Locksmith

Locksmith

Josh-the-Locksmith

18 Years Experience

Austin, TX

Male, 38

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

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

Share:

Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

148 Questions

Share:

Last Answer on March 24, 2017

Best Rated

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 almost 5 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 almost 5 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.

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 almost 5 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.

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 almost 5 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.

What was the toughest lock you ever managed to crack?

Asked by my-t-sharp almost 5 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!

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** almost 5 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 almost 5 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.

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

Asked by J.G. over 4 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.

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 almost 5 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 friends and family who take advantage of your profession and call you constantly to help with lock-outs?

Asked by go leo almost 5 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.

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 4 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 have any stories about locksmiths using their skills to burglarize?

Asked by Shonuff almost 5 years ago

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

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 5 years ago

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

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 about 4 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.

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

Asked by Tr3 over 4 years ago

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

Best locksmith joke you ever heard?

Asked by hootie hooooooo almost 5 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!"

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 almost 5 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 almost 5 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.

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

Asked by brikhaus about 4 years ago

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

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

Asked by billhert almost 5 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 over 4 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.

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

Asked by DUCKS almost 5 years ago

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

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 almost 5 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.

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

Asked by Kingpin almost 4 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. 

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 over 4 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.

Am I supposed to tip my locksmith?

Asked by Tony Riddles about 4 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.

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

Asked by CB4 about 4 years ago

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

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 about 4 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.

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

Asked by brikhaus about 4 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.

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

Asked by rick over 3 years ago

Cuts 1-6

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 almost 4 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 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 almost 4 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 about 4 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 almost 4 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. 

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 over 3 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 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 over 3 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?

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 almost 4 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 over 3 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. 

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

Asked by Qp over 3 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. 

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

Asked by allen over 3 years ago

Cuts 1-6. 

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.
Thx

Asked by Randy over 3 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 over 3 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 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 3 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. 

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 3 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. 

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 about 3 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,
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 about 3 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.

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 3 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. 

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

Asked by mike over 3 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. 

what is p1738 code for a 2000 Honda Accord?

Asked by mike over 3 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.

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 over 2 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. 

 

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 3 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. 

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

Asked by jailbrake about 3 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! 

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 3 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. 

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 about 3 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. 

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 about 3 years ago

Lever lock. ????

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 about 3 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. 

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 about 3 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. 

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 about 3 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. 

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 about 3 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 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 almost 3 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.

where can I get the key code for a Harley ?

Asked by Ug almost 3 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 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 over 2 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. 

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

Asked by Aaron almost 3 years ago

They are not compatible. 

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 over 2 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. 

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 over 2 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.  

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

Asked by Jason over 2 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". 

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

Asked by mail man helper over 2 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. 

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 over 2 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! 

 

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 2 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. 

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 over 2 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. 

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 2 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. 

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 over 2 years ago

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

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

Asked by bob over 2 years ago

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

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 2 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. 

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 about 2 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!

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 about 2 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.

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 2 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. 

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 2 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,

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 about 2 years ago

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

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 2 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.

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 2 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.

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 about 2 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.

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 about 2 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.

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

Asked by mike about 2 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.

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 2 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)

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 over 1 year 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 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 about 2 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.

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 over 1 year 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.

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 over 1 year 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.

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 almost 2 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 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 almost 2 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.

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 about 2 years ago

You're welcome! Glad I could help.

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 about 2 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.

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 2 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.

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 almost 2 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.

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 over 1 year 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.

Hi,

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

Thanks

Asked by Pedro about 2 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.

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 almost 2 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.

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 about 2 years ago

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

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

Asked by Kfir over 1 year 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.

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 1 year 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.

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 almost 2 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.

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 1 year 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.

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 over 1 year 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.

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 almost 2 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.

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 1 year 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.

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 1 year ago

1.21 gigawatts.

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 over 1 year 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.

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

Asked by Javan over 1 year ago

Sure. I'm on Twitter: ATXJoshL

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 over 1 year 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 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 1 year 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 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 1 year 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! $$$

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

Asked by Greg over 1 year 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 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 1 year ago

I will give you a call.

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.)

Thanks.

Asked by mw over 1 year 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.

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 1 year 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.

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 1 year 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.

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

Asked by b919 over 1 year 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.

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 over 1 year ago

No, I have never come across one of those.

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 12 months 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.

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 about 1 year 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.

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 about 1 year 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

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 about 1 year 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.

Josh,
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 11 months 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.

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 7 months ago

I would swap the 3 & the 5.

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 about 1 year 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.

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 11 months ago

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

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 about 1 year 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.

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

Asked by Courtney 8 months ago

Definitely not.

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

Asked by Arrabella 9 months 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.

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 8 months 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.

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 10 months 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

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

Asked by E. Sky. 6 months 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.

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 4 months 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 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 9 months 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

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

Asked by sam 5 months 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.

does my 96 fleetwood cadillac have a key sensor

Asked by john 7 months 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.

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 3 months 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.

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 4 months 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.

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 4 months 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.

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 4 months 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.

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

Asked by Jake 3 months 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 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 2 months 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.

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 9 days 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.

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 11 days 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.

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 10 days 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.

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

Asked by Jordy about 18 hours ago

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