Can You Actually Make A Spare Key Out Of A Tin Can?

Imagine getting home after a long day at work, walking up your driveway to your front door, reaching into your pocket for the key, and ... nothing's there. A quick search through your belongings quickly turns into frantic pats all around your body. You've lost your key. This is a scenario we recognize all too well, having lived it a million times over. And, unsurprisingly, keys are one of the most commonly reported missing items. Unless you wear them on a chain around your neck night and day, it's not that hard to forget they're in your hand and drop them in random places.

Fortunately, YouTube creator Dave Hax has pioneered a brilliant way to make sure you don't get locked out even after tossing your key away by accident. This hack can help you make a spare key by taking the original key's imprint and cutting out the silhouette from the lid of a tin can. Although keys are made of brass or a brass and nickel amalgam and tin cans are usually crafted out of aluminum nowadays, carving a spare key out of a can may actually work to save your butt one unlucky day. Before you go replace the locks on your door, you may want to try it out.

Cut out the key's outline from the tin can

According to the video posted by creator Dave Hax on YouTube, you'll need to gather together a tin can lid, the original key, white paper, tape, a computer and printer, a coin, and a good pair of scissors. Don't forget to grab your phone as well — you'll need it. Start the process by placing the key and the coin for scale on the white paper and taking a picture of it from above with your phone. Then, upload the picture onto your computer and scale the image until you get the correct size. Print this out and cut out the print-out of the key so that there are still white edges of paper on it. Tape this rough cut-out onto the tin can lid and cut over it carefully as you trace the edges with the blade. Once you're done, you'll have an exact replica of your original key on standby.

The major problem that would arise from this is that your spare key might be a one-time-use item. Common house keys have a thickness of about 0.08 inches while tin can lids typically max out at 0.007 inches, making them extra thin and not durable. While your key may work once, it might be too bent out of shape to do so again. Theoretically, you could make multiple copies and hot glue them together to increase the thickness, or just keep the extra copies in your home safety box.