Covid-19 UPDATE - 31/03/2020



We are operating reduced hours and the telephones will be manned on Monday's, Wednesday's and Fridays. Orders are being dispatched within 48 hours. Please email any enquiries to sales@fastkeys.co.uk and we will respond within 24 hours.




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COVID-19 UPDATE FROM FAST KEY SERVICES LTD

Fast Key Services are monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and following the guidance of the UK Government.

Our workshop, delivery service and web site will continue to run as normal, but health and safety are our top priorities and are at the forefront of every decision we make.

It is critical that we do our part to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. With this in mind we have taken the decision to temporarily close out trade counter as of 23/03/2020 and reduce the amount of staff in our administrative and workshop departments to the bare minimum.

We will continue to provide our exceptional level of customer services and fulfil all orders placed on our website and by email or phone. We thank you for your continued support and best wishes to all of our customers in these difficult and challenging times.

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Site Visits Now Available

SITE VISITS

Fast Key Services Ltd are now offering an onsite survey service that covers the London, Essex and Kent areas. Whether you need help identifying the correct keys for your office furniture, locks installed to your bank of lockers, replacement cylinders fitted, commercial locks fitted to internal doors or a quote for a whole master suited system our team of experienced locksmiths and technical support operatives are on hand to help. Surveys are free of charge, simply contact a member of our technical support team to book an appointment.

MORE THEN JUST A KEY CUTTER

As well as being the UK’s leading supplier of keys and locks for office furniture, we also stock a wide range of hardware and security products for commercial and domestic applications

Some of which can be found on our website - https://www.fastkeys.co.uk/hardware

TAILORED HARDWARE AND SECURITY SOLUTIONS

For specific products and services CONTACT US TODAY, speak to our team of experienced technical support operatives and MLA qualified locksmiths and book in a site visit to discuss your needs in more detail.

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What You Need To Know Before Getting Your Key Cut

What You Need To Know Before Getting Your Key Cut

There are many reasons as to why you might need a new key; from misplacing your current one to breaking it while in use. Within this article, we will be taking you through exactly what you need to know before getting your key cut. We will unravel any frequently asked questions and give you all the guidance you need.



Everything You Need To Know About Key Cutters

What is Key Cutting?

To put it simply, key cutting is a mode of key duplication. This, in simple terms, means that a new copy of a key is created through using an existing copy of the key. Now, that’s just the basic part; but trust us, it gets even more interesting as we dive deeper into the process. You’ll certainly benefit from this article that details everything you need to know about key cutters.

How Does Key Cutting Work?

Cutting a key takes incredible skill, which is why it is advised that you seek help from professional key cutters to do it for you.

In simple terms, a specialised machine is used to get the exact cut required. A ‘blank’ is placed into a vice in the machine, and afterwards, the original key is also fitted into a parallel vice. The original key is then gently and skillfully moved along a guide, with the blank being moved along a wheel, which cuts it into the shape of the original key.

Once this process is done, the ‘deburring’ then begins with help from a metal brush. Deburring is simply the act of getting rid of burrs made while in the vice. This also takes some skill, as if done incorrectly, the ragged key could cause damage to the lock.

When it comes to key cutting, an incorrect or faulty job could pose a real danger. There have been many cases of fraudulent key cutters who have done a lousy job, resulting in poorly cut keys that either don’t work or damage the locks. With this in mind, it’s always important to head to trusted key cutters, like us here at Fast Keys.

How Much Does Key Cutting Cost?

Getting your keys cut can cost as little as £2.50 at Fast Keys. The price of the key will entirely depend on what type you need cut, but you can rest assured knowing the prices will never be extortionate. Naturally, the more complicated the key, the more expensive it is to cut it. The below information acts as a basic guide:

Basic Keys (Yale) - These are the most common key types, and therefore, do not typically go above £4 to get cut.

Mortice or Chubb Keys - These types of keys are slightly more complicated to cut, yet still incredibly affordable. Therefore, the average one costs about £5 to cut.

Safe/Security Keys - These are the most complicated to cut and also the most unpredictable. To be on the safe side, start preparing anything from £8 when seeking to cut this type of key.

As you can see, key cutting is not an act which will break the bank. For an updated list of prices, browse our range of keys today.

How Can I Identify My Key?

Ordering a new key online isn’t as stressful as it may seem. However, before you order one, you need to figure out exactly what type of key you need.

First off, confirm if your old key or lock has a number on the face; if it does, then you can simply search for that via our search bar and have a new one cut. If the number turns out to be a generic one, you’ll need to glean further information about the lock to identify the right key.

To make things as simple as possible for you, we have put together a guide on how to identify your key.

How Many Copies Should I Get Cut?

The number of copies you get cut is dependent on the number of keyholders required. If we are talking about house keys, it is generally advised that each occupant of the house gets one key. It is also worth having a spare key and giving it to a trusted family member or neighbour in case of emergencies.

If you are getting a key cut for an office, you should probably just cut a couple for yourself and a trusted employee. And finally, if it is for a personal cabinet or secure storage area, then one or two copies should be all you need. Just be sure that you remember where you left the spare one...

Where Can I Find a Key Cutter Near Me?

Trust is an important factor when dealing with key cutters; this is why sometimes, distance isn’t the prevailing deal maker. Nowadays, keys can be ordered online and delivered to your door in as little as one working day, meaning the whole process isn’t a burden at all.

Fast Keys has been in existence for over two decades, and in that time, we have worked hard to be seen as the UK’s leading key cutters. We specialise in cutting a whole range of replacement keys, including replacement car keys and window keys. For further information, get in touch on 01268 562 562.

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My New House Is Missing Window Keys - What Do I Do?

My New House Is Missing Window Keys - What Do I Do?

There’s no greater achievement than owning your own home. Once all the paperwork has been done, the removal men booked and your furniture packed, there’s nothing stopping you from turning your house into a much-loved home. But what happens when you go to open the windows to let in some fresh air, only to find the windows are locked and no keys are in sight?

Don’t worry, help is at hand, with expert advice from Fast Keys.

Lost Window Keys? Here's What You Need To Do

You can avoid an expensive locksmith bill by taking the following steps to get your window keys recovered.

Speak To The Previous Owners (if possible)

Moving house can be a little chaotic, and that can also apply to the previous owners of your new home. There is a chance that they may have accidentally packed the window keys and taken them with them.

So, the first port of call in your search for a solution should be the estate agent you used, if you don’t have the contact details of the previous owners. There is a chance the previous occupants either have the keys with them or may have left them in a safe place (for example, taped onto the underside of the windowsill).

Search The House High and Low

If you draw a blank with the previous owner, then there is no harm in searching the house for any hidden places the window keys may have been stored. Check all the windows and surrounding space, any fitted units, cupboards or kitchen drawers as well as the utility room and garage in case they have been stored for safekeeping.

Get a Replacement Window Key

If you have no joy in tracking down the originals, then don’t panic – you can easily get replacement window keys.

It is extremely easy to get a replacement window key as many window locks and their keys have been mass-produced. In fact, 95% of all window keys are pre-cut in the factory, which means Fast Keys will almost certainly be able to find you a replacement, quickly and efficiently.

All you need is the brand or manufacturer of your window lock and our expert team can take it from there. There are currently around 90 types of pre-cut keys in the UK and all the major models, including Basta, Avocet, Chubb, Boulton & Paul and Hoppe are in stock at Fast Keys.

Types of Window Keys

It makes financial sense to get a replacement key for your existing window security, as hiring a locksmith can prove to be quite expensive. But before you purchase a new window key, you need to know the type of window key you are looking to replace to ensure you get the perfect match.

There are two main types of keys for windows:

Window Handle Keys

Old or timber windows tend to have a lock within their window handle, and some modern style windows opt to go for this for a ‘retro look’. These handles come complete with a key.

Locking mechanisms on window handle keys include stay locks and swing locks. The type of key you need to replace will depend on the type of locking mechanism in place.

UPVC Window Keys

UPVC windows are incredibly popular in this day and age. They come in a huge variety of shapes and designs. Types of lock and key systems currently used in UPVC windows include cylinder locks, bar locks and tubular locks. At Fast Keys, we stock all the major styles and brands.

The Key to Success

Safety, security and ventilation - being able to open and securely lock all the windows in your new home is essential and so, if you have lost the window keys, getting a replacement is essential.


If you are unable to track down those missing keys and don’t want to spend money replacing all window locks, our
key cutting specialists can help, saving you both time and money. Browse our wide range of window lock replacement keys available online to get started.

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Can You Fix A Broken Key?

Can You Fix A Broken Key?

Although not an everyday occurrence, there may come a time in life where you end up with a broken key. Whether it snaps within the lock or gets damaged elsewhere, the panic to find a quick fix soon kicks in. Within this guide, we will be discussing whether you can fix a broken key and what the best options are for a quick solution.



Is it Possible to Fix a Broken Key?

When it comes to fixing a broken key, you’ll rarely find that the pieces can get put back together like a china plate. In fact, more times than not, there are far simpler solutions such as purchasing a replacement key or obtaining a spare.

When your key first breaks, it’s important to establish whether you should either repair it or get a replacement instead. It’s worth knowing that:

● A repaired key won’t ever be as reliable as the original key
● Repairing a key can sometimes be costlier than an alternative option
● In order to be fixed, the key needs to break in a certain way

How to Get a New Key

There are several options to choose from when it comes to getting a new key; depending on how soon you need a replacement. Local locksmiths can be on hand to help you but one of the easiest solutions is to purchase a new key online. Purchasing keys online is both a convenient and affordable experience, allowing you to get a replacement key swiftly.

The following three steps will take you through how to get a new key.

1. Establish the Type of Key

When getting a replacement key, it’s important to make sure that you get the right version cut. This is fairly simple to do; all keys tend to have a number engraved on them that can be typed into our search bar (at the top of the page). If you can’t find the key number, then you can search by the manufacturer instead.



From here, you will be presented with the right type of key, making it easier for the next step to take place.

2. Get a Copy From a Key Cutter

Key cutting requires skill in order to ensure accuracy, particularly if your key is already broken. Getting a replacement key from a trusted and experienced key cutter is the simplest way to solve your broken key problem.

Here at Fast Keys, we have many years of experience in replacing broken keys and can get a new copy over to you in an instant. Simply browse our website to find your replacement key or get in touch with us on 01268 562 562 if you require any further assistance.

3. Change Your Locks

When a key breaks, it is often due to the fact that the key and locking system is old and worn. With this in mind, changing your locks when you break a key might be a wise move.

Although a costlier option, changing your locks will reduce the risk of key breakages in the future. Modern locking systems are made out of far stronger materials that will last longer and withstand frequent use.

As well as avoiding key breakages in the future, changing your locks will also provide your home or building with far greater security. Intruders will struggle to pick the locks when they’re updated with the latest locking technology!

Conclusion

Although it is possible to fix a key (depending on where it has broken), the easiest solution will always be to get a replacement key cut instead. With the above three steps in mind, you’ll have a brand new, stronger, key in no time!

Get in touch with our specialist key cutting experts on 01268 562 562 for more information.

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How to Keep Your Hardware Looking Brand New

How to Keep Your Hardware Looking Brand New

The sheen and sophistication that comes from out-of-the-box hardware really makes a world of difference to the appearance of your property. But over time, the hardware of your doors can lose their lustre, leaving your home looking old and tired.

Don’t worry though - you don’t have to immediately rush out to replace all of the hardware in your home – there are ways to renew the appearance of hardware, and they’re easier than you might think.



Here are some tips and tricks that will help you to keep your hardware looking brand new.

How to Clean Your Hardware

Some homeowners who are the proud occupiers of older houses pride themselves on retaining the original patina of metal hardware, but just because they want their home to maintain its antique finish, doesn’t mean it has to look corroded or tarnished. You can still clean door hardware quickly and easily while accentuating the original features of your home.

What You Will Need To Clean Your Hardware

In order to clean your hardware, you will require:

● A toothbrush or soft-bristled brush
● Water
● Gloves
● Cloths
● Metal cleaner
● Furniture or car wax

If you can’t find an effective metal cleaning product, you can make your own from a mix of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar which will work particularly well for older doors where you want to remove some, but not all, of the patina.

Bronze Finishes

Oil rubbed bronze finishes are finishes that evolve over time, meaning they have a continually changing appearance. Because this type of finish doesn’t have a clear coat, the flat brown coating usually wears down to a coppery tone.



In order to take care of bronze finished hardware, you should wipe down the surface with a small amount of vegetable oil on a soft cloth – however, be careful not to use too much, as this can leave a residue on your hands when you use the door.

If you want to restore the hardware’s colour without affecting the original compound, you can use a household detergent or a mild abrasive powder that can be wiped away. Finish off by rubbing in a coat of furniture wax to keep the hardware looking pristine.

Clear Finishes

In order to maintain the appearance of clear finished hardware, you only need to clean periodically with non-abrasive soap and buff the hardware slightly with a dry cloth.

Applying non-abrasive car wax is also a good idea when working with clear finishes as this will protect the hardware while also preserving the colour beneath.

Chrome Finishes

Chrome hardware is one of the easiest metals to maintain and can be wiped down with just a damp cloth. If you need to restore the metal, you can use high-grade chrome polish to bring back the finish.



Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar can also be used to clean chrome efficiently – mix the two ingredients together to form a paste and brush into the hardware using a toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush. Leave the mixture to sit for a few minutes to work on dissolving the grime and then wipe away with a cloth.

Know When it's Time to Replace your Hardware

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to restore the metal on your doors to a suitable standard. If hardware has been unmaintained for too long, it’s best to start fresh and replace the hardware.

Replacing hardware can instantly transform the look of a building; this is particularly the case with replacement letterboxes, door handles and locks.

The main thing to remember when choosing new hardware is to check that the size matches what you currently have in place; this will help to avoid any installation difficulties.

Order Hardware Online

Ordering hardware online has never been easier thanks to our online store. We have a huge array of key hardware available to purchase today; from door handles and chains through to hinges and latches.

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Contact UsBy phone, fax & email.

Fast Key Services Ltd
Unit 3 Pilot Close, Fulmar Way
Wickford,Essex
SS11 8YW
United Kingdom

Sales Office: (+44) 01268 562 562
Trade Counter: (+44) 01268 562592
Accounts: (+44) 01268 562572
Fax: (+44) 01268 570 121
E-mail:sales@fastkeys.co.uk

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