Can a Locksmith Make a Key from a Lock? If So, How?

Can a Locksmith Make a Key from a Lock? If So, How?

There are a lot of myths about locksmithing out there. One of the most common is that a locksmith can create a key from a lock. This is something we can do, but it's not as simple as some people think!

In this blog post, we will discuss how a locksmith can make a key from a lock and what you need to know if you ever find yourself in this situation. So, let's get started!

What is a Locksmith?

A locksmith is a professional who specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of locks and security systems. Locksmiths are often called upon to provide emergency services when people are locked out of their homes or businesses. They may also be called upon to install new locks or repair existing ones.

Locksmiths use a variety of tools to perform their job. These tools include screwdrivers, picks, wrenches, and files. Locksmiths also use a device called an impression tool. This tool is used to make an imprint of a key that can be used to create a new key.

What Exactly Does a Locksmith Do?

Locksmiths are skilled tradesmen who install, repair, and maintain locks and other security devices. In addition to traditional locksmithing, many now offer electronic security solutions, such as keyless entry and access control systems. While most locksmiths work in the commercial sector, there is also a growing demand for residential locksmiths.

Their services are often required in emergency situations, such as when a home or business owner is locked out of their property. A locksmith will use special tools to pick the lock and gain entry in these cases. However, locksmiths can also make keys for locks and existing duplicate keys.

Their expertise in installing and repairing conventional security hardware and lock sets allows them to work in residential, commercial, and industrial settings that require varying levels of physical security to prevent unauthorized entry. For some high-end locks, key code cards or other proprietary devices may be required to create duplicate keys, which a locksmith can usually provide.

How Can a Locksmith Make a Key from a Lock?

A locksmith can make a key from a lock in several ways. Here are a few methods they may use:

Method #01 - Cutting new keys according to the code

Cutting new keys according to the code is the most common way that locksmiths make keys from locks. The first thing a locksmith will need is the lock's manufacturer information. With this information, they can order a key blank that will fit your lock. Once the key is blank, they'll use a code-cutting machine to cut your new keys.

There are two kinds of codes: blind key and direct digit codes.

  1. Blind key codes - A blind key code is a set of numbers corresponding to the depths of each cut on the key. Locksmiths use a depth gauge to measure the cuts on your lock, then cut the new keys to match those measurements. It is complicated, but it is the most accurate way to make a key from a lock.

  2. Direct digit code - A direct digit code is less precise but much easier to use. With this method, the locksmith will take your lock apart and measure the distance between each cut. They'll then use a code chart to find the corresponding code for your lock. Once they have the code, they'll input it into a key-cutting machine and cut your new keys.

Method #02 - Impressioning a lock

If a key is not available for the lock, a locksmith can try to make one using a process called impressioning. This method works best on pin tumblers and wafer locks. Impressioning is the process of marking a key blank with the pin locations inside the lock cylinder. This may be difficult for beginners, but it should only take 10 to 15 minutes once mastered. The process can be divided into three steps:

  1. Finding the pin depths - The first step is finding each pin's depth inside the lock cylinder. This can be done by inserting a blank key into the lock and then using a feeler gauge to measure the space between the pins and the shear line. The measurements should be taken at the shear line, which is where the pins align when the correct key is inserted.

  2. Making the impression - Once the measurement has been taken, new key blanks can be cut to those depths. This will create an impression of the pin locations on the blank key. The next step is to insert this new key into the lock and turn it until it binds. At this point, the key blank should be removed, and a pencil can be used to mark the binding pins.

  3. Decoding the impression - The last step is decoding the impression the binding pins made. This can be done by inserting each pin into its corresponding slot in a decoding key. The decoding key will have a series of different-sized pins that can be inserted into the lock to find the correct pin depths. Once the correct depths have been found, a new spare key or duplicate key can be cut and should work in the lock.

Impressioning is a great way to make a key if you do not have the original key. It is important to note that this method will not work on all locks, but it is worth a try if you are in a bind.

Method #03 - Disassembling the lock

If all other methods fail, a locksmith can always disassemble the lock to make a key. However, this should only be done as a last resort because it will likely damage the lock. Disassembling the lock is a complex process that requires special tools and knowledge. Leaving this method to automotive locksmith services is best to prevent damaging the lock. Here's a brief overview of how it's done:

  1. Remove the lock from the door - The first step is to remove the lock from the door. This can be done by unscrewing the screws that hold it in place.

  2. Disassemble the lock - Once the lock is removed, a locksmith will need to disassemble it to access the keyway. This is done by carefully taking apart the lock components.

  3. Make a key from the lock - Once the keyway is exposed, a locksmith can make a key from the lock. This is done by using a blank key and tracing the cuts in the keyway.

  4. Reassemble the lock - After the new key has been made, the lock needs to be reassembled. This is done by carefully putting all the components back together.

  5. Screw the lock back into place - The last step is to screw the lock back into place. This will secure the lock and prevent it from coming apart again.

As you can see, making a key from a lock is not an easy task. It requires special tools and knowledge to do it correctly. That's why it's always best to call a locksmith if you need a new key.

How Much Does it Cost to Have a Key Made by a Locksmith?

The cost of having a key made by a locksmith can vary depending on the type of key you need and the complexity of the design. Simple keys, like those for a house or car, can be made for as little as $20. More complex keys, like those used for safes or electronic locks, can cost up to $400. If you need a key made in an emergency, expect to pay up to a 50% premium.

When you're looking for a locksmith, be sure to ask about their prices and whether or not they charge extra for emergency services. You should also ask about other fees, such as mileage or service charges. Be sure to get a written estimate before you have any work done.

What Are Some Tips for Choosing the Right Locksmith?

You've probably heard the saying, "a locksmith can make a key from a lock." But what does that actually mean? Can any locksmith do it? How do they do it?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a locksmith:

  • Make sure the locksmith is licensed and insured.

  • Ask for references or customer testimonials.

  • Inquire about the locksmith's experience and training.

  • Get an estimate in writing before work begins.

If you're ever in a bind and need a locksmith, keep these tips in mind to ensure you're getting the best possible service. Do your research ahead of time to know who to call and what to expect. And always get an estimate in writing before work begins. With a little preparation, you can rest assured knowing you're in good hands.


So, can a locksmith make a key from a lock? The answer is yes! While it may not be the simplest process, it is certainly possible for a skilled locksmith to create a new key from an existing lock. If you find yourself in need of a new key, give Locksmith New Jersey a call today! We would be more than happy to help you out.