How to Tell If You Have a Bad Key Copy: Tips from a Key Maker in Toledo, OH

March 8, 2018 9:54 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s an unfortunately frequent problem: you go to a big box store to get a copy made of your house keys, but find that the key you bring home doesn’t actually work—or at least, it doesn’t work well.

There are some ways you can tell if you have a bad key copy before you even leave the store. Here are some tips from a key maker in Toledo, OH about how you can tell if you have a bad key copy, and also some reasons you should instead go to a professional key maker for your duplication needs:

  • Hold the keys up next to each other: Press the keys to each other, side by side. If the copied key does not match up with the other, including the grooves and shoulders, then it will not work as it is supposed to and you should immediately ask for a replacement.
  • Determine if you have the correct key blank: Most basic keys have numbers on either the shoulder or front head. House key blanks should have the labels SC-1 or KW-1. If one of these labels is not present on the key, there’s a good chance the copy wasn’t made with the correct key blank.
  • Confirm that the key is capable of being copied: There are certain keys that regular locksmiths cannot copy, such as college dorm keys or apartment keys. These require special blanks that the store might not even have. This would explain why your key could not be copied.
  • Make sure you’ve told them the right make and model of car: If it is a car key you are looking to have copied, you should make sure you tell the person making the key the correct make and model of the vehicle. Otherwise, it can be easy for them to make a mistake if they don’t have all of the correct information. Regular key blanks will likely not work your car doors or ignition.
  • Make sure you get a person whose job it is to make the keys: If you go to a big box store, you might not know who is responsible for actually making the keys. Some store clerks have not been trained in using the key making equipment, and you yourself might notice the clerk is not confident in his or her work.
  • Check the original key for signs of wear: If the original key has become extremely worn down over many years of use, it might not be capable of being copied correctly. This means you’ll either need to have an original key made, or change the locks and copy the new keys you get for the new locks.
  • Only copy originals: Copies of copies are going to be less accurate than copies of originals. Several generations of copies can lead to the key failing to work properly.

For more information about why you should work with a professional key maker in Toledo, OH, contact Toledo Lock & Key LLC today.

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