safe so that other copies can be made from it.

It is important to have a duplicate key that is as close to the original key as possible. Have your lock rekeyed in case you need a copy and you cannot trace the original key to the lock.