How Long Does It Take To Copy A Key

How Long Does It Take To Copy A Key?

Have you ever thought about how long it takes to copy a key? It might seem like a simple process, but there’s actually quite a bit involved. Whether you’ve misplaced your keys, need a spare one for a family member, or want to give one to your trustworthy neighbor, understanding the key duplication process can be quite useful. In this post, we’ll explore the time required to make a duplicate key and the factors that influence this duration.

The Basic Process of Key Duplication

Understanding the basic process of key duplication is essential to knowing the time it might take. The basic premise revolves around using the original key to form an identical match. The steps include securing the original key in a vise, placing a blank key in another vise within the same machine, and then letting the machine trace the original key’s notches to carve out an identical pattern on the blank key. Finally, there’s buffing and polishing to remove any sharp edges.

Duration of Copying Standard House Keys

Copying standard house keys is usually a swift process, thanks to their straightforward design and commonality. You can typically expect a standard house key duplication to take anywhere between 1-5 minutes. That said, this duration largely depends on the availability and efficiency of the machine used as well as the skill of the person operating it.

Duration of Copying High-Security Keys

High-security keys are more complex than standard keys and require more time for duplication. These keys might have unusual shapes or feature extra security elements, such as magnetic strips or electronic chips. Because of these unique features, copying high-security keys can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. In some cases, especially if programming is involved (like car keys), it can even take longer.

Role of the Key-Copying Professional

The person performing the key duplication also plays a significant role in determining how long the process will take. A seasoned locksmith or key-cutting professional, familiar with various types of keys and machines, will likely get your duplicate key ready faster than someone new to the job. So, if you’re in a rush, heading to a well-established locksmith might be your best bet.

Influence of the Key-Cutting Machine

Key-cutting machines come in various types and models. Some are manual, requiring human intervention to control the cutting mechanism, while others are automated and can operate without constant supervision. Generally, automated machines are faster and more accurate than manual ones. However, they are usually reserved for high-security or specialized keys due to their expensive nature. This means standard keys are often cut on manual machines which may take a bit longer.

DIY Key Duplication

If you’re a hands-on person, you might consider duplicating your own keys using a kit. While this can be a cost-effective method, it generally takes more time than having it done by a professional. It could take you anywhere between 15-30 minutes to copy a key by yourself if you have no prior experience. Plus, you need to factor in added time if you make mistakes or need multiple attempts.

Online and Remote Key Duplication Services

In today’s digital age, online and remote key duplication services are increasingly popular. You can scan your key and send it to the service provider, who will then create a copy for you. While this method eliminates the need for physical store visits, it does take longer – usually between 3-5 days for shipping and handling.

Key Copying

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of keys can be duplicated?

Most types of keys, including house keys, car keys, padlock keys, and high-security keys can be duplicated. However, the complexity of duplicating these keys varies.

Can a key with “Do Not Duplicate” be copied?

Yes, but it requires proper authorization. These keys are protected by law and can’t be copied without the owner’s consent.

Can car keys with chips be duplicated?

Yes. Car keys with chips can be duplicated, but the process is more complex and time-consuming as it involves programming the chip.

How much does key duplication cost?

The cost varies depending on the type of key, the complexity of the duplication process, and the service provider.

Are duplicate keys as good as original ones?

Yes, if done properly. A duplicate key should work just as well as the original one.

Can I duplicate a broken key?

It depends on the state of the broken key. If a majority of the key’s design is intact, it may still be possible to duplicate it.

Is there a limit to how many times a key can be duplicated?

No, there’s no limit. However, each duplication could potentially lose some accuracy and lead to a poorly functioning key over time.

Do locksmiths keep copies of keys they make?

No. For security reasons, professional locksmiths do not retain copies of keys they duplicate.

Can all locksmiths duplicate all types of keys?

No. Some locksmiths may not have the necessary equipment or experience to duplicate certain types of keys, especially high-security ones.

What is a transponder key?

A transponder key is a car key that has a transponder chip inside it. This chip communicates with the car’s ignition system to start the engine.

What is a skeleton key?

A skeleton key is a type of master key that can open many locks of the same type. They are typically used by locksmiths and are not widely available to the public.

Can safe keys be duplicated?

Yes. However, due to their complexity, duplicating safe keys usually requires a professional locksmith.

Why might a duplicated key not work?

If a duplicated key doesn’t work, it may be because the duplication process wasn’t accurate, the key blank used was of poor quality, or there’s an issue with the lock itself.

Do duplicate keys need to be reprogrammed?

No, unless they contain electronic components like chips for cars or high-security systems. In such cases, they need to be programmed to communicate with the specific system.

Is it illegal to duplicate someone else’s key without permission?

Yes, duplicating someone else’s key without their consent is generally considered illegal and unethical.

Key Insight

Duplicating a key is not just about creating an identical piece of metal – it’s about ensuring access, maintaining security, and providing peace of mind. Whether you’re dealing with standard house keys or high-security ones, understanding the process can help you make informed decisions. Remember to always use reputable services or professionals like Locksmith Plus Inc. for your key duplication needs to ensure quality and reliability. A well-made duplicate key should serve your needs just as effectively as the original.


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