Sometimes people call me up and ask, “Is it possible to make a key from one of my locks? I have none of my keys anymore! I lost them in the lake/in San Diego/on the farm!”
It is absolutely possible. All that need be done to reconstruct your key is to take apart the lock by first picking it and then disassembling it carefully, and then examining each pin in each pin chamber. The size of these pins determines the cuts on your key and differentiates your lock from other locks.
When one has accurately measured these pins, all that needs to be done is compare these lengths to standard cut depths for the lock manufacturer’s locks. You can either cut the key to factory spec’d codes, or cut the key to the actual length of the pins in your lock. I generally cut to factory specs to avoid the issue of different pin lengths in different locks because of different wear patterns. A lock that sees more use will show more wear and the pins may be 5/1000’s of an inch smaller just because of key abrasion, especially if there are strong springs to counteract the possibility of bumpkeying or lockpicking.
The charges associated with reconstructing a key for a lock are as follows:
- Service call – 65-85 depending on location
- Pick lock – 3-45 depending on lock’s complexity
- Reconstruct pin lengths – 12
- Code cut key – 20
That is all it takes. It is far less expensive to reconstruct your key from a lock than it is to go the conventional route taken by all too many unfamiliar with the abilities of a well-trained locksmith, which is to go to a big box store and buy new locks. It is also far less expensive than rekeying all of your locks, though this is a good thing to do every five years or so and especially good to do if the keys you lost were attached to some sort of identification that could show where your house is, or you lost them near your house.
It takes me about 30 minutes to perform this procedure. Give me a call if you lose all of your keys! I can also reconstruct many car keys, though not all of them. File cabinets and the like are very easy for me.