25 Years Experience

Austin, TX

Male, 46

I've been a locksmith since 1998. I did automotive residential & commercial work from 1998 to 2008. From 2008 to 2018, I did some residential, but mostly commercial work. I have been project managing & estimating since 2018. I used to locksmith in the Chicago area, now the Austin area.

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326 Questions


Last Answer on June 11, 2024

Best Rated

Have you ever been called to a scene and realized that the person asking you to open a lock was doing so for illegal reasons? Like he or she wasn't a resident? What happened?

Asked by Greg_85 about 12 years ago

Not to break in, no. My boss at my last job let someone into a business they didn't own, but since he had gotten all the proper documentation, he wasn't liable. They were caught though. I had an old man call me out to change the locks on a house once, & after I got there I could tell he wasn't all there. Turned out it wasn't even his house! It was a friend's who was in the other room. She came out & said she didn't even want me to do it, but he insisted she did. It was 9 oclock at night, I didn't feel like dealing with it so I just walked out.

I've had to call a locksmith a couple of times in a late-night pinch. Each time I was quoted one price on the phone, only to find out when he arrived that the ACTUAL price was literally 4-5x the original quote. Total bait-and-switch. Is this a typical maneuver that 24-hr locksmiths use to take advantage of people in distress, or was I dealing with some bad eggs?

Asked by my-t-sharp about 12 years ago

I'm sorry to say, but our Industry has been saturated with phony locksmiths. There are national companies that subcontract people and pay them by commission. When you called that locksmith, you were probably talking to someone in call center in another state. They quote you the base price, and when the subcontractor comes to you he quotes you however much he wants to make. This is not typical for a 24 hour locksmith. I've worked for two companies in the 13 years I've been a locksmith. Both of them were 24 hours, and we never did anything like that. These phony locksmiths put a bunch of ads online and in the phone book to make themselves look local. They even have fake Company names, they use local addresses that go to peoples houses and other businesses, so people think they're calling a local company. I recommend that you find one or two reputable local locksmiths and store the number in your phone.

Are there any types of locks that not even you can crack?

Asked by Greg_85 about 12 years ago

I can get in pretty much every lock. I might do some damage, but I can get in! I can't get into vaults & a lot of safes. Just because I've never actually been trained for it.

What was the toughest lock you ever managed to crack?

Asked by my-t-sharp about 12 years ago

I broken into a few safes, & bypassed more deadbolts than I can count. Unfortunately no exciting stories. I did manage to get a door open that had a multi-point lock system installed that broke in the locked position. Not fun!

Is selling lock-picking tools ILLEGAL? I bought a starter set online and every website that sold them included some "novelty item only" disclaimer.

Asked by mikeC about 12 years ago

I think if it was illegal, they probably wouldn't be able to sell them. I think they have to give that disclaimer so they can sell them legally. I never had to buy them online or sell them, so I'm no expert on the subject, that is just my opinion.

Beyond the regular key locks, do you have tools to unlock the chain locks sometimes found on doors? Without breaking it, of course.

Asked by **Sam** about 12 years ago

I have never seen any tools designed to specifically unlock the chain locks. I would assume the reason would be that they're not difficult to cut and easy and cheap to replace.

Is it possible to open a lock using a credit card?

Asked by Mark about 12 years ago

You can credit card a door knob or lever handle if they aren't installed correctly, & if there's enough slop in the door. Generally speaking, credit cards are too thick and stiff anyways.