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How to Make a Key for a Lock?

Should You Rekey or Change Lock

Do you ever feel like you’ve lost the key to your lock? Or may you have found yourself in an emergency lockout situation and wondered if you had a spare key on you. 

Don’t worry, you can easily create a new one!

Making a key for a lock is simpler than you think. With just a few supplies, a bit of time, and some patience, you can craft a custom-made key that fits your lock perfectly.

Get ready to unlock the secrets of key making and learn how to craft your own!

Gather Supplies

Gather the supplies you’ll need: a blank key, a file, and a lock.

To renew locks, you’ll need to duplicate the key in order to fit the lock. Begin by using the file to shape the key by filing down the grooves to the correct size and shape. 

Ensure that each groove is properly sized to fit the lock.

Once you have the grooves to the desired shape, use a cloth to polish the key so it slides easily into the lock.

Finally, check the key against the lock to make sure it fits correctly and the lock opens.

With the right supplies and a few simple steps, you can make a key for a lock and renew your locks with ease.

Cut Key Blank

Using a hacksaw, cut the key blank to the exact size and shape of the grooves.

Select a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the keyway of the lock.

Mark the spot on the key blank where the bit should be drilled.

Carefully drill the grooves into the key blank, then use a file to adjust the size and shape until it fits the grooves of the lock.

To make a copy of the key, use a key duplication machine or key code.

  • Measure the keyway of the lock
  • Select and use the correct drill bit
  • Carefully drill the grooves
  • Use a file to adjust the size and shape

Measure Lock Cylinder

To accurately make a key for a lock, you need to measure the lock cylinder. This is a crucial step and generally requires a special measuring tool, otherwise known as a key gauge.

Most locks have a standard cylinder size, but it’s important to confirm measurements before cutting the blank key. Replacing cylinders isn’t a difficult task, but it requires a key blank that matches the exact measurements of the locking mechanisms.

Once you have the right key blank, use the key gauge to measure the depth of the cylinder, the spacing between the pins, and the length of the cylinder. Be sure to take accurate measurements for each step, as a slightly off key blank won’t fit the lock.

File Key Blank

Now that you have the correct key blank, you’ll need to file it down to create the right shape. To ensure your security measures, use a file with a smooth, fine-toothed surface. Begin by lightly filing the sides of the key. 

Then, create the notches and grooves that will fit your lock. This process is key duplication. When you’re finished, you should have a key that will fit your lock perfectly.

Here’s a summary of the steps to file the key blank:

  • Lightly file the sides of the key
  • Create notches and grooves that will fit your lock
  • Follow security measures and use a smooth, fine-toothed file
  • Ensure key duplication by double-checking the key fits the lock

Test Key Fit

Next, test the key to make sure it fits the lock. Examine the security levels of the lock and compare brands to ensure a good fit.

Insert the key into the lock and turn it to the right. If the key works, it should turn freely and open the lock. Be sure to check the key from both sides, as some locks will have different key designs.

If the key gets stuck or won’t turn, it’s likely the wrong fit. If the key works, turn it back to the left and remove it from the lock. Test it multiple times to ensure a reliable fit.

Finally, check the depth of the key to make sure it isn’t too thick or thin. If it’s the wrong size, try a different key blank.

With the correct key, you should be able to open your lock with ease.


Making your own key for a lock instead of opting in for a lock rekeying job can be a rewarding experience. 

With the right tools and a little patience, you’ll soon be able to open any door.

‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ – you can do it! Just remember to always double-check your measurements and take your time filing the key blank.

With a bit of practice, you’ll be a master locksmith in no time! 

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