How to Make a Simple Duplicate Key




Introduction: How to Make a Simple Duplicate Key

I show how to make a simple duplicate key that can be made from a plastic card, a tin can or any other similar material. This can be used as an emergency spare key. The first step is to use a lighter and clear tape to make an outline of the key with the exact dimensions of the original. The outline of the key is on the clear tape which can be transferred to a plastic card or the lid of a tin can. The key is then cut out as precise as possible and can be used to open the lock. It may be too flimsy to turn so you can use a small Flathead screwdriver or a lockpicking tension wrench to turn the key. On stiffer plastic you may have to bend the key to make it fit into the key-way better. It is very easy to make a duplicate key this way and can be done in a few minutes. Be careful to make the teeth of the key as accurate as possible so it does not get stuck in the key-way. Only open locks you own or have permission to open.

Lock picking is the art of unlocking a lock by analyzing and manipulating the components of the lock device without the original key. In addition, ideal lock picking should not damage the lock itself, allowing it to be re-keyed for later use, which is especially important with antique locks that would be impossible to replace if destructive entry methods were used. Although lock picking can be associated with criminal intent, it is an essential skill for a locksmith, and is often pursued by law abiding citizens as a useful skill to learn or simply a hobby.

Step 1: Materials

- Clear Tape

- Pliers

- Lighter

- Scissors and X-acto Knife

- Flathead Screwdriver or Lockpicking Tension Wrench

- Key to Duplicate

- Tin Can, Plastic Card, or Plastic Bottle

Step 2: Watch the Video

(The video may not show up for mobile viewers)



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    14 Discussions

    if you live in an appartment sometimes they won't let you get a duplicate key cut.

    And it would be nice to have an extra in the car or at work for when you lock yourself out.

    I'm definitely going to try this

    Interesting idea, but if I owned the key, I would probably just get a duplicate made.

    Despite the disclaimer about only opening locks that you have permission to open, the only time I can see this being useful is if I wanted to duplicate a key that I didn't own and could only access long enough to get the impression to copy later.

    3 replies

    It can be handy to keep a plastic "key" in your wallet in case you lose your key ring, or if you just don't use a key often enough to justify making your key ring even bulkier.

    I've had a few times when either no one is at the key cutting places, or they don't have the 'blanks' i need to cut my key. An example, I wanted a 'door only' key for my car. Since it's an electronic chip key to start the vehicle, many of the local places don't have it and refer me to the dealership, which wants $250 for a key, because of the electronics. I've had a few issues like this with keys I do legally own.

    Good point. Most of the hardware stores around here seem to have the appropriate blanks, but if not, then I guess you wouldn't have much choice. Yes, the dealer price for duplicate key is ridiculous...

    Time for traveling 12 miles, plus expense and probability of no blanks make this worth trying for two small old keys I don't have for my 1982 vanagon. (water and petrol)

    Many thanks for this tutorial!

    Great simple way to make a backup! Thanks.

    Love it

    When do you find it useful to make the key as opposed to just buying a duplicate key?

    3 replies

    I have an outside mailbox that I lost the duplicate key. My husband a new key for the mailbox. So there are occasional uses for a home made key.

    Some keys are "No Duplicate" means can't legally duplicate. A mail box for a rental property for example.

    Good point. And come to think of it I have had keys that they couldn't duplicate because they didn't have a blank that matched, like some old padlock keys.

    Hi; thanks for that! I guess it might be a good idea to spray-grease the lock itself to prevent any stiffness first before you try your American Express key in it.