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Key Systems and Duplication

Lock and Key Services in Lubbock

Lubbock Lock & Key provides key systems and duplication services in Lubbock. We can duplicate keys, repair locks, and fit keys to existing locks.

Key Duplication

Lubbock Lock & Key, Inc. provides professional key duplication by trained locksmiths, not just key cutters. Whether it is a simple Kwikset key or any of the hundreds of other key patterns we know what to look for when duplicating keys that work. We know that you don’t want to waste your time driving all over town to get a key cut just to find out it doesn’t work when you need it.

We maintain our own key machines and we check them frequently for accuracy. Sometimes just getting your key cut on the right blank is a challenge when an inexperienced clerk at a hardware store is given the responsibility. Lubbock Lock & Key, Inc. prides itself on doing the best and most accurate job possible when duplicating your keys.

Lubbock Lock and Key offers a moneyback warranty on all keys duplicated in the shop in rare cases where the key won’t work and we can’t make it work.

Key duplication is not the same as fitting a first key or generating a key to a lock that doesn’t have a key. Don’t confuse key generation with generations of keys. Different generations of key soccur when you duplicate a key off of another previously duplicated key. This is akin to cutting six inches off of a 12 foot board, then using that 6” piece as a guide to cut the next 6” piece and so on. The last piece you cut will be the 24th generation of the original and won’t be very close to 6”. The same thing happens when duplicating off of another dupicate.

For best results in key duplication, you should always use the most original key you have for the sample.

Key Generation (Fitting a first key to a lock)

Fitting a first key to a lock that has no keys is not the same as duplicating a key. In order to duplicate a key, you must first have a working key to the lock. If all keys have been lost, you must fit a first key before you can duplicate it. There are several ways a professional locksmith uses to fit a first key:

  • Key by code – this is often a possibility if a lock has a code number stamped on it. We may be able to research the code and come up with the proper blank and configuration of the cuts. One problem with this approach is that often there are several to dozens of answers to the code in question because different manufacturers sometimes use the same codes.
  • Key by impression – This is a method of fitting a key to a lock by inserting the proper blank key in the keyway and manipulating it in order to make marks on the blank where the cuts need to be and filing the key in those areas until the key turns the lock.
  • Key by sight reading – A skilled locksmith is able to look into the lock with a scope and decipher the cuts in order to make a working key. Sometimes the lock has to be picked first and other types of locks can be read without picking.
  • Key by disassembly – This method requires the locksmith to disassemble the lock and decipher the cuts by looking at the tumblers.
  • Key by progression – Often, lock manufacturers have certain rules that they follow which allows us to cut part of the key from various known cuts and progress the cuts not known until the lock opens.
  • Key by picking – Certain types of locks can be picked with a special tool and then the cuts can be discovered by reading the depths on the pick.

These are a few of the methods that we use to fit first keys when no working key is available. In the case of newer automotive keys, this is only the first step because after the key is made (on the proper transponder blank) then we have to program the key to the vehicle which can be quite a process in its own right. Once a key has been properly fitted to the lock, you can make as many duplicates as you wish.

Rekeying of Locks

When you have lost control of your keys through loss, theft or just the fact that too many people have the key to your property, you might want to consider rekeying the existing locks. This is done using the existing hardware and disassembling the lock to replace or rearrange the tumblers in the lock to make the old key ineffective and useless in opening the newly keyed lock. This is usually less expensive than replacing the hardware with new locks and is something locksmiths do every day. It is quite effective in preventing a lost key from opening your lock.

Rekeying is not the same as duplicating your old key or simply fitting a first key to an old lock. In these cases, any old keys that anyone has will still be able to open the lock.

Locks can be rekeyed by us at your location or if you are able to remove the locks and bring them into the shop you can save approximately half the cost of the rekeying compared to us coming to you.

There are a couple of things to remember if you do decide to bring your locks in for rekeying:

  • Be sure that you don’t remove all your locks and leave the location unattended since it is possible for someone to enter your property while you are gone.
  • Also be sure and bring the existing key with you if you have it because that makes the process simpler, quicker and less expensive than if we have to “pick” each lock for disassembly.

Key Control Systems

Key control involves two main areas, key duplication control and keying system information management. In order to safeguard your security investment you need to protect your facility with prudent key control measures.

Restricted key systems can eliminate unauthorized duplication. There are several manufacturers that offer high security keying systems which are designed to reduce, and in some cases eliminate unauthorized key duplication. These programs allow the property owner to insure themselves that unauthorized keys are not being made or distributed. While anyone can stamp “do not duplicate” on a key, most of the time these keys are freely duplicated by a variety of unscrupulous (or un-informed) sources. Truly restricted systems do not rely on the honesty of the key machine operator, instead they patent their keys and only make the blanks available through factory authorized sources. All of the keys and key blanks are registered giving the property owner the highest degree of security possible.

At Lubbock Lock & Key, Inc. we have several restricted keyway systems available from a variety of manufacturers. Key blanks for these systems are only available by contract with the individual manufacturers. These systems can give you the security of registration of your system and the knowledge that the only duplicate keys that will ever be made will be authorized by you.

Information management makes it easy to track system activity. A well designed and implemented security system involves more than locking hardware and restricted keyways. A good security plan includes an organized recording and filing plan which makes available complete information on all locks, lock locations, keys and personnel concerned. Lubbock Lock & Key, Inc. can help you recover or maintain your key control with either a manual card system or a computerized key control database. These systems will help you effectively maintain your key control records.

Masterkey Systems

Masterkey systems should give you security and control. If both these objectives cannot be met by your system, it will not continue to function. What you will end up with is a box of keys and a vulnerable property. Lubbock Lock & Key, Inc. will assist you in designing a system that will allow you to meet the demands of security and control.

A well designed masterkey system is most effective when it is organized into a formal locking system. The development of a schematic plan, based on your organizational chart, physical layout of your facility, and an analysis of operational patterns, allows for a systematic approach to solving your masterkey requirements.

Inexperience can destroy your system. There are a lot of people who will offer to work on your masterkey system, however, there are some serious considerations you should make before assigning someone this task. If your system is set up incorrectly by an inexperienced technician you could have some very serious problems.

Every masterkeyed lock has at least two or three “pins” in each chamber of the cylinder. In any given masterkey system mathematical combinations make it possible for many different keys to fit in each combination setup. This very simply means that if the property is masterkeyed incorrectly the key that fits one door may also work in one or more other (unintended) doors as well.

Computerized masterkey systems eliminate ghost keying. When keys fit locks they shouldn’t, that is known as ghost keying. At Lubbock Lock & Key, Inc. we utilize the latest computerized masterkeying software to set up and verify the integrity of every system we design. The masterkeying programs mathematically check the code to eliminate the chance of crossover or ghost keying.