Last Updated on January 16, 2023
Some manufactures, typically inexpensive safe manufacturers, provide keys as either the main method of opening the safe or as a secondary method to get into the safe.
- A keyed lock is less expensive than dials or electronic locks, so they are used often in less expensive safes.
- Some safe manufactures put the batteries for their safes inside of the safe. A key override allows you to get into the safe should the batteries die.
You can get replacement safe keys by calling the manufacturer of the safe or by using a locksmith service to create a new key. New safe keys will cost $30-$50 plus keys. Locksmiths are often the fasted way to get a replacement key, usually having a key the same day.
Locksmith services may be the only choice when a manufacturer has gone out of business. See How much does it cost to open safe for additional pricing information if you can’t get new keys made.
Will a Replacement Key Open Your Safe?
How to Get a Safe Key Mailed to You
Will Replacing the Key Open Your Safe?
For the replacement key to open a safe, the safe must open only with an keyed lock
Some safes require both a key AND a combination to open. You need both, so if you don’t know the combination, the key won’t get you in.
If you have a combination safe and don’t know the combination see: How to open a safe when you’ve lost the combination.
Larger, more secure safes, often have a key that locks the dial from spinning. So long as you know the combination to the dial, a key will unlock the dial so the safe can be opened.
The Manufacturer May Mail Replacement Keys to You
If there is a key override, and you registered the safe when you purchased it, your safe manufacture may mail you a replacement key so you can get into your safe.
Most will require ID and proof of ownership to do this. The registration you filled out when you purchased the safe can be used to validate ownership once your identity is confirmed.
Pro tip: If you buy a safe or safe box that takes a key, be sure to register it under your name as that will simplify the verification process should you ever lose your safe’s key.
Most higher-end safe companies will only accept proof of ownership from a locksmith company that has gone to your address and verified you live at the residents where the safe is located or own the business where the safe is located.
If the safe manufacture won’t or can’t provide a key, you can take the safe to a locksmith or have one come to your location.
How to Get Keys to a Sentry Safe
Sentry safe key replacement is a special case of the above. When they are able to provide keys, the process is:
Go to Sentry’s Website
To replace lost keys, Sentry has an online key ordering webpage that can be quick and easy.
Enter Your Safe’s Information
You will are required to know the model number and the key code (Sentry calls this the lock reference number) that is stamped on the silver cylinder around the keyhole. Without those, you will need to call Sentry’s customer support at 1-800-828-1438.
Pay Sentry’s Fee
Sentry will send you 2 keys for, at this time, $30. You can also get 4 key copies sent for double that.
Provide Information to Verify Your Identity
Sentry uses a 3rd party called ExpectID® to verify your identity. They’ll use public records, digital footprint, purchase patterns etc…. to verify the information you’ve entered is valid. If they cannot verify automatically, Sentry may call for further information.
Wait 10-15 days
Sentry takes 7-10 days to pull the information for your request and verify you. After which time the keys will ship to your home.
If you cannot wait that long to get into the safe, or if Sentry is unable to provide you the keys, a locksmith can get you in and get replacement Sentry keys made much more quickly.
Since Sentry safes are small safes, just bring it into your local lock shop.
Use a Locksmith to Make Replacement Keys
Locksmiths can often gain access to a safe or lock box without a key by using several techniques. Once in, the locksmith can make you a key.
How Locksmiths Make a Safe Keys
Picking the Lock and Decoding
Often a locksmith can pick the keyed lock open for you and once open, use the lock to make replacement keys. We do this buy looking at the pins or the wafers inside of the lock and decoding the cuts needed to align them.
If the safe is a barrel key (round key with a hole in the middle) a special tool is used to pick open the lock. Once open that pick retains the key information and can then be placed on a special barrel key duplicator to create a key.
Make a Key by Code
If there is a number stamped near the keyhole, a locksmith should be able to make a replacement safe key quickly by cutting a key by code. That number tells the locksmith what key blank is needed and how to cut the key. With that, a key to your safe can be easily made.
Impressioning a Key
If there is no number stamped on the keyhole, the locksmith may use a technique called impressioning to make the key.
This take a bit longer to do because the locksmith will first need to determine what key blank needs to be used from thousands of possible blanks. An experienced local locksmith shop, such as one of our Arizona lock shops, should be able to make it rather quickly though.
Sometimes the safe key needed will be a restricted key. This means that it doesn’t take a standard key blank that the locksmith has access to, or it may take a high-security key that cannot be picked or impressioned. When this is the case, the locksmith can still get you in. but the lock may need to be drilled out and then replaced (if possible).
See our article on What it Costs to Open a Safe.
How Do Locksmiths Impression Safe KeysHow to Impression a Key.
Robert has been the Owner of ACME Locksmith, Arizona’s #1 Rated Locksmith, since 2007. Robert’s company has provided locksmith service to over 160,000 Phoenix houses and businesses.