I have been everywhere and can’t get this key made

I have been everywhere and can’t get this key made.

The one sentence we hear literally almost every day, sometimes more than once a day. Sometimes we even have a front end full of people all talking about their keys. If we have a regular customer there, they often assure “new” customers that if anyone can assist them with their key issue, we can.

There are two or three main reasons why you “went all over town” without success, trying to get your key made, aside from the rather obvious reason of coming to us first.

If you have attempted to get a key made at a big box store, such as Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, or even a hardware store & the key does not work in your lock, the keys are either already “off” or are being cut badly.

If you look at the key you are having trouble with and it says Access, Ace, Hillman, or has a TWO digit number on it like 67 then you have a key that has already been copied before. We will actually inform you when you bring a key such as above in to our store, that we do not guarantee the copies to work.

What it boils down to is, if you don’t have a non worn, original key to duplicate from, the only way to make you a good copy that you don’t have to “jiggle” to get to work, is by cutting it back to original form, which involves a different process of cutting than merely duplicating your key. Yes, it does cost more to do this, but it will fix your problem! Your call. We will offer the service to cut you a original key, it is just up to you to decide. I will note, the more you jiggle that key, the more likely you are to break your lock and get locked out!

They couldn’t find this key.

There are two main reasons for this. The main one is most people in hardware & big box simply can’t recognize your key. Keys have many, many groove patterns, shapes, and sizes. We stare at keys all day long. I’ve personally spent countless hours flipping through the same 400ish page book identifying keys, staring at grooves.

I have setup & organized key walls more than a few times, as well as scan it daily while either restocking or locating a customers key.

Key walls have approximately 3000 different keys on them. It only represents about 60% of our stock, with the rest being in bulk “faster moving” keys, backstock, design/color keys, as well as specialty & original manufacturer high volume keys.

Point to all that is there is a crapload of different keys out there. Your average hardware store only has, or sees the most popular. They simply don’t spend as much intimate time with keys as we do, therefore we are able to visually identify your keys most of the time!

The other reason a key might not be able to be made is because it is on a restricted level. We will let you know if this is the case, and you will most likely need to go back through whoever issued you that key to have another one made. Many people don’t like that answer, and take it upon themselves to keep driving all over to find the key, but if we let you know this is the case, then quite simply you are free to waste your time and gas trying to get it made. Because that’s all you will be doing.

So that is pretty much it. There are a handful of minor other reasons you might not be able to get a copy made, and it typically involves chinese $3 padlocks

Stan Jacobs
Locksmith Services Inc.
Seattle, Washington

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