18 Years Experience

Austin, TX

Male, 38

I've been a locksmith since 1998. I've done automotive, lots of residential, and now mostly commercial work. Used to locksmith in the Chicago area, now the Austin area.

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +


Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

178 Questions


Last Answer on March 14, 2018

Best Rated

Can you start a car just by "crossing wires"? Are there special rules or laws that apply to locksmiths and car-starting? Are you even ALLOWED to, or do they have to go through their dealership or insurance company?

Asked by autolock almost 6 years ago

You can start a car by crossing wires on old cars, but you still can't just drive off. Steering wheels are locked & turning the key unlocks the wheel. Locksmiths don't do that anyways. We just make keys for the cars. Most newer vehicles have a chip in the key or the ignition. That security chip is required in order for the car to start, & every car's chip is different. That was designed to prevent people from "hot wiring" cars.

Am I supposed to tip my locksmith?

Asked by Tony Riddles about 5 years ago

We don't count on tips, but they're always appreciated! ;-) Personally, any time I have service work done at MY house, I always try to tip at least five dollars if I have it. If nothing else, offer them something to drink. I'm shocked at how many people don't do either.

Are bike locks useless? I've heard that even a decent bike thief can pretty much work around even the most allegedly strong bike locks.

Asked by Tr3 over 5 years ago

No lock is guaranteed, but some are easier to pick, or cut with bolt cutters. The goal is to make it as difficult as possible; so getting something so thick that you'll need an angle grinder to cut it off would probably be your best bet.

Hello this is a question about tubular locks, how can you tell just by looking at one if it’s a 7, 8 or 10 pin lock? Or am I asking the wrong question?

Asked by Kingpin almost 5 years ago

Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen 10-pin tubular lock, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. They're just not very common. I suppose you could just count the pins since you can see them plain as day. 

Can a locksmith make a key by looking at the lock alone?

Asked by brikhaus about 5 years ago

Sometimes there is a code stamped on a lock, & in those cases we can look up the cuts. Otherwise no.

Is it ILLEGAL for a locksmith to make a copy of a key that says "DO NOT COPY" on it?

Asked by billhert almost 6 years ago

No, some keys that say "do not duplicate" is just a deterrent. It's simply an honor system. It's telling you that whoever gave you that key would prefer you didn't make a copy of it. It's up to the person copying it if they want to do it or not. Our shop makes you sign a waiver just to cover out butts. Other keys that say it might be covered by a patent. The blank might not even be available to them, that's called a restricted key. Mostly Medeco, Mul-T-Lock, Primus, etc, most of those are truly restricted.

Not that I'm complaining, but why is it so inexpensive to get key copies made? It's such a valuable service, and intricate metal-cutting just seems like it's worth more than $1-2.

Asked by brikhaus about 5 years ago

Big box stores charge less because they are able to get blanks for so cheap because they buy such a large bulk. It's also an inexpensive opportunity to get you INTO the store in hopes that you'll buy something ELSE while you're there. Most mobile locksmiths probably charge $2-3. Our company charges $2.85 per.