A Beginners Guide To Key-Cutting | Modern key

A Beginners Guide To Key-Cutting

December 7, 2021

Locksmith services are growing high in demand for residential, commercial, and vehicle security purposes. Many people wanting locksmith services find it hard to identify which service is right for their situation. We’ve put together a simple beginner’s guide on one of the most sought-after services a locksmith offers; key-cutting.

What Is Key Cutting?
Key cutting is the process of producing keys from scratch. It’s a locksmith service that is done without using the original key or any sample key to match against. It is primarily done to match an existing lock, in the event where the original key is lost and there is no spare key, or to create a new key for a new locking mechanism. For this service, locksmiths use specialised tools and machinery to model a new key based on the corresponding locking mechanism.

When Do I Need A Key Cutting Service?
When you lose a key, buying new ones can be expensive, or you might have to get the door lock completely changed for a new key. While lock replacement is an excellent way to solve a lost key situation with increased security, it can take time, which makes it infeasible in emergencies such as a lost car key or getting accidentally locked out of your house with no spares. It can also take time to source a lock that suits the interior of your house/car and the locking mechanism you need. So the easiest way to get out of such emergencies is to get a key cutting service done.

On the other hand, if your key is snapped with no spare keys, you need a key cutting service to get the situation fixed. Similarly, if your key breaks or wears off from the strain of regular use, they may not function like they used to; even such a situation will require you to get a key cutting service- provided that you don’t have spare keys.

What Is The Difference Between Key Cutting And Key Cloning?
While key cutting uses the locking mechanism to make the key, key cloning sometimes referred to as key duplication, is where the data of the original key is used to duplicate another key. It’s basically taking an original key and duplicating it, which customers can use as a spare key.

Key cloning is seen as a backup service (to use as a spare key when the original key is lost), whereas key cutting is used as an emergency service when the original key is lost, and you don’t have a spare key at all.

Key cutting is also more versatile as it can be done with or without the original key and for a lock replacement. In contrast, key cloning can only be done if you have the original key, so you can’t really do it for lost or stolen keys or lock replacements.

How Long Does It Take To Cut A Key?
The time taken to cut a key depends on the type of key you need and the expertise of your locksmith service provider. Here is a breakdown of common key types and the time taken to cut them,

Yale key ( small )
A standard “Yale” type key will take less than a minute to cut. It will take 25 seconds to find the correct key blank, 5 seconds to cut and another 5-15 seconds to prepare the key. Usually, the most amount of time taken is to find the correct key blank.

Mortice and “Chubb” keys ( larger )
Cutting a Mortice (lever), often referred to as “Chubb” keys ( larger keys ), needs different machines, and it is also difficult to find the correct blank for this type of key. So cutting this key will usually take up to 5 minutes or longer.

Safe keys
These keys are difficult to cut and sometimes require cutting the finish by hand. So it usually takes up to 20-25 minutes to cut a standard safe key. If these keys are double-bitted, then it will take even longer.