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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Residential Key Cutting — 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t DIY

DIY key cutting is a valuable skill to learn. It’ll save you lots of money in the long run, but there are quite a few reasons why you should maybe leave this one to the pros. The learning process can be pretty frustrating, thanks to a high error rate. Key cutting doesn’t allow a comfortable margin of error, so you make one mistake, and you might have to start with another blank key from step 1.

Here are four reasons why you should save yourself the trouble and go to a trusted locksmith for your key cutting needs!

1. High Error Rate

Key cutting is quite a technical task and requires lots of attention to detail. Even the slightest mistakes can render a key useless. Your chances of success are even worse if you’ve lost the original key and all you’ve got to copy is a duplicate. Copying a duplicate to cut a new functional copy isn’t easy for key-cutting beginners. However, locksmiths are experienced enough to cut keys using only copies.

Unlike DIYers, professional locksmiths have access to various tools that they can use to navigate different situations, such as not having access to the original key. One example is a code cutter, which tells them the lock’s key code depth. It allows them to determine the type of key that goes with it, what kind of blank to use, and how to cut it properly. A DIY key cutter wouldn’t know any of these intricate technicalities.

2. Professionals Are Quicker

Experienced locksmiths work much faster than any regular homeowner could. They’re quicker at understanding the situation, gathering the right tools and blanks, and executing the job. Hiring a professional, you can expect to get a copy in just a few minutes. Some locksmiths can complete basic household copies in under a minute!

Doing it by yourself could take hours — that too, with no guarantee of success. More complex keys can sometimes take DIYers days to copy, so going straight to a professional locksmith seems worth it!

3. Equipment Problems

Even if you’re using one of the best key cutting machines from CLK Supplies, hours’ worth of effort can end in errors. Sometimes, you could be doing everything right, but the device could simply be out of alignment, and that causes errors. Locksmiths can quickly realign the device, but without proper locksmith training, there’s no way to tell what’s going wrong in your process.

4. It’s Hard to Copy Worn Keys

It’s not easy to make a functional duplicate using an original key that’s significantly worn down. Day-to-day use can slowly deteriorate a key, which means the wear and tear would get copied onto the duplicate. Trained locksmiths are experienced enough to work their way around this problem, but a DIYer might fail.

Even if the original key is broken, locksmiths can use different tools to determine the key depth and create an exact copy that works just like the original one.


Instead of trying to cut your own keys to save a couple of bucks, it might be worth hiring a locksmith. You’ll get the job done a lot quicker, and you’ll save hours of your precious time!

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