As a locksmith with years of experience, I have encountered countless situations where people have found themselves locked out of their homes or cars. It's a common occurrence that can happen to anyone, and it can be quite frustrating. One of the most common questions I get asked is, 'How much does it cost to make a key from a lock?'The answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might think. The cost of making a key from a lock depends on various factors, such as the type of lock, the time of day, and the complexity of the key.
In this article, I will break down the different costs associated with making a key from a lock and provide some tips on how to save money in the process.
The Type of LockIf your vehicle was manufactured before 1999, chances are you don't need a chipped transponder key. In this case, you can easily get a new key made at your local hardware store or home improvement store. For example, Home Depot offers key duplication services for cabinet locks, padlocks, and even simple keys for old locks. However, if your car uses a chipped transponder key, you will need to go to a specialized locksmith. When it comes to changing door locks in your home, hiring a locksmith during peak hours (morning and night) will cost more than during the slowest times of the day.
This is because locksmiths charge higher rates for emergency services. So if you can wait until regular business hours, you can save some money on the service call.
The Complexity of the KeyAnother factor that affects the cost of making a key from a lock is the complexity of the key. Basic keys, such as those used in padlocks and old locks, can be easily duplicated at a hardware store. However, if you have a higher-security lock that requires a more complicated key, it's best to hire a locksmith who is trained in dealing with these types of keys. Some locksmiths offer discounts for specific services, such as key removal or installation of multiple locks.
So it's always worth asking if there are any special offers available. Additionally, some locksmiths offer discounts for certain groups, such as military personnel, seniors, or new customers. Taking advantage of these discounts can help you save some money on the overall cost.
Lost KeysIf you have lost your original key and don't have a spare, you will need to either decode the lock yourself or hire a locksmith to do it for you. Home Depot offers key duplication services for a wide variety of household locks, including exterior door locks and padlocks.
However, if you have lost your car key with a transponder chip, you will need to go to a specialized locksmith who can program the key for you. It's always a good idea to have a spare key in case you lose your primary one. Home Depot offers cheaper keys without transponder chips that can serve as an excellent backup in case of emergencies. These keys work by inserting an RFID chip into the head of the key, which is assigned a unique code. So if you ever lose your more expensive chipped key, you can use the cheaper one as a template for a new one.
Changing LocksIf you have recently moved into a new house or apartment, it's always a good idea to change the locks.
This ensures that no one else has access to your home. Home Depot offers key duplication services for a wide variety of household locks, making it convenient to get new keys made. However, if you have several keys for each entry, it may be time to change the locks altogether. Some key cutting machines use lasers to cut keys with great precision, which is necessary for more precise keys used in higher-security locks. So if you need more precise keys, it's best to go to a specialized locksmith who has the necessary equipment.
ConclusionIn conclusion, the cost of making a key from a lock depends on various factors such as the type of lock, the time of day, and the complexity of the key.
While Home Depot offers key duplication services for basic keys, it's best to go to a specialized locksmith for more complicated keys. By understanding these factors and taking advantage of discounts and offers, you can save some money on the overall cost. As a locksmith, I always recommend having spare keys and changing locks when necessary to ensure the safety and security of your home or vehicle.