Locked out of your house? You are not alone. Around 30% of Americans lose or misplace their home or car keys at least once a week. While most of them find the keys again, some may not be so lucky. If you are the one who has lost or misplaced your house key, don’t panic! We have got you covered.   

Here are some steps you can take when you have lost the keys and don’t have spare to enter your home.

1. Search for the keys

Quite obvious it is! Don’t search frantically for the keys. Instead, keep a cool mind. Replay the events for the day or go back to the date when you have last seen the key. Now, think about all the possibilities that might have made you lose or misplace the key. Discuss it with your family and involve them in the search operation. If you search properly, you’ll be lucky to find your key at least nine in ten times!

2. Contact the landlord

If you live in a rented property, inform the landlord about the lost key. Usually, the landlord or property management company will have a spare key with them and it might help.

3.Contact the locksmith

Maybe searching for the key hasn’t yielded any results, but you needn’t be disappointed. Before you bang the door to open it or use any gardening tool to break the lock, stop right away and contact your trusted locksmith! Yes, a residential locksmith service is the best option when you have lost the key and have no spare! Let’s see how a locksmith can help you gain entry into your home.

How do locksmiths open doors without keys?

In case you are locked out of the house, opt for an emergency locksmith service. They have the required skills and tools to open doors easily with minimal damage to the lock or door.

1. Key bumping

Bumping is an age-old technique of opening doors. A bump key is used for picking pin-tumbler locks. The process of gaining entry through the door using the bump key is called bumping.

A bump key has all the cuts made to the maximum depth. It is inserted inside the cylinder but not all the way in. It is then struck by a small hammer or screwdriver.

The sudden energy produced by striking the key transfers to the pins inside the cylinder and disrupts their position. They jump and create a temporary shear line for a brief moment enough for the locksmith to quickly rotate the key inside the cylinder and open the lock.

Key bumping is the basic method to open your house lock and it works most of the time. But if your lock is sophisticated, then your locksmith will have to try other options.

2. Lockpicking

Lockpicking involves a combination of tools and skills to open the door without the key. It benefits from the possibility that locks might have minor irregularities like variations in size, shape, and alignment of components that allow them to be picked. There are various methods of lockpicking. Some are listed below.

Single component picking

This technique focuses on manipulating individual components inside the lock through their position and order of binding. A shaped hook pick tool is used though many may be suitable for the job.


Rake tools manipulate the lock components and focus on quickly changing their position to simulate a wide variety of key depths. This technique will be successful when the position of components is in a predictable pattern.   

Pick guns

Somewhat similar to key bumping, a pick gun transfers the energy to the pin stacks and allows them to align themselves along the shear line allowing for a quick time for rotating and opening the lock.       

Tryout keys

In this technique, the locksmith uses a collection of keys with custom depth cuts and spacing patterns. These keys exploit the poor tolerances in locks. In some cases, a rapid brute force on the nearest fitting key is enough to open the house lock.

Comb picks

A comb pick is a bypass tool that lifts the entire pin stack out of the plug. This frees the shear line and the plug can rotate opening the house lock. The comb pick tools used for this are shaped in the form of a comb and hence its name. Locksmiths use 4-pin, 5-pin, or 6-pin combs to pick the locks.


Impressioning is a non-destructive method of making a working key for a lock when you have no spare. This technique relies on the locksmith’s ability to bind the internal components of the lock until they are in the correct position. Here is the process-

  • Select a correct blank key and prepare it for inserting inside the lock and obtaining marks.
  • Insert the blank key and adjust the lock to make key markings.
  • Interpret the marks where binding is suspected and cut the key to the correct depth.
  • Repeat this process until all the pins are in the proper position and the house lock opens.

Impressioning isn’t something that all can master. Hire a professional residential locksmith service for it to help you open the house lock when you have no spare key.


Decoding is a general term used to understand, decode, and manipulate the position of components inside the lock and design a working key for it. This is usually non-destructive but may sometimes necessitate the removal and disassembling of the lock and opening it to study its components. But now sophisticated lock decoding tools are available that will automatically identify the bitting or depth of key cuts.

These are some of the non-invasive methods in lockpicking to help you gain entry into your home when you have no spare key.

3. Drilling

Unfortunately, sometimes, lockpicking doesn’t work and the last resort is to drill and open the door. The locksmiths are generally successful with non-invasive door-opening techniques. Drilling is the last option left when everything else fails.

4. Rekey lock

When you have lost or misplaced the original and the spare key, ensure you replace the lock for safety purposes. A better affordable option is to rekey the lock instead of buying a new one. Talk to your locksmith about rekeying locks so that your home remains safe from intruders.

Steps to ensure you don’t lose your key

Never bring yourself to such a situation where you are locked out of the house or contacting a residential locksmith service is the only option left. Instead, take some preventive measures to avoid getting locked out of your property.

Keep your key in a safe place

Whatever the emergency, always ensure you have the keys stored in the right place. You don’t want to aggravate any tense situation by losing or misplacing the key.

Always keep a spare

Having a set of spare keys allows you to be assured that you can enter your home even if you have misplaced the original one.

Get a duplicate key

If you have no spare keys, contact a trusted locksmith for key duplication service. It is easier and cheaper to duplicate a key instead of cutting a new key through impressions.

Maintain locks

Locks require regular maintenance as they undergo wear and tear over time with repeated use. You can use some DIY techniques to maintain locks or hire a professional residential locksmith service to help you with this task. It’ll ensure you don’t get locked out of your house in the future.  

Upgrade lock

If you have a good budget in hand, try switching over to smart locks. These keyless entry systems ensure you can access the door anytime without worrying to have a key in hand.

Hire a professional residential locksmith service

Before you try your own ways to open the door and damage it, hire a residential locksmith service. The experts here have the tools and skills to pick the lock and help you when you’re locked out without the original or the spare key in hand.

Desert Locksmith is a professional locksmith service provider for areas of Phoenix, Arizona. We specialize in rekeying locks and key duplication services. If you are ever locked out of your house and have no spare, contact us and we’ll help you get inside with minimal damage to the lock and door.

Get in touch with our experts today!