What You Should Know About Key Cutting


Key duplication is one of our top services at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. Our key cutting service experts make thousands of duplicates throughout the year for our satisfied customers. However, we’ve found that some people don’t know much about key cutting itself, especially when it comes to DIY key cutting. We’re here to provide some facts about this process. Keep reading to learn more about duplicating keys.

Why make duplicate keys?

The main reason to have a duplicate key made is to ensure you always have a backup in case your first key gets misplaced. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to have a few duplicates made just to be extra cautious!

Another good reason to make spare keys is to have extras to give to significant others, kids or roommates. Of course, make sure whoever you give keys to is trustworthy.

Steps to take before cutting keys 

Thanks to new technology, key cutting can seem like a breeze, but it’s far from an easy process. These are a few of the things to keep in mind if you’re cutting your own keys:

  • Use the original: Using a duplicate key to make your copy isn’t ideal. Even the smallest flaws in a duplicate can render your new key useless. Instead, always use the original key to make your copy. Since originals can get lost, we recommend making a few copies right away.
  • Know the key you’re working on: The two main types of keys are regular keys and high-security keys. While you may be able to cut a regular key on your own, high-security key cutting is more complex and requires an authorization code to duplicate.
  • Make sure you have the correct blank: All blank keys aren’t created equal. If you’re trying to duplicate your own key, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct blank. Otherwise, your duplicate may not work.
  • Test the new key: Don’t assume that the duplicate key will work just because it looks identical to your original. We recommend testing your new key several times to ensure you won’t accidentally lock yourself out of the house.

Don’t try high-security key cutting by yourself!

While it is technically possible to duplicate your own keys, we never recommend it. These are a few reasons you should always bring your keys to a key cutting service:

  • Pros work faster: Don’t try copying a key yourself if you want your duplicate key right away. Key cutting professionals at your local hardware store can get the job done in a matter of minutes. Plus, you can trust they’ll get great results.
  • DIY-ers have a high error rate: Similar to home improvement projects, DIY-ers have a higher error rate when it comes to key cutting. This error rate only increases if the homeowner uses a copy (or a copy of a copy) to make a duplicate key. Don’t risk locking yourself out because you made a mistake while copying your key—just bring your key to a specialist.

Bring your keys to us

Whether you need a spare key for your house, office, storage unit or something else, our key cutting service can make an exact duplicate. Stop by Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. to see what we can do for you.