What can a locksmith do?
Most people never think to call a locksmith until one of two things happen:
1. You are locked out of your car or house.
2. You need to change the locks on your home after moving or due to a lost or stolen key.
But a locksmith can offer so much more than this. In fact, did you know locksmiths are trained to be security experts as well?
3 Types of locksmiths
There are three main types of locksmiths: residential, auto (vehicle), and commercial. Each one focuses on a specialized sector of the locksmithing industry to more adequately meet customers’ needs, though all require comparable training and utilize similar skill sets.
When someone says the word locksmith, a residential locksmith is probably what comes to mind. These are the technicians that specialize in home security and the types of locks used in and around a house. They are who you call if you are locked out of your home or want to change your locks after moving into a new house.
The most common services provided by residential locksmiths include:
- Key Cutting
A locksmith should be able to cut keys for nearly any type of lock. They can do this either by making copies of your existing key or by creating a new key to match your lock (helpful if you lost a key or have no available copies).
- Domestic Lock-out Assistance
Usually gaining entry during a lock-out requires a locksmith to pick the lock on the front or back door of the house. In very rare cases, the lock may have to be broken or drilled, but 95% of locks should be pickable by a professionally trained locksmith.
- Rekeying Locks
If you are worried about the security of your locks, rekeying is a cost-effective alternative to completely replacing your locks. To rekey a lock, a locksmith removes it from the door and alters the configuration of the pins and springs inside so that the original key no longer works to open it. New keys are cut that match the reconfigured lock, and it is placed back on the door, essentially as secure as if it were brand new.
- Repairing or Replacing Broken Lock Hardware
Though rekeying is an inexpensive and effective way to change your locks, it is not always an adequate solution to lock trouble. If one of the locks on your home breaks or is wearing out you will need to repair or replace it.
Residential locksmiths will be able to assess the damaged lock and determine whether or not it can be fixed. If it cannot be salvaged, they will offer to replace it and can usually sell you the replacement hardware as well.
- Installing Locks
Locksmiths can do more than work on locks you already have; they can also install locks where there were none before. If you want to install new locking devices on doors or windows around your home, a locksmith can make recommendations for the best type of locks and handles to use, sell you the necessary hardware, and perform the installation. Talk about a one-stop shop!
- Lock & Door Hardware Sales
Most locksmiths carry several brands of locks and lock-related hardware that they sell along with installation services.
If you have a specific type of lock on your home that you are looking to match when replacing or installing locks, a locksmith is your best resource for tracking it down, as long as it is still available. Most locksmiths are willing to order hardware for customers, even when it is not a brand they generally carry.
- Safe Sales, Repair & Moving (*Bonus Speciality Service)
Services like safe cracking, safe repair, and safe maintenance and moving require specialized training and expertise. Some locksmiths offer assistance when someone loses the key or forgets the combination to open their safe and can even replace locks on certain types of safes. Mayfair Key & Lock has master locksmiths trained to move, install, and repair many types of safes and vaults. They also feature a walk-in safe showroom at their Oklahoma City location.
Most people have called an auto locksmith at least once in their lives but often don’t realize there is far more to the job than just unlocking cars for stranded drivers.
Locksmiths specializing in vehicle security are trained to:
- program key fobs, transponder keys, and car remotes
- reproduce new keys when owners have lost the original and spare copies
- repair door and ignition locks
- help solve other problems that may arise with car locks or keys.
In short, auto locksmiths are your number one resource when something goes wrong with the locks or keys on your car.
Companies and organizations often have security needs that fall outside the realm of standard locksmithing, and commercial locksmiths are trained to meet those needs. They still offer many of the same services as a residential locksmith, such as rekeying and lock installation, but concentrate on mastering the types of locks most commonly used in a commercial setting, which often vary significantly from those used on cars and homes.
Commercial locksmiths also address broader security issues by offering services like control access systems and keyless entry, and it’s crucial that they stay up-to-date on the latest lock and security innovations because businesses are much more likely to employ the newest technologies.
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© Copyright Mayfair Key and Lock 2018
Appreciate the craftsmanship!
PADLOCK WITH KEY, iron, etched, Germany ; c.1580
The key-hole is concealed by a catch, with twin locking bolts and one dummy lock. Such work is typical of South German workshops.
Mayfair Key & Lock key cutting machine
Mayfair programs many types of fobs and transponders
Mayfair Key & Lock's walk-in safe showroom