Duplicating house keys has become one of the most widely available services both for convenience and necessity. Though it checks the final box when moving into a new house, the service itself doesn’t exactly tell you what happens when you take a key to be cut. In case you’re curious about the process that underlies key cutting, you’ve come to the right place.
Getting the Correct House Key Type
Before cutting any key, it’s important to know the differences between the two major house key types that exist in the modern age – the SC1 and the KW1. Telling these two apart is crucial since they both have different shapes and are not interchangeable. Save yourself the headache of repeating this process twice and check out our handy blank key guide before you go!
When you take your house key to be cut, the person or machine cutting your key will tell you if your blank key doesn’t match. Assuming it does, the next step is loading it into the key cutting machine.
Using the Key Cutter
Key cutters have two different slots in them: one side where the pre-cut house key sits, and one side with a blank key ready to be cut. Once both keys are placed in their appropriate slots, the real action begins.
The existing house key advances along a guide that matches all the notches and crevices in each part of the key, while the blank key moves along a blade. The blade mirrors all of the movements that the guide picks up from the pre-cut key, and then simultaneously cuts these corresponding shapes and notches into the blank key.
At the end of the process, you’ve got a key duplicate that exactly matches your house key. This process can be repeated on a variety of different key types if the machine contains the correct parts.
Unfortunately, there’s always a chance that your house key was cut slightly off from its original shape. That’s why it’s important to give your key a test run before replacing it as your only key.
Ensuring Your House Key Fits
After having your house key cut, your first item of business is to make sure it works to open the intended door. There’s always room for error when cutting keys even though it’s rare, and you don’t want to make assumptions before coming home with no way inside.
Once you’re back home, test that your key fits in the correct lock and that it turns easily. If it does, you’re all set! However, you may need to make some adjustments if your key isn’t exactly easy to turn. You can always try spraying your lock with compressed air or lock lubricant if your old key is also having trouble.
Having ensured that your lock is well-oiled, and your old key still smoothly unlocks your door, it’s time for a trip back to where you got your key cut. Many places offer to re-cut your key as long as you’ve purchased it from them, so this should be a simple process.