Missoula Locksmith Services
Key duplication is an excellent way to share access with friends and family. It also provides peace of mind. However, it is important to make sure the duplicates are done right. This will help ensure they will work properly in the locks they are intended to fit. You should only make use of an established and reputable key duplication service.
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The first step in making a duplicate key is to choose a proper key blank. These are made from a material that will not wear out quickly and that will not dent easily. Traditionally, these keys are made from brass. Although brass is soft enough to be cut by a key machine, it is not ideal for locks. A good alternative is carbide steel, which is stronger and harder than nickel silver.
Key duplication can be done at home or in a locksmith’s office. If you choose to do it yourself, you’ll need to get your hands on an original key and some key cutting equipment. Depending on the type of key you need copied, the cost will vary.
The key is a flat piece of metal that fits into a vice in a machine. One side of the vice is fixed and the other is adjustable. Once the keys are inserted, the vice is closed so the keys are parallel to each other and the notch is aligned to the appropriate distance from the cutting wheel. With the proper alignment, the key is cut into a duplicate.
In the old days, a locksmith would use files and a file to make a copy. These days, a key duplicator is the most efficient method. Some machines even feature a laser eye that decodes the original key. Using this device, you can create five generations of copies.
A nifty little device called a “guide” is incorporated into the process to ensure that the key and blank are in the correct place. Essentially, the guide is a piece of steel or a ring that sits on top of the vice and is adjusted to ensure that the keys are in the right place.
While the simplest method involves a simple lever, the most sophisticated is a computer-controlled system that uses lasers to trace a key on the original. After that, a cutting wheel is energized and the duplicate is created.
There is a lot of equipment involved in making a key. Most key duplicators are highly accurate and can produce thousands of copies. However, these machines have limitations such as the depth of the notch. Unless you have access to a high-end machine, you will likely be left with a duplicate that is slightly off.
Key duplication may be an errand, but it can be a time-saver. Plus, it helps you avoid the inconvenience of switching locks or spending money on replacements. Whether you need a duplicate for a new car or a spare for the front door, it is possible to have new copies of your keys without having to break the bank.