Maybe your house key broke off in the lock, or you accidentally tossed your car keys out with the trash—however you got there, you suddenly need a new key, and don’t have the original to make a copy. No problem. With the help of a skilled locksmith, there are a couple ways we can have your doors open in no time.

Creating a key from your lock's code.

The first method is called “coding” your lock. Most locks for your home are produced with a “code,” which your locksmith can get either from the lock’s original paperwork or through the manufacturer. The code can only be translated by a professional locksmith—for security purposes, you can’t just look it up—and it tells your locksmith the exact length and depth of your key’s notches, so he can make a fresh new key.

This can also be done with car keys! Just find the VIN number on the inside of your vehicle’s door. Your locksmith can then contact the dealer for the code and make a new key.

Creating a key from your lock's pin impressions.

If coding isn’t an option for your lock, you’re not out of luck! A very skilled locksmith can make a new key by creating an “impression” of your lock, using a blank key, a keen eye, and plenty of patience.

Your lock is made of a cylinder with a series of pins that drop into it and hold it in one place. All the pins are unique lengths, and only the correct key can line them up at the edge of the cylinder, so it can turn and open your door.

To make a new key, a locksmith can take a blank—one that doesn’t have any grooves in it yet—and insert it into your lock, to see where the pins make an impression on the smooth edge. They do this using specialized magnification, and a unique coating on the key, to show the impression better. The locksmith then starts to cut grooves in the parts of the key that shows a mark. They do this over and over until eventually, they create the correct shape of your key.

Did you lose or break your key in the Tampa Bay area? Need a new key made? Give us a call at (813) 545-5462 and we’ll get your locks open in no time.