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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324 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.

OTHER than calling a locksmith, any recommendations on what to do if I lock my keys in my car? I remember my father trying to use a coat hanger, but that only worked maybe once out of 10 times.

Asked by joanie about 12 years ago

There are no magic tricks. No blanket recommendation for breaking in a car. Too many cars require different methods. I can give you advice on how to PREPARE for it! Either sign up for a AAA membership ($50 a year which includs 3 free car openings) OR buy a small combo lock box & install it under your car. Only takes 2 screws. Just don't screw it into your gas tank. ;-)

Do you have any stories about locksmiths using their skills to burglarize?

Asked by Shonuff about 12 years ago

None that I've ever heard of. I unlocked an old arcade game once so my friend could play for free! Haha

Am I supposed to tip my locksmith?

Asked by Tony Riddles over 11 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.

Ever wind up getting romantically involved with a "damsel in distress" customer for whom you saved the day?

Asked by J.G. almost 12 years ago

I ended up dating a girl who's car I unlocked. Another time, a lady who was going through a rough time straight up asked me to have sex with her! I declined and left as fast as I could.

hey there im wanting to get in the locksmith game i already have the school im going to just wondering once i complete my course so should i work for my self or someone and also since i will be new what would the pay be like for residential and auto

Asked by DONONOVAN over 11 years ago

School or work for someone: I've seen a lot of new locksmiths start businesses and fail because they weren't experienced, and were terrible at running a business. Personally, I would say work for someone for a while, learn the business, make mistakes on someone else's dollar, figure out what you like and don't like about the way they do things, and get comfortable approaching almost any lock situation. THEN start your own company. Pay: First of all, it totally depends on the going rates in your area. It varies quite a bit. You'll have to be doing auto for quite a while and get really good (making keys and servicing ignitions and door locks) before you'll make good money. Luckily, a lot of locksmiths hate auto work (like myself even though I did it for 10 years). There isn't much money in residential work. It's all in commercial work.

Do you think traditional doorlocks will eventually become obsolete, and everything will just be keyless entry? It's already the case on certain cars and garage doors, why not front doors?

Asked by Lany atl about 12 years ago

I think that you're probably right about that. My first boss always told me that I would probably see the end of mechanical locks in my day. I think we have 20-30 years before we see it trickle down to lower & middle class due to the cost of it. Obviously it's currently being use regularly in office bldgs everywhere, but the cost is $800+ a door. So they have a ways to go before we see the price drop low enough and have products designed simple enough for the mechanically-inclined homeowner to install it himself. They already have touch-screen deadbolts, remote control deadbolts, & obviously regular keypad deadbolts. Generally the reason businesses want to eliminate keys is for more control. Audit trails, easy & costly elimination of a fired employee, lots of benefits really; but not a lot for residential reasons other than convenience. Which is why we prob won't see it for quite a while, & mostly in high end home with home automation.

Do you have friends and family who take advantage of your profession and call you constantly to help with lock-outs?

Asked by go leo about 12 years ago

I used to a lot. For really close friends, I just did it for free unless they wanted to tip me. And then friends of friends started calling. I would just charge them a flat $20.

Best locksmith joke you ever heard?

Asked by hootie hooooooo about 12 years ago

That's a really good question, but I honestly don't think I've ever heard a locksmith Joke! As my friend Alex would say, "I've met some locksmiths who WERE jokes!"

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

Asked by brikhaus over 11 years ago

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

Are there any common locks that you think are WAY too easy to break into and people should replace them? Kwikset comes to mind - seems like all it would take is a paper clip and a steady hand.

Asked by Becks about 12 years ago

People getting their locks picked by burglars is very rare. What you should be more concerned about is making sure you have good strong strike plates on your jambs with long screws that go into the studs. If you're concerned about your locks being picked or drilled, then sure, buy Medeco or Mul-T-Lock deadbolts. They're awesome. They will cost you $200+ per lock. I think the majority of burglars are looking for an easier way in. Kicking the door in or breaking a window.

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 about 12 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.

Is it possible to open a combination lock or safe simply by putting your ear up to it?

Asked by DUCKS about 12 years ago

Yes that's real. Not many who can do it though.

I used a locksmith in Portland once and he was a total phonie! How can you tell if they are real deals?

Asked by Caty Smith over 11 years ago

Your best bet is to have one bookmarked before you actually need one. Get referrals from friends, check the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and keep your eyes open for actual brick and mortar lock shops in your area. A lot of phonies will list an address online or in the yellow pages, but it will be fake. The fakes use local numbers that redirect to a national call center. They hire local contractors who will upcharge you once (if) they show up. LOTS of scammers out there.

Do you remember "The Club", the long, red anti-theft locking device for cars? Is The Club very easy to pick?

Asked by Tr3 almost 12 years ago

The first ones were, but they changed the lock to a higher security lock.

if my key keeps jamming in my doorlock, is it usually because the key is misshapen, or is there something wrong with the lock itself?

Asked by not so turn-key almost 12 years ago

The first thing I'd try is squirting some high quality lubricant in there. Not WD40, and not graphite. Vehicle door locks get dry or corrode quickly, especially if you rarely use it. Secondly, I'd look at your key. If it's bent or a bad copy (possibly not visible to the untrained eye), that is very possibly the problem. A lock shop should be able to read & cut you a new factory-spec key. Past that, it's internal lock damage.

Is there a certain type of person that tends to lock themselves out of the house or car more frequently than others?

Asked by Bentoyo! almost 12 years ago

Surprisingly not! Young, old, male, female, etc. a little bit of everybody.

WHICH WAFERS ARE IN THE DOOR of a 2001 Ford Focus?

Asked by rick almost 11 years ago

Cuts 1-6

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

Asked by billhert about 12 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.

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 almost 12 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.

Why do locksmiths cost so much? I've literally gotten stuck paying $150-250 several times for lockouts that took the locksmith all of 5-10 min.

Asked by grrrrrrizelda over 11 years ago

You should never pay that kind of money to have a locksmith open a car or house that takes 5-10 minutes. Prices vary depending on where you live, but that's ridiculous! They're ripping you off. You are being taken advantage of. There are some nationwide companies who hire subcontractors to work on commission. They quote people a small rate on the phone (which they're most likely in another state), & then the contractor charges whatever he wants to make. They use local phone numbers & fake addresses to make themselves look local. If you're ever quoted a price on the phone, ask the tech what the price will before he does any work. If it's not the same, or if he tries to add more without warning after the job is over, refuse to pay & call the police. He's probably trying to rip you off. It should always make sense. Obviously emergency calls in the middle of the night will be more expensive.


Asked by allen almost 11 years ago

Cuts 1-6. 

Can those huge manual bolt cutters basically cut through any of today's commercial locks?

Asked by CB4 over 11 years ago

Definitely not! I would say those cutters are fairly limited to what they'll cut off.

What's a rough estimate of how much a new VSAT key for my 92 Cadillac Eldorado cost?

Asked by Qp over 10 years ago

If you mean a copy of an existing key, probably $10-20 if you take it to a locksmith. If you're saying that you don't have a key, $150-350. Lots of variables, & different areas differ in rates. 

I am a locksmith for a state supported living center. They have corbin russwin ic core leversets, 5200 series. I am having a terrible time getting the retainer clip out to remove the levers, any suggestions would be appreciated

Asked by Randy almost 11 years ago

That series is bringing up 2 different things made by CR- exit bars & Unit locks. Which are you working on? And a when you say "clip" are you referring to a snap ring?

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 over 11 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.

i am new at programming keys, i cut a transponder key from a non transponder key
, i programmed it to 2001 maxima with my handheld computer, it work, but only for a few min, then it would not start car, what did i do wrong?

Asked by dennis over 10 years ago

I'm sorry, I got out of making keys for cars about 5 years ago. I don't know the answer to that question. You may want to try hooking jumper cables up to the car & let it charge for a bit. Every once in a while that was an issue. 

Well, the blank says master, it says m
They stamped 10R01 on it. I can get it to go in. But it does not turn. So as for the numbers you said to look for on the. Key for my master pad lock no.82

Asked by Doctor_anything about 11 years ago

It may have been miscut or something. I can't help much more than that. If the locksmith charged you, I'd take it back to that locksmith, he must have made a mistake. You could try to get your money back and go to another locksmith. 

I have a multipoint lock (corbin french doors) that is broken in the locked position. I read in one of your answers that you managed to open such a lock. How? Help.

Asked by Michael Redd over 10 years ago

I've never seen a Corbin multipoint lock in person, just a diagram of one online, but from what I can tell, this is a completely different animal. There are many reasons why it might not be unlocking, and destroying it to get it open might not be necessary or work the same way. I hate to say it, but your best bet would be to find an experienced locksmith who would be willing to tackle this project, but be prepared to spend some money in the off-chance it's not repairable, I'm sure these aren't cheap. 

hi, my parents recently fitted a lock on my sliding window that needs a key to be unlocked how can i unlock it without the key or possibly buy one but which key should i buy?

Asked by courtney over 10 years ago

Those are usually locks you can't just go out and "buy a key" for. Stay on your parent's good side, do as you're told/asked; and after they build up trust in you, they'll unlock it for you and life will be much more pleasant. 

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 about 11 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. 

We hired a locksmith to get into an internal locked office door. They screwed around for 5 hours and then left with our entire lock, cylinder and master key and won't bring it back until we agree to pay them to finish the job? Isn't that theft?

Asked by bloom almost 11 years ago

Without knowing the details of the story, judging by your side of the story alone, it's definitely theft!! First off they can't charge you for something you didn't agree to pay for. Secondly, it's YOUR lock & keys, so that is definitely not right. 

Some of these hack "locksmiths" will quote you a low price on the phone (you're usually talking to someone in a call center in another state), then they send an independent contractor out who works on commission. They usually don't know what they're doing & try to charge an arm & a leg. Sound accurate? I'd call the police if you're confident in your story. That's not right! 

I have a master padlock no. 82
I don't have the key. There was a stamp in black ink on the bottom. 10R01
The lock smith looked it up. Said yep 5 pin master pad lock. Charged me 12 bucks. But the key goes in very tight and it only goes in half way

Asked by Doctor anything about 11 years ago

It's possible that he used the wrong blank, or maybe the blank is bent or twisted. According to my records, the key blank should be: m-4, 1092V, MS9R, 81KR. Those are different part numbers for the same blank by different manufacturers. Check the key for that part number, if it's different, that might be a ref flag. Some keys don't have any part number on them though. I'd take it back to that locksmith.

What's a fair price for a car or home lockout? What about it if it's late at night?

Asked by Torched over 11 years ago

Like I said in a previous post, it really depends on the area you live in. During regular business ours, it can range anywhere from $25 to $100. After hours, anywhere from $50 to $150. Hiring a reputable company makes a big difference as well. You might be quoted a little bit more on the phone, but the price will stay the same when the job is complete. There's a lot of shady companies who will quote you a low price on the phone, but the technician will jack up the price after the job is complete. It never hurts to double check the price when the technician arrives!

I've been picking as a hobby. I am newer to this. I recently ran into a master padlock no.82 that has 5 pins . Only have a Dino 8 pc pick set. Any help would be wonderful because I'm stuck on this one.

Asked by Doctor anything about 11 years ago

They're not easy, I'll tell you that! They put pick-resistant pins in there, most of the time, we end up cutting them off. 

I just bought a used combination lock for my apartment door and the owner that sold it to me did not remember the combination. Is there any way a locksmith can figure out the code or reset it if I bring it into the shop? Thanks

Asked by rachel over 10 years ago

Depends on the brand. if it's a mechanical one the code will have to be either decoded by a professional or physically taken apart & reset. If it's electronic, some will have a button on the inside by the batteries that will allow you to program a new code. Schlage has a yellow sticker on the inside of theirs (behind the outside part of the lock) with the factory program & user codes. If the previous owner didn't change the program code, you're good to go.

I am sorry about not being clear on the corbin russwin leversets. They are a "UT 5257" store room function. On the assembly I ffound online the "grip retainer" I am refering to is part # 15, there is one on each side to hold the levers in place.

Asked by Randy almost 11 years ago

I've worked on Unit Locks before, but not this specific one I don't think. From what I've read, you have to pry it out with a small screwdriver. Unfortunately I don't know any secret tricks without seeing one in person. Not sure if this would be easier, but there's a tool I've used for 15 years that has been SO useful. It's a red-handled 90 degree ice pick.  it has the name Carolina Roller on the side. 

We have a condo that has an ADA lockset on it so that when you open the lever door handle, it unlocks the deadbolt. The cat has learned to jump up and grab the handle and open the door. Short of getting rid of the cat, is there a way to disable that

Asked by Gene almost 11 years ago

It sounds like you have a mortise lock (8" long plate on the edge of the door held on with 2 screws? If so, that's the way they're designed and you can't change that. You could install a deadbolt above it. Granted the cat would still open the main lock, but at least the door would stay secure. 

I have a 2008 Mercury Milan that has the chip transponders. I have two of the three keys. My Ex has the other. Recently, I noticed that my windows would be rolled down over night and the panic alarm would go off unexpected. Can I reprogram my keys?

Asked by Jared about 11 years ago

Yes you can. It should be fairly inexpensive. The dealer can do it, as well as a lot of locksmith. From what I remember, you shouldn't even need to recut any keys. They will need both of your keys to do it though. 

i have to tear apart a door lock from a 1999 cavalier to clean the inside cause the key wont work but i dont know how

Asked by killbot almost 11 years ago

If you've never taken a door panel off, take your time, look for hidden screws, and what doesn't screw on, snaps on. 

Honestly, you're probably best off taking the lock to the dealer or a locksmith and either getting it rebuilt, or get a complete new one. They get very corroded when they don't get regular use. It's usually not a matter of just cleaning it out. Plus there may be pieces you'll have to replace. 

I am turning 13 in about a month or so and I was wondering if I can volenteer at a locksmiths.(wondering if I can violent err at my age)
I have always been interested in locks and have enjoyed taking them apart and resetting them for one of my keys.

Asked by Jacob over 10 years ago

That's not really a question I can answer. It all depends on the laws in the state you live in and on the owner of the lock shop whether he wants to take the time to train someone your age, etc. 

what is p1738 code for a 2000 Honda Accord?

Asked by mike over 10 years ago

Go to your local brick and mortar locksmith shop and they'd be happy to give you that info. I can't do that on Jobstr.

What was the craziest locksmith customer experience you have ever had??

Asked by mike over 10 years ago

1 time I had to unlock a house for a guy who had a relative recently pass away, and nobody had a key to the house. The relative had a stroke and hit his head on the sink. After I opened the door, I saw a pool of blood coming out of the bathroom where he had died. 

I've also had a lot of customers who think either everyone, certain neighbors, or the government is after them. So they end up paying us to put multiple high security pick and drill resistant deadbolts on their doors (interior and exterior). Naturally, the problem doesn't stop because they are senile. They complain about things being moved, or silly things missling like clothes, silverware, pictures, etc. 

can a lock be built with a double bladed key like two keys side by side with a gap between the blades that are both inserted into a single mechanism at the same time in order to unlock it i am a builder of machines and wanted to see if it was poss..

Asked by castiel tir bourne over 10 years ago

Sure! It's possible. I've never seen it done, but I'm sure someone could figure out a way to do it. 

Re. Cary safe,just as I typed it is how it is worded,there are 5 lines on the card 1st line says "3 times" and so on down to 5th line.I sure don't get what he wrote!

Asked by shoalin almost 10 years ago

Ok, try this...

Turn the dial COUNTER-CLOCKWISE and pass the number 40 three times and stop on it the 4rd time.

Turn the dial CLOCKWISE and pass the number 60 twice and stop on it the 3rd time.

Turn the dial COUNTER-CLOCKWISE and pass the number 10 once and stop on it the 2nd time. 

Turn the dial CLOCKWISE until it stops. If the dial stops, you've entered it correctly and the handle should turn. Try this a few times. The devil's in the details!! Let me know what happens. 

My mother has a very old jewelry box that is locked and she has no key. is there a way to unlock it without causing damage to the box?

Asked by Jean about 10 years ago

Try bringing it to a well established locksmith shop. They usually have a lot of old skeleton keys laying around. They can try them & see if 1 fits.

Hi Josh I have Rigid jobsite box with 2 recessed master lock pro series locks...someone tried breaking into the locks by putting a screwdriver in the keyhole and damaging the locks is there anyway I can remove these locks without destroying my jobbox

Asked by Jeremy Boston MA over 10 years ago

Depending on how bad the keyway is, you could try hammering the key into the keyway. If that's not an option, if a drill can access the padlock, maybe it can be drilled out. Those can be tricky though. 

Can a Schlage B660 deadbolt (6-pin) and Schlage Latitude handleset (5-pin?) be keyed to use the same key? Both use the SC1 keyway. Thanks.

Asked by Desert Dweller over 10 years ago

Yes you can key them alike, but you'll have to use the 5-pin keys, not the 6. A 6-pin key won't work a 5-pin lock properly. 

I have recently aquired an antique pianoo that has a small mortice lock on the keyboard cover, alas the key is nowhere to be found, is it possible to fit a key to a lock/create a new one and if so, how?

Asked by Russ over 9 years ago

Hard to say but most likely yes. A locksmith should be able to make a key, if nothing else, at least get it open for you.

mailbox key ?? need a copie or a picture please for 92585 92544 area

Asked by mail man helper almost 10 years ago

Not quite sure what you're asking. If you need a copy of a key, try your local walk-in locksmith shop. Just because it says USPS doesn't mean it's restricted or anything. A local shop should have it or should be able to get it. 

the shackle plug tool is in the Stanley security solutions catalog for best locks.it has a nylon hammer on one side and some kind of specialty tool on the other side.i'll figure it out....

Asked by bob over 9 years ago

Up until just recently (so I hear), Best products weren't available to locksmiths. Guess their sales have been down & they're trying to expand their market. I hear nothing but complaints about them. Good luck with that tool. 

Hi Josh - Here is an aesthetic lock question: I am installing a new front door, and I'd like the visible hardware (handle & lock) to be silver on the outside, and bronze on the inside. If I buy two identical sets of hardware from the same manufacturer, one in each color, can I combine appropriate parts from each set to get this look and still have them functioning securely? Thanks for any info!

Asked by Jeanne about 9 years ago

Yes you can do that. That's not that uncommon actually. If you have the time to wait, you can special order hardware specifiying the color inside & out, as well as handle style. Maybe online retailers, or maybe from your local walk-in locksmith. Not sure what the cost would be.

i have a Papaiz 322 storm door lock and i want to replace it. i'm unable to remove the screw that is in the handle so that i can't remove take the lock off the door. i thought about drilling into the hole to remove the screw. what would you recommend

Asked by jason R. over 9 years ago

There's no easy solution to a corroded & possibly stripped Allen set screw. If you're replacing it anyways, may as well drill the sucker out! Don't be afraid to go a little bigger than the hole. Use a new bit, otherwise you'll get frustrated quickly when you're not getting anywhere. 

Have you seen the new phone-based remote locks like August.com? Those things have to be the future, right?

Asked by jailbrake over 10 years ago

This is the 2nd 1 I've seen like this. They're definitely going to get more popular, but I think we still have a ways to go before a majority will move away from a standard key. I have found that most people don't care about the few extra seconds they'll save by not having to use keys, & it's not worth the extra cost for a small convenience. Personally I love it & can't wait to see what's next! 

What are the most common brands for residential locks? I've seen Kwickset, Schlage, Medeco- what else is common? Thx!

Asked by Jason almost 10 years ago

Well Kwikset & Schlage are definitely the most common, but some others I run across are Baldwin, Emtek, Dexter, & Weiser. Medeco & Mul-T-Lock are high security locks, but I wouldn't say they're "common". 

I lost the key to my.sentry safe v330. It has since been discontinued. Can I pick the lock or should I take it to my local locksmith. I need important papers out of it asap!

Asked by Vicki almost 10 years ago

You local locksmith might be able to pick or drill it open. You might have to buy a new safe after that. Luckily it's a cheap safe. 

I have a draw on my desk that has a lock and we used a skeleton key but now misplaced it. Can I buy any skeleton key to open it? I saw a lot on eBay .

Asked by Chrystal almost 10 years ago

Yes if you can buy a batch of different skeleton keys, try that. They come in all different sizes & shapes, you'll probably find 1 that will worK if you try enough. Worst case scenario, call or bring it into a well-established lock shop. They should have a lot to try as well. They can also be custom made using blanks, but not a lot of locksmiths do that these days.  

IF I cut an AR1 key on a KW1 blank will it work? Are they compatible, they look quite similar?

Asked by Aaron about 10 years ago

They are not compatible. 

Could you tell me if a flat key with cuts on only one side of the blade would be used for lever locks or warded locks?

Asked by nimcor3@gmail.com over 10 years ago

Lever lock. ????

I have a 1998 Nissan Maxima and broke my only key. About how much would it cost to get one remade? if its possible

Asked by Britney over 10 years ago

If you still have both halves of the key, you should be able to take it into a lock shop and they should be able to cut you a new one for under $20 (make an extra copy this time). If you don't, and need someone to come out, as long as it's a reputable locksmith, I would assume it won't be much more than $150. Really depends on where you live though. Prices fluctuate quite a bit around the country. 

Bought a Cary safe 2door.Combo card is as written,3 times,2nd line L zo to 4o,3rd line R to 4o 2 time to 60,4th line L 1 time 60 by to 10 back R,5th line R 10 back slow to 10. I can't make heads or tails of this & my kid shut the safe and spun dial.

Asked by Don almost 10 years ago

Is the English really that bad on the card? With something as particular as safe combination, you're going to have to give me exactly what the card says word for word. 


Do you know how to get a replacement key made for a lost rim (tire) key? Is this something a locksmith could do? They are ICW 18 inch rims, and ICW appears to be out of business.

Asked by Maria over 9 years ago

I'd go to a tire shop & see if another manufacturer's key might work. It's not a locksmith job. If that doesn't work, take a socket that barely fits over the lug nut & pound it on with a hammer. It will destroy the socket, but should be tight enough to wrench it off. (I've had this happen to me before too)


I've got a key I need copied, but I've never seen any key like this before. Can you tell me what kind of key this is and who might be able to copy it? I've posted a pic here: http://imgur.com/yoMmk0B


Asked by Pedro about 9 years ago

It's made by an Israeli company called Mul-T-Lock. They are restricted keys & are proprietary to the individual lock shop that bought the rights to that keyway. The lock shop's name on the key is the only place you can get it copied, & usually you have to be an authorized person who originally purchased the key system from that locksmith.

Where can i buy mike bronzell's in dash ignition removal tool

Asked by Kfir almost 9 years ago

Good question. Most likely you have to purchase it from a locksmith distributor. I'd google it. Since I don't and have never done the ordering where I've worked, I wouldn't begin to know where to tell you.

Hi. Could a locksmith create a lock for my license plate gas door on my car? My gas keeps getting stolen- spent lot of money on locking gas caps. Thanks.

Asked by cindy over 8 years ago

Hmm I feel like if they're breaking/bypassing your locking gas cap, why wouldn't they just break the lock on your plate? I've personally never seen someone put a lock on the plate, but I suppose it would be worth going to a walk-in shop & getting an opinion.

Have an 03 Honda vtx1300. Lost only key:( Pulled ignition off and checked for codes. Found six digit on side and I'm finding a few who had luck using the last three numbers. Code 30FC01. Look legit? All smitties are quoting 150-200.

Asked by rick over 10 years ago

Sorry to hear, that's frustrating. Yes, you should be able to take that whole 6-digit code to a walk-in locksmith & get a key cut. You're right, the whole code isn't usually used. That price sounds like they are coming out to YOU to make the key. Sounds pretty high to me, unless it has a chip in the key or it has side-milling on it. If they still quote you that much even if you're taking it to them, check with ordering it from Honda.

My friend says that in 10 years, traditional key locks will be completely obsolete, replaced by the new breed of electronic locks, controlled by your phone and such. Have you seen those and do you think they're going to take over?

Asked by Augie over 9 years ago

Absolutely not. There are still too many people who can't afford it, don't care about the convenience, don't like electronic technology, etc. Honestly, I kind of doubt manual locks will ever completely be obsolete. The demand just isn't there. Yes, there are already quite a few different options on the market, but they're still pretty expensive. 

Tried to get into a Camry with a Big Easy lockout kit and hit the unlock button several times and even pulled the handle wide open and still didn't work. Is there a special anti theft mechanism?

Asked by shane about 9 years ago

I haven't opened 1 in quite a while, & you also didn't say which year the car was, but I know there's a few cars that automatically relock after you unlock it if you're not using a key or remote. In those cases, I use an under-the-window tool & flip the manual unlock button, & in a split second pull the outside handle before it relocks. It takes practice to get the speed, but I got to wear I could do it the first try.

Josh l just asked the question About a locked door opening. It was not a sliding door a regular push button door.it was the door to my storage unit.
Puah button on the inside, key entry on the outside.
It was windy outside.could it have blown open?

Asked by kim over 9 years ago

Yes very possible. Could be 1 of 2 problems. 1- the lock needs repairing or replacing. The latch (springy part that pops out of the edge of the door) maybe sometimes not pop out all the way. 2- the latch may not line up properly with the strike on the jamb. It may not be falling into the hole every time. Weather, building shift, poor installation, & stretched out hinges can all effect that.

i just started renting a new house. the landlord said there was a safe i could use if i wanted to but said he didnt know the combination. i can close that latch but if i turn the dial i will be locked out. is there anyway i can find out the combo?

Asked by eric almost 9 years ago

You'd have to have a locksmith come out & decode it. Otherwise you can always take it in somewhere of its small enough to transport yourself.

If you were building a basic cabinet out of steel that needed to be locked, would you use cam-lock, padlock, or neither and why?

Asked by ChaseCreation over 9 years ago

It all depends what you are locking up, who you are locking out, & where this cabinet is. If you want it to look nice & you're keeping out non-aggressive people, definitely a cam lock. If it's in your garage and you want it to be harder to open requiring obvious damage, go with a padlock & hasp. 

As a newby could u tell me where a good place is to start a wholesale account to get the best price on tools ? Also how do you know what keys to stock on a shoe sting budget? thank you .

Asked by Dave H. over 10 years ago

I've never started a locksmith business or been in the decision making process of that. As far as choosing which key blanks to stock, maybe once you find a distributor who regularly ships to your area, you can ask him which key blanks he sells a lot of to other locksmiths in your area. Another idea is you could always go into a local hardware store that cuts keys and ask them which keys they cut the most of. 

We just moved into a home that has keyed deadbolts on both sides of the door. We want to put in a door bolt on one side so we don't have to use keys inside to get out. Do I need to buy all new deadbolts? Is there a way not to have to rekey? Thx!

Asked by Kelly over 9 years ago

Unfortunately yes you have to replace the entire desdbolt. There are a few replacement parts needed for the conversion, & manufacturers just don't sell conversion kits. But hey, look on the bright side, if you just bought your house, you need to rekey your locks anyways, so you're killing 2 birds with 1 stone!

what is a shackle plug tool used for ( best padlock)

Asked by bob over 9 years ago

I've never heard of a "shackle plug", almost sounds fake. It's like saying an engine tire tool. 

Hi im 16 and for a while now ive been picking locks at home just for fun but im wanting to take it further like an apprentiship but i know theyll wanna do a police check n ive had a bit of cop trouple in the past no convictions tho what should i do?

Asked by Daniel over 8 years ago

Depends on what state you live in. Some you can't even be a locksmith until you're 21. Some don't have any restrictions, no licensing. Some do background checks, fingerprints etc. Find out what the laws are in your state, & if you're of age, check with some shops & see what they'll do.

working at a hotel using USCAN locks. Question is why do I have trouble with the room keys working but the master works good.
Thank you Gary

Asked by gary over 9 years ago

It can be one of two problems. Either the keys to the rooms are cut poorly, or the locks are pinned improperly.

A locksmith installed a deadbolt on our older door. It's REALLY hard for me to open it, and there's a spot the door needs to be at (not pulled closed entirely nor pushed back) to turn the key. I can't even open it myself. Should he fix this for free?

Asked by AD almost 9 years ago

Hard to say without seeing the door. If he didn't tell you while he was there that it would be difficult to operate for whatever reason, then yes he should fix it. Generally, a deadbolt should never be that hard to operate. It sounds to me like the bolt isn't lined up with the strike hole.

Havevu seen a lock that has a star pattern with a hole in the center if so wat kind of key does it use and the name

Asked by eric almost 9 years ago

No, I have never come across one of those.

i have a steelcase file cabinet lock and the plug has come loose. it will come out about 1/2 inch and go back in with about 1/4 inch still sticking out and wont go further. it has happened a couple times and gone in after some messing. whats the prbm

Asked by Boxxy about 9 years ago

If you had the plug in your hand, you'll see 6 brass wafers. 5 are matched to the cuts of your key, & the one all the way at the end by the tip of your key is called a "retainer". That is what holds the plug inside its housing. The spring or wafer may be wore out. You probably need to replace the whole plug. A locksmith can order those, or you may be able to buy it online. To reinstall it correctly, you'll need to put your key into the plug, & on the back of the plug you'll see it has a rectangular drive. If you look into the housing you'll see a female rectangular shape. The plug seems like it could go in 2 ways, but it actually will only go in 1 way. If after you've pushed the plug in, if it's sticking out an 1/8" or more, you have it in wrong. Flip it 180 degrees & try again. If you have it in correctly, it should only be sticking out about 1/16" of an inch. Hold the plug & pull your key out. You'll need a stiff paper clip or something similar to reach into the far back of the plug & pull that retainer back as you push on the plug. It should fall in once you've pulled that retainer back. Once seated correctly, it will be flush.

thanks for your answer! Unfortunately, we found that the lock doesn't even fit in the door :( the holes are too close together. we will have to get a different lock.

Asked by rachel over 10 years ago

Sounds like you're using a combination lever handle. Maybe get a combo deadbolt instead? Schlage makes the best residential combo deadbolts on the market in my opinion. 

I have a budget stack-on 8 gun cabinet can you recommend a alternative locking system ?

Asked by b919 over 8 years ago

If by alternative locking system you mean a better safe, Liberty Safes makes good reasonably priced gun safes. Libertysafe.com should be able to find a dealer in your area.

Good news Josh, it was the lip thing.I closed the door locked it and maintenance gave it a push and then it clicked.wasnt lined up properly
They promptly replaced it.thanks for your help I appreciate it

Asked by kim over 9 years ago

You're welcome! Glad I could help.

I purchased a used safe. The door is open and I've gained access to the notched wheels inside. How do I figure out the combination.
There no reset key hole or key

Asked by Bobbie over 8 years ago

Trying to walk someone through that who doesn't have experience working with safe dials is like asking a mechanic to walk you through rebuilding an engine over the phone. You'll have to either take the safe to a locksmith or have 1 come out to do that for you. You're just lucky you got a safe that didn't need to be drilled open! $$$

QUESTION:new Schlag hi sec deadbolt barrel is loose-being pryed out?why i ask? I Had a locksmith installed hi-sec scalage.I have a Stalker who can hack & Paid my locksmith to copy the 1 signature card key i had made & EX broke in moms & stole a lot-

Asked by thestepfordwife about 9 years ago

It's difficult to give you any advice the way you're describing it. It's illegal for a locksmith to cut a high security key for someone who isn't listed as an authorized person, so unless it's a very shady locksmith, that's probably not a possibility. Most likely they got in another way. If you don't see some serious pry marks on your door or deadbolt, then they probably didn't get in that way. Your deadbolt may just need to be tightened. It sounds like you need to have a locksmith come out & give you some options. It's awfully difficult for me to give you advice without seeing what you're talking about in this case.

I'm starting a locksmithing business. What's the best way to get training? Any tips on getting started or what to look out for would be very helpful.

Asked by Jeremy almost 10 years ago

I think working for another well-rounded locksmith for at least 5-10 years would give you enough training to start a locksmith business. Why not get paid to learn the trade? Otherwise you'll spend all your time learning instead of making money. This is 1 of those jobs where most of what you learn, you'll learn in the field. ALOA puts on a lot of classes, there are online classes, & there's always Youtube! 


Hi Locksmith

I'm trying to replace my mailbox's lock. Which is Nut fix camlock 32 mm. I don't have this metal piece that is attached to the inside of the box. The one that the lock clips to. What is this piece of metal called?

Asked by Mo almost 9 years ago

Maybe a spring clip? I'm not sure, I don't think I've ever heard the name of it. Either way, you should be able to use either the nut or the spring clip.

Hi josh
Can a door with a turn button lock that can also be opened with a key, and no deadbolt open by itself?
Mind you the door IS LOCKED, and it is a patio door.
Upon inspection.whilst finding door open turn pin was in locked postition.possible?

Asked by Kim over 9 years ago

Well yes if the strike isn't lined up correctly with the latch. You could just pull it up because the latch isn't falling into the hole. If you have a sliding door, those hook bolts are spring loaded. So you can throw the hook bolt & it feels the same whether it goes into the hole or not.

Can I sent you a picture of a lock that I'm trying to find the correct key for?

Asked by Javan over 8 years ago

Sure. I'm on Twitter: ATXJoshL

is there any advice or any companies you recommend to contact for subcontracted work. i used to work for a company but want to go independent and get good leads to quote lower more cost efficient prices for customers and not have to gauge them.

Asked by Richie almost 10 years ago

That's a hard question to answer since I don't know what area you live in. I believe Pop-a-lock does subcontacting & they're nationwide. There aren't many though. 

Is it necessary to complete a locksmithing program through a college or trade school before being hired by a company?

Asked by Mr. Curious about 9 years ago

Absolutely not. In fact I dont know many who have been to school for locksmithing. Most people apprentice. Sometimes it's knowing the right person, sometimes it's finding a shop who wants to hire cheap labor & train you.

There's a button on my door that locks the doorknob, and I'm not sure how to open the door now! I know theres still a way to get in with the key, maybe a trick of some kind?

Asked by Kyb2011 about 8 years ago

There are many different types of knobs & locks that fit your description, so the best thing I could tell you is send me a photo of it on Twitter & I can help you there. @ATXJOSHL

what is the measurement from the root of a key blade to bottom- dead- center of a tumbler cut is refered to as 1 depth 2 paracentric height 3 bitting exspance

Asked by kevin moten over 8 years ago

1.21 gigawatts.

What is the best way to fix, repair, or replace the lock on a file cabinet. As far as I know the only thing wrong is a missing key.

Asked by Charlie almost 9 years ago

There is sometimes a series of letters & numbers stamped into the face of the lock. Like "132E". If you have 1, take that number & the brand of the file cabinet into a locksmith shop, & they should be able to cut you a key. Otherwise of you don't have a code on the lock, you can either remove the cylinder & replace it, or have a locksmith come out & he should be able to do it.

I have a question about key fobs used to unlock car doors. When looking up aftermarket fobs, they all say that they work with specific makes, models, and dates. If I have a 2004 Acura TSX, what would stop me from using a 2010 TSX key fob?

Asked by ozozznozzy over 8 years ago

I had to ask 1 of our shop techs who deals with remotes about this one. He says that Honda (who makes Acura) has used the same programming procedure for years, so it should work, but no guarantees. All you can do is try. The differences might have something to do with the style of the remote, or maybe certain features in the remote.

I am trying to replace an exterior door knob for aesthetic reasons only. When i removed the door knob and tried removing the latch assembly it wont come out. I can push it in but it will only come out to a certain point then it gets stuck. Help

Asked by Bobby over 8 years ago

Can you send me a picture of it on twitter? @ATXJOSHL Since I don't know what brand it is, I have no idea what you're dealing with.

I have a cheap little three digit combo lock I bought for my luggage overseas. I remember the combo, but the lock is stuck. The hook it turned 90 degrees and pushed down into the lock position, and it will not budge. Is there anyway to fix it?

Asked by Chas almost 9 years ago

I highly doubt it. I'd just cut it off if I were you. They don't usually have a way to disassemble stuff like that.

my deadbolt on front door working fine now all of a sudden when I try to turn it it wont budge I have to pull door towards just to turn lock

Asked by anthony over 8 years ago

Sometimes the weather can cause your house to shift, and doors & frames to swell. Over time your hinges may get stretched out or the screws in the hinges get loose causing your door to sag as well. It sounds like the strike plate is out of adjustment. This can also be caused by replacing your door knob/lever, or any changes to the lower strike plate (on the jamb). 

First, make sure the lower strike plate is secure and adjusted properly exactly where you want it. Then, depending on how off it is, you might be able to just take a metal file and file the spot where it's hitting on the top strike plate for the deadbolt (on the jamb). Or you can move the whole plate until it's exactly where you want it. To test it without putting a bunch of screws in the jamb, TAPE it where you want it first, test the deadbolt, make your marks, then screw it in place.

need to replace a lock but a screw in it has been cross threaded how do i get it out. its a wooden door

Asked by lozza over 9 years ago

Take a drill bit the same thickness as the screw, or slightly bigger, & drill the stripped screw as if you were trying to drill a hole right down the center of it. You really only need to drill enough to get the head of the screw off.

having issues with masterkeying a us lock 2080 door knob and deadbolt. Cant seem to find the right bottom and masterpin combinations. The door knob and deadbolt are keyed kwikset. Any advise

Asked by dave over 7 years ago

First I would measure the cuts on the keys to make sure those are correct. Working with improperly cut keys is the most frustrating thing. Assuming you don't know how to master key, measure and write down the cuts to both keys. For example I'll use: 2536443122Write down the smallest number in each chamber...23122 those are your bottom pins. Follow the factory spec'd pins if you're using a LAB kit. Then to figure out the master pins, subtract the smallest number in each chamber from the bigger one. 22242 those will be the master pins. If you need additional help, hit me up on twitter. ATXJoshL There are so many variables as to why it might not be working. Cylinders aren't manufactured to factory specs, keys are improperly cut, using wrong pins, etc.

I am very interested in locksmithing . I am planning on going to school for it. A online course for certificate. How important is having a certificate in the hiring process? Would that be my best option for getting my foot in the door? Thx

Asked by Jeremy over 9 years ago

Personally, I don't think a certificate is going to make much difference. A locksmith company wants a good employment record, a good driving record, & an excellent background check.they are generally either looking for an experienced locksmith, or a very reliable new locksmith who trains very easily and is willing to start out at a low wage. They want to know what you can do, & what you're capable of & willing to learn. A certificate doesn't mean much. Real world experience is everything because we learn something new every day at this job.

I need a locksmith to make me a key for my 2000 eclipse because my son lost it. It has the key that has to be coded to the computer. How much should I be charged?

Asked by Mike over 9 years ago

Anywhere from $150 to $350. Hard to say. it varies so much depending on city, area, & locksmith.

Is there anyway I can do it? You just answered my question about the eclipse key

Asked by mike over 9 years ago

Not really. The only way to save some money would be to take the door lock out & take the whole car to a lock shop so they don't have to come to you, but that's just not practical. I'd just call around & get price quotes. Even ask the dealer. Then ask the technician again for the price before they get started once on site. Nobody likes suprises.

Busted IGN cylinder on a 2003 E-150 van. Got a cyl w/ tumblers to re-key to Orig key. By trial, only 2222233 would work, but when I took the original cyl apart, it was actually 3131224. Tried those # , No Go. Tumb, not flush.
Why not? Thanks!

Asked by nct53 over 9 years ago

It's so hard to say without being there & seeing it in person, but the key could be not cut perfect, spacing could be off, key could be old & wore out,

where can I get the key code for a Harley ?

Asked by Ug about 10 years ago

There might be a code stamped on the ignition. I haven't made a key to a Harley in years, & when I did I didn't use the code. 

I'm currently a business owner and am willing to put in the time and money to start locksmithing with a partner. What kind of overhead, start-up costs, etc. should I expect?

Asked by Jeremy almost 10 years ago

I've never started a locksmith business. I've only worked for a couple. 

Our front door lock broke and I bought a new one which is supposed to be a standard lock. The new one does not fit because the hole in our door is too small. Is there really just one size of door lock? If so , do I need a locksmith to come to my home

Asked by Jill over 8 years ago

Well typically the most standard size hole is 2-1/8". Sometimes people will drill a 1-1/2" hole though, which is probably what you have. Depending on what lock you bought, most can be adapted to fit a 1-1/2" hole. Read your instructions. If you can't figure it out, message me on Twitter at ATXJoshL

I was practicing picking my deadbolt, and I did it. But now my key only goes in half way and it won't work. Please HELP ME!

Asked by Grungekitten about 9 years ago

Most likely your lock was masterkeyed. When you picked it 180 degrees, a master pin probably fell into the keyhole. If you're renting, you will need to have your landlord have his locksmith come out & fix it. If it's your own house, you'll need to take the deadbolt off, take it into a lock shop, & they will remove the stuck pin & probably have to rekey it back to your key.

I was practicing picking my deadbolt, and I did it. But now my key only goes in half way and it won't work. Please HELP ME!

Asked by Grungekitten about 9 years ago

Sounds like you may have had some master pins fall into the key hole. You need to have someone take it apart & repin the lock. Take it to a lock shop, have someone come out, or buy a new deadbolt.

I've lost the only transponder key to my 2003 ford ranger. I was told the only thing I can do is replace the ignition cylinder, then have it towed to a dealer so they can program it. Is there any other way to get this fixed?

Asked by msa_45 over 8 years ago

That's not true at all. A locksmith can come out to you & make a key to your truck & program the key to your truck on site. The only reason it would need to be replaced is if your ignition key is different than your door key (usually they're the same key) or if the ignition is severely worn or damaged.

We just bought a new modular home. Concerned that several laborers were coming into the house doing work on it using a "master key" Was told that when we turned the lock for the 1st time it would reset it? IS this true or made up?

Asked by Crystal13 almost 9 years ago

That is true. It's very common with new housing projects. I have seen contractors returning to the home on their lunch breaks while the homeowners are gone. If you feel like they're still coming in somehow, get your house rekeyed.

I am changing my deadbolt. There is a plastic ring under the keyed side. The new one doesn't fit over it. Do I just use a hammer and beat it off?

Asked by Katie almost 8 years ago

The only plastic ring that comes to mind is on the Schlage deadbolts. It allows the deadbolt to hold snug in the door while you put the mounting screws in. You can remove it and the metal ring as well if need be. There should be 2 screws on the inside of the keyed side. 1 holds the cylinder in place, the other holds the plastic & metal ring on.

If I'm totally off, send me a photo on my Twitter account: @ATXJoshL

How do I remove the spindle from the body of a Yale Entry Set #217 1940s vintage

Asked by Greg over 8 years ago

The inside knob should have a set screw that takes a flat head screwdriver. Unscrew it, & the whole knob should get loose & unscrew counterclockwise. Then the spindle should slide out the front. If it's a 2-piece spindle, there will be 2 halves. 1 will slide straight out & the other you will lift in 1 direction or the other to unhook it from the lock.

I have roommates who never lock our apartment doors (multi-family house). Are there locks that ONLY automatically lock? (I know on some locks you can set it to automatically lock, but they'd just unset that.)


Asked by mw over 8 years ago

Yes, look for a lock called a "storeroom" lock. You can get it in a knob form or a lever. It's always locked from the outside, & always lets you walk out from the inside without having to unlock it first. They are available in 3 grades (grade 3 being the lowest, & grade 1 bring the highest). I'd recommend a grade 2. For example, search Amazon for Schlage F80 to see examples.

They don't really make a deadbolt that is automatic. Like you said, they do, but it can be turned off.

A disk tumbler lock is brought is brought to you for rekeying.it's original key was coded 443454.witch disk should you swap to reel this lock?

Asked by Larry almost 8 years ago

I would swap the 3 & the 5.

I have Schlage locks on each of my doors, is it possible to have a key cut to fit all the locks by just providing the numbers on the keys ?

Asked by Brent over 9 years ago

Whichever locks you have the key numbers to, yes, you can get a key cut to those specific locks using the numbers. It will probably be more expensive than a standard duplicate key, but it's very doable.

I invented a new product. It utilizes a cylinder lock with 90 degrees of throw.
To make my product universal I need a cylinder lock with approx 15 degrees of throw.
Do they exist? What do I do?
We need a lock engineer to consult us or design a lock

Asked by Gary over 8 years ago

I will give you a call.

Hey Josh! I manage this apartment building with a gated fence that currently has a lock that always stays locked and two levers but People keep using lever as a step and stepping over gate. I want to keep it always locked. What lock should I get

Asked by Logan almost 9 years ago

Well from the way you make it sound, both sides are already locked, and people are just climbing over the fence? I think if these people are going to go to those lengths to get past the fence, it won't matter what lock you put on. Perhaps barbed wire? Snipers? Electric fence? Honestly, I don't know if there is a reasonable solution for fence hoppers. Security cameras and prosecution might work! If you're asking for a solution to allow tenants access through the lock, you could get a double-sided combination lock. Simplex makes one that holds up decently well. It's the EE1000 series.

We are building a new home soon, and I would like to get a blank vintage key cut for our house as a gift to my hubby. Can I do that? What do I need to look for? Thanks!

Asked by Rach over 9 years ago

Sorry for the late response, this question slipped through the cracks. By blank vintage key, do you mean skeleton key? I'm not quite sure what you mean, but your best bet for anything vintage would be to find a lock shop that has been around a LONG time. They usually have old blanks, & are familiar with anything you'd consider vintage.

We are contemplating replacing a front door and back lock to a home. Instead of buying a new lock set, can the lock itself be recalibrated to accept a new key? Then just get those keys copied? Thank you

Asked by nb over 8 years ago

Yes that's the most common thing locksmiths do! You can either bring the locks into a shop, or for a little more money, have a locksmith come out to you. They can cut keys on site in their vans.

How do check a Upvc door lock to find out if the mechanism is compatible with a split spindle or not?

Asked by Ryan over 8 years ago

There should be an Allen set screw on the inside handle. You should be able to loosen it & slide the inside handle off, & then the outside handle & spindle will slide out the front. But I've never seen a split spindle on a door lock like that.

My son works for a company that gives him 30% of whatever he makes on each job. Period. My son uses his own tools, his own car, pays for his own gas, and any tolls acquired the way to a job. There is no insurance and he works 24/7. Is this legal???

Asked by Mom over 8 years ago

I'm not an insurance expert, but as far as I know, if he's considered a contractor (which is what it sounds like), then the company doesn't have to insure their employees, or provide insurance. If he's hired on, & receives a W2 every year, I believe they're legally supposed to carry liability insurance- workmans comp, which protects employees in case they get hurt on the job. But I believe depending on the amount of employees, if it's under 50 (I think) they're not legally required to provide insurance.

Hi Josh! Is there a means by which I might obtain a working, replacement skeleton key for an antique dresser?

Asked by Arrabella almost 8 years ago

Absolutely. They sell rings of "try out" skeleton keys online, or if you're lucky enough to live by a good experienced locksmith, they should carry them. They can come out to you, or you can bring the lock or dresser into the shop & they can make you a key.

My mother says there are only so many possible keys, so if you save up a bunch of keys, you will eventually find one that will work for almost anything.... is this true?

Asked by Shelley over 8 years ago

Yes that is true. You'd only have to save between 7,000 and 9,999,999 keys depending brand/type of key and the key system.

I have to sort through a very large collection of various types of keys, of which, many will be duplicates. Are you aware of any apps that would scan each key into a database and send an alert when a duplicate is found?

Asked by chip over 7 years ago

Nope never heard of such a thing. There are such a small handful of locksmith apps as it is, that would be such a niche market, I can't imagine that app would ever get made.

Keyed lever lock. The inside turn knob stuck in horizontal position. I can not lock the door. I can temove the inside lever with 3/32 but outside lever screw must be stripped as no result. If I can not fix how do I remove entire lock without being ab

Asked by Wally almost 7 years ago

Is this a Kwickset lock? If so, that is a fairly common problem. You probably just need to replace it. You shouldn't need to take off the front lever in order to remove it from the door. After you take the inside lever off, the trim plate covering the inside screws should either pop straight off by prying underneath a small cutout under the plate against the door, or twisting it counterclockwise a short turn, then it will pull off. All depend on brand & model. That would have been helpful.

I have a set of Kwikset keys that works with every door in my house. I am buying a specialty lock that looks like it has Schlage keys and cylinders. Can chage them to Kwikset cylinders so that this new lock matches my key? If so, where can I buy them

Asked by Jguy about 7 years ago

Sometimes you can buy an aftermarket cylinder that will fit into some locks. Really just depends on what "specialty lock" you're referring to. If it is indeed a lock that will accept an aftermarket cylinder, a locksmith should carry it and be able to key it to your key for you. What you'll be looking for is called a "key-in-knob cylinder". I would take your specialty lock in with you and let them see if it is possible.

Two questions for you.
1. 1.What is the most important activity you do in your business?
2. 2.Do you have any pain associated with this activity?
I personally appreciate what you bring to the table lol. I've locked my self out more than once.

Asked by Jack about 8 years ago

1. The most important activity... That's a very vague question. Important in regard to what? Important to my boss, important to the customer, or important to myself? Boss: making the customer happy. Customer: pinning their locks properly and cutting their keys correctly so they can secure and open their business or home. Me: getting from point a to point B safely.

My fingers get cramped & start to hurt after long hours of pinning locks & stamping keys. Luckily that's a small part of what I do. Installing & repairing hardware is also a large part.

I have a 2011 mazda 2. The remote and the switch inside the car both work fine and lock and unlock the car but the key itself will turn both ways in the door but will not unlock or lock the door. It used to work. Is this something a locksmith can fix

Asked by Tim about 8 years ago

Yes definitely. Most likely the door panel needs to be pulled & the linkage reconnected.

100 yr old office secretary w/ mult. drawers, ea. w/ old pin type lock which is unlocked with separate keys. I only lock one drawer as the other drawers locks are in open position and the brass key I have does't unlock them. Is there a universal key?

Asked by Matt almost 8 years ago

If it is a warded lock, aka "skeleton" key, there may be. You would have to either take it to a locksmith or have a locksmith come out to you & bring a set of "tryout" keys. If its not a warded lock, a locksmith might be able to rekey them all alike, or replace the locks so they all match.

Thank you again for your expertise. Last question (I think) for now. I had done as you suggest. I could not budge that drive-in latch in the least. That's why I wanted a lock to fit it. Any more ideas how to get it out w/o damaging the door?

Asked by shieldvulf over 7 years ago

It sounds like something is not right. If you have Twitter, send me a photo of the edge of the door and inside the hole. @ATXJOSHL Other than that, I would take a pair of big pliers and grab the latch inside the hole and shake it back and forth to try to loosen it up. Then try to pull it out again with that big screwdriver.

can an actuator be rest on manual combo and key pad safe?

Asked by sam over 7 years ago

If you're asking can safe combinations be reset, yes, if you know the current code, or if the safe is already opened. If not, they usually have to be professionally opened by drilling, or a few other techniques.

I had to replace my ignition, keys and all. Original key was broken, can i get a key for the doors only without the original?

Asked by Dg about 8 years ago

Absolutely. If you still have the pieces to your original broken key, they can cut you a new one off of that, otherwise make one from a door/glove box lock, depending on the car.

Greetings Sir! Is there anywhere/way to get a keypad double cylinder deadbolt? We have sidelights and don't really want to use a single cylinder deadbolt. But we also don't want all the kids to have to use keys. TIA!

Asked by MelissaJ over 7 years ago

Unfortunately the big name companies don't make one, but there's a company called Lockey that makes some. They aren't real high quality, but it is a solution.

does my 96 fleetwood cadillac have a key sensor

Asked by john almost 8 years ago

If you mean a chip in the key, yes I believe all Cadillacs do. They started hiding the chips under the plastic head of the key, but in the 80's and 90's you could see the chip embedded in the blade of the key right below the head of the key.

Thanks very much for your answer. Can you give me or direct me to a method to remove the drive-in latch without damaging the door? I can't budge the thing one hair.

Asked by shieldvulf over 7 years ago

What I always do is take a big screwdriver and put it through the 2" hole BEHIND the latch. Grabbing a hold of each end of the screwdriver, pull towards you. The latch should shoot out at your chest. That way you're my prying against the door.

Will a Kwikset Kevo smart lock work with herculite glass doors?

Asked by Courtney almost 8 years ago

Definitely not.

I want to change deadbolt w/a pounded in latch, so rather get same lock/know how to alter another lock to fit. Can't find Dexter twokeyed db even at Shlage site. Is the critical thing the tailpiece? Dexter's is flat with a thin ridge down the middle.

Asked by shieldvulf over 7 years ago

It really depends on how old your lock is. I believe the new Dexter locks are designed different than the old ones. You're probably better off just getting a new deadbolt. Look for something that specifies "drive-in" latch, or "6-way" latch. Most don't come 1 specific way, they come with adapters so you can change it from square faced to a drive-in latch.

I live in a multi tenant house. My key lets me into the side door (a common entry point for all tenants) and my door. I asked my landlord: doesn't that mean the other tenants can get into my apartment with their side door keys? He says no. Is he lying

Asked by anonymous tenant over 6 years ago

Haha no he is not lying. It’s called “masterkeying a lock”. Entire office buildings are masterkeyed so a Bldg Mgr can carry 1 key & get in every door, but every door can also have its own individual key that doesn’t work anything but that 1 door.

I have a hidden vertical rod storefront door with a loose key cylinder so I need to remove the exit device to tighten the key cylinder. Can I do this without removing the door or does the door need to be laying flat?

Asked by Skwgee@gmail.com over 7 years ago

I've never worked on a door that required me to take the door down to take out or work on a cylinder, so no, you probably shouldn't have to do that. Now if the bottom concealed latch/bolt needs work, sometimes you do have to take the door down, sometimes not.

Would you recommend those Smartkey locks that allow you to re-key yourself or not?

Asked by E. Sky. over 7 years ago

If you had asked me that a couple years ago I would have told you no. They had a lot of problems initially. I believe they are on their 3rd version now and it seems to be holding up pretty well. So basically sure I would. They're a pretty good lock.

Is it normal practice to drill a lock without trying to bump it or pick it?

Asked by Jake over 7 years ago

99% of the time, no definitely not. The only time I would ever drill a lock before trying to pick it is if it is high security and I know there is no way I'm going to get that thing picked. If you had somebody come out to your house to unlock it, and you have regular residential locks, I am sorry for you. You hired someone very unprofessional.

I have a key it says taylor on it and 137 On one side c3 On other what it go to

Asked by Jordy about 7 years ago

Could've lots of things. Motorcycle, safe, tool box, hard to say. It's a widely used key.

I found a key with YM-25 on one side and National Lock Company on the other. Can you tell me what it is for?

Asked by Jus over 6 years ago

Nope unfortunately not. National makes locks that go into so many different things, many of which share key blanks. Could be a file cabinet, cam lock, tractor, who knows!

HI i was wondering what other key blank will work with a wk2 key cause I'm looking to buy a Star Wars key blank..

Asked by Starwars1 over 6 years ago

You could try a KW1, which is Kwikset.

I bought a used Fender Strat TSA lock case for my guitar and it did not have a key with it. If I want to be able to lock the case, should I replace the entire lock or should I try to get a replacement key or have one made?

Asked by Ken D. over 6 years ago

I would guess you could probably order a key for it with a google search. Those cases are just a deterrent, nothing more. Probably not even worth locking in my opinion. Someone can just carry the whole case off and open it later with a big screwdriver.

Hello! I bought a Jeep & it should have a remote with key. I only have a KEY. I can buy a remote w/key, but what should a reputable locksmith charge on average to cut the key? Can he use mine as the master? Can he also program the fob? Price? Thanks!

Asked by spookycc over 6 years ago

I don’t do automotive work anymore, and it will probably greatly depend on your local market prices, but a locksmith should be able to do that for you, and use your existing key to cut the new key. I would roughly guess $75-100 to program the remote, & $50-100 to program and cut the key (if it has a chip in it). Be careful though, some locksmiths won’t cut and program 3rd party keys and remotes. So ask around before you buy.

How do you get started in this field?

Asked by Chrissy about 7 years ago

I got started in this field because my uncle is a locksmith. The easiest way is to apprentice for a locksmith. The pay would obviously start really low. There is also schooling you can do. Depending on the state, many require registration with the state with fingerprints, background check, & yearly continued education credits to keep your permit active.

I purchased a new keyless remote fob for my car and was told a locksmith has the tool to program it is this true and how much do you charge for this service? Thank you

Asked by Kristin almost 7 years ago

Our company does, but I can't speak for most. We charge $50. It will vary depending on what market you're in. You would have to call around to locksmiths in your area to get a realistic price.

I want to install a new deadbolt. The one I have now is one of those "jimmy-proof" models that latches externally to the frame of the door. The door is metal, there is no cutout now. Is this a hard job to convert to a new deadbolt thru-the-frame?

Asked by Mark about 7 years ago

Its not an easy job! You're better off installing a cylindrical deadbolt ABOVE your surface-mounted deadbolt. Still not easy if you're not used to doing it, and takes a lot of specialty tools- 2-1/8" hole saw, chisels, 1" paddle bit or hole saw, etc. If you care about the cosmetics of your door, you might be better off hiring a locksmith do it a proper job.

I have no key to the lock in the front gate of my new house. I don't want to replace the lock, so how do I get a key that will work with the existing lock? Thanks!

Asked by Moebym about 7 years ago

Well you have 2 options then. Take the lock off & take it to a locksmith, or call a locksmith to come out and make a key. Obviously the cheapest option would be to take it to a locksmith.

I recently purchased a home without the key from garage into the kitchen. What is my best move? New lock, or take existing deadbolt to the locksmith?

Asked by Andy about 7 years ago

If your front door key will fit in the lock on your garage, it doesn't even have to turn, take the locks off and take them to a locksmith. They should be able to make them match your front door. If it doesn't fit, take your front door key and get a couple replacement locks that will accept it. Have them rekeyed to match. If you don't care if they match or not, take your garage locks off and take them to a locksmith to get re-keyed, or just buy a new set

I lost the key to my 1999eclipse. Can I take one of the door locks out and take it to a locksmith and have a key made? Is that possible? Greg

Asked by Greg L. almost 6 years ago

If you don’t have chip in your key, which I don’t believe you do, you should be able to. Passenger side would be your best bet for a few reasons. If a car manufacturer puts a code on a lock, it’ll be the passenger door lock (not all do). If you damage anything while taking it out, it won’t effect your every day use since you rarely open your passenger door.

A door has been locked from the inside and I don't have a spare key. Can a key be cut from a picture of the outside lock? I don't want to have to damage the door

Asked by Sam over 7 years ago

No, not possible. It doesn't mean you have to damage the door/lock though. The door can be picked open, lock disassembled, and a key made to the lock. Call a reputable company though, don't just look for the cheapest price.

I have an older model strong box, The key lock cylinder was opened with a hammer and screwdriver. Is it possible that a lock can be adapted tothis use?

Asked by Den over 7 years ago

I'm not familiar with strong box. A google search brought up quite a variety of different things. I would say see if you can order one from the manufacturer, otherwise if it is a fairly simple design, I'm sure a cylinder could be modified to work.

How do you know that the client who calls you out owns the house/car you're unlocking? What is the procedure if a client doesn't have money/ID with them at the time to prove then and there? And should police be called if I think I've been ripped off?

Asked by S.Lee almost 7 years ago

1- it's impossible to truly know who the owner is. The best we can do is take as much information as we can just in case things go south. So we get a drivers license, plate, year, make & model, location, time, name, address, & phone number. If it's a home, the drivers license or a piece of mail has to have the address on it. 2- if you don't have money, we don't do the service. If you don't have ID, we prob wouldn't do the service unless it was a special circumstance. 3- to my knowledge, there aren't any laws i know of that saw you can't over-charge people. But in many states it's illegal to operate as a locksmith without a permit or license. A lot of these guys are contractors & do not have one. I tell people all the time that everyone should have the name & phone number of a reputable locksmith in their phone. It's your job to research the company you're hiring. There are a LOT of crooked companies out there, & the only thing that can stop them is smart & knowledgeable customers. Leave reviews on Yelp & Google, report them to BBB. Ask for a quote before they do the work. If you don't like it, call someone else. You should never feel pressured or threatened.

Is it possible/practical to change a lockset from binary to momentary? I.e, so that you cannot unlock the lock and remove the key leaving the lock in the ‘unlocked’ state?

Asked by Puddleglum over 6 years ago

I don’t recall there being a lock that can be converted to that function. Possibly a full mortise lock made by Sargent. Their mortise locks carry multiple functions. Most locks have to be purchased with their specific function. It sounds like the one you’re referring to is called Storeroom function. It can be opened with a key, but once the key is removed, it remains in the locked state ensuring that once the door is closed, the door is locked.

On an L-Shaped wooden desk, we had to get into our locked drawer but couldn't find the key. Picked it open w/ paperclips but when i was trying to relock it, the lock plug came out and can get it in til last bit. Can you Give steps to get it fully in

Asked by Alex about 7 years ago

The drawer will need to be in the unlocked position to get the plug back in (usually). Put the paper clip all the way in the back of the plug and as you gently push in on the plug, push the spring-loaded wafer with your paper clip positioned all the way in the back.

I have to replace my mortise cylinders, I have adjustable collars on it, the cylinders measured 1 inch, is the point of adjustable collars so that I could use a 1 1/4 inch cylinder if I wanted?

Asked by OTG about 6 years ago

If you're going from 1 inch to 1-1/4 inch, that's a pretty big difference. The adjustable collar probably won't be adjustable enough to accommodate a 1-1/4 mortise cylinder. I would stick with 1 inch or 1-1/8 inch.

Hi I am a newbie locksmith trying to drill a safe friend has, it is an old arthur b. curtis safe from 1870's with a yale dial. I think I hit the relocker, any suggestions? Will pay for your time. THANKS

Asked by russ almost 7 years ago

I wish I could help you, but I do not do safe manipulation.

Whats the funniest Situation you had while on the job?

Asked by Basti83 over 6 years ago

Some locksmiths have some awesome stories. Unfortunately I haven’t had many hilarious ones. I unlocked the wrong car one time. I figured it would be a good idea to get a head start before the customer came out to the small parking lot. I didn’t even notice there was an identical make, model, & color car right next to it! Another time I cut off the wrong padlock on a storage unit. That time it was the renters fault. After she slid the door open, “Oops! That’s not mine. Sorry! Oh yeah! It’s this one over here!” ????

How can I remove the core from a 1933 spare tire lock?

Asked by Jloe over 6 years ago

Take it to a locksmith. Being that old, you might be lucky it even comes out at all!

I’m in search really for an answer to a question and with you being a locksmith should be able to give me a straight answer. Sorry for ramble but been round the houses with whole thing. Firstly my UPVC door lock stopped locking the door. Council sent a locksmith tomake safe, he was unable to lock the door at all, so he fitted a single Sash jammer only advising to ring council this morning for urgent fixing. I had rows with the council today as they told me my door “was now “secured” and no one will attend to fix the lock until 17th 4 nights. Only with this sash jammer.
My question is
Would you class this as suficiant and class the door as “secured and safe” which can be left for 4 days? Or class it still as urgent fixing! Please help, to add to it a contractor has now re attended due to my kicking off with council. The lock can not be fixed he’s screwed a handle over the outside holes, it can now be locked but he thinks that it’s a case of wrong handle for the mechanism they don’t pair up, so I’m only on the sash jammer for another 2 days, even then it’s not certain to be fixed then either. Any advice would be great ful. Many thanks.

Asked by Sue over 6 years ago

I had to google “sash jammer”, never heard of that term! I don’t know the whole situation with why they haven’t properly replaced your lock- could be they have to special order the parts. Some doors use specialty parts that aren’t available at your local hardware stores. It wouldn’t be fair for me to judge the management company. I’m sure there is a legitimate reason, as they would be liable to leave your door unsecured. Is the sash lock securing your door? You tell me. If you were to go on the outside of your door, do you have to use reasonable force to get it open if you didn’t have a key? If yes, then it’s secure enough. Is it the most secure lock on the market? Definitely not. Is it as secure as your old lock? Maybe not. But it is temporary, correct? 2-4 days isn’t the end of the world. It may seem like it, but you have to remember that you and management are the only ones who know your door isn’t as secure as it used to be. To the common criminal, your door is just as secure as everyone else’s, so you’re not a target unless you put a sign on your door that says so.

I have a double front door for my home entry. The deadbolt throw from the left door goes into a metal channel in the right door. The channel is not deep enough for the 1" throw. What can I do about this?

Asked by M12345 over 6 years ago

Can you just drill the hole deeper?

Can you identify what type of lock this is on my front door. House was built in 1951 and I'm guessing door/lock are original. Looking to add an August smart lock but unsure if it's possible. Photos: http://imgur.com/a/98Fj1

Asked by Jonathan almost 7 years ago

That is a Yale mortise lock. No, the August will not work on that lock. You would need to install a cylindrical deadbolt above it.

Thank you for your response and so quick too. Relating to your question about would it need brute force to break in the answer is Yes. So then in reality it was secure, but to me it wasn’t. A neighbour has put a new lock in the door and it’s restored

Asked by Sue over 6 years ago

Glad to hear and you’re welcome.

I have an 09 Honda Civic I broke my key off in the ignition pulled the silver part out glued it to my key fob turn the lights and everything on but will not start now when I turn it over it clicks once went to locksmith he put the guts from my key in

Asked by christie over 6 years ago

Maybe you broke the circuit board in your key, or maybe you broke your ignition antenna when you dug your key out.

can i have my barrel lock plunger key repair

Asked by everette about 7 years ago

Not usually, but you might be able to get it duplicated onto a new key.

We have outdoor activities for which tourists have to pay. We have metal boxes where they can put in the fee. The box is secured by a padlock. But so far we haven't been able to find a padlock that can withstand a boltcutter or angle grinder. Help?

Asked by Ron Werner almost 7 years ago

Being that I don't know exactly what kind of application you are dealing with, I can only give you some ideas. First off, I've never seen a padlock hasp material that can't be cut with a grinder. What you need to find is something pick-resistant, and something that hides that shackle so bolt cutters and a grinder can't even GET to it. Just for some ideas- https://youtu.be/L6iMmCSayBQDepending on the design of the hasp, a "hockey puck" padlock might be an option. Mul-T-Lock makes a pick-resistant one with restricted keys. Look up model KW-TR100. Other brands make similar more inexpensive ones such as Abus & Master.

Updating my question: So here is a video of me putting the key in the lock: https://photos.app.goo.gl/6kfaAkmxrkTiaWDz7
A locksmith quoted me $170 but they haven't seen it. Does that seem high? key works the same on both sides of the door. Thanks!

Asked by Stephen over 5 years ago

Thank you for the video! That’s very helpful! So it looks like there’s nothing wrong with your deadbolt, your gate has shifted and is putting pressure on the bolts. Grab the gate right above the deadbolt and pull down as hard as you can while you turn the key counterclockwise. That should allow you to retract the bolt. As far as fixing the problem goes, you will need to elongate the hole on that the bolt goes into upward. That won’t be easy or fun, maybe 20 minutes labor for an experienced tech.

Locked myself out of the bathroom. No key or keyhole, just a small round hole. Been sticking coat hanger wire in the hole. Can't figure it out. Thank you.

Asked by Tom over 6 years ago

Sounds like you may have a Kwikset privacy lock. You need a small flat head screwdriver, or privacy key. Stick it in that hole as you twist the key left and right slowly. Eventually you will feel it engage into a slot. Once you do, twist the screwdriver, or key, I think it’s counter-clockwise. It will only turn 1 way. This is what the key looks like. http://www.mrlock.com/tools-equipment/tools-rekey-kits/lock-service-tools/kwikset-emergency-tool-81087 If you don’t have access to either, those locks will open with a credit card, stiff cardboard, or flexible sheet of plastic. Just stick it between the door & frame next to the lock. They are not made to be resistant to shimming like entry locks are.

What do you call a lock, that when you enter with a key, when the door shuts behind you It self locks behind you, so nobody else can come in without a key. However anyone can go out by pushing a bar

Asked by Manu almost 7 years ago

If you're referring to a bar that goes across the whole door, that is an exit device. The trim you're referring to for that exit device would be considered storeroom function trim. Also if you wanted the same type of functionality in a lever instead of a bar, that would be a storeroom lever.

Does replacing electronic steering lock mean you have to flash ecu

Asked by Jose over 6 years ago

I don't do any automotive these days. Haven't in 9 years.

My father passed away recently and we found a key. It is a Medeco key. It believe it is Medeco part number AC13LLMEDKEY. (found via google). Any ideas what kind of lock it goes to?

Asked by Jdemon about 6 years ago

I searched that number and it came up with a mailbox key. Did he have a PO Box?

What kind of metal holds latch to back of cabinet lock? Solder aluminum etc.?

Asked by Kjt457 over 5 years ago

I would guess steel or pot metal. All depends on the brand, quality, etc.

Hi. I can’t get my side gate to open. The key turns but the bolt doesn’t move. Can I fix it myself? How can I find a locksmith in New Orleans I can trust?

Asked by Stephen over 5 years ago

“Can I fix it myself” that’s something only you can answer. You can do anything with enough determination. Since I don’t know what kind of lock you have, I can’t offer any tips. Just some good practices to follow if you do try it yourself- Take pictures, take something apart. Take more pictures, take another piece off. Etc. To find a reputable locksmith in your area, try using findalocksmith.com. It’s owned by the most reputable locksmith association in America.

i have a Best door knob. I've attempted to depress the knob release by putting a papercli[ in the hole on the latch side of the knob but cannot find the rea\lease to allow me to pull out the knob ....what now? how do I get the door knob out?

Asked by arttriglione@comcast.net almost 7 years ago

Being that Best would only sell to the end user, I haven't worked with many Best locks. BUT my guess would be it's possibly not a poke hole. It won't come apart like a typical lever. That hole is possibly a grab hole for a spanner wrench. You insert the tip of the wrench in that hole and rotate it counter-clockwise. If you don't have a spanner wrench, just use a big pair of pliers. Grab the part of the knob where that small hole is and twist it counterclockwise. It should start to get looser and eventually unscrew.

I want to change the deadbolt on my apartment door. I was told by a lawyer that the landlord likely has a master key that will open anything, even if it is a different brand of deadbolt. How can I ensure that a master key will not unlock my door?

Asked by svak216 over 5 years ago

Haha there’s no such thing as a “key that will open anything”. That’s some terrible information, whoever told you that. You can’t lock your landlord out, they own the property. If they find that you have changed the lock without their permission, they have the ability to charge you to correct the problem, assuming that is in the contract you signed. They make privacy deadbolts that allow you to lock the door from the inside with no way to access it from the outside. It’s called a one-sided deadbolt. They require them on all rental properties here in Texas for that very purpose, for privacy so your landlord doesn’t walk in on you. You could request 1 that your landlord let you get 1 of those installed?

Our apartment complex had a master key stolen so we all had our deadbolts changed by building maintenance. But our keys still work the after the change. Was anything done or was the “change” just for show that they did something about it?

Asked by Lewis almost 6 years ago

Since I wasn’t there, I can’t answer that. But, I can tell you that if maintenance is going to take their time to pretend to rekey your lock, they probably did it. It’s not worth the liability to fake it. What probably happened was 1 of 2 things. Either the new combination of pins just happened to be very close to your old key (I’ve seen it happen); or they didn’t dump all the master pins out of your lock when they rekeyed it (novice mistake, & not surprising since they’re not locksmiths). In either case, call them back & let them know that it needs to be redone if you’re worried about it.

Is there a way to convert a safe like in the link picture over to a dial lock or am I stuck? http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160415/70d2c4ba4130ca1c1565b5cc48bc899b.jpg

Asked by euphoric28 over 6 years ago

Anything is possible. It may require some modifications though. The fact that the wire comes into the safe so high above the lock is what seems questionable to me. normally that's probably where the dial spindle would come though, and that's quite a distance above the lock. You may want to call your local locksmith and find someone who does a lot of safe work. Send them that photo, safe brand and model, maybe even a picture of the front as well, and see if they would be willing to tackle it. Some conversions are quick and simple, I wouldn't say that one will be.

Yes!! I paid$330 for the Arlo security system, and they were still coming in..the camera would become disabled once I left home..after YouTube the possible methods used to bypass the system I found that because it runs on wifi, was easy to disable pw

Asked by Dah over 5 years ago

I’ve heard of intruders like this. Are they not stealing anything of real value, just moving around items of yours, hiding things?

I’m buying a new/used lock cylinder for my 05 Chevy Malibu for a salvage seller that comes with transponder keys for it already. I assume those keys are already programmed to a different gym vehicle. Will I be able to reprogram those keys to my vehic

Asked by Robert about 5 years ago

Yes you should be able to do that.

is it possible to customize an interconnected handleset so that the thumbturn on the inside is removed and replaced with a solid piece of metal/blank plate? deadbolt still lockable from outside with key, just not lockable from inside.?

Asked by mike almost 6 years ago

Probably yes. There’s a clip that holds the thumb turn on, usually a compression ring, you should be able to break it off, then replace it with a screw of some sort. You’d have to get creative. It might deactivate the “interconnected” feature, which would prevent someone on the inside from being able to turn the lever and unlock the door, creating a major fire and safety hazard. I would not recommend tampering with it for that reason. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

I have a 2000 saturn and the original ignition cylinder was removed and lost. i have the original key and purchased new cylinder. how do i code to fix

Asked by Chantel almost 6 years ago

A locksmith with a shop should be able to do it.

I'm trying to determine the brand of my Mortise lock mechanism that's inside my door so that I can get the right cylinder with the right cam for it. The logo on the side of the latch has an "E" with 3 arrows pointing from each leg of the "E". HELP.

Asked by Mike almost 6 years ago

The company name is Emhart. It uses a Corbin Russwin cam called a “cloverleaf” cam.

I just got a car from my sister. And the key doesn't work for the doors or the trunk. How can I fix that? And how much would it cost me? For a key that works maybe....

Asked by Marie over 4 years ago

You can drive it to a locksmith shop and they might be able to rekey them to match. Or they can make a key to the doors and trunk. With newer cars, it’s very common that the doors and truck locks quit working because people only use remotes to open them. So the locks corrode and seize up. If that is a possibility with you, you can try squirting some WD-40 or a penatrant like PB Blaster, made for loosening rusted nuts. Let it sit 30 min, then run your key in and out a bunch to loosen it up. Then try turning it. I’ve seen that work a lot.

I am installing a keyless mechanical double sided door lock on a glass door from our pool area into our home. Is a deadbolt more secure/burglar proof then a deadlatch? LOCKEY M230DC vs 210DC. Love auto lock of the latch for kids, but security wise?

Asked by Security Question about 6 years ago

There’s no question, deadbolt all the way! Deadbolts: 1 inch in length, when installed right, goes into the stud. They are also locked in place when fully extended. Can’t be “credit carded”. 

Latches: 1/2” in length, easier to credit card, easier to crow bar the door open, must be installed just right otherwise it’s very easy to credit card open. Also easier to lock yourself out of the house. Also they only lock into a 3/4” piece of wood. Can usually be kicked open with 1 kick.

None of my exterior doors have latches, all are deadbolted.

Our Yale lock is getting quite stiff. So much so we have to jiggle the key into the lock rather than it being smooth insertion. Do the lock require some form of lubrication. Worried the key may snap

Asked by Claire over 5 years ago

Absolutely yes they do. Spray silicone or Teflon spray into the key hole. Doesn’t have to be much at all. Just a quick short squirt.

We have a retail store. On our front door is the deadbolt with lock access on front and back.
The inside should have a switch inside of a key. Is there an adapter that fits over the key so we can leave it in the lock?

Asked by Michele over 4 years ago

I assume you have a glass and aluminum storefront door. You can replace that inside keyed cylinder with a thumb turn, they are very inexpensive, usually $10-15. Labor time is 2-5 min. You can have a locksmith come out and do it for you, or probably YouTube it if you’re trying to save yourself money. https://youtu.be/nJT0moSoNJM

What is the best redundant lock on the market?

Asked by lance1177@gmail.com about 6 years ago

Not quite sure what you mean by that, but if you mean the MOST redundant lock, it would be the residential locking door knob/lever in an exterior application. I always recommend people to replace them with a non-locking handle, or disable the one they have so it no longer locks. Most people who get locked out of their homes do so because they walk out with a key and it automatically locks behind them. You don't really have the problem with a deadbolt. That is of course assuming they have a deadbolt. Also, compared to a deadbolt, there are no comparison in the security. Deadbolts are MUCH more secure, and adding a locking knob/lever doesn't really help the security of the door.

Hello there! I have a Brinks Fire safe with a digicode/key system. Lost the key, but have the main key that I can use to get it. Wondering if you can get me a key for Brinks 2147 (code on tumbler)

Asked by Jason B over 6 years ago

Contact Brinks for that key, or call your local locksmith. I looked up that code, & it didn’t bring up anything. If you just need a key copied, they might be able to do that in house; if not, they can probably order you a key.

My wife and i split and she wont give me the spare car key, she keeps takinf my car leaving me stranded is there anyway I could change the ignition key or do you have a solution to make her key not work

Asked by Jp over 5 years ago

With some cars, you can deactivate all keys and reprogram certain keys. Or just plain rekey the ignition so it mechanically doesn’t work either.

Morning ,I am not really sure of what's going on. . Eating my food, taking personal toiletries and even took a shower one day.. sounds like the maintenance workers or management because I hear keys on the audio recording....

Asked by Dahh over 5 years ago

I don't have a good answer for you I'm sorry to say. I think your troubles may be bigger than any lock or security product can solve. I can only advise that you don't stick any more money into it if you have tried cameras, security system, AND locks. I don't know anyone who can crack all of those with no damage, and only to take a shower and eat some food? It doesn't add up.

Hi. I am trying to locate a padlock that has the following fearures:

-Can be opened by multiple keys (preferably 12)

-Displays or records the last action (lock or unlock) of each key seperately.

Advice? The application is a buildingwide trash bin.

Asked by Joss over 5 years ago

Yes, Medeco makes a few different options. I would recommend finding a local locksmith who sells Medeco and buying through them. There are a few options with different features. Medeco XT, Medeco Classic Cliq, and M3 X4 Cliq. Classic Cliq might be your best option, economically. Your local rep could probably give you some better guidance.

2001 ford ranger lost keys.chip in key. what is my best and cheapest option?

Asked by Allen almost 6 years ago

The “best” and “cheapest” won’t be the same. I’d say get prices from your Ford dealer and a few local locksmiths. Sometimes the dealer is cheaper, sometimes locksmiths are cheaper. Keep in mind that if you go to the dealer, you’ll be paying for a tow as well. Locksmiths will usually come to you and do it on site.

Also, I want to change the inside door knob to a lever type. What brand should I be looking for that will fit? Thanks again.

Asked by Fw88888888@yahoo.com almost 6 years ago

I don’t know if you’ll be able to find anything to work with your existing hardware. They quit making that lock YEARS ago, & parts usually aren’t compatible between mortise locks, except cylinders of course. You’re probably better off replacing the whole thing if you want a big change like that, or if something breaks.

I have a 2015 Nissan Micra base model with no remote locks but when the dealership changed the ignition they didn't recorded the new code for programming now i lost 2 keys nd no locksmith in here was able to start my car do u think its possible?

Asked by Sawad over 4 years ago

I haven’t worked on cars in over 10 years. Some cars the computers need to be reflashed with a tool, some the keys can just be reprogrammed to the car. Unfortunately I can’t give you an accurate answer. Find a locksmith who works on those who will come out to you, or get it towed to the dealer.

Any suggestions for better security, I've tried the alarm system, the hidden camera, the remote door alarm..

Asked by Dah over 5 years ago

Are you saying your alarm system isn’t going off, and your cameras aren’t picking anyone up?

I hope you can help me... No one seems to know what kind of lick this is... I bought several items at a auction.. and a few of them had drawer locks like this... I spent alot of time removing this lock without damage to the drawer... I'm hoping you can help me identify what kind of lock this is and tell me where I light be able to get replacement keys.. I'd like to save the locks... Thank you in advance... Any help you can give me is appreciated.

Asked by Pete about 5 years ago

Can you send me a couple photos on Twitter? @ATXJoshL

I want to buy a Schlage smart lock. Preferably a Sense. However, I want it work with a master key of blank type SC8 (other locks are A series). Will this work? If not, what smart lock will?

Asked by RJ almost 6 years ago

If you can find a 5-Pin E key-in-lever (also called key-in-knob) cylinder, you can replace the one that comes stock in the Sense with that one. The only problem is, most aftermarket KIK cylinders are 6-pin, so you might have a hard time finding one.

An alternative would be a Yale Real Living deadbolt. They come touch screen or with a physical keypad. They’re much more aftermarket cylinder friendly. Just purchase an aftermarket Schlage E key-in-knob cylinder, have it keyed to your key, & have the locksmith install it into the deadbolt for you.

Thanks for the cloverleaf cam answer...you're good. I have 2 more questions. 1. I do see the clover cam on yhe cylinder, just feel that the cam slips a bit at the ends of the travel. Should I, and could I put some grease on the cam?

Asked by Fw88888888@yahoo.com almost 6 years ago

If it’s the correct clover cam, it shouldn’t be slipping. It’s possible something is wrong with the lock body. Narrow down your problem. Take the cylinder out and turn the key all the way around. Is anything loose? Screws on the back tight? Now stick your finger into the lock body and try to simulate the motion of the cylinder cam. Does everything feel fluid? Really loose? Broken? Putting grease on the cam won’t help or hurt. You’re better off squirting a good lube into the mortise body and spray it around a bit. I love Super Lube. Some local shops might carry it. Even some bike stores. Amazon of course. Something that will stick & not dry up.

Can locksmith make a key for a Yakima roof rack?

Asked by George manfut about 5 years ago

Yes they can.

Is there such a thing as a lock which is a manual deadbolt on the inside and can be opened with a key from the outside? The application would be for classroom security in a public university, as against an active shooter threat. Thank you

Asked by Steve over 4 years ago

Sounds like you are describing the most common deadbolt that people put on their houses and retail storefronts. One problem I see with that is there is what may be more secure against a physical attack may not comply with your local fire code. Being a classroom you have to comply with a code that requires 1 motion for your students to get out in a fire. Such as a lever handle, you just turn and walk out. If you had a separate deadbolt on the door, it would require knowledge of the deadbolt being locked & having to turn the lever. Makes a big difference when the room is filled with smoke in a panic situation.

I think in an active shooter situation, a locked lever handle is going to stop someone unless they’re willing to shoot their way through, and then you have a different problem. They’re not going to take the time to get tools out and pry the door open.

To me the most common sense solution is a lever that can be locked or unlocked with a key from both sides. So a teacher can lock the EXTERIOR lever of the classroom from the inside or the outside with a KEY. Yet when the inside lever is turned, people can still escape if they had to whether it had been locked or not. It would also allow emergency responders to get into the room with a master key. That function does exist by the way. It carries different names depending on the manufacturer. The more common lever style is a thumb turn on the inside, keyed on the outside. The problem with that is it allows a student to lock the door, which in normal day-to-day operation could be a problem with students messing with it, potentially locking a teacher out of their own classroom.

Hello. Dad’s fun safe needed a new 9v battery. Replaced with 4 different Energizer batteries. Keypad beeps as buttons are pressed, there are two quick beeps at then end, indicator lights not illuminating. Please help! Thanks

Asked by Ceilia over 4 years ago

I don’t service safes very often, but it could be either the keypad or the electronic lock inside the safe. Sounds like it’s time to call a safe technician out. It probably won’t be something you can handle.

I have an antique door mechanism that I need to remove. The knob and latches are off, the jamb plate unscrewed, so it’ll slide out - except for one problem: I can’t get the spindle off. Is there a release catch? Can’t see one. Suggestions?

Asked by John Douglas over 4 years ago

Hard to say without knowing what kind of lock exactly, but sometimes those old mortise locks have a split spindle. You remove 1 half by sliding it out, and the other half hooks into the lock. You just unhook it. Some brands have a solid spindle that goes all the way through, but I’ve never seen it get stuck. Some have a screw that screws into the spindle from the backside, but if you don’t see a place where a screw would go into it, that’s probably not the case. Those are my best guesses. Any one spindle has always been either solid and once you get 1 knob off, it just slides out of the lock, of the split spindle style.

Ever seen a lock like this? IMG_5619.jpeg

Asked by GL almost 5 years ago

Wow! Can’t say I have! ????

What is the name used for the key that is placed in the right hand vise of a code cutting machine and sets the spacing of the cuts on the blank key?

Asked by De La Rosa almost 5 years ago

I would just call that the original key, and the other the copy. Or maybe the depth key?

Have you ever seen a Kordex safe? It has 2 drawers w/a key lock & felt lining. 1 small door that swings open and a large one at the bottom that swings open

I have one that came in a storage unit i purchased, but i cant find any information on it

Asked by Vega almost 5 years ago

Sorry nope, never heard the name Kordex before.

Do u ever get called to hotels

Asked by Mr C about 5 years ago

Yes all the time.

Had a key fob programmed. Remote start not working.

Asked by Ray over 5 years ago

Not sure how that would effect it unless they took some wiring apart. I’d call the locksmith back and see if they can help you. I don’t have much experience with programming keys on newer vehicles.

I recently ordered a universal key for my Honda Accord and was wondering do they really work? Are they already ready or do I have to do something extra?

Asked by Jerome over 5 years ago

There’s no such thing as a universal car key that I’ve ever seen. What I assume you ordered was an uncut I programmed key. I don’t know what year your car is, but you probably still need to have a locksmith or Honda dealership cut and program the key for you.

hello, im wondering if i can get a mechanical digital lock with a smart lock in 1 door?

Asked by nadia over 4 years ago

It either has to be digital or mechanical. And if it’s digital, there are plenty of smart locks to choose from. The only thing smart about a mechanical lock is they don’t require batteries. :-)

I hate keys so always use digital locks. Does one exist where one keypad controls two deadbolts (wirelessly)? I have a dutch door and want two deadbolts but don't want two keypads.

Asked by DigitalWatson about 6 years ago

You could get z-wave deadbolts and a z-wave hub to control them. Set it up to where when 1 deadbolt unlocks, it automatically unlocks the other deadbolt.

Otherwise, Mul-T-Lock makes a deadbolt with a remote keypad. You could check to see if it can be set up to control multiple deadbolts.

I have an old Schlage deadbolt lock that appears to have a round type screw head to anchor the two cylinders together .
Is there a special tool to use to loosen them or do you have a recommendation to loosen the screws?

Asked by George over 4 years ago

I believe I know what you’re talking about. A 1-way screw. Either order or go to Harbor Freight or probably about any hardware store & get a security bit set. The bit you need looks like a flat head screwdriver with a slot in the middle. Almost like a tiny fork with only 2 points. Put a lot of pressure on that screw & twist.

Is it possible to configure two locks such that key A opens locks A and B, but key B only opens lock B?
Thank you,

Asked by alias over 4 years ago

Oh yes, that is what master key systems are all about. Most office buildings, industrial buildings, etc use those so the higher ups can carry 1 master key, while different depart heads can carry 1 sub-master that gets them in all the doors in their departments, and also have individual keys for offices, storage closets, electrical closets, etc. Its complicated, but that’s what locksmiths get paid to do.

Can a disc key lock be tightened, so each time you unlock it. It closes more?

Asked by Leelee over 4 years ago

Sorry that’s a bit too vague for me to even know what you’re referring to exactly.

I have multiple facilities that I use and want to have a limited number of keys. Can I use the keys I currently have to make a master key?

Asked by KC over 4 years ago

That’s not an easy thing to answer. In a nutshell, if all of your locks take the same type of key, you can use ONE of your keys and build a master key system using that key as a starting point, but you will have to recut every other key. Typically you can’t take a bunch of random keys and make them all work in a master key system. If someone tells you they can, they are not doing you any favors.

I don't understand how someone keeps entering my apartment with the remock lockey pro.. I use the protective fob bag key to block the waves..????????

Asked by Dah over 5 years ago

I’ve never seen the Lockey Pro in person, but I have dealt with a lot of other Lockey products, and they’re low quality. If someone was bypassing it, you would probably know. There would be signs of physical abuse. It’s highly unlikely someone has cloned your fob, but it’s not impossible. I would trust a high quality deadbolt by Medeco or Mul-T-Lock way before I would ever trust a Lockey lock. They are some of the strongest locks on the market, and have pick-resistant pins. Keys can only be duplicated by the locksmith you hire to install it.

I read a special-forces soldier describe a tactic of gaining entry by chopping door hinges apart with bolt cutters. Would this be a tactic ever used in "civilian" locksmithing? (assuming you're on the side of the door with the hinge, obviously)

Asked by Elvis over 4 years ago

I have never heard of that tactic before. Locksmiths typically don’t use brute force to gain entry. If we can’t pick a lock, we usually drill the lock because it can usually be replaced with parts on our vans, or in rare circumstances, at least install a temporary until an exact replacement can be ordered. A good locksmith typically doesn’t do any damage to a door while gaining entry. I would think a soldier in that scenario doesn’t care what damage he does.

what kind of metal holds latch to cabinet lock?
Is it jb weld or something else?

Asked by Tommie over 5 years ago

I'm not quite sure what you're asking.

My door is missing the faceplate. I've been calling locksmiths to get quotes and searching online for the part, but I can't figure out how to replace the part. The brand / model is unknown. Is there a way to get this replaced?


Asked by Keely about 5 years ago

Well that’s about as vague as it gets. If you can send me a photo of the front of the lock and where the plate is missing on Twitter @ATXJoshL, I can probably help you.

I have a number of indoor deadbolts (bedrooms and restrooms) with an inset bolt on the outside. No "keys" were ever provided. Best way to describe a possible "key" would be an old fashion skate key. Any suggestions on how best to source a key?

Asked by Roddy over 5 years ago

Not quite sure what you’re trying to describe, but if it’s an old lock, maybe you’re asking for a “skeleton key”? You can buy tryout rings online of some common keys that will bypass the lock. Or call a reputable locksmith and they should be able to provide one.

I have a Jimmy Deadbolt lock. The screws that attach and hold it against the door seem to be starting to pull free, they won't tighten up. It doesn't make sense to replace it. Is there a plate for the key side that the screws can go into or anything?

Asked by Mark Trombetta over 5 years ago

Take some wood shims, or cut some little pieces of wood, or some wood toothpicks and put them in the screw holes. Then put the screws back in. That should allow you to tighten up your screws.

Hello. I have an office building with an older, keyless electronic lock I am unable to identify. If I send you a picture of the lock do you think you may recognize it?

Asked by Paul H Smith over 4 years ago

It’s very possible! If not me, I have plenty of coworkers who could. You can message me on Twitter: @ATXJoshL

What made you want to become a lock smith?

Asked by Hendrickson over 4 years ago

My uncle is a locksmith. He was looking for part time help, & I was looking for a job change. I really had no interest in it otherwise. I was 20. 22 years later, here I am.

Hi, I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and my daughters have managed to lose both my original keys and alarm remotes. I don't know where to start and need the cheapest way to get this done. Thank You!

Asked by Debbie about 5 years ago

Check you manual for a key code written in by the dealer or a previous owner. It’s rare, but it happens. Then I would get a price from a few local locksmiths & the Ford dealer. You can probably get an operating key. If you’re concerned about price, you might have to put the remote on the back burner.

I have a 2005 f250 super duty Ford pickup does the ignition lock cylinder have a side bar?

Asked by Kevin almost 5 years ago

I haven’t worked on cars in 10 years. I don’t recall if they do or not, but I am inclined to think they probably do.

I have a 2002 Chevy venture and the little clamp that snaps into the ignition broke what is it called

Asked by Tank over 4 years ago

I think you’re referring to the ignition lock ears? If they are not staying when pressed on, you’ll have to replace the ignition. A local locksmith should be able to do it easily since I assume you have the working operating key.

Is the a keyed doorknob that works as follows:
> Knob is locked
> Use key to unlock door to enter
> When the key is taken out, the knob returns to locked.

I need this for a common entry. The renters keep forgetting to re-lock the door.

Asked by mansearching about 5 years ago

Yes, it’s called a “storeroom function” lock. What you’re probably more used to seeing at your local hardware store is “entry” “closet” “bathroom” etc. you need to find one that says “storeroom”. I will say though, that they do not have a button on the inside. It’s ALWAYS locked, but the lever on the INSIDE can also always be turned to allow exiting in case of emergency. If you don’t see it at your hardware store, you can always find them online. Every brand makes them, it all depends how much you want to spend & what quality you need.

Does anyone try and call you for non lock needs?

Asked by Jim over 4 years ago

Well I haven’t had to answer the phone in over 10 years, but yes, we would get some weird random requests now & then. Seems like they just didn’t pay attention to who they were calling. One time I received a call around midnight from a girl locked out of her car at a hotel. When I told her how much it would be, since she didn’t ask & I didn’t want her to be surprised, she was shocked to find out that we charged for our service, & canceled. ???????????????

What is the purpose of a spacer or a guide key?

Asked by De La Rosa almost 5 years ago

Sorry I’m not familiar with either of those terms in reference to key machines. Maybe it’s used on a type of key cutting machine I’ve never used before. ¯\_(?)_/¯

I ja e a la gard group 2 1548 that no matter how I turn it or how many time i only have to turn it to one number to the left and than to the right to open the safe. Why?

Asked by Jc barker over 4 years ago

Sounds like it needs to be reset. Either it needs to be repaired, which is doubtful unless it was abused, or the combination was improperly set to begin with.

Someone has made an impression of my key to my car. How do you do this and I have an odd question. If I seize the lock up with super glue will keyless remote still work? I have replaced the locks and it was not cheap. I can’t replace them again.

Asked by Pz over 4 years ago

Why would someone want to do that unless they planned to steal your car? And they would also have to program the key unless your car doesn’t have a chip in it, but most do these days. That sounds very unlikely. That’s a lot of trouble to go through when they could just break a window if they were just looking to steal misc items in the car. Technically yes your remote would still work if you had superglue in your cylinders. If you ever plan on selling the car, I would highly advise against that tactic though. You might be better off going to a locksmith & asking him to break some keys off in your doors. At least that way you could get them pulled back out down the road & reuse your locks.

Can a kwikset or schlage key blank be used for a Weslock lock?

Asked by Jed about 5 years ago

Depends on how old your Weslock is. The older Weslock you could use a Kwikset key blank, but they had their own keyway. They have revamped their products as the company has been bought and sold over the years, and today you can get Weslock in both a Schlage and a Kwikset keyway.

I lost my keys to a 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2 wheel drive 5.2 I knocked the ingintion out to get it started, I then bought a new ignition switch. I put it in , now it won't start . Can you tell me what to do

Asked by Cathy moats almost 5 years ago

Unfortunately I don’t work on automotive anymore and haven’t in 11 years. If your key has a chip in it, you may have bought the wrong ignition or may need to get it programmed by a locksmith. When you start dealing with ignition security systems, DIY ignition swaps aren’t as simple as they used to be. Best way to find out is have a locksmith come out, or call a locksmith and give him the year make & model and he should be able to tell you if it had a chip in it. Some years, SOME vehicles came with a chip, & some didn’t. Makes our job frustrating not knowing what we’re walking into, but more so for the customer.

An antique cabinet door lock. Looking into the keyhole I see a small round hole at the very top with a flat bottom. No place for anything else at the bottom of a key to turn? What type of ket does it take?

Asked by jk Sinrod about 4 years ago

Sounds like a barrel “skeleton” key. You could either have a locksmith come out and make a key, or bring that lock into a locksmith shop to get a key made. Another option is ordering a ring of “tryout keys” like one listed on this site. I’m sure you could find something else, this is what just came up in a quick google search. https://www.houseofantiquehardware.com/barrel-clock-key

I have a truck bed toolbox. It's missing the key cylinder but I'm not sure if that's all it's missing and I don't know what I need to get it operational. Can I send a pic of the inside and outside of tool box to help you help me?

Asked by Jesse Lee Stout over 4 years ago

Yeah sure! On Twitter @atxjoshl

Can you unlock the secrets of the universe?

Asked by Albert Einstein about 4 years ago

If I told you the answer to that, then it would no longer be a secret.

How do you break out of jail?

Asked by asdfasdfasdfasdfasdfasderwe about 4 years ago

By not getting put in there to begin with.

Called my local locksmiths and none know what I am talking about. I saw online about a product called a “Keyhole Guard” or “Keyhole Lock”. This lock is inserted into the keyhole and remains there to prevent unwanted visitors.Where can I find one?

Asked by Susan C over 4 years ago

Sorry I’ve never heard of such a thing. Nothing comes up in a google search either.

The problem I’m having is I have a tenant moving in. But they’re not that common sense smart they would just take their key to Walmart to make copies. How do I purchase a do not duplicate blank key and where would I go to have them matched up.

Asked by Bob almost 4 years ago

I’m sorry it doesn’t work that simply. It’s the same as if I handed you a $20 bill and wrote on it “do not accept this”. It’s up to the cashier if they want to take it or not. It’s the same with a key that says “do not duplicate”. If the guy at Walmart wants to copy it, he can copy it. At our locksmith shops, we copy them, but usually make people sign a waiver releasing all liability on us.

If you want key control I’d recommend 2 options. 1. Install a keypad lock and don’t give your tenant the key. Give them a code. If they move out, reset it the code. 2. Install high security locks with true restricted patented keys. It will cost $125-200 per lock, $15-20 per key, but that’s the price you pay for a patented key system.

Automotive Trunk lock question; I'm Locked-Out of my Car Trunk. Key and Fob do not open it. Can not access from inside the car either. I had a separate trunk key cut, due to this happened before. But it does not work. What next ?

Asked by Tuco1957 about 4 years ago

Try squirting some WD40 into your trunk lock, run the key in and out of the lock a bunch of times. Locks get corroded fairly quickly when they are not used.

Aside from that, you could have a locksmith come out or you can go into a shop. They can get in 1 way or another. Worst case, drill out the lock & replace it.

My wife has a 2015 Camaro, when she got the car the key worked fine but the fob wasn’t active. We ordered some fobs online, cut the keys- keys work fob programming failed. Local locksmith orders some key fobs, tried to program them. Same thing No fob

Asked by Jason about 4 years ago

That is strange. I haven’t done automotive work in 12 years, so unfortunately I can’t help. If you’ve already taken it to a locksmith, I would have to say the dealer would be your next option before wasting any more money on more fobs or locksmiths. Sounds like there is a bigger problem. Sometimes aftermarket fobs can be junk depending on where they are purchased, but I would bet the locksmith probably ordered from a respectable distributor.

Hi I have a skeleton key lock I don't know what type but we are desperately trying going to get it open and we need help ASAP!!!!!

Asked by GRacie Li almost 4 years ago

Well there's no magic tricks. You can buy a tryout set of common "skeleton keys" online, see if one of them works; or take it to a local lock shop and let them either make a key or open it.

If you where not a Locksmith what job could you see yourself doing

Asked by Question to all about 4 years ago

I have been asking myself that for 20 years. I didn’t pursue this job, it basically fell in my lap. I said I would do it until I found something I really wanted to do. Still waiting...

Have you ever just had to break something to get in?

Asked by Whyatt about 4 years ago

Of course. We can't unlock everything. At some point, usually when the time spent trying to pick a lock outweighs the cost of drilling/breaking and replacing it; or if a lock has been designed to withstand manipulation, you’re only left with a couple options. Recommend the customer calls someone else of they don’t want you to break & replace something, ask if they can wait for a more experienced tech can come out, or allow us to break it and replace it at an additional cost. Usually they just want to get in, so we tactfully drill it open and replace the damaged parts.

Tongue of front door latch doesn't retract when I try to open the door from the exterior. It will retract from the inside handle. Is this repairable or will the handle need to be replaced?

Asked by David Smythe about 4 years ago

You didn’t mention the brand, but it sounds like a common Kwikset problem. Usually just replacing the latch will fix it. Kwikset also has a common problem where the screws back out on the inside of the handleset. Take it apart very slowly. Buy a replacement latch, and put it all back together. Should be good to go.

I have a2003 crown Victoria I recently replaced my ignition and it came with two chipped keys how much would it cost to have a lock Smith come out and program my two keys with my new ignition

Asked by Michael2213 about 4 years ago

Locksmith pricing varies quite a bit by market. I can only guess $100 to $200? A locksmith should be able to quote you over the phone for that a pretty accurate price. If they give you some BS like “starts at $25” call someone else. There’s a lot of scammer locksmith services who hire subcontractors and they get paid by commission based on what they charge you.

I have an old entry handle for my front door that’s seen better days. I believe the brand is EZ-set. Finding a replacement that fits has become very difficult. Can you tell me what options I have and where to go to find the right one

Asked by khalilabuhamdeh@yahoo.com about 4 years ago

Well I would stay away from EZ Set, they're garbage. Apparently they have gotten to be harder to find as well. Assuming you're talking about a long pull handle with a thumb button, every model of every brand is a different length. I would go with Schlage or Kwikset. Much better quality. I I believe it's Schlage that makes them with an adjustable bottom post. That way you're not stuck having to find one that matches up perfectly, it will actually slide up and down to accommodate 1-2 inch differences. It should tell you the range it covers on the box. So measure your door from the center of the 2-1/8" hole to the center of the bottom hole. However, if you're replacing the deadbolt as well, EZ Set uses a Kwikset keyway, and Schlage uses a Schlage keyway. So you wouldn't be able to rekey it to your existing key, you would just have a separate key for your front door. Otherwise, you will have to find a Kwikset handle that matches close enough.

Are the Jobstr guys still doing anything on this site or is it a abandoned project? I sent them a email and they said they read everything and NOTHING. I am worried once the last of you who actually still answer regularly once their gone this site is dead

Asked by Donnie about 4 years ago

No idea, I never hear from them. Kind of just do this to help people out. I don’t even get any kickback by doing this.

Can you help me identify my lock to find a replacement?
Face plate code: R12921 CUS LISTED 24x3 F
(Series A maybe?) Mortise Door Lock - locked from outside by key and by thumbturn recessed from the inside. Color: polished Chrome.

Asked by Nadia Moussouni about 4 years ago

Sorry that really doesn’t give me the info I would need. Those sound like internal codes. If you’re able to send me photos on twitter, I could probably help you. @ATXJoshL

Could you give a client COVID-19?

Asked by Ndndnd almost 4 years ago

We don’t offer that service at our company.

What are some types of questions you wished people would stop asking

Asked by Question to all about 4 years ago

Model-specific automotive questions because I haven’t done automotive work in 12 years. My answer will usually be the same. Call a local locksmith or go to the dealer. There’s not much people can do on their own when it comes to car locks. It’s complicated and requires a lot of specialty tools and information.

What is the hardest job you have done?

Asked by Dale about 4 years ago

Learning to project manage 2 new construction jobs at the same time where we provided the doors, frames, & hardware (and installation on 1 of them) with no guidance because my mgr quit at the beginning of the job. Hardly knew anything about doors & frames, OR project managing a construction job, had to learn it all on my own. It was the most stressful few months of my life.

I had a quick question on how I purchase a key blank that has do not duplicate And have my key matched to it?

Asked by Nate almost 4 years ago

“Do not duplicate” is nothing more than an honor system. It’s can be a normal every day house key with the words “do not duplicate” stamped on it. Some go as far as to have different key heads, or “bows”. At that point it’s up to the person working at the store on whether they want to duplicate the key or not. True key control is done through a patented key system such as Medeco M3, Schlage Primus, or Mul-T-Lock. Some require special machines to cut the keys, some don’t.

The front door to our home has a center door knob. We've lost the key, don't particularly care for the current knob, and want to replace it. Is there a special kit we would need since it is centered rather than aligned to the left or right? Thanks!

Asked by Nursey82 about 4 years ago

Yes, companies make special extended latch kits. You can usually get any knob you want as long as that company makes a compatible latch. Take a measuring tape and hook it to the edge of your door (where the latch comes out of the edge of the door). Measure over to the center of your door knob. That is what size latch you need.

You might be able to reuse the current latch and just replace the knob itself. If you read the latch face, there should be a brand written on it.

Hello. Ive been looking for a locksmith to ask about electronic locks. How common are electronic locks and can they be integrated into a plastic molding?

Asked by Jbisel almost 4 years ago

When you say electronic locks, I am picturing all the hundreds of products currently on the market that either take batteries or are hardwired. You’ll have to be more specific.

Have you ever asked someone a question on here? If so do you mind saying what it was?

Asked by QUESTION TO ALL about 4 years ago


What made you want to do this?

Asked by Mario almost 4 years ago

My uncle needed some help, a part time employee. I was ready for a career change so I tried it out. Eventually that turned into full time. I said I would do it until I found something better...still here!

HI, i was wondering if you could help out a new locksmith in the business. im having trouble finding key codes for vehicles and understanding how and why i would need a certain amount of cuts. it would be great if i could get some insight, thanks.

Asked by clone0817@gmail.com over 3 years ago

Not sure what you mean by “needing a certain amount of cuts”. I haven’t done any automotive in 12 years. In fact, it got to be such a pain, the company I work for even quit doing mobile automotive work. Seems like locksmiths either go full in automotive, or none at all. It takes a lot of resources and money due to expensive machines and services. Also, more and more car manufacturers are doing proprietary keys and fobs leaving locksmiths with no options. This is a big disservice to customers, because it means keys will cost a fortune.

When all locks are changed on a rental is the center of the main lock left out? A d why?

Asked by Nina over 3 years ago

Not sure what you mean, but when a lock is rekeyed, the internal pins are removed and replaced with different pins to match the new set of keys. No other hardware or parts of the lock are usually replaced.

Have you ever been called to something like a jewelry box before or something small?

Asked by Mark over 3 years ago

Most of the time they just bring those to walk-in shops. But there has been a few situations where it was a chest, armoire, small safe, something like that.

How to block a Kwikset deadbolt keyhole? He is ruining it by inserting various objects into it to break the tumblers and jam the keyhole so I am locked out and have to pay locksmith everytime I leave my apartment.

Asked by Brenda almost 4 years ago

If you’re in an apartment, shouldn’t the management company be responsible for fixing your locks if someone is vandalizing it? Usually apartment buildings have strict rules for what they will let you do with your locks. If they will let you, you can get an electronic keypad deadbolt without a key hole. They’re made by Schlage, model # BE375.

Can you program a key for a 2009 challenger just using the vin number

Asked by Jerry79 over 3 years ago

No, you can’t program any key for any car using the vin. There is nothing in a vin that tells you anything about the key.

I sent you a question about being unable to depress the detent on my door knob. It was a home hardware "home security" brand lock.

Asked by Shannon Balaski over 3 years ago

You could try putting it into the lock position, push the detent, and then put it into the unlock position and try the detent. That might do it. If it’s still not coming off, you may have to punch it with a flat head screwdriver and hammer. It’s quite possible it could break it, but it’s probably broken already. I highly recommend sticking with a name brand lock like Kwikset, Schlage, Dexter, Master, etc.

Hey i have a vw golf mk4 , i got for it a new lock housing cylinder but before instaling it i tried to rotate it with my hand without a key so the lower part which look like a needle slightly turned and clicked so it didnt turn , so is it broken?

Asked by Sharbel almost 4 years ago

I have no idea what you’re referring to, as I haven’t worked on cars in 12 years, but I would say if the key works and it turns, it’s probably fine. If it doesn’t work, it’s probably broken. It shouldn’t break that easily. ¯\_(?)_/¯

Any job to big or small for you to do?

Asked by Zara almost 4 years ago

Nope, it’s all just proper management and mental hurdles.

I bought a new entryway knob and dead bolt set. I installed it but the doorknob only turns 1 way. I am now trying to remove it to see what the problem might be but I cannot depress the detent to remove the knob.

Asked by Shannon Balaski over 3 years ago

I wish I knew what brand it was. You probably put it together wrong. Could be why you can’t get it apart too.

I bought a lock cylinder for a deadbolt today, and the cylinder tailpiece will not turn without the key inserted. Does that mean I bought the wrong type of cylinder and tailpiece or does installation make it so the tailpiece will turn via bolt?

Asked by Ria over 3 years ago

You should have just purchased a new deadbolt, it’s much easier for a homeowner rather than trying to replace the cylinder. It sounds like you purchased a rim cylinder. The tailpieces on rim cylinders only turn when the key is turned. Tubular deadbolts, such as residential, use what’s called a “lazy tailpiece”. It turns 180 degrees, or so, independently of the key. Depending on which brand and model your deadbolt is, chances are more than likely you can’t just replace the cylinder like you’re thinking anyway. I would highly recommend returning or discarding the cylinder, and just purchasing a replacement deadbolt instead.

There is a lot of lock smith porn on the internet. Does this really happen? Have you ever done something like that? Is it legal? And would you loose your job?

Asked by Cecil about 4 years ago

Haha you must watch a lot, can’t say I’ve ever even heard of locksmith porn. I had a woman ask me to have sex with her once, but I turned her down. She was going through a really hard time & was looking for affection. That’s not the kind of person I am to take advantage of someone like that. I doubt I would lose my job if it wasn’t interfering with work. ¯\_(?)_/¯ Is 2 contenting adults having sex legal? Pretty sure.

What do you think is the easiest and hardest thing to do with your job. Another question would be what is the thing you hate the most and the thing you love the most.

Asked by Mr. Smith about 4 years ago

As a tech, I would have said the easiest thing to do is residential rekey jobs, the hardest and thing I hated the most was automotive work. Having your arm buried in a door panel in 100 degrees sitting in the sun trying to dig a door lock out; or laying on a customers dirty floorboard working on their ignition. It was the worst.

Love the most, probably all the amazing different places I have been and people I’ve had the opportunity to meet.

Will you do this until you retire?

Asked by Don almost 4 years ago

I wonder the same thing all the time. I have moved into project management, and our company now covers a lot more than just locks. We do commercial doors & frames, glass, aluminum storefronts now too, so I help manage a lot of those big projects now. It’s almost like a career change.

Have you ever called someone a moron in your head before because the situation was so stupid? What happened?

Asked by Jimmy over 3 years ago

Yes, one time a customer locked their keys in the car. My boss unlocked it. He got a block down the road, and they called him back, they did it again. He went back & unlocked the car again for free. Left, they called him AGAIN. He went back and charged them.

If I paid the taxes on a building and have paperwork to prove it can a locksmith come unlock the doors

Asked by Ebonii over 3 years ago

I’m not a lawyer, and locksmiths don’t request tax forms when they unlock doors. They usually have you sign a waiver of some kind stating that you have the legal right to have them perform that service, and they collect a drivers license. At that point it’s between you and whoever else may legally have the right to be there. However, I know there are laws pertaining to when a property OWNER can and can not enter a rental unit, and the law is usually on the renters side, not the owners side due to privacy concerns.

How can I find a dummy lever door handle for a set of exterior french doors that match the inside depth of the keyed side?

Asked by Dreppun almost 4 years ago

Not sure what you mean by the “inside depth“. Feel free to text me if you’d like further help. (737) 757-0004

I use the same key for my apartment entry door and for the entry to the building. Doesn’t that mean that everyone with a building key can get in my apartment? My landlord says no because the building is “keyed.” Is that possible?

Asked by Annvb53 about 3 years ago

Your landlord Is correct. Every apartment’s locks are keyed different, but the building entry doors are master keyed to allow multiple keys to access them. It’s basic master keying.

I have a Sentry combination safe and the number is broke and not turning the things inside to open my safe. How can fix this ?

Asked by Angel almost 4 years ago

Pry it open with some big pry bars, throw it in the trash & buy a better safe. They are not worth much more than that unfortunately. They’re plastic, pop metal, & sheet metal. The cost to have a locksmith professionally open it with expensive tools, & try to repair it would cost you more than buying a brand new safe.

Hey brother how do you get inside a locked home or business or any type of building that has a alarm system set?

Asked by Martian over 3 years ago

Nothing special. Unlock the door and have the business or homeowner put in their code to deactivate the alarm. If it’s an eviction or something where the occupant isn’t there, wait for the police and have the customer/bank rep explain what is going on.

Has someone ever called you to help them and you figured out they had criminal intent?

Asked by Seth over 3 years ago

Thankfully no not me; however my previous boss had a situation where a customer called him out to open a business and after he left they robbed it. We are required to collect driver license, customer information, etc, so cops had no problem catching them. Dumb criminals.

I have an electric bike with a locked battery but the key doesn't work. Could a locksmith help me get the battery out of the bike and fix the key?

Asked by Adam over 3 years ago

Hey Adam. Any automotive locksmith should be able to help you. They should be able to pick it open and make a key to it. Worst case, they get it unlocked and you order a new one from the dealer/manufacturer.

1 thing I would recommend trying first is it’s possible there is pressure on the lock itself, which can prevent the key from turning. Push in on the panel with 1 hand while you turn the key with the other hand. Letting that pressure off might do the trick. If that doesn’t work, it’s possible they either sent you the wrong keys or installed the wrong lock.

I want to buy a new lock for my RV front door and it has push buttons to open it but I have a universal key that goes to everything I was wondering if it can be deleted to fit my existing key https://www.rvlock.com/collections/frontpage/products/rvlo

Asked by Lauren about 3 years ago

For some reason that link didn’t open up a product. And since I don’t know what your existing key is, I would need to know that before I can even answer your question. Feel free to text me pictures or links- (737) 757-0004

I lost both my FOB n starter keys to my car (2006 Honda Civic LX). Is there anyway to get keys made

Asked by BigZeke almost 3 years ago

Certain locksmiths can remake the fob & keys; as well as the dealer.

I purchased a Brinks Padlock after a break in at my storage unit. A month later the key fit but the key will not turn. Could it be a different lock? How can I get it open?

Asked by Mona over 3 years ago

Yea it’s possible it’s a different lock. Management might know something about it, or it’s always possible you have the wrong key, or someone open & replaced it with another padlock. Lots of possibilities really. Mgmt might have a way to cut the padlocks off, or you can hire a locksmith to pick the lock or cut/drill it off.

Can you tell me if I can program an aftermarket key fob myself for a remote start car?

Asked by Dreya almost 3 years ago

Unfortunately don’t know anything about remote starts. Locksmiths don’t work on those very often.

Where I work we recently installed Medeco X4 SFIC and have semi-frequent issues with pin chamber misalignment (key won't pull out of lock). I know the work around of holding the plug in place while extracting, but is there an actual fix for this?

Asked by Sabin almost 4 years ago

Yes, there is a C clip on the back of the core. Pop that clip off, and SLIGHTLY twist it. Doing so will put retention on the plug. That should fix your issue.

Can a Round cylinder Key for a wall safe be made without a key as a sample

Asked by Nick Presher about 3 years ago

Depending on the cylinder, the pins/wafers should able to be removed from the cylinder and have it used the way you are asking. If it’s a cam lock like what you would see on a cabinet, they sell thumb turn style cam locks.

Can you recommend a secure lock to install on a thin door? Are there any electronic locks or deadbolts that can be installed on a thin door?

Asked by water_mom over 3 years ago

I think most deadbolts have a range of 1-3/8” to 1-3/4” thick doors. I would recommend going to schlage.com or kwikset.com & looking at their electronic deadbolts, look at the Specifications section on the product page. It should tell you the door thickness range. If it’s any thinner than 1-3/8”, it won’t work. You would need some kind of spacer to space out the lock on both sides of the door. I personally think Schlage makes a better lock than Kwikset.

Trying to replace an old brass door knob. it has a detent but instead of a space where a flathead can go, it’s like a little notch. I push something pointed inside and wiggle the knob but it still won’t come off. Any tips to get it off? Thanks

Asked by Kam almost 3 years ago

Usually those door knobs are screwed onto the spindle. Once you take out the setscrew on the edge of the knob, you should just be able to unscrew the whole door knob. The square shaft that goes through the door is actually threaded like a giant screw.

I just purchased a condo that has a Mortise lock. I am trying to convert to a smart lock but all Mortise ones use smaller Locksets. Any Suggestions? Face is 1-1/16x7-5/8 on mine

Asked by Massimo C almost 3 years ago

It sounds like an older mortise lock. Most modern mortise locks are 8” x 1-1/4”. You’re not going to find something that easily retrofits into the door prep you have. You could have a locksmith fresh install a deadbolt above your mortise lock if your condo will allow it. Otherwise, there just aren’t very many options for the residential mortise lock platform. Look up Yale Nextouch. They make a smart locks with a mortise prep, but it won’t fit in your door as is. You’ll have to have it modified. Also check with your bldg Mgmt before you do anything, I have seen some of them have strict rules what they will let tenants do to maintain uniformity.

Corbin E Door Knob Bank Lock It Has Square Handle s To The Door And And It Takes A Type Of Key Its From The (1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s) How Do You Rekey That Type Of Lock / What Type Of Key Gos To It.

Asked by Daryl Smith about 3 years ago

I’m not familiar with an E-series Corbin lock, especially one with square knobs. Here is a list of Corbin’s discontinued products, maybe you can narrow it down. There are product catalogs, installation guides, etc. https://www.corbinrusswin.com/en/library/discontinued-literature/As for the keyway, it’s impossible to say. There isn’t usually 1 keyway per lock series. Commercial locks can be ordered with various keyways.

Which deadlock comes closest to offering all the same various burglarproof features that the ASSA 7000 has? I particularly would like one with ball bearings in the bolt. I bought the ASSA 7000 but it's too big for the door, so I'd like the next best.

Asked by Gary Ogan almost 3 years ago

You say it’s too big for the door. How so? Is your door too thin? If so, you need adapter plates. That’s going to be the case for any equivalent. If your door has a different backset, say 2-3/8” instead of 2-3/4”, you either need to adjust the deadbolt latch, or purchase the correct backset. Depends on brand. If the hole in your door is 1-1/2” in cross bore, you need to get it drilled out to a 2-1/8”. Those high security deadbolts have some flexibility, but not a ton. They are pretty particular as to how they fit, and they’re all pretty similar.

My girlfriend has a deadbolt that has broken. She cannot remember the name of the company that made it and no locksmith can identify the brand. How can I show pictures in this forum to look for help identifying and repairing/replacing the deadbolt?

Asked by Dudley McCalla over 3 years ago

If you’d like to text me a photo, I can see if I can identify it. (737) 757-0004

I have a locked box with the code on the lock HHL on one side and 551 on the other. Can you tell me anything about this code, so I can maybe get a replacent key. It's a nice box and i hate to throw it in the recycle bin.

Asked by Jondo almost 3 years ago

I’m sorry, that is not enough information to go off of. HHL isn’t a brand I’m familiar with. If you want to see if you can salvage it, take it to a walk-in lock shop, they might be able to make a key to it. I would ask them for a price first, it might not be worth your money depending on what the worth is of the box. I would guess if they can do it, the cost would be around $30.

My deadbolt lock is locked into the door frame. The entire locking mechanism is removed and all that is left is a deadbolt that will not unlock from the door frame. How do I get it out?

Asked by Ashley over 3 years ago

Just to get the obvious out of the way, insert a flat head screwdriver into the tailpiece hole and turn it. Try to open your door and shake it as you do it just in case it might be pinched. If that doesn’t work, it could be a broken bolt. You will need to basically rip the latch bolt apart from the inside. Eventually you will remove the blockage and the bolt will pull back. Sometimes it can take a while.

I have a Baldwin mortise that is in need of repair. I am awaiting the parts from Baldwin. The setscrew that holds the cylinder in place is broken. The key cylinder rotates. I realize this could invite thieves. However in the meantime I really need for the cylinder not to rotate. I am about to duct tape it to the decorative plate. Is there some other temporary solution to keep the cylinder from rotating?

Asked by Jaherrick2002@yahoo.com over 2 years ago

Yes, put some blue (medium strength) Loctite on the threads of the cylinder. Thread it into the door and get it positioned exactly where you want it, then don’t touch it for a couple hours while it dries. That should do it. I’ve done this in a pinch in the past when I couldn’t repair a mortise lock as a PERMANENT solution. Never had a recall on it. It’s not AS secure as the screw, but 99% of thieves are not even going to attempt to unscrew a mortise cylinder. Most wouldn’t even know it’s able to be unscrewed. They break windows & kick in doors.

Asking for a friend :) Bought a key fob online (4.5 stars, great reviews) had it programmed by a locksmith and only the lock and unlock features are working...panic and trunk not working. Locksmith blamed the key fob. Could it be something else?

Asked by Dave almost 3 years ago

I wish I could answer that for you. I have never programmed a fob in my life. However I know all 3 of our shops do it and we run into SO many problems with aftermarket fobs that people buy online, we quit offering a warranty for fobs bought online. We realize that they are more expensive to buy them locally, but at least the lock shop owns the whole project at that point, so if something goes wrong, there is 1 party responsible. Now, you’re stuck wondering who’s to blame. I don’t think you’re going to come out ahead on this one unless the shop is willing to try to reprogram it. If not, you could ask them if you can buy a fob through them and program at it for you at no additional charge. You would be out of the cost for the one you bought online, but at least you’d have a working fob & know how to deal with it in the future.

how do I get a stuck bobby-pin from out my locked door

Asked by liya over 2 years ago

Assuming it’s too suck to use a strong magnet, but if not, I would try that. Aside from that, there aren’t many options for a homeowner due to the restricted space. Locksmiths have special tools to pull out broken keys or things like this, sometimes we have to drill out the lock and replace it depending on how bad it’s stuck. I would call a locksmith.

Okay so we bought our car on FB and we hadn't gotten the title transfered in our name and my husband lost the keys at work the other day what should we do

Asked by Avery & Isaiah over 2 years ago

Call a locksmith and they might do if if you can show them the receipt from the title transfer, bill of sale, etc. They will also probably ask for a drivers license and have you sign a waiver.

I have a locker style cabinet in my garage with a lock (maybe a cam lock) that when you lock it a rod moves vertically to lock the unit. it is currently locked and when you turn the key nothing happens- no movement. How do I go about fixing this

Asked by Scott over 2 years ago

Sounds like you’re going to have to drill out the lock, stick a screwdriver into the cabinet & manipulate the linkage behind the cam lock. My guess is the nut that holds the linkage to the back of the cam lock probably worked it’s way loose & fell off. Depending what the cabinet is worth, might be a good idea to ask a locksmith to do it. If you bring it in to a shop, they can probably drill & replace it. You can try it yourself, but you risk hitting the linkage & doing further damage. Like I said, depending on it’s worth, might be worth trying yourself to save money.

I’m 19 years old and I’m interested in becoming a locksmith but I have no idea where to start, any tips or help?

Asked by Miguel Rodriguez over 2 years ago

I would seek out local locksmiths and see if anyone is hiring, or willing to hire, an apprentice. The pay probably won’t be good for a new hire, but better pay will come with time. Locksmiths are hard to find, so if someone is mechanically inclined, and trains well, they will be happy to teach you.

Can I get a replacement key made for my kia soul

Asked by A Brown over 2 years ago


I have a patio door. I believe it is an offset thumb turn lock that is keyed on the outside. After the lock is turned to unlock there is a lever to raise that actually releases the locking mechanism from the hooks in the door jam. What is this called

Asked by Erik over 2 years ago

I believe what you’re describing is called a multi-point lock system. They’re made by various companies, the most popular is Hoppe. Since the systems are made to fit the door, & there are so many different variations, they have to be surveyed by a tech, and special ordered.

I need a chipped key for my 2002 mustang I think it’s called a transponder key ? Because the anti theft won’t allow the car start and I was told that’s why .. is that true

Asked by Samara about 2 years ago

Yes that is correct, and you can go to a locksmith, and I would assume most Ford dealers should be able to do it as well, but shop around because a locksmith might be cheaper and be able to do it at your location, which saves you a tow.

Hello. Just bought a car from an auction (2017 focus rs) and it has come with no fob key. Is there anyway I can program one my self or anyway to start it without a key ?


Asked by Jude almost 2 years ago

No and no. You will have to get a locksmith to come out.

I bought a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and lost the only key I was given for it. I'm curious if there's a way for me to retrieve the key code and pin code I need to have a new key made myself as the dealership I was told to call can only look back to 06

Asked by Justin about 2 years ago

I believe an automotive locksmith should be able to make a key for you.

I have a 97 ford expedition i lost the key. I couldnt afford a lovksmith so i researched and was under the impression i could get a new lock cylinderwith key and transponder receiver that matched now car will start but wont run help!!!

Asked by J Fryslie about 2 years ago

Wish I could help, but I haven’t worked on cars in 15 years. However, usually car keys are a lot more complicated than just swapping out a cylinder. Usually there is programming that needs to be done. My guess is you still need to take your car to the dealer, or call a locksmith to come out & program your vehicle.

can management tell if you tried to use a deactivated key fob on their system and doesn't management have to deactivate it themselves since i don't know how to or have the equpment to do so?

Asked by dmboothe almost 2 years ago

Yes mgmt will know you tried to use your fob. There is an audit trail even if it doesn’t let you in. They are the ones who have to deactivate it unless it expires on its own.

how do you stop someone from pressing a butter knife on a doorknob latch and opening the door?

Asked by Shel over 1 year ago

You can install a latch guard to cover the gap between the jamb and the door. Or, if the lock is installed and adjusted correctly, you can’t pull the latch back. It’s designed to lock the latch in the extended position. https://youtu.be/x0Rl_j-xJhY?si=3paMiQhzjrwwkxnE

How can you unlock a magnetic lock, that's locked from the inside and you're stuck outside? How much would it cost for a locksmith to do that?

Asked by Peaches over 1 year ago

Depends on your area and who you hire. Could be $75 to $250 depending on what needs to be done. It’s impossible for me to say what needs to be done to gain entry without seeing your setup and being there. Every job is different, & this is a special situation.

I got a smart lock and it says I need a minimum door thickness of 40mm.
My door is 35mm…
5mm doesn’t seem much but is it going to be a problem?

Asked by Gc over 1 year ago

Yes it will be a problem. You can just install some plates to make up the difference. They make adapter plates for this very purpose, unless it’s a unique footprint, you may have to custom make some plates.

I purchased a junkyard speedometer cluster for my 1996 Cadillac DeVille now it want start but will start with the factory speedometer cluster could do something to it started with junkyard speedometer cluster

Asked by Reggie blackmon 11 months ago

You will probably have to get your computer reprogrammed. Gotta love new cars.

So I have a madeco lock I took apart the housing it was in and lost one of the parts there is like a threaded sleeve it goes in well I lost that sleeve can I still pick the lock or do I need that to continue ue

Asked by Jack 3 months ago

Unfortunately I am not sure what part you’re talking about. I am not familiar with a threaded sleeve in a Medeco lock; but as long as you have all of the internals springs & pins you should be fine.

Hi i have a patio/Slider door and it has a way to lock it from the inside
I want to know if they make a keylock that i can hopefully drill a hole and make it lock from the outside also???

Asked by Jum 2 months ago

I would assume yes. You could search for a compatible lock at Strybuc.com, or if you know the manufacturer of the door, you may be able to get one from them or through a distributor who sells that brand.

I just broke the green chip on my anti theft transceiver (ford expedition 2003) and I got a new one and replaced it, so I need to get it reprogrammed to my key?

Asked by Brayfo 2 months ago

Unfortunately I can’t say for sure. I haven’t done automotive work in 16 years, but typically yes, anything you get replaced that’s related to the security system, needs to be reprogrammed to the key or car.

Just purchased a lock and I broke the key off in it what should I do

Asked by Adrian about 1 month ago

Take it to a locksmith & they can pull it out for you. Should be very inexpensive.

Broke a key off in my public storage lock is it possible to get that out

Asked by Adrian about 1 month ago

Yes you can. A locksmith has special tools to pull that broken key out without damaging the function of the lock in most cases.

I want to convert a push bar door to electronic mag-lock (prox tags, fingerprint, phone....etc).

Do I need to get a special type for a push bar or can I use any type with a magnetic strike plate?

Asked by JoelN over 1 year ago

There are a lot of components that goes into the set up you are talking about. It’s very difficult to interpret what you’re trying to do exactly, I’m not sure you’re using the correct terminology. This set up consist of a special type of push bar that has a switch in it, a mag lock, power supply, some form of card reader, fingerprint reader etc. I would highly recommend hiring a professional as this is something that needs to be designed & installed correctly. There are also local codes that restrict usage of mag locks in some areas, or require special permits for installation of these.

How can I get a key replacement for a 2012 Kia optima?

Asked by Joseph about 1 year ago

Go to your local locksmith, they can usually come out to you and do that on site. Or go to the dealer.

I have an OTOFIX smart watch that came with my OTOFIX IM1. I am not a locksmith just an automotive technician. The watch came with the tool and I want to program it to my 2022 subaru Outback.

Asked by Ben 5 months ago

Contact Otofix?