Many Walmart stores that dot our towns and cities are a one-stop shop for everything. You can shop for groceries, bank, dine, get your hair cut, nails did, and many more. How about keys? Does Walmart copy keys?
In general, most Walmart stores do offer key copying services. You can copy your keys at the Minute Key kiosks. You can copy most keys here, except those with the label ‘do not duplicate.’ Certain keys with microchips also will not work. If you need the microchips duplicated, you need to return to the original vendor for this.
In this article, we explore the subject of if Walmart copies keys. We also explore the types of keys you can copy, how to use the Minute Key kiosks, and how much it costs to copy keys at Walmart.
What Is Key Copying?
Key copying is the process of creating a similar key, by duplicating the original. Key copying is also similar to key duplication or key cloning. Keys are copied using a transponder that cuts and shapes the teeth of the new key based on the original. Key copying is not key cutting, which involves creating a new key from scratch.
Key copying essentially is creating a separate key from the original. The key created is similar and can unlock any keys that the original can unlock. Key copying may be used interchangeably with other terms, such as key duplication or key cloning.
Key copying is usually done using a transponder. In a man-operated transponder, a key-smith places the original key on one side of the transponder and the blank key on the cutting side. The key-smith then runs a guide pin along the teeth of the original key.
As the guide pin is moved along the teeth of the original key, the cutter at the other end cuts into the blank key, creating identical teeth. The key master then smooths out the new key and tests it.
Key copying is not to be confused with key cutting. Key cutting does not copy or duplicate other keys but creates a new one from scratch; the cutting of a key is not done using a transponder since there is no original key to duplicate from.
Cutting a key may require computer data to ensure new key teeth design is not duplicated from data. The key may also be cut to unlock locks that no longer have keys.
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What Type Of Keys Can Be Copied?
Most physical keys can be copied, provided the key-smith has suitable key blanks. These include flat fronted, dimple, tubular, sidebar, and others. Keys that cannot be copied include keys with instructions to not copy them. Some keys may be duplicated but require microchips to work. You may need to visit the maker for that.
There are many types of physical keys that a key-smith can copy. These includes:
Flat Front Keys
Traditional tumbler locks usually use keys with a flat front. Many older cars, office cabinets, and doors also use this type of key.
Corrugated keys are also used in tumbler locks but have a more jagged appearance. They are used in cash registers, vending machines, and padlocks.
Dimple keys are flat-fronted but have a small dimple in the middle. It has cuts like the other one in the long part of the key, but it also has small depressions.
Tubular keys are cylindrical, with depressions and teeth cut into them. You may see tubular keys used at older homes and lock boxes.
Sidebar keys are commonly seen as the most ‘secure’ as they are commonly used to open bank safes and high-security vaults. These keys usually have a ‘do not duplicate’ stamp.
Skeleton keys have a long body with parts that stick out to fit into a lock. They look like bones, which is how they got their name.
Double-sided keys have teeth and dents on both sides. It is quite popular since you can see them on many types of locks.
This key is cut to be jagged and fit into a lock with a little wiggle room. The idea is to make the lock slightly harder to open, as you need to push in and wiggle the keys slightly.
Spool keys are to open spool locks, and these locks are not commonly used. This is because many videos on YouTube teach people how to open spool locks without keys.
Certain keys may not be copied, as they may be illegal, or the key comes with a proprietary microchip. Some keys may have a stamp ‘do not copy,’ which means a key-smith usually will decline your request to have it copied.
Some keys, such as modern car keys, often come with a unique microchip. This means even if you can duplicate the key, you cannot duplicate the chip, so you cannot start your car. You will need to go back to the carmaker to get the microchip duplicated.
Does Walmart Copy Keys?
Walmart does have a key copying service. The best thing here is that you can get your keys copied in minutes by using the MinuteKey self-service kiosks. Simply slide in your keys, and the machine will create a copy in minutes.
Walmart offers all kinds of services at their marts, and the service also includes key copying.
However, you do not need to meet a locksmith and have them examine your keys and then manually copy them. You can use Walmart’s MinuteKey self-service kiosk.
To use the self-service kiosk, simply slide in your key, select your preferred key design, pay, and then wait for the machine to perform its job. You can pay with a card, cash, and digital payments.
This is very convenient as you do not need to wait for a locksmith, which is right at Walmart. This means you can easily get your keys duplicated while grocery shopping.
How Do You Copy Keys At Walmart?
To copy your keys at Walmart, you search for the MinuteKey kiosk. Start by sliding in your key at the insert, and wait for the machine to scan your key. Then select your key design, and pay. The machine inside the kiosk will perform its work, and you should have a duplicate key ready in minutes.
Copying your keys from Walmart is not hard. In fact, you can duplicate your keys yourself easily using the self-service kiosk available.
- Look for the MinuteKey self-service kiosk. If you cannot find one, ask Walmart’s staff member to point you where they are.
- Confirm that the kiosk is working. If yes, start by sliding your key into the machine.
- The machine will now scan the key. The process should not use more than 10 seconds.
- Once the machine identifies your key type and size, it will show you the available key design. The classic keys with no designs are the most affordable. Keys with colorful designs may cost more.
- Select your key design.
- Make your payment. You can pay using cash, card, and digital payments.
- The machine should get working now. Simply wait for the machine to copy your keys. The scanning process should not take more than a minute.
- Pull out your original key.
- The duplicate key should drop out at the ‘pick-up area. You may pick up the key and test it to confirm it works.
How Much Does It Cost To Copy Keys At Walmart?
Duplicating a key at Walmart’s MinuteKey kiosk should cost around $2 to $12, depending on size and design. Some keys are larger, which means they are more expensive. If you choose key designs with colors and motives, it will cost more as well.
Fortunately, duplicating a key at Walmart is an affordable undertaking. Having your key duplicated at Walmart should not cost more than $12. Smaller keys may be significantly more affordable, starting at only $2.
Another factor that may influence the price you pay is the design of your keys. Some of the keys come with designs, such as colors and motives. This makes the keyless boring and does not just look like brass or steel color.
Some Walmart stores do offer advanced key duplication, such as key fobs. Key fobs can be used to help unlock doors by using your presence, meaning you do not have to physically insert a key to unlock it. Check with the Walmart staff member if this service is available.
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Does Walmart Give Guarantee On Their Duplicate Keys?
If the key does not work, you can have another key duplicated for you. Walmart may also offer a refund if you request it. However, this is rare, as the MinuteKey kiosks have a low failure rate. The key is to ensure your original key is in good shape and you are not using a copied key as an original.
Suppose that you had your keys duplicated at Walmart. You went home, tried it, and it does not work. You can return to Walmart and request a new key to be copied for you or a refund instead.
This is rather rare, as the MinuteKey kiosks have a low failure rate. However, some reasons may contribute to your duplicate key failing:
Bent, Broken Original Key
The key used to make the copy was slightly bent, incomplete, or rusted. Some keys may also have coverings that need to be removed, such as a price tag or other stickers.
Copy Of A Copy
You used a copied key as the original to copy another copy. Over time, a key that has been copied over and over will start to lose its accuracy. The machines that cut keys are very accurate. Still, if a key is copied too many times, even small discrepancies in the teeth pattern can make it unable to unlock the lock it is intended to.
Faulty Key Copy Machine
Any machine that has been used a lot may need some maintenance work. This applied to key-cutting machines as well. The machine may need lubrication and some recalibration work done to it regularly to ensure peak performance. If a machine is faulty, it may not be able to duplicate keys at 100% accuracy, resulting in the duplicated key failing.