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How to Make a New Key for a Door Lock

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

Learn how to make a new key for a door lock with this step-by-step guide. You’ll need a few tools and materials , but it’s a fairly easy process.


Preparing to make a new key for your door lock is important as it will help ensure that you get the job done correctly. Before you begin, you will need to gather the right tools and materials, such as a key blank , file, and vice grips. You will also need to make sure that you have a working door lock with a key that fits the door lock you are working on. Once you have the necessary items, you can begin the process of making a new key.

Gather the necessary tools

When making a new key for your door lock, you’ll need to gather the necessary tools to accomplish the task. To begin, you’ll need a key blank, which is the metal part of a key that has not been cut yet and is used with blank locks. If you don’t already have an appropriate key blank for your lock, you can buy one at most hardware stores. Additionally, you’ll need a file or rasp that can be used to cut the grooves in the metal of your key blank; it is important when purchasing this tool that you select one suitable for cutting metal keys. Lastly, you’ll require something to secure your key while filing its grooves (such as a vice) and some lubricant such as graphite power or WD-40.

Make sure you have the right door lock

Before you start the process of making a new key for a door lock, it is important to make sure you have the right type of door lock. If you have a clearly labeled euro cylinder or barrel lock, then the steps below can be easily followed. These locks are typically found on uPVC and composite doors with handles that lift up to lock the mechanism. If your door does not have this type of lock, you will need to follow instructions based on your particular make and model.

If you decide to do this yourself without professional help, be aware that there are special tools needed in order to properly remove the cylinder or barrel from your existing lock and make a copy key. This process should only be done if you trust yourself with these tools and feel confident in your ability to use them safely. Professional locksmiths will have these tools, so it may be worth having them do this job.

Removing the Lock

If you are looking to make a new key for your door lock, the first step is to remove the lock from the door. Depending on the type of lock, this can be done by unscrewing the screws that keep the lock in place, or by using a screwdriver or Allen key to loosen the mounting screws. Once the lock has been removed, you can go ahead and proceed with the remaining steps needed to make a new key.

Identify the screws and loosen them

Before you begin to make a new key for your door lock, first identify the screws that hold the lock in place and loosen them. Be sure to wear gloves as you complete this task to avoid any potential cuts or scratches. If a screwdriver is required, find one that fits the screws securing the lock before moving on. Once all of the screws have been loosened, carefully remove them from the door lock so that it can be taken apart and examined. Inspect the parts of the lock for any underlying issues, such as wear or rust, and address them before proceeding with making the new key.

Remove the screws and take out the lock

Homeowners occasionally lose their keys, and although rekeying is an option, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to simply replace the lock. Removing the lock requires some basic tools and a bit of knowledge about how door locks work.

Begin by removing screws or bolts that attach the doorknob or handle to the door. There may be a Phillips head or flathead screw on one side of the doorknob or handle, held in place by either a straight pin, hexagonal pin, or square spindle. After you remove this screw and any other screws that attach to the backset plate (a protective plate between the latch plate and trim), you can remove the entire knob set from its hole on either side of the door. The backset will slide out after this is complete.

Once any bolted covers have been removed from both sides of the door lock, insert an old screwdriver into its slot on one side of each cylinder (the cylindrical portion of your lockset). Twist counterclockwise with slight pressure; you may need to switch positions if there is resistance so that your tool makes contact with all pins within each cylinder at once. If done properly, unlocking will cause all pins within each cylinder to drop simultaneously – unlocking not just one but both halves of your doorknob set – then you can remove your lockset altogether from its mounting plates on either side of your door frame.

Taking Measurements and Making a Key

Making a new key for a door lock is a tricky but rewarding task. Before you begin, you will need to take accurate measurements of the lock to ensure that your key will fit. You will also need to consider what type of key you’re making, as this will affect the measurements you need to take and the materials you need to use. Let’s take a look at what kind of measurements and materials you will need to make a new key.

Take measurements of the lock and make a key blank

Once you have a good idea of the type of lock you need to replace, it’s time to take measurements. Carefully remove the old lock, being sure not to damage any parts. Before handling the lock, use a cloth or other light protective material to hold it in place and make sure not to drop any part of the lock, as it could be damaged beyond repair.

With your measuring tool, take note of two specific measurements on the outside of your old lock – the height and width of the key hole. This will determine which type of key blank is needed for replacement. Generally speaking, most locks require either a Yale or Chubb key blank with information about code numbers clearly printed on them. Once you have made sure that you choose a compatible blank for your needs, use a sharp utility knife and cut carefully along both edges at each side until an opening appears – this opening can be used as a guide for cutting later on when making the new key itself.

Having taken these steps and achieved correct measurements, you should now have a standard blank and all necessary information ready in order to make your new key!

Cut the key blank to match the measurements

Once the measurements have been taken from the old key, you can use those measurements to cut a new key blank. Key blanks are available for purchase at most hardware stores and auto parts stores, and there is a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from. It’s best to ask for help if you need assistance choosing the right blank for your lock, as some locks require special cuts or designs in order to work properly.

After selecting the correct blank, take it back home and insert it into the lock. If necessary, adjust the blade of your key blank file to match up with the positions of the depths you measured on your old key before cutting into the blade of your new key. For more precise control while filing, use a letter-number punch set and note paper to mark precisely where each file should go through each cut position around both sides of your key blank.

Once all of your cuts have been made, test out your newly cut key in the lock. If it doesn’t turn smoothly or won’t turn at all, make adjustments by carefully filing away extra material where needed until everything lines up properly. When finished filing down corrections to match depths measured earlier with calipers or ruler, check for burrs on edges or sharp edges that could wear prematurely on cylinders or pins inside lock tumblers (This is likely only if using small pin tumblers). Comfortable wear-in time may be necessary before optimal performance is achieved; this means making sure all debris from filing has fully cleaned out from innards lock tumbles before locking door shut.

Reinstalling the Lock

In order to make a new key for your door lock, you will need to first remove the existing lock from the door. This can be done by removing the screws that are holding it in place. It may be helpful to have a screwdriver ready for this part of the process. Once the lock is removed, you will be able to access the inner workings of the lock and begin the process of replacing the key.

Put the lock back in the door

When you have installed a new key into the lock, it is now time to put the lock back in the door. Before you can do this, make sure you figure out how to orient the lock. On most locks, there will be an indicator as to which side should face up or down – look for a marking on either side of the bolt that indicates an arrow pointing in one direction. This arrow indicates where the bolt should be housed when putting it back in its place.

To reinstall your lock, you will need to open your door and align it so that the hole for your old bolt is still visible and usable. Ensure that there are no gaps between where the door latches onto your frame and make sure there are no cracks along its edges – if needed, use a hammer and a wooden block around it to fix what needs adjusting before proceeding.

Once you have confirmed that everything is optimal for reinserting your lock into place, carefully insert it back in its area with care – making sure not to damage your door’s wood or metal framework as doing so could cost more money than necessary in repairs down the line. Once inserted all of the way in and verified that nothing is damaged or missing parts due to mishandling during insertion, secure any screws necessary that hold the lock into place if needed – congratulations! Your new key should now work successfully!

Secure the screws and test the key

Once the screws are secure and put back in place, it’s time to test your newly made key. First, insert the key into the lock and turn it gently to the right until you feel resistance. If all goes well and your lock opens smoothly, congratulations! You have successfully created a new functional key for your door lock.

However, if you experience some difficulty turning the key or having it stay in place within the lock, you may choose to double check some of your steps. Make sure that all screws are securely fastened and that all parts are properly aligned before testing again. If these steps do not work or your key is still not functioning properly, you may want to try making a small adjustment based on trial-and-error testing. Once you’ve established that a particular adjustment will improve how your key works with the door lock, make sure that those changes are permanent by using a screwdriver to securely tighten any necessary screws or add additional securing components like locking washers.

Finishing Up

Making sure that your new key fits the door lock is crucial. To begin, you will want to make sure that the door is shut and that the door is in the locked position. Next, you will want to insert the new key into the lock and make sure that it is turned properly. Finally, you will want to make sure that the key is turned all the way to the full lock position before removing it.

Clean up the area and dispose of the old key

When the new key is finished and has been tested to ensure that it works, you can begin to clean up the area around your work space. Sweep away any debris that may have accumulated while cutting the new key. Return all tools to their proper place and pay special attention to edges or burrs on the blade of the key cutter that could lead to later problems.

Once everything is returned, you can dispose of the old key. It is important not to simply leave discarded keys lying around where someone else may find them. Put the old key in a secure container so others cannot access it, such as a metal box with a lid or a sealed glass jar. If possible, attach a label indicating that it is an old and unused lock key in order for future reference should someone find it. Once properly disposed of, your task is complete and you can enjoy your newly cut and functioning door lock key.

Enjoy your new key and lock!

Now that you have created your new key for the door lock, it’s time to enjoy the benefits! Keep in mind that a proper key can make all the difference when it comes to having access to a secure and reliable locking mechanism. To make sure that everything goes smoothly, you might want to consider these final tips and tricks for handling, storing, and using your new key.

-Keep your keys together on one keyring. Having everything together helps you keep organized and limits the chances of losing a key or forgetting which one belongs in which lock.

-It’s best not to store keys near windows or in other areas with high temperatures because metal can grow weak due to heat exposure, which could lead to bending or breaking. You might want to consider purchasing a key safe if you need additional storage options.

-When it comes time to unlock the door, be sure not to use too much force as this can cause damage to both your door and lock. The goal is to use gentle pressure while turning the key in order for it open properly without resistance or noise.

By following these simple steps, you should be able enjoy your new key and lock without any problems!

How to Make a New Key for a Door LockCheckout this video:

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