The Art Of Key Impressioning
All too often on auto lock outs and home lock outs it is necessary to pick a lock or to disassemble it. In the hands of a well trained and experienced locksmith these sorts of circumstances are met with professionalism and no damage is done to the existing lock or locks, however when performing these methods a new keys has to be made after the lock has been opened.
Another option that is much more practical is key impressioning. Key impressioning allows the locksmith to gain access into the door quickly and make a new key at the same time. The locksmith who has the ability to do this can provide quicker service and not have to take costly time for the customer by disassembling the lock or picking the lock, and while it is a difficult skill to develop, it is a priceless one for the talented locksmith.
So what is impressioning you may ask? Key impressioning is a procedure in which a blank key is marked by the lock and then cut by the locksmith until a working and operating key in made from the blank. This is a very precise technique and for most locks all that is needed is a file, a blank key and pliers (or similar tool) for holding the blank key.
There are very basic principles to key impressioning for most basic kinds of locks, the steps may differ depending on the type.
The process of making a key impression takes several attempts to make a key that will be able to operate a lock due to the process of multiple inserts and cutting.
The choice of blank key is very important to using this procedure as the key must be soft enough to be able to get the marks and it must also match the keyway of the lock, but not break while the locksmith is attempting numerous times to get the marks on the key.
While there are several choices available to receive the marks, like aluminum or nickel they are going to prove to be either too hard or too soft and either break or not take the marks at all. The most common key to use in this is a brass key. Brass keys are strong but pliable and can take good marks.
In order to start a key impression the locksmith will insert a blank key into the keyway and move it so that the tumblers will scratch, or indent bitting surface of the blank key, leaving small marks. Those marks will let the locksmith know where to cut and how deep to cut.
This can be difficult for the inexperienced locksmith as the marking on the blank key are very small, and sometimes hard to distinguish to the untrained eye and all type of marking when impressioning a key tend to be different.
All locksmiths using this system will know that the key being used must also be long enough to reach all of the pin stacks and when done with the job they will have saved time for both them and the customer with this fantastic technique.