Who doesn’t bother about security here in Phoenix? You’d be hard-pressed to find one.
According to statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2019. Phoenix has the most burglary (9,471) offenses and motor vehicle theft offenses (7,076). This statistic is a caveat to be wary of security, and it keeps everyone here in Phoenix on their toes.
When taking security-related decisions, it’s wise to go for only the best options. You don’t want to buy an inferior service or good that will lead to regrets. Your lock is the only tool responsible for barricading your home or car from intruders and burglars. Good lock means good barricade which means less chances of having your house broken into or your car stolen.
Many people have been in a position where they needed a key cut. And they begin to think about how best to get it done. It’s always between going to a hardware shop or simply just calling the locksmith professionals. I remember years back, before I became a professional locksmith, my mother-in-law moved into my home. I needed an extra key for her so she could have free access to the house. I had to choose between using the help of a professional or doing it myself. So I’ve been there.
In this article, I will discuss when visiting the hardware store is necessary. And when calling a locksmith is, too. So you can end up making an educated decision.
What Exactly Do Locksmiths Do?
A locksmith is a professional who specializes in various aspects of locks, keys, and security systems. And they provide services related to these aspects. They perform operations like key cutting, lock installation and repair, lock rekeying, emergency lockout assistance, safe opening and servicing, security system consultation, and many other key-related services.
What About Hardware Shops?
A hardware store is a retail establishment that sells a wide variety of products for home improvement, construction, repairs, and maintenance. They also sell fasteners, hand and power tools, plumbing supplies, electrical equipment, paint and painting supplies, gardening and outdoor equipment, kitchenwares, and household goods. They also cater for DIY enthusiasts and professional contractors. These stores are often organized into different sections or departments, making it easier to curate their items. Some hardware shops may also offer additional services like key cutting, tool rentals, equipment repairs, or paint mixing.
Will I Get the Same Key Cutting Quality If I Go to a Hardware Shop Vs. Locksmith Service?
If you are copying a regular house key, then the key is very likely to work. The key machines used in most hardware stores are reliable and well calibrated. But you’ll be entering into the uncertainty scope if you are hoping to cut a little more exotic key, like a padlock key or mailbox key. The hardware store guys find it a bit difficult to find the right key blank to use. Or they may even be out of stock. Well, if they can finally cut the key, it will probably work.
They get even more unlucky with car keys. The older the car, the better their luck. For the modern car keys, nope! You’ll need to take those to the professionals. Those types of keys are more sensitive to key shape. If the key-cutting machine is off by more than 0.002’’, modern cars will detect that difference and it won’t work.
With locksmiths, if it’s about if it will work or it won’t, then it’s not a competition. It’s all about the professionalism, the certainty, the time saved, and the professional advice you can get from them. For example, if you are getting a house key cut because you misplaced your spare, a locksmith will advise you to change your lock. It’s not because they are trying to sell more service than you need, but maybe you didn’t just misplace your key, but an intruder stole it from you. A spare key in the hands of an intruder is as dangerous as leaving your house unlocked.
There are other services that a locksmith offers alongside key cutting that you might not be aware of. All at reasonable prices. Let me highlight some of those extra services you get from locksmiths.
1. Quality and accuracy
Both hardware stores and locksmiths can offer key-cutting services but at different precision. Locksmiths are licensed professionals. This means they meet the minimum requirement to handle keys. That you are sure of. If you aren’t, you have a right to ask. But for the hardware store folks, they don’t have to be.
2. Key safety
It’s the responsibility of locksmiths to be properly insured in case of any damage to the keys of their customers. For expensive locks, locksmiths give you peace of mind since they bear the cost of any damage to the key during operation. For the hardware store guys, you can’t be sure.
3. Specialized service
Consider the type of key you want to cut. Hardware stores can handle the cutting of keys for typical locks. If you are cutting a specialized key like those for safes, padlocks, high-security locks, or electronic keys, a locksmith is the right call to make. They are experts and they have been trained for all types of keys.
4. Additional services
Locksmiths are not just limited to key cutting, they offer a range of services. They can assist in lock installations, lock repairs, re-keying, lock opening, and emergency lockout services. If you need any of these services alongside the key cutting, then choosing a locksmith may provide you with a more comprehensive solution.
If you are looking at cutting a very basic key and you are keen on just getting your key cut, then you can go for the hardware store guys. If not, then you should opt for the professionals. Locksmiths will provide you with the cutting of complicated and advanced keys more professionally and safely and also provide you with professional advice when needed.