Why Can’t I Get My Key Copied?

If you are having trouble getting your key copied at your preferred superstore or local hardware store it is probably because you have an I/C key, a locksmith-only key, a high security key, a DND key, an old key, or a key with an unusual bow. In this blog post I will discuss what each of these types of keys are and where you can go to get them copied.

1. I/C Key

In order to facilitate rapid lock rekeying some store and factory owners buy Interchangeable-Core cylinders. Best, Falcon, and Arrow, among others, all manufacture I/C cylinders for the North American market. The keys for these cylinders are sometimes difficult to get copied because they come in multiple profiles (or sections). Best keys, for example, come in more than two dozen different profiles. Distinguishing between these profiles is challenging and can best be done by a locksmith who specializes in installing and servicing I/C cylinders. So if your key operates an I/C cylinder, your best bet is to track down one of these locksmiths.

2. Locksmith-Only Key

In order to help control unauthorized key duplication property owners and business managers sometimes use what are called locksmith-only or restricted keys. There are at least three such keys on the market today: LSA by LSDA, MX10 by GMS, and HS by Hardware Agencies. These key blanks are only sold to locksmiths and security professionals registered with authorized dealers of security products and access control solutions like, for instance, the International Distribution Network. If you have an LSA, MX10, or HS key, you will have to locate a locksmith that is registered to sell the blanks for your restricted key.

3. High Security Key With An Open Keyway

Business managers and property owners that want pick, bump, and drill resistant locks, in addition to key control, sometimes buy high security locks that come with what are known as open keyways. Medeco‘s 00 keyway, CX5‘s ZOL keyway, and Schlage‘s Everest C123 keyway are all popular open keyways found in the field today. If your key operates a lock with one of these keyways, and you need more keys cut, you are best to contact the locksmith that installed it.

4. High Security Key With A Reserved Keyway

Manufactures of high security keys, like the ones mentioned above, also offer locks with what are called reserved keyways. Locks with reserved keyways, in addition to offering pick, bump, and drill resistance, offer the highest form of key control. The keys that operate these locks can only be cut by the locksmiths that install them, and only in those cases when the appropriate authorization credential is presented by the key holder. These keys are usually only used by people that work in large institutions, banks, and government departments.

5. DND Key

Key blank manufactures like Ilco and Klassen, for example, sell key blanks with the words “Do Not Duplicate” stamped on the bow (i.e head) of the key. This prevents your local key cutter, in theory at least, from copying your key for you. Usually the only way around this problem is to go to the locksmith that cut you the original key and hope that he remembers cutting it for you.

6. Key With An Unusual Bow

Key blank manufactures also sell key blanks with neutral or non-standard bows. The former is a generic, square-shaped bow with a logo or image painted on it, and the latter is a bow in the shape of a symbol or sign. These key heads make identifying key profiles difficult. So if you should take your key that has an odd bow to a novice key cutter, he may look at the bow, not recognize it, and assume that he does stock the blank for it. If this happens, you can either take your key to a more experienced key cutter or to your local lock shop.

7. Old Key

Finally, if you are having trouble having your key copied it may be because your key’s particular profile is no longer widely used. Blanks for Schlage‘s SC6 keyway, for example, are no longer available at building centres. To have this key copied you will have to go to a locksmith that keeps a selection of older key blanks in stock.

Though having a duplicate copy of your condo, house, or office key made can sometimes be a challenge, often retaining an experienced key cutter or a veteran locksmith is all that is required to get the job done.