Key Cloning vs. Key Cutting

January 31, 2020

When you get locked out of your car or need a new key made for your vehicle, you probably know to call a locksmith—but you might not know exactly what a locksmith does to create a key. There are two basic processes that locksmiths use to create replacement keys: key cloning and key cutting in Houston, TX. Read on to find out more about these two processes and some of the pros and cons of each.

What is key cloning?

With key cloning, locksmiths use the data that’s embedded in the transponder to create a new key that replicates the original. This new key is designed to be a perfect match for the vehicle that your car’s computer can’t distinguish between. While cloning can be used to make a replacement key or a duplicate key for a vehicle, it is not an option in the event of a lockout, since the original key must be used.

What is key cutting?

Key cutting is a process that’s used to produce keys from scratch. This process is done without using transponder data, which means that the new key must be reprogrammed to work with the vehicle’s computer system. Key cutting can be done to match an existing key or it can be completed to match the lock itself. To do this, locksmiths must use specialized tools and machinery to model a new key based on the corresponding locking mechanism. This process can be used to create a key that matches the existing lock, or to create a key for a new locking mechanism.

Choosing between key cutting and key cloning

There are several factors to consider when choosing between key cutting and key cloning in Houston, TX:

  • Cost: Because key cloning is a simpler process than key cutting, it’s also less expensive. Key cutting can be a more complicated process that requires more time and labor from a locksmith. If you’re looking for the most affordable option, cloning is the best way to go.
  • Versatility: Key cutting is a more versatile service, since it can be used whether or not the original key is still available. Key cloning can only be done using data from the existing key, so it’s not an option for lost or stolen keys.
  • Security: While key cloning is a convenient and affordable option for key replacement, it isn’t the best choice if one of your keys has been lost or stolen. Since the new key is a clone of your existing key, your vehicle’s computer has no way of distinguishing between them. Lock replacement and key cutting is the best option to keep your vehicle secure.

Professional locksmithing services

If you need key cutting or key cloning in Houston, TX, contact Express Locksmith. Our family owned and operated business specializes in comprehensive services, including automotive and residential locksmithing and commercial master key services. Regardless of what your specific needs may be, our team is here 24/7 to provide the help that you need. Give us a call to find out more about all of the services we have to offer, or to schedule an appointment.

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