Locksmith vs. Retail Store: Which is Best?

Have you ever gone to have a key made and found that it doesn’t fit quite correctly in your lock? Small protrusions or divots can cause a key to fit poorly or not at all. Quick key machines at your local retail store may have a tendency to leave defects in keys at your expense. But where can you get the best quality keys, a local retail store or a locksmith? Here are five reasons a certified locksmith is a better option:

Mobile Locksmith

While retail stores offer simple key making services, they typically don’t offer mobile locksmith options. A locksmith can make and deliver key copies, help with a lockout, or install locks on location.

Experience and Certification

A fully licensed locksmith is highly trained in their craft and keeps up with new developments and technologies in the security industry. They are qualified to make quality keys and locks and their work is typically backed by the state. For instance, Sure-Fit locksmiths (operating out of Chevy Chase MD) are licensed to work in Maryland and are also a part of ALOA, or Associated Locksmiths of America. The ALOA is a professional association of locksmiths and security professionals that seek to ensure “professional excellence”.


A retail store may have a few different varieties of locks and several different key options but a locksmith will typically have a full catalog of locks and keys to choose from. With wider options, you can choose the locks, door handles, and keys that fit your home or office just right.


Specialized locksmiths may also have more technological options available, Including electronic keypads and locks. Instead of going with the typical lock and key option you can use electronic pads with keycard entry.

Commercial and Residential

A locksmith has the resources to service larger residents and office buildings. A locksmith can come to your place of business and install locks based on your specification. Visiting a retail store would typically mean you’d have to install them all yourself.

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