How Are Car Keys Cut?

Locksmith cutting a new set of car keys

How Are Car Keys Cut?

It’s a simple thing, having your car keys handy, but at some point or another, we’re all prone to losing our keys. When the time comes to replace a car key or have a spare one made, the only way to get the job done is have to go and get another copy. But, do you know exactly what goes into making a car key?

If you’ve been searching for car key cutting near me, and want a closer look at what goes into creating your replacement key, keep on reading.

What do you need to get a car key cut?

When it comes time to get a car key cut, the first step is locating a local automotive locksmith you can rely on like Discount Lock and Key. Once you’ve located a professional locksmith, the rest will fall into place.

In order to get a car key cut, you have to have one of two things handy: the VIN number to your car, or the preexisting key. For many local key-cutting services, they have the ability to look up your existing car VIN number on a protected system. However, this takes more time than bringing the original key to be cut, because you have to bring more documentation proving the car belongs to you.

The other option is bringing the original key inside to be cut. That why, it can be copied directly, and simplify the overall process. Cutting keys by code is another alternative, but if you want things to be streamlined, bring in the original key.

How the Key is Cut

Each groove within a key serves a purpose to turn on your engine. If the key isn’t aligned right, based on the grooves, it will not turn on. When you bring in your original key, the key grooves are looked at, and their dimensions and measurements are taken, so you can find copy the key correctly. With experienced automotive locksmiths, this won’t take very long.

When it comes time to cut the key, your locksmith will select the kind of car model you have, and then enters the right dimensions they’ve taken from the original key, and starts the cutting process. The original key is used as a template for the copy, so all the grooves match correctly.


Different Types of Keys and Cuts

Now that we’ve discussed how a car key is cut, it’s time to look into the different types of car keys and their cutting methods:

  • Laser Cut Key: A little more complex in shape, this key will require more specialized equipment in order to be cut to the proper dimensions.
  • Mechanically Cut Key: Can be cut using the method listed above
  • Smart Key: A more popular key method, with more specific copy requirements. Take a minute to learn more about how smart keys work.


When it comes to getting a car key cut, it’s important to make sure you know about the process from start to finish, so you’ll be prepared when the locksmith arrives.


There are plenty of benefits when it comes to hiring an automotive locksmith. For all your car key needs, Discount Lock and Key has you covered. We offer car key replacement and smart key services in Winston Salem and in other areas in the surrounding Piedmont Triad.

For mobile locksmith services and smart key replacement,

give Discount Lock & Key a call at 336-687-7977.

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