Recently, we received a request from an individual who lives in a state on the East coast asking for our help to resolve a matter.
The question; Can I take this Brand-Y lock and have the same key work this Brand-X lock?
Of course, with this question there are no simply “yes or no” answers especially when we are not being provided the information necessary to answer the question. Without all the facts, the answer is a maybe. Maybe if the locks have cylinders that can be replaced with an after market product, it is possible.
However no locksmith can give a definitive answer to a generic questions when they don’t have all the facts; “this product is an old Brand-X lock and I bought new Brand-Y locks and I want them to fit the same key, can it be done?”
Well, since Brand-X is an old lock – then what type is it? What style is it? How old is it? Can you send photos or bring it in so we can identify it and let you know for sure? When we receive only half the information needed; ‘well Brand-Y is a series 5000 that I bought directly from the factory.’
The only answer we can give is based on the limited information that we have been supplied. Without seeing a product and/or having it in our hands we can not determine if a solution is viable and can only go based on what we have been told.
In this case, that particular series was not created to accept an aftermarket cylinder and these two locks can not be keyed to work on one key. ‘Can it be done the other way?’ Again, we need more information on Brand-X lock.
Locksmiths are often asked to solve problems without knowing all the facts. We rely on the customer to not only tell us what they want, but to provide us with as much information as possible on what they have so we can give an informed response. This is decidedly harder when you add in distance along with lack of information. (In this case we directed the individual to a locksmith company who has a good reputation, specialized in both types of locks and who has been in business for years with a physical location. As well as the phone numbers to the company that made the locks.)
Knowledgeable locksmiths know what can and can’t be done. Sometimes it is based on the type of lock, knowing that this particular model was not made to interact with any other aftermarket product and/or is not modifiable to do what the customer wants done. The majority of locksmiths are in the security business and want to make sure that their customers are being taken care of. We do the best with the information we receive.
So what happens if you find a locksmith that can’t help you? You can always seek out the manufacturer of the lock (if they are still in business) or you can seek out another locksmith. See if you can find one who specializes in the type of locks that you have. Accept the fact that locksmiths are trained to do their job and just because you want something to work, doesn’t mean it will. Be prepared to provide as much information about the type of locks you have or to provide a photo of the locks (front and back) to show your locksmith. This will allow them to let you know what your options are.
If you still don’t like the answers you receive, then seek out a second opinion or as many as you need to make you feel certain; just remember if all the answers are the same, it just might not be possible to do what you want done and instead you may have to seek alternate options; such as changing out one of the brands of lock to be the same as the one you want to use; so they are all the same brand, using the same key way, so you can have one key fit everything.
© 2011, Shauna. All rights reserved.