The simple answer is yes, it is indeed possible for a professional locksmith to create a key for a standard lock. But it’s a slightly complex process that gets even more complicated when higher security lock models are involved, so it also depends on the locksmithing experience and skill of the locksmith.
One thing that people should know about this technique is that it’s not all the time that locksmiths need to apply it in the field because it’s only a viable solution when the original key is non-functional or worn down to the point that making a duplicate with it is not remotely possible. It’s basically the last resort for when a customer has an urgent key making need.
When using a locking system to make a key, there are several ways that a professional locksmith can do it successfully. But the exact process that a locksmith will use depends on the type of key and lock. Here’s a quick rundown of each process:
- Using the Lock’s Code
Most lock types have a key code that a locksmith can refer to when making a key. It is considered the easiest way to make a key from a lock. However, a locksmith will not be able to perform this technique, especially in cases where the key code is stamped on the original key, or when it involves working on high-security locks that have key code cards instead of key codes. But with access to a lock’s bitting code, a professional locksmith can easily fashion a key for it.
- Impressioning the Lock
Considered as the most efficient process, impressioning a lock is more of a direct approach to making keys that doesn’t require the locksmith to decode the lock or disassemble the lock cylinder. In this process, the locksmith inserts a key blank into the lock and turns the blank until the pins within the lock cylinder are binding. The locksmith will have to repeat this step several times in order to match the amount of pins that are normally found within a lock. Once this step is complete and all the necessary marks have been accounted for, the locksmith will be able to fashion a working key out of it.
- Disassembling the Lock
When all else fails, like when it’s not possible to use the lock’s code or when the impression attempt is unsuccessful, a locksmith will resort to disassembling the lock. This process is the last resort of most locksmiths due to the amount of skill and effort required to do it. In this technique, the locksmith will deconstruct the lock cylinder in a non-destructive way and attempt to reverse engineer the bitting for the key from the pins inside the lock cylinder. Once disassembled, the locksmith will be able to fashion a working key based on the measurements of the pins and other internal components of the lock cylinder.