On Lost Keys and Key Blanks: When to Stop Looking and What to Look For
Indeed, some things are taken for granted not until they get lost. Take your car keys, for example. You always expect that they will be lying limply on your bedside table, waiting for you to pick them up. But sometimes, out of carelessness or forgetfulness, you could lose your car keys and never get them back. Don't fret; it's not the end of the world. This is the reason why key blanks are made. An automotive key blank is supposed to make life easier for you, should you lose your car keys for good. But if you do not remember having one and need it big time, then you can shop for a good one now. Here are some tips:
Key blade material
While the material of the key blank that you ought to buy should depend on the internal components of the lock to prevent premature wear, it is good to know the types of material and its features that you can consider.
- Solid brass. This material is typically the base for most keys. This is the most convenient and easy to find when it comes to key blanks.
- Nickel-plated brass. The nickel-plating makes the brass appear as good as new and durable over time. It is not an assurance, however, that this harder type is not brittle. It all depends on your handling and care.
- Nickel-silver brass. If you happened to break a car key while turning the ignition on, then don't let it happen again. This type, the strongest of the three, is used when the keyway is thin. This is more durable than brass, but it is also more expensive.
Key head type
You can choose from metallic, wooden, or plastic head or bow for your key blank. If you have time, you can also have it customized or decorated as you like. For specific makes, here are some of what you want the key blank's head to be:
- Transponder. This key has a built-in chip that transmits, receives, and responds to a signal whenever you insert it in the ignition. It is specifically designed for your car's specifications, so if you inserted the wrong key, it knows.
- Electronic. Instead of a chip, this key has a battery-powered electronic circuit board that acts like a transponder, whenever you insert it in the ignition. Just make sure it comes with a manual before you buy it to help you change batteries.
- VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System). This key has a resistor or chip embedded in the key blade, acting as its brain. If your car is GM-made, this is exclusively for your fellow makes and models.
Other things to consider
A key blank can cost as low as one dollar, depending on the material. Having a key blank ready in case of lost car keys is an advantage because it makes duplication a lot easier for both the locksmith and you. It's time to ?keys' your worries of losing your keys goodbye.