The Best Place to Get Spare Keys Cut to Avoid Key Cutting Problems

key cutting

Many people think it is ok to get a spare key cut just anywhere but that is not the case. When you are looking for a local key cutting company it is important to choose a professional locksmith who cuts high quality keys. Choosing the best local key cutting shop could save you time and money.

Top Tip – when you change your locks retain an original key just for the purpose of key duplication to ensure precision. A copy from a copy is just not the same.

The 5 Most Common Questions About Spare Key Cutting

In this post we will answer the 5 most commonly asked questions about getting a spare key copy cut to help you choose the best key cutters nearby;

  1. Where to get keys duplicated?
  2. How much does it cost to get keys cut?
  3. How long it takes to cut a key?
  4. Can you get security keys be copied?
  5. Can I cut a key without a key or when my key is broken?
key duplication
Image Courtesy of Linus Boham

1) Where To Get Keys Cut?

Where can I get a key duplicated is a common search question for those who have broken or lost keys or need keys duplicated as spares. Do you know what you need to watch out for when choosing where to have keys copied?

There are many places you can get a key cut and trust me the quality ranges from high to terrible! As an MLA approved locksmiths I attend many jobs caused by cheap key cutting problems.

Reliable Key Cutting Near Me – Where to Duplicate Keys?

Most people don’t know where to duplicate keys and the importance of choosing a specialist duplicate key maker to cut a duplicate house key.

As MLA mobile locksmiths we cut standard keys for our customers when locks are installed and offer high security key cutting online. We don’t provide a walk in key cutting service on the highstreet and therefore our advice on while you wait key duplication is impartial.

As MLA approved professional locksmiths we advise you that if you search for your local professional key cutting company here it could save you money and significant inconvenience.

MLA logo

Cheap Keys Cut While You Wait – Where To Get a Key Copied and Where to Avoid?

There are many places on the local high street that cut keys;

  • Shoe repairers
  • Laundrettes
  • Hardware shops
  • Supermarkets
  • Locksmiths
  • MLA Approved Locksmiths

You may be able to get duplicate house keys cut in the likes of B&Q, ASDA or Home Depot however I strongly advise you to choose your local MLA Approved locksmith for key cutting to avoid costly and inconvenient problems.

What to Avoid When Getting Keys Cut

By choosing a professional key cutting specialist to duplicate keys you can avoid;

  • Cheap and nasty key blanks that snap easily
  • Poorly cut keys that can damage your lock
  • Calling a locksmith because your key is stuck or broken in your lock
  • Return visits to the key cutting shop to get keys cut again

How to Choose the Best Key Cutting Company?

There are 3 musts when getting a key duplicated;

  1. A specialist professional locksmith with skills and training
  2. High quality key blanks
  3. High quality machinery (read about this below) used by an experienced operator

These factors make all the difference when it comes to getting high quality key cutting which is excellent value for money.

How is a Key Cut? Key Duplication Explained

Key can be cut in a number of ways;

  • Hand cut – this requires significant skill, is time consuming and the least common method
  • Mechanical machine – this requires a certain amount of skill and the precision of the key cut can vary depending on the experience of the individual using the machine.
  • Digital machine – these are very precise and expensive! They are most likely to be used by a specialist locksmith

Keys are cut on blanks and as I mentioned earlier the quality of the blanks used is of the utmost importance! Cheap blanks used by many highstreet key cutters can result in significant issues.

You can read more about How Cheap Key Cutting Could Cost You More Than You Had Realised.

key cutting machine

2) How much does it cost to get a key cut in the UK?

Where can I get keys duplicated at the best price? The cost of good quality key cutting depends on the type of key you need cut. These are approximate key cutting costs;

  • Basic Yale keys from £4
  • Chubb key and mortice keys from £5
  • Safe keys from £15
  • High security keys from £12

For further information on key cutting costs click here for the Master Locksmiths Associations Key Cutting Price List.

3) How Long Does it Take To Cut a Key

Cutting a key is relatively quick depending on the types of keys you need cut.

  • Yale and chubb keys and high security keys can but cut quickly while you wait within 5 minutes.
  • Safe keys could take around 25 minutes to cut.

If you do need to order high security keys online we despatch orders within 48 hours and they can be sent special delivery to arrive the following day via our online high security key cutting shop.

4) Can you get security keys cut?

You will need to find a dealer for the particular brand of high security keys. High security keys require specialist machines and can only be duplicated by an approved dealer. This could be a local highstreet locksmith or it could be a company providing high security key cutting online.

Mul-T-lock integrator

High Security Online Key Cutting

At IKS locksmiths we provide high security key cutting online for Mul-T-Lock and Brisant high security keys. It is important to choose an online key duplication company with care. I suggest searching through the MLA website for an approved dealer. Read here for advice on online high security key cutting.

There are a number of high security types of keys ;

mul-t-lock high security locks

Are there keys that cannot be duplicated?

High security or restricted keys make it more difficult for just anyone to make a copy of a key. Some keys require a code to be supplied such as the Mu-T-Lock Garrison. For others like the Mul-T-Lock Integrator a code and the card need to be produced before the key can be cut. Different high security keys provide varying levels of security.

The security is determined by how difficult it is for someone to cut a key that doesn’t belong to them. You can read more about the advantages of high security keys here.

5) How do I cut a key without a key or when a key is broken?

As per my Top Tip at the start of the post it is best to keep one original key, that you got with the lock when new, safely hidden away just for the purpose cutting duplicate keys.

Can a key be cut without the original?

When it comes to lost key replacement you will find that if you cut a duplicate key from another duplicate that the quality will deteriorate with each copy made. The original key will provide the most precisely cut key.

If you haven’t got the original key a professional locksmith will advise you on the best way forward.

If you have lost keys and your security is compromised it is advisable to change your locks.

Can I get a key copy cut without a key?

Yes an experienced professional locksmith can cut a key to fit a lock by hand however it is not always the most economical option for the customer. It could prove to be less time consuming and cheaper to change the lock. It really depends on the individual situation.

Can you cut a key that has snapped?

You can read here about copying a broken key. It is not usually worthwhile to duplicate a broken key and in most cases it is most economical to change the lock.

You can also read about here about how to get a broken key out of a lock. It may be possible to remove a broken key from a lock yourself however it is most likely you will need to call a locksmith. Read here for our guide on How to Choose a Locksmith.

These 2 points on snapped keys further highlight the importance of choosing high quality key cutting.

broken key
Main Image Courtesy of Alex Roberts

Key Cutting Advice in Summary

We have explained the problems that can arise from bad key cutting. Choosing your local MLA approved high street locksmith for key cutting guarantees high quality key blanks and key cutting skills.

I hope you have found this information useful. You can read here to find out about the importance of protecting your keys. If you would like to share your key cutting experiences please comment below.

If you need a professional locksmith in London or Hertfordshire contact us.

How can we help you?

For professional security advice and information call to speak directly to Martin, our Master Locksmith and security specialist.

Main image courtesy of Jay Gooby via Flicker.

This post was updated in September 2020.


6 Replies to “The Best Place to Get Spare Keys Cut to Avoid Key Cutting Problems”

  1. Hi I have had 4 sets of keys cut for my front door in the last week, each set don’t fit, they can open from the outside but not from the inside and some won’t even go in, can you please advise

    1. Thank you for your comment. It is important to cut from the original key if possible and to use a qualified locksmith as opposed to a key cutting shop. The standards really do vary. I do hope you have success with getting some high quality keys cut by an experienced locksmith. Check https://www.locksmiths.co.uk/ for your nearest MLA approved locksmith.

    1. It would be the key(s) provided when the lock was originally installed or changed. It’s a good idea to label these keys as originals.

    1. Thanks for you question. A poorly cut key can damage a lock over a long period of time, however any key can damage a lock over a long period of time, not just a poorly cut key.

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