A revolutionary new way to have duplicate keys made.
A few weeks ago, I heard about a new key making process that was available through Home Depot. This process makes it possible for you to make a digital copy of any key (that can be duplicated), store it using an app, and then have it cut using a revolutionary machine inside Home Depot stores across the U.S. The app is called Key Hero and it’s a free download for iOS or Android users.
KeyHero is an app-based process that saves your keys in a ‘smart’ way. With the app, you can not only store the keys securely, but you can also share, organize and copy keys without even having the physical key available. All your keys are stored in a ‘virtual vault’ that can only be accessed by you.
The other piece to this puzzle is the KeyKrafter cutting machine, which is located within Home Depot stores. This machine is taking the place of the older manual key cutting machines and it does not require a store employee to make the cut. Home Depot employees have been trained on how to assist customers when they visit the retail locations and wish to have a key made.
KeyHero is designed and implemented by the Hillman Group and Unikey. The Hillman Group is a leader in key duplication technology with over 50 years in the hardware industry and Unikey is a leader in application and technology development. Military-grade encryption is used to secure digital keys within your own personal virtual vault.
The KeyHero process starts with the KeyKrafter cutting machine, which is located at your local Home Depot store. The first step for the process is to insert your original key into the KeyKrafter cutter. The machine will then digitally scan the edges of the key and make a virtual copy of it. You don’t have to have an account with KeyHero to have a copy of your key made, but if you want to share it or store it, you do. The accounts are free (the entire KeyHero process is free – the only thing you pay for is the actual key hardware) and easy to set up.
Here’s what the process for getting a duplicate key made using KeyHero looks like.
- Visit Home Depot and go to the area of the store where keys are cut. There should be a new KeyKrafter cutting machine in place.
- Ask an employee for assistance – they have to log into the machine.
- The employee will place your original cut inside a compartment on the machine that scans it.
- The machine will let the employee know what style key is needed for the duplication (in my case — #66).
- The machine will then request an email or phone number that is attached to your KeyHero account. If you don’t have one at this time, that’s ok. KeyHero will still send you an email with the ability to add that key image to your KeyHero app once you do start an account and have the app on your phone.
- The employee will insert a key blank of the proper style into the machine and the cutting process will begin. The machine will automatically adjust the key as needed, which takes human mistakes out of the equation.
- After about a minute, the duplicate key will be finished and the employee will insert the new key into a slot that has a wire brush inside to help clean off any rough edges.
After you’ve downloaded the app and started an account, any stored keys you have can be recalled at any KeyKrafter machine. In order to recall stored keys from your virtual vault, you will need to enter the security code displayed on the KeyKrafter machine into your app. Your keys will then be available to choose from on the machine. It’s a very easy process and it saves a lot of time, too. With the KeyHero/KeyKrafter process, you are guaranteed to have the key cut correctly the first time whereas there is a lot of keys cut incorrectly with a manual cutter. Not only does this save the customer time, but it also saves the stores money. It’s a win-win for everyone.
I can’t recommend this option for getting keys cut enough. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also extremely convenient. The process was simple and even people who don’t typically use technology-based products will find it easy to understand. I love that you have the option to complete the process on your own or have a Home Depot employee help you out. Now that I’ve used Key Hero, I’m really not sure I’ll have keys cut any other way.