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Ever wondered if the key copy you received from your local key duplication service is in good shape to unlock your door? Well if you’ve been disappointed from receiving a bad key copy, here’s what you can do to check so that you don’t have to go all the way back to get another copy.

One of the easiest ways to tell if you’ve received a key copy is that the grooves and shoulders of the original key do not line up accurately against each other. Keysmiths must insert both the blank and the original side by side tightly so that as the machine files the blank according to the ridges of the original key, the blank will have the same ridges in height and length. Having a key that doesn’t match even at the slightest won’t get your door unlocked.

However, it’s not always the keysmith’s fault as it can be the owner’s fault as well. Owners may bring keys that are already bent or broken. While some keysmiths have the ability to copy keys that are already in a bad state, bear in mind that you’ll only be risking having a bad key copy at the end as the ridges may be too damaged to be copied. Furthermore, if you’ve brought a key copy to be copied, you’ll also have a higher possibility of having a key with more errors as duplicating a key copy after a key copy can provide a generation of errors to follow.

Still, even with how key duplication services are widely available, it is still good to keep the original key safe instead of relying on spares all the time. As mentioned before, the more key copies copied from a duplicate, the more errors will follow on your new key.