Copying or duplicating keys today is not uncommon. However, prior to 1917 every key was made to be entirely unique. As you can imagine, losing a one-of-a-kind key these days – whether for your home, car, or office – might cause a person to panic!
Thankfully, modern-day locksmiths can cut, re-create, and program various types of traditional and high-tech keys.
In fact, there are several types of keys a locksmith can cut-to-size or program for you:
- Standard Car Keys
- Transponder Keys
- Smart Key Fobs
- Smart Door Keypads
- Virtual, Digital Keys
Standard Car Keys
Think of the basic car keys with grooves in them but without the electronic chips in the key head. Even still, older vehicles’ make, model, and year have security requirements in order for the keys to work.
Computer software is a very helpful tool for a locksmith in this case! The locksmith can use the software’s database to determine the car’s key code for that model and year and make the necessary cuts to the key blank.
Transponder Car Keys
A cut-above the older, standard car keys are transponder keys. These car keys have a built-in, electronic chip in the head of the key. For this reason, even a key blank cut-to-size for the car’s make and model will not bring the car to life when turned in the ignition. If you try to start the car without a transponder key, an auto alarm will sound!
For transponder keys, a locksmith has to use a special software to clone the specific cut as well as to program it to communicate with the car.
Smart Key Fobs
Smart key fobs for push-to-start and keyless ignition cars can be so convenient … until they start malfunctioning, don’t work at all, or are lost. Replacing a dying battery in your smart key can even cause the car to not recognize it!
When this happens, there is simply no way to start your car. Plus, returning to the dealership and asking for a replacement has a big sticker price – sometimes several hundred dollars. A locksmith programming a smart key fob, however, will cost you a fraction of the dealership’s price. It might also require a few tests, so don’t drive away immediately!
Smart Door Keypads
Smart door keypad entries can be found in several places, from vehicle doors to office doorways. Even though they are a convenient safety option, keypad systems can be hacked and re-calibrated by accident, among other problems. For these reasons, some keypad systems are considered less secure.
Professional locksmiths are trained to maneuver electronic keypads even if they don’t have the code. Tactics they might use to program keypad entries include resetting the system or assessing any electronic issues.
Virtual, Digital Keys
With virtual keys and their coordinated smart locks, you and others don’t have to carry a physical key. Your home or office doors can be locked and unlocked on-command – or automatically – by you using WiFi, no matter where you are. Plus, the keys can grant access to certain people and only at certain times.
A locksmith can program your digital keys and security preferences according to your needs. For example, a locksmith can create digital keys for people who only need to enter your home or business for specific reasons. If your cleaning service or dog walker needs access to your home in the morning on a certain day of the week, their digital key can be programmed to grant them entry only for that day and time.