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Do "Do Not Duplicate" keys work? | #Lockboss Show & Giveaway

Hey, everybody. I hope everyone is doing well today. What's going on? Grab your ice-cold Topo Chico as we go through the post of the week, the comment of the week, and a talk about do 'do not duplicate' keys work. Let's bring it up.



If you have not seen this yet, this is actually for last Tuesday's live. But Connor made this funny Family Feud thing, and it's good. It was one of those things that I didn't see until it was posted. As I saw, I thought it was creative and if you want a good laugh, make sure you go and check this out. It's on Instagram, Facebook, whatever. Maybe it's even on YouTube in the community area, but not quite sure. But I'll tell you what, good job, Connor. You guys need to check that out; if you haven't, it's hilarious.



Good question, and thank you for asking. What I'm talking about there is for edge style keys like H75 or KW1, that sort of thing. How many sides of the jaw do you have an option to put a key. When it comes to laser cut keys, like for the Prius and Honda, that's a completely different thing. There are a couple of other jaws on those depending on the machine you're using and what type of key it is. But that's the pretty universal thing as well. So, when you hear the term two-way jaw or four-way jaw, 99.9% of the time, they're always going just to be referring to an edge-style machine, most likely a duplicator.


An inquiry by our friend Evil Arch Conservative, 'Do not duplicate key: how does that all work or do they work well? Can you get them duplicated?' It's a great topic so let's get into the details.


Do not duplicate keys, also known as DND keys, are keys that have 'DO NOT DUPLICATE' engraved or stamped in them. We sell many do not duplicate keys, especially the Schlage SC1 and the Kwikset hybrid KW1 - KW 10 key. They are popular, and if you're in the lock and key business, you will have to deal with it. Often, customers who don't want to go for a restricted key system, or some sort of more expensive restricted type of thing, they're going to want 'do not duplicate' keys.


1. DND keys have neuter bowheads, which make them harder to identify. A neuter bowhead is more of a square head on a key. The head can be a major giveaway when identifying keys, significantly if you've been cutting keys for a month. You can spot a KW1 or an SC1 a mile away as soon as you barely see it. A neuter bowhead key takes that identification part away.

2 DND keys do not list the Key Blank Part Number on the key. It's nice grabbing a key, and the part number for that key is on it. It makes it easy to order and identify. So, having the neuter bow key head and not having any part numbers on it does offer a little something there.

3. DND key communicates that the key issuer does not want duplicates made. For example, if a business owner or manager has a bunch of keys that they need to hand out to some team members, and they hand them a key that says 'do not duplicate.' Without even communicating verbally you're communicating that you don't want copies of those keys to make.


A. Do not duplicate text can be covered up or grinded off. So, what can you do if a customer puts a bunch of duct tape around the key or if they dipped it in some gel because they like the feel of it? It's widespread for a customer to hand you their keys, and there's a whole bunch of stuff on it.

B. Supermarket machines read key profiles, not key heads. They don't ask for a picture or a scan of the key head; they're looking for the key profile. That's a big problem. And that, for the most part, to me, eliminates the whole conversation about should you look in? Like, remove the tape, remove all that. I mean, it's like, there's looking at the profile, and they're duplicating the key.

C. Without other markings or systems in place, how do you know who has authorization? So, when you see the key, and it says do not duplicate, the big question that you need to ask is 'How do I know who has authorization?' Because what they're saying is that they don't want people to be able to open a lock without knowledge. And so, when someone comes in, and they claim they have authorization, what are you supposed to do? You've been handed a 'do not duplicate' key. Does it fit the address that they have listed on their ID? It can get confusing and complicated.

To answer the question, do 'do not duplicate' keys work? No. They don't work; the intention of what you're trying to accomplish by doing that is not going to be completed by it. Due to the simple fact that an automatic supermarket machine will read that profile, it's going to cut that key, and that's the end of it. They're worthless because they're not. Not all customers will want a restricted key system. Although that is something, the second you hear do not duplicate or want some key control, that is an excellent opportunity to let them know and educate the customer about what's available. Those are the opportunities you want to make sure you have a nice little pitch for and have some basic information you can share.

If you are going to sell them, do not duplicate keys; communicate with your customer that it's more of an honor-type system and doesn't offer full protection.

DND was pretty good before the automatic machines, but automatic machines didn't do too much. The best solution if you're going to use them and want to get as much security is to use it on a weird key profile even if you were to do a Schlage E or F, a Russwin, a Wrestling key, or Sargent. A key that's not available in the key cutting vending machines that the basic key cutter isn't going to be able to identify by just looking at it. That's probably the best you could do there. Hopefully, that helps answer that question. I hope everybody has a beautiful evening and safe travels if you're out there. And we will see you all next week: same place, same time. Take care. Thanks.

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