Key Codes and How to Use Them – Seattle's Maple Leaf Locksmith LLC – (206)335-4559

Key Codes and How to Use Them

Key codes are a big part of my day and simplifying it. They can also save the customer a ton of time and money! When I rekey a house or business I always tell the owner the bitting for their new keys if they are interested. With this information you can always get a key made whether you have a key or not. You’ll never be locked out for long. You must guard these numbers for this reason. Anybody can get a key made if they have the bitting, whether it’s the key to your property or not.

A key code is an alphanumeric code that is sometimes seen printed on a key or lock or both. It can either be numbers directly corresponding to the factory depths of the key (the cuts), or it could be a code used to obfuscate the cuts and to get the cuts one must either call the manufacturer or consult a code database like BlackHawk.

That’s how I go about it at least. Things are a little different for the end user. If you have the key code you can simply order replacement keys from the manufacturer or websites like This is usually pretty inexpensive and could be faster than scheduling an appointment with me two weeks in advance. You can also take the key code in to a brick and mortar locksmith shop and have them cut the key by code. No need to pay for a mobile locksmith service if you have a brick and mortar store staffed by competent locksmiths offering this service in your area.

Sometimes cutting the key by code doesn’t work. If the lock is damaged or corroded it is possible that no key at all will work. Somebody may have taken the lock apart and changed the wafers or pins in them to work with a different key in which case the stamped code would no longer work. In these cases a mobile locksmith such as myself could be the best solution to your problems unless you are able to remove the offending lock cylinder and replace it or bring the lock in to a brick and mortar.

Here is the difference between a code cut key and a really bad copy of a key. In the bottom left you can see some numbers stamped on the key. Those describe how to cut that key.

Here are some common situations people call me when they could solve their issues much more easily:

  • People with Yakima ski racks who lost their keys can go to “Rack and Road” where they have replacement cylinders and keys and the knowledge of how to replace them.
  • People with file cabinets can often order replacement keys by examining the lock face and searching for the alphanumeric code along with the word key on google or go to directly and search there.
  • People with bicycle locks or other types of padlocks can get more keys if they registered their product or if they have the little plastic thing with an alphanumeric code on it that came with the lock.
  • People with vehicles can sometimes get the manufacturer to give them the cuts for their key with proof of ownership and a vin number. A locksmith can usually cut a vehicle key if they are given the physical cuts for the key.

I would much rather people get their keys online than me going out and cutting one on site or having to waste a lot of time explaining how to do this over the phone. I have this tip in numerous places on my website just to avoid interactions like the following with M. Brennan:

120?? Just bought new key on for $8.50, your job is irrelevant nice try buddy. 

On Jul 21, 2022, at 10:49 PM, Maple Leaf Locksmith <> wrote:

yes np. cost to make a key is probably $120 total.

Sent from ProtonMail mobile

——– Original Message ——–
On Jul 20, 2022, 07:27, M Brennan <> wrote:


I bought a locking file cabinet and recently lost the keys, now it is locked shut and I was wondering: could I have it opened? And also, is it possible to have a new lock installed and keys made? Here is the file cabinet. Thank you very much.


Honestly, what a prick. Odds are his job is much less useful than mine! Don’t be this guy, just go buy the keys online in the first place if you have the key code.

Published by

Bjørn Madsen

I am the Seattle locksmith you've been looking for. High Quality work at a reasonable price delivered in a timely fashion.