You’re in Walmart, and you need to have a spare key made. You vaguely remember that Walmart used to make keys for customers, and you’re wondering if that’s still possible. Where would you go? Does Walmart make keys?
Walmart allows customers to make their keys with the help of a self-service key-cutting kiosk, typically located in the front entryway of many stores. The process usually takes about two to three minutes per key; a single key will cost you about $5.
Keep reading to learn more about Walmart’s key-cutting options and how the key-cutting process at these kiosks works.
Does Walmart Make Keys for You?
Many customers remember when you could head back to Walmart’s hardware or automotive departments and have a set of keys made for you. The machine was loud, and there was generally someone on staff who knew how to operate it.
Those days are gone. Due to staffing concerns, high freight traffic, and time constraints, Walmarts have switched to a third-party self-service kiosk allowing customers to make their own keys. MinuteKey kiosks feature a convenient touch-screen interface and allow customers to select the type of key they wish to have made, as well as choose a unique design on the metal of the key itself to keep your duplicates colorful and easy to find.
How Does MinuteKey Work?
The MinuteKey kiosk should be easy to locate. They are bright lime green and are usually located in the front foyer of a Walmart, near the entrance. They’re easy to use and walk you through the entire process with voice commands and helpful graphics.
Tap the screen to let the kiosk know you’re beginning the process, and follow all kiosk voice instructions. Insert the key you want to be duplicated into the green circular panel below the touch screen as instructed. Next, use the touch screen to select the type of key you want made and any patterns or designs you would like to appear on your duplicate.
Next, you’ll pay for the key with a credit, debit card, or cash if that particular kiosk accepts cash. Once approved, the key will be laser-cut for you and dispensed from a slot below. A clear plastic shield in front of the laser-cut mechanism allows you to watch this entire process. It’s pretty cool, and your keys will be ready in minutes!
What Does It Cost to Have a Key Made?
MinuteKey is not expensive. It should cost about $5 per key, and if you have multiple keys made at once, you can often save a bit of money. The price of the key may depend upon the size and complexity of the key you would like duplicated, as well as the composition and durability of the chosen duplicate material.
Thicker, chunkier key materials will cost you a bit more, but the total prices for all services and materials will be displayed for you on-screen.
What Kind of Keys Can Be Copied?
MinuteKey allows for a range of keys to be copied, but it doesn’t support everything. The main types of keys that it allows you to copy are
- House keys (for typical entryway doors on homes and apartments)
- Office keys (that open standard doors in corporate buildings)
- Padlock keys
- Garage Keys
- Bike lock keys
So long as it’s a simple, flat key made entirely of metal, you should be able to copy it at Walmart’s MinuteKey kiosk.
One type of key you won’t be able to copy with MinuteKey is car keys. Due to security and theft concerns and the complexity of many modern car keys, MinuteKey does not presently allow you to copy car keys. An automotive shop or car dealership would be a better place to get car keys copied.
Especially complex or high-security lock keys are also beyond the ability of MinuteKey. Antique keys and skeleton keys are also not compatible with MinuteKey. It’s great for basic house or office keys, though, and getting duplicates of basic padlock keys.
How Long Does the Process Take?
Thanks to the high-tech, automated nature of the MinuteKey machines, copying a single key should only take 2-3 minutes. The more keys you have copied, the longer you’ll be standing there, but the MinuteKey is surprisingly fast, efficient and precise in its work, and you’ll have your key soon.
It’s also really fun to stare into the machine as it works, and this bonus view of the laser cutter at work makes the waiting time seem less tedious.
What if My Key Says “Do Not Copy”?
Many keys to apartments or basic locks may have “do not copy” engraved. While this is strong wording, it is not usually a legally binding prohibition. Except in some instances where it has been made clear that you may not legally duplicate a specific set of keys, most keys can be copied.
However, if the key you are trying to copy is “do not copy” engraved on the blade, the machine may take notice of this and refuse to copy the key. However, a “do not copy” message engraved on the bow or “graspable” part of the key should not be readable to the machine, which will likely copy with no issues.
While Walmart no longer makes keys for you, Walmarts do have MinuteKey kiosks that allow customers to copy their keys in 2-3 minutes. So long as the key is a basic, flat metal key such as a house key or office key, it should duplicate easily. A MinuteKey can’t duplicate car keys, complex lock keys, and antique keys.
On average, the price should be about $5 per key, with multiple keys being a bit cheaper. Follow all voice instructions from the MinuteKey machine, insert your key into the round lock interface, and pay with a debit or credit card (or cash if the machine allows this). Your key will be ready in minutes.
Hi there, I’m JJ, and welcome To EverydayQuery! Founded in 2022, we created this project to be the most complete resource on the web for your everyday questions regarding retail, shopping experiences, and overall consumer questions. We’re a team of passionate consumers whose mission is to provide the best answers to your everyday questions.