Fixing Broken Keys

How do you fix a broken key? Well, if you’re asking this question, you’ve certainly come to the right place for an answer! There’s many ways a key can break, and just as many ways that you can repair a broken key. Here’s a guide on how to repair various kinds of key issues, as prepared by the experts at Master Locksmith.


Keys Broken inside Locks

One usually hopes that they will be able to synthesize the two pieces of a broken key back together, but this simply isn’t possible. If your house key breaks, bring both halves to a licensed locksmith. THey will cut you a brand new key using the specific structural data coded in the grooves of your key. If you’re dealing with a broken car key, you’re going to want it get fully replaced through transponder key programming services. This might not be the quickest fix – but trust us, it’s safer and more effective than trying to tape two halves of a broken key together – which is very dangerous, as it can lead to a locking steering wheel or the sudden stopping of your engine.


Broken Bow Covers

The hard plastic shell that covers the base of most car keys – of both the rudimentary and transponder variety – can be replaced with the shell of an older key. Another fix is to replace the transponder part of the key completely. Hard shelled bows can be removed and the interior transponder components swapped out and fit inside a new shell. If you’re dealing with a soft plastic bow cover, drill new holes into it to secure it to your keychain – just make sure that you’re not drilling it through the transponder chip itself.


Drained Batteries

If you have a smart house key that’s run out of battery, it’s almost definitely a rechargeable key. In this case, the fix is super easy – simply plug the charger into an outlet and charge the opening device (usually a smartphone, sometimes an electronic token)  and retest it. If you’re dealing with a drained car key battery, you will need to replace it – which isn’t always easy, as car keys use batteries with strange sizes and specific amperages. Contact a locksmith expert who can bring the necessary car key battery directly to your location.


Water Damages

If your electronic car keys have been soaked in water and no longer work, try the same method people use to help salvage their waterlogged phones – the rice method. Leave your keys submerged completely in loose uncooked rice, which will absorb all the moisture from the phone and soak it up. This might take some time, so just have patience and leave the keys inside the tub of rice for up to a day. THis doesn’t always work however, and if it doesn’t, you’ll need to have a new car key programmed for you by a locksmith expert – just don’t throw out your old key, as having it on hand will make the process of getting a new car key much more fast and efficient.


Machines that Duplicate Car Keys

The machines that are used to duplicate car keys dictate exactly how long it will take to finish the duplicating process as well as how precise the cuts of the key will be. The usual key duplicator machine actually requires quite a bit of technical operation skill. The less automated a machine is, the more skill is required to operate it correctly. The type of machine you use is also dictated by what type of key you’re trying to copy. In this brief blog post, the experts at Master will help provide some detail about the different kinds of car key cutter machines.



These key cutters can be used to make keys that have top or bottom side key blade biting. If you can create a house key on the key cutter, it’s a normal key cutter. This type of machine holds the key in place and scans it for it’s code. If it’s a manual version, the blank key is placed in a separate slot from the original, lining it up with a blade, which is also positioned against the aligner. The cutting part of the blade is perfectly aligned with the working edge of the aligner – and after their specific correct positioning is verified, the new key is cut – on both sides.


Laser Cutters

Keys that require laser cutters have biting on the side of the keys – however, the name of these key cutters are a misnomer, as they don’t use any actual lasers. These machines use a hardened steel rotor blade as a cutting tool that traces down a path on the slider keys. These keys can’t be cut with the same technology as the last type of key cutters that lower the blade down onto the key blanks. These machines are usually automated, to a higher frequency than usual key cutters. Slider key cutters are a big investment for locksmiths, but any really professional locksmith will have one on hand.



Car Key Duplicators

Car key duplication is all based on what type of key you’re working with. It’s one of the most simple operations that we carry out – we simply place the working key on the machine with the key blank, and the information is transferred over. However, depending on your car (if you have a newer model, which is most likely) you will have to get additional key code duplication service to match the transponder of the new key to your car’s ignition signal.


Car Key Duplication FAQs

There’s many reasons that lead people to ask to duplicate their car keys – whether they want to share their vehicle with another person, or are anticipating the nearing breakage of an old beat up key. In this blog post, the lock and key experts at Master Locksmith USA will answer some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive about automobile key duplication services.


Can I get a duplicate of my key if I don’t actually have the key?

No, if you don’t have a working key then car key duplication isn’t the service that you need. You will require a car key cut specifically from code, a service which our locksmiths can easily provide – but is still different than the process of duplication.


Is there a reason my car key duplicates won’t work?

This could be because they require a transponder key to be programmed to match your car’s internal transceiver codes. It might also be due to a structural issue with the original key – even slight variations are exponentially multiplied when a key is copied, making it too different to work inside the lock.


Is there a difference between key cutting and key duplication?

Yes and no. Key duplication falls under the service umbrella of key cutting, along with the process of cutting a key from code. To duplicate a key you need a physical original working key – and this process doesn’t necessarily include programming key fobs or transponders. Code cutting doesn’t require the presence of an original working key, and is done according to specific code numbers.


Can the hardware store duplicate my keys?

Sometimes, but not always. Most hardware stores can copy regular house keys, but cannot copy high security keys – and can only very rarely copy car keys, as they often don’t have the expensive machinery required to reprogram automobile key fobs to the transponder of your vehicle.


Can you duplicate any type of car key?

In order to duplicate a car key, you need at least one physical metal key. If you want a smart key cut from code through our key fob programming services, it’s a technically different service, and will require proof-of-ownership of the vehicle as well as the vehicle’s transponder code.


Can I start my vehicle with my duplicate keys?

It depends – if you have an old car that functions without a transponder, then of course. If your car works with a transponder, a duplicated key will only be able to start the vehicle once the key fob has been programmed to match the coding within the ignition transceiver.