Can You Fix a Broken key? Can You Copy a Broken Key? We Give You The Answers

“Can You Fix a Broken Key?” “Can You Copy a Broken Key?” As an MLA Approved London Locksmith and I am asked these questions on a regular basis!

This post is a follow on from my last post which explains How to Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock. If you have managed to get a broken key out of your lock, you may now be thinking along the lines of broken key repair or wondering can you get a key cut from a broken key? In this post we answer both those questions. After reading this you should be able to decide the most time and cost-effective way forward for your circumstances.

How to Repair a Broken Key

If someone contacted me to ask me to repair a snapped key, I would advise them that it is not usually a productive route to go down. Of course, anything is possible but there are 2 reasons I would advise not to repair a key;

  • A repaired key will never be as good and reliable as an original key!
  • Anyway, it isn’t a cheap option short or long-term! The time and effort it would take to repair a broken key could not be justified when you consider the benefits of the other options.

Can You Make a Copy of a Broken Key? What are the Options?

Option 1 – Cut a copy from a broken key

I would generally only advise this if you have a high security key, however it may be a good short term solution.

key cutting
Image Courtesy of Jay Gooby

Broken key cutting may not be an option for you. It will all depend on the type of key or the damage done to your key. When asked can you cut a broken key? I ask the customer the following questions;

What type of key is it?

If the broken key is a high security key it is no problem as many high security keys are cut to a code. There are so many advantages to choosing high security keys which you can read about here. Mul-t-lock keys and other high security key brands can be ordered through our online key cutting shop.

Other brands key cutting

If it is a standard key it will depend on where the break is. Which would lead me to my next question…

Where is the break?

If the break is at the base and all the cuts in the key are attached, it may be possible (unlike the key below). However, this option could turn out to be a false economy if you get a poor copy cut. You can read my advice on getting keys cut here.

broken key
Main Image Courtesy of Alex Roberts

If you do choose to get a basic key cut form a broken key keep these pointers in mind;

Ideally get keys cut by an experienced locksmith as a heel bar may not have the same expertise. Find a retail-based locksmith for key cutting, preferably one that is MLA approved. Key cutting requires some skill for accuracy.

It is always advisable to cut a key from the original key that came with the lock when it was new. I always advise keeping the original key labelled and tucked away for getting copies cut from. Cutting from a copy can produce an inferior key and can cause great inconvenience.

Option 2 – Change the lock

This is the option I would recommend for a basic key which is not high security.

This option may cost a bit more upfront but means you will have a new lock and set of original keys from which to cut copies.

Yale lock

With this option it will be less likely that you will have to call a locksmith to sort out further issues with the lock. Any lock has a certain life span. If you are looking for longevity from a lock this is the most cost-effective option in the long run, especially if your original lock is old.

So, in summary, can a broken key be copied? Yes! Is it worth cutting a broken key? Not usually! Not unless the key is a high security key that is cut to code.

I hope this has helped to clarify what to do if you have a broken key! If you and in London and would like advice on what to do about a broken key or anything security related give me a call on;

I would be happy to help you come up with a cost-effective security solution.

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