Locksmith Price List – What Should You Pay and How Do You Know It’s a Good Deal?

When you need a locksmith to change your locks, unlock your home or auto, or to upgrade your security system, there are many things to consider. Lately, most people seem to be most concerned with price. For this reason, many companies are now using an easy locksmith price list to ensure everyone pays the same price and gets the best rate. This can help you as the consumer and it also help the company to save money by streamlining their service. How does a pricelist help you to get a better deal? Consider the following situations and scenarios.

Every Technician Charges the Same Price with a Locksmith Price List

A few years back, technicians had to try and remember the price of every service and part they sold. This was a nearly impossible task. Technicians were often known to guess or estimate what the correct price was. This meant that some people got a great deal while others paid outrageous prices. In addition, you might have ended up paying for labor when the cost already reflected this amount. Now that these technicians have a set locksmith price list, you can rest assured that you are getting the same price as everyone else.

Companies Lower Their Prices by Streamlining With a Locksmith Price List

When a company charges by calculating a profit on top of their cost, the price you can end up very skewed. For example, a fifty percent markup on a ten dollar part is five dollars. However, a fifty percent markup on a fifty dollar part is twenty five dollars. As a consumer, this calculation method can cause prices to drastically increase and changing your locks will quickly become very expensive. However, if you choose a company that uses a price list, you are sure to get a much fairer price. Make sure you ask the companies up front how they bill and make sure you are aware of how much you are going to pay for parts and labor.

Enjoy Up Front Pricing with a Company that Uses Price Lists

Some companies tell you a ball park figure of how much the job will cost and you don’t find out the entire cost until the job is done. This isn’t exactly fair to you, the consumer. After all, no one is going to say “forget it” after the work has already been completed. If you want to know up front exactly how much you are going to pay, you need a locksmith company that uses a set list of prices. In this situation, you are informed from the start exactly what the cost will be. You can then choose whether or not you want to have the work completed. You can even find out from the secretary before the technician leaves the office. With this set pricing scheme, you don’t have to worry about hidden fees or surprise costs. Look for a company that uses this pricing method if you want a great deal.


Source by Neron Smith

Repairing Your Faulty uPVC Double Glazed Windows And Doors

It is an amazing fact that uPVC double glazing was sold by the industry as a maintenance free product. While it is true the uPVC frame will last approximately 10,000 years before degrading, the mild steal and cast Zink moving hardware parts will last an average of 10 years before they start to fail.

The problem with window company guarantees:

i) Many window companies have gone out of business leaving the guarantees worthless,

ii) Most guarantees last about 10 years so end just when you need them,

iii) The guarantee in most cases only covers the hardware for 12 months and the uPVC for 10 years.

I have known people who already have uPVC windows and doors getting them replaced with uPVC again at a cost of thousands of pounds (not to mention the cost to the environment) because the hardware is starting to fail. This is like scrapping your car because it needs new spark plugs and a couple of new tyres.

Why do people do this?

The answer is simple.

The home owner calls out uPVC window and door installers who only want to install a new window or door and will convince them it is un-repairable. Even if they wanted to repair it they wouldn’t know where to get the parts. You see window companies for instance will use 2 or 3 different types of locks on their doors while there are at least 140 different types.

What the home owner needs is a place where they can buy the spare hardware parts(locks, hinges and handles) so that they can maintain and repair their uPVC windows and doors.

Source by Christopher White

How Lost Motorcycle Keys Are Replaced When They Are Lost

Losing the keys to your motorcycle is never ideal for any rider. Whether you ride a cruiser or a crotch rocket, a Harley Davidson, or a Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki or just about any other make of motorcycle, having the keys sure makes it more fun!

Motorcycle, ATV and Scooter keys are all pretty similar from a locksmith’s point of view. Usually, all the locks on a motorcycle use the same key, unless one has been replaced, most often, the gas cap. When motorcycle keys are lost, one of the big challenges for a locksmith is finding the correct keyblank. There seem to be almost as many keyblanks as models of motorcycles! It can be frustrating to a locksmith, as many of our reference materials contradict each other, or information on a particular make, model and year is simply missing altogether. I have even seen cases where the same make, model and year have completely different locking systems and keyblanks. Motorcycle manufacturers are not as disciplined as automobile manufacturers, and they often use last years locks until they run out of them. Also, since the locks on motorcycles are easy to get at, they are more often replaced than automotive locks.

This often causes a great deal of trouble for the locksmith who must assume all the locks work on the same key. However, motorcycles tend to have many locks and the locksmith often has his or her choice of which lock they think will be easier to work on. Helmet locks, fork locks, ignition locks, seat locks, gas cap locks, cargo locks and more can be had by the skilled locksmith. I usually go for the gas cap lock or the ignition lock. The gas cap, because it is easy to get to, the ignition lock because it is usually what people REALLY want a key for! Often, when I make a key for the gas cap, it works in all the locks and I am done. Sometimes, it doesn’t work in anything else, which suggests the gas cap was replaced. In that case, I go for the ignition!

Many techniques can be utilized to generate a new key for a motorcycle. Impressioning is a technique where you use a blank key, you wiggle it around in the lock, the tumblers or wafers makes tiny marks on the key, you file those marks and repeat until the key turns the lock. This technique is one of the higher skills in locksmithing and I use it on motorcycles quite often. You can also read the wafers, using a small otoscope (the kind the doctor looks in your ears with) you look down the key hole or keyway and from that you can estimate the shape or cuts of the key. Impressioning is often used to further fine tune the correct key. Sometimes there is a code stamped on the lock casing, in this case, I can use that code to get the information I need to cut a new key. At no point is a “mold” made of the lock, I get that question quite frequently! Most motorcycle locks are pretty simple, but very effective, while they are a challenge for most locksmiths, they are by no means our greatest challenge!

Source by Kristopher Kaiser

How Much Does it Cost to Change Locks?

Changing Locks

Many enquiries that locksmiths receive, are about the cost to change locks.

Often, clients are meaning to inquire as to just changing the combinations of their existing locks, so they can maintain the same hardware on their doors.

Or when the keys to their house, office or automobile have been misplaced, stolen or even copied unknowingly (suspected), they experience the need to re-code their locks.

Also many new home buyers or new tenants want to make sure that previous residents of their property can no longer gain entry.

Locksmiths across the country vary greatly in their fees. There are accepted industry averages published in locksmith publications like The National Locksmith magazine and the Locksmith Ledger magazine annually, but the going rate can vary from around $5.00 per keyhole to as much as $20.00 per keyhole for residential or commercial door locks and from $10.00 to $35.00 for automobile locks. Often this does not include labor for the removal and refitting of locks.

Master-keying is another charge that most locksmiths charge slightly higher fees for. Often, specialist products like Medeco or Multlock or Primus or Best or Assa or Abloy or Bilock products can incur significantly increased fees due to the higher cost for the pin or disc tumblers.

Altering the lock combinations on your doors is very important to maintaining your peace of mind, the security and privacy of your family members, fellow workers etc.

There are multiple brands that offer key control to further protect from unauthorised duplication of your keys. Contacting your local locksmith is the best option to determine the most suitable and cost effective approach.

Source by Danny Gurvis

Key Control or High Security Lock & Key Systems

What is the risk?

Key control, or more accurately the lack of key control is one of the biggest risks that businesses or property owners face.

Without a key control system you cannot be sure who has keys or how many keys they have to your property. Not having a patent controlled key system leads to unauthorized key duplication, which leads to unauthorized access to your property or employee theft.

Most key control systems utilize patented keys and or cylinders, these lock cylinders employ very precise locking systems that can only be operated by the unique keys to that system. Because the cylinders and or the keys are patented, the duplication of keys can only be done by factory authorized professional locksmiths.

The key blanks and lock cylinders are made available only to those same factory authorized professional locksmiths. Procedures may be in place to allow you to contract with another security professional, should the need arise.

The control can be at the locksmith dealer level, at the distributor level, or at the manufacturer level.

All high security key control systems require specific permission to have keys originated or duplicated. These procedures assure the property owner or manager that they will always know who has keys and how many. If an employee leaves and you get the keys back, you can be reasonably assured that no copies of your keys are floating around.

Most systems have cylinders that will retrofit existing hardware, keeping the cost of acquisition lower. Some systems employ different levels of security within the system, still giving patented control, but not requiring ultra high security where it is not needed. These measures are again aimed at cost control.

Most systems can be masterkeyed, some will coordinate with existing master key systems. There are systems available that allow interchangeable core cylinders that will retrofit existing interchangeable core systems.

Your Security Professional, can help you select the system most suited to your needs.

Jim Newell

Please visit http://www.secureyourstuff.com for links to manufacturers sites and crime prevention sites, many of which have additional security tips. This information could save your property or even your life!

Source by Jimmie Newell

Common Types of Locks

Cylinder locks – Cylinder locks are perhaps the most well known of the three main mechanical lock systems, with the most common of these being the cylinder rim lock. These are commonly found in main doors and are often referred to as Yale lock (though this is actually the name of a particular manufacturer, much as the term Hoover has been adopted to describe all vacuum cleaners). The cylinder in question provides the chamber into which the key is inserted wherein a selection of pins will be organized to prevent it twisting and unfastening the latch. The purpose of the key then is to push these pins out of the way so that the cylinder is no longer held in place. A typical five pin cylinder can provide up to 100,000 variations. A locksmith or professional lock picker can perform this task manually to open the door.

Lever locks – Another of the three mechanical types of door lock and also widely used, lever locks can be found in abundance at most locksmiths. The most commonly used variation is the five lever lock mortice deadbolt lock which are now often found in doors to homes and commercial buildings. The key for a lever lock has a long neck with the end coming off at a right angle at the very end to be inserted pointing downwards, whereas the cylinder lock uses the smaller and more common round keys with the pattern coming straight out. This way you can determine whether your lock uses a cylinder or lever mechanism simply by inspecting the key.

Warded locks – Warded locks are one of the oldest lock designs and have been used by many a locksmith for centuries. The appearance of the keys for a warded lock is similar to that of the lever lock, except the end or ‘blade’ is not so close to the end of the key. This is the design of most ornate or antique keys and is most commonly used for gates and cupboards as well as large doors for churches and monasteries (for this reason they are sometimes also referred to as ‘church keys’). These keys utilize different shaped locks to ensure that only the right key fits, but only provide a few possible variations making them more of a deterrent than a serious security option.

Digital locks – As technology advances so the art of the locksmith must evolve. Today digital locks are becoming more and more common as they can’t be picked or overridden by skeleton keys and are particularly useful for buildings that require many people to enter on a regular basis. These use a computer that requires input from a key card or number pad before it will give the user access. In some cases these can even utilize a remote activation system, voice verification or iris or fingerprint scan. While these systems are immune to lock picking they are more susceptible to other forms of attack such as short circuiting and hacking, and are unnecessarily complex and high maintenance for most family homes.

Source by Kathy Breneman

Should You Rekey Your Locks Or Buy New Locks?

It is said that locks control the keys to our kingdom. That kingdom can be your business, your home, your storage unit, your car or a computer server room. Locks are placed on a door to protect the contents of that room. If anyone has the keys to access the lock, then your security to that room has been compromised. It is not unusual to have keys lost or to have keys assigned to employees that no longer work for a company. When this happens you should consider either rekeying your locks or installing new ones.

Rekeying is the process of changing the cylinder so that existing keys will no longer be able to open the lock. This process allows you to regain control over the security of a room and its contents. A room can be left open while the cylinder is removed for the rekeying. The process of rekeying should take only a few minutes to complete. A new key will be created to match the newly rekeyed lock. Once a lock has been rekeyed, you should safeguard who is given a copy of that key.

Rekeying is a cheaper alternative to buying new locks because you will be reusing the existing door lock. Rekeying only changes the interior cylinder of the lock. Rekeying requires special hardware since you are modifying the internal cylinder. A locksmith will be able to rekey a lock for you. They will also be able to make multiple copies of the new key. Locksmiths have specialized equipment in vehicles that can be used at your site to rekey the lock and make a new key.

Buying new locks is an alternative to rekeying. Anybody can remove and install new locks on a door. Usually you only need a screwdriver to remove the old one and install the new one. The only cost involved in installing new locks is the cost of the new door lock and the time it takes to have them installed. Unlike rekeying, installing new ones does not require any special equipment.

The disadvantage of buying new locks is that you can install a new one that might be different or smaller than the original locks. If your door has been painted around the existing one and your new one is smaller, there will be an unpainted area showing. Locks are graded and the higher grades are more difficult to break into. If you buy new locks you may be replacing a higher grade with a lower grade thus making your room more vulnerable to break-ins.

If you are not handy at doing repair nor have the time to do it, changing the locks may not be a viable option for you. A locksmith can install the new one for you. Rekeying is usually much cheaper than buying new locks. If you have a room that frequently changes occupancy then you should consider rekeying instead of changing the locks. Rekeying allows you to have one changed to match another so that a single key can be used in both.

Rekeying a lock has its advantages over buying new locks. It is usually cheaper and quicker to rekey a lock than it is to uninstall the existing lock and install a new lock. Regardless of which option you choose, a locksmith can help you.

Source by Jennifer Bland

Deadbolt Versus Combination Locks

Lock technology is prevalent in today’s modern society. How can I make such a bold statement and be so sure about it? Well, ask yourself this – “In your daily life while going about your routines, do you encounter any locks? One? Even a dozen perhaps?”. Personally, within a day, I could be using up to 7 locks – 4 different keys to the doors of my house, one key for my car, one to my office building and another electronic key to the office itself. This is considered to be fairly normal. Some of you probably interact with even more than this.

What is the main driver behind having so many locks? Security of course, or at least a sense of security. A lock may not 100% guarantee prevention of someone breaking into your home, office, shop or car, but it will at the very least deter a would-be trespasser. This would also be dependent on your location. Obviously if it is notorious for break-ins or if there are other vulnerabilities of your establishment, having a lock may not be effective. The next question is then, “Why are there so many different types of locks?”. Well, each type provides a different level of security and I’ll provide an overview of a dead-bolts and combination locks.

One of the most common types is the dead-bolt lock. You probably have one of these on the front main door of your house. The component of the lock which prevents the door from being opened is a bolt embedded in the door. When you insert the appropriate key into the lock, turning in one direction will cause the bolt to extend into a notch (that is lined up) in the door frame while turning in the opposite direction will retract the bolt back into the door. So this type is designed simply such that the person with a key can easily gain access but more difficult for others without they key.

Another type is the combination lock, which consists of either one or more dials that you need to rotate into the correct sequence in order to unlock. With a single-dial lock, it is opened by rotating the dial in alternating directions – e.g. for the first number of the sequence, turn clockwise, then counter-clockwise for the second number followed by a clockwise rotation again for the third number and so on until the last number in the sequence. You’re probably familiar with these locks on school lockers (i.e. combination padlocks) and safes. A multiple-dial lock consists of two sides – one side has several mounted discs and the other side has a pin which goes through the center of the discs. Opening this type of lock involves rotating each of the discs to their correct sequence allowing the pin to be pulled out.

Source by Baddy Swing

Locks and Bolts For External Doors

Bolts can be used to provide extra security on external doors fit one to both top and bottom of the door. Barrel, padbolts and tower bolts can be screwed to the sur¬face of a door. Each has a long bolt which is generally shot into a staple (a hoop of metal) fixed to the door frame. Always choose a bolt with a heavy-duty staple and long fixing screws. Alternatively, the bolt may be shot into the sill or floor or into the door frame.

The bolts are neither key-operated nor deadlocking and so may be easily undone if access is possible. If you want to use one near glass, chose a padbolt – these can be secured by a padlock.

Flush bolts work in a similar way to tower and barrel bolts – in that they shoot a bolt into the frame and are non-locking – but they are designed to be mortised into the edge or face of the door. This makes them particularly suitable for double doors or where a concealed fitting is required.

Locking bolts

You can get key-operated bolts which fit on the face of a door, but the better choice for a normal door is a mortise rack bolt.

For double doors which open out¬wards, fitting a mortise rack boll can be difficult and there is a special type of locking bolt which is fitted to the inner surface of the door and shoots a bolt up into a staple fitted to the underside of the top of the door frame. The lock is pushed to close: a key is needed to open it.

Because these locks are operated from the inside, they do not have as many key differs as external door locks.

Mortise rack bolts

These can be mortised into the edge of a wooden door and should be fitted so that the key is on the inside face. They are inconspicuous when fitted and will resist some forcing. The deadbolt is operated by a key and enters a striking plate mortised into the door frame. Each model usually has one universal key only. Some mortise rack bolts can be unlocked without a key these should not be used next to glass.

You should fit mortise rack bolls to both the top and the bottom of a door: on French windows, fit four not just two on the closing leaf. To do this you have to cut a mortise in the edge of a door in a similar manner to that described for Fit¬ting a mortise deadlock -but in this case the hole for the key should not be drilled right through the door.

Padlocks

These can be used with a hasp and staple (together often called a padlock bar) to lock garden sheds, garages and so on. The hasp is fitted to the door or gate and the staple to the frame. The padlock locks the two together. Choose a heavy-duty hasp and staple with fixing screws which are concealed when the padlock is in place. Use a closeshackle padlock which has the hoop (shackle) close to the body of the lock.

Other security devices for doors

Hinge bolts (sometimes called dog bolts). These provide protection against forcing (or even removal) of a wooden door from the hinge side, particularly doors which open outwards. The bolt enters the striking plate when the door is closed. They should be fitted to the top and the bottom of a door, close to the hinges. The bolt is usually mortised into the hinge edge of the door, but it may be surface mounted. The striking plate is rebated into the frame in a similar way to a mortise lock.

Door chains

These prevent a door being opened more than a small amount (the chain is about 200mm long). A door limiter serves a similar function, but neither will provide more than limited protection, especially when the door is partly open. For full protection, a locking door bar is needed.

When fitting a door chain, position it close to the centre of the door and close to the edge to prevent marking the door when it is opened. The actual fixing is simple the chain receiving plate should be screwed to the door and the chain holding plate to the frame.

Door viewers

These allow you to see out¬side the door without opening it. Different models have different angles of vision – normally between 150 and 175 degrees. Choose one with as wide an angle as possible. Some models are made to fit different door thicknesses.

A door viewer should be fitted centrally in the door at eye-level and should be used in conjunction with a porch light.

Source by Tauqeer Ul Hassan

Padlocks – A Full Guide to the Different Types, Their Uses and Security Ratings

The different parts of a padlock

With countless different styles, sizes and applications of padlock available it may surprise you to know that the basic principles of their function and design are all pretty much the same.

Although the bodies of certain types of padlocks (some disc or combination padlocks, for example) are made from alternative materials, the majority of padlocks have a solid metal body. The solid padlock body is by far the strongest part of the padlock and, as a general rule, the larger the body the larger and more substantial the locking mechanism can be.

The U-shaped metal bar that exits and re-enters the padlock body is called the shackle or shank. Whilst the body of the padlock is relatively well protected this part of the lock is exposed and therefore most vulnerable to attack. As with increasing the size of the body, incorporating a more substantial shackle into a design a considerably more secure padlock can be produced. Whilst most padlocks use a spring-loaded shackle mechanism, certain others incorporate a manually released shackle.

Now for the business end of the padlock, the locking mechanism and key-way. Usually made up of between 3 and 7 tiny spring loaded pins, the unique key entering the padlock’s barrel causes these pins to be precisely aligned, in turn allowing the barrel to rotate, releasing the shackle.

As previously mentioned, most padlocks follow roughly the same principles of design. Having said that, certain other products do have slightly different properties. Continue reading this document explaining the different designs and merits of each.

Types of padlocks

There are countless designs of padlocks on the market and many of them can be found on this site. Each of these padlocks has unique and interesting features that set it aside from all others in terms of design, convenience and security.

  • The Closed Shackle Padlock

An increasingly common design of padlock on the market, the name ‘closed shackle’ padlock simply implies that the normally vulnerable shackle has been protected in some way. In doing so the manufacturer has made it considerably more difficult to defeat these padlocks with either bolt cutters or a saw. Crucially, many insurance companies demand the use of such closed-shackle padlocks as an absolute minimum security measure.

It is worth noting, however, that in protecting the shackle in such a way it can frequently reduce the flexibility and ‘usable clearance’ of the padlock. By ‘usable clearance’ we mean the area between the shackles that allows us to pass them through a hasp or hole, around a bar or, indeed, onto a cable. As a result it is vitally important that you check not only your own requirements but also the exact dimensions on our website prior to making your purchase.

  • The Straight Shackle Padlock

Another commonly used design is the ‘straight shackle’ padlock, otherwise referred to as shutter padlocks because of their common application for securing roller-shutter doors, something for which they are perfectly suited.

It is wrong to assume that this is their only purpose, however. Indeed, the straight shackle padlock is an incredibly versatile product having a wide variety of uses – from securing warehouse doors to shipping containers – due to their design and the levels of both security and convenience that this results in.

  • The Discus or Round Padlock

Frequently referred to in the industry as a ‘closed shackle padlock’, the term refers to the long, curved shackle that wraps securely around the entire body of the lock. This precise feature is exactly what makes the discus, circular or round shackle padlock pictured here so resistant to attacks from tools such as bolt cutters.

Otherwise known as ’round shackled’ or disc padlocks, these locks are circular and have a curved shackle that encompasses the entire body of the lock. This precise feature is exactly what makes the discus, circular or round shackle padlock pictured here so resistant to attacks from tools such as bolt cutters.

That said, whilst more conventional padlock designs incorporate a solid body, this type of lock has a circular shackle enclosed between two metal cases that combine to produce a disc, the keyway being placed directly in the middle of one disc. Due these locks’ non-spring-loaded nature, they are relatively safe from drilling or other excessive force and will most often remain firmly locked.

It is worth bearing in mind that these discus padlocks were originally intended to be used in conjunction with a staple and hasp, thereby covering the albeit small part of the shackle that would have been otherwise exposed. Clearly this makes it even more difficult to be cut, hammered, sawn or bolt cropped.

WARNING: In recent times many budget padlock manufacturers have released products that have sullied the reputation of those high-quality locks that have become known for their high levels of security. Indeed, a number of these cheaper, flimsier locks can be defeated simply by hammering on the join between the halves of the circular body. Unfortunately this has become a fact widely known amongst the criminal fraternity who use this technique regularly to smash the lock and expose the mechanism inside.

It is worth noting that this site only sells high quality locks such as the ‘ABUS Diskus’ range that are not susceptible to such attacks. This lock and those from other premium brands incorporate a disc of hardened steel within the case that stops the body of the padlock from being smashed. As a result the ‘ABUS’ range of disc padlocks sold on this site are the leading discus padlocks on sale today.

  • Long Shackle Padlocks

Simply a traditionally designed, solid bodied padlock with a longer, extended shackle, this feature adds an element of convenience by increasing the locking area and thereby the number of potential applications. This added convenience can lead to a corresponding reduction in the lock’s security rating. Quite simply, because of the exposure of the shackle the lock is more susceptible to attacks by bolts cutters and saws.

  • Combination or Coded Padlocks

We are frequently asked if combination padlocks are as secure as keyed padlocks. Quite simply the answer is no. Due to the very nature of a combination mechanism, such padlocks can never be as strong as a decent keyed equivalent. Also, whilst a relatively unlikely occurrence, a combination can always be cracked over time simply by trying out each possible combination of numbers one after another. As a rule a 3-dialled lock with 10 numbers per dial can be opened within 40 minutes with a 4-dialled lock taking somewhat longer in 4-5 hours.

As a result, insurance companies will rarely cover your property or possessions when they are protected by a combination padlock. That is not to say, however, that these locks are not a hugely useful tool in the right circumstances. One obvious advantage is seen when a number of users need access to a single place with another benefit arising from eliminating the need to carry a key around at all times.

A further convenient security factor is afforded by being able to reset and change the combination of the padlock at any time – whilst unlocked of course. That said, there have been occasions when a single malicious and yet authorised user has reset the code to suit their own ends. To combat this issue a number of manufactures have introduced a feature that prevents the combination from being reset without a key.

Weather Proof Padlocks

A completely weatherproof padlock – frequently known as the ‘marine’ padlock due to their suitability for salty and other extreme environments – is a lock that consists of 100% stainless steel and non-corrosive materials.

With many padlocks being constructed from more vulnerable materials, the obvious weak link across nearly all padlock types is the internal mechanism, a series of tiny springs and pins that, when rusted, will stop the lock from operating correctly and ultimately stop the lock from functioning at all.

That is not to say that many ‘non-marine’ padlocks are not ideally suited to outside use due to the fact that many high-quality locks have been developed using non-corroding materials. A prime example of this would be the range of ABUS padlocks sold here on this site, a series of padlocks constructed using only the best quality of marine grade materials.

  • The Choice Between Weatherproof and Security

Why would you choose a standard, more traditional padlock if a marine padlock is so very secure? Put simply, completely non-corroding materials such as those used in the manufacture of marine padlocks are softer than those used for conventional locks. As a result the shackles of these locks can be cut, sawn through or bolt cropped more easily. It is vital that you consider this factor very carefully before you choose which padlock to use.

Whilst the exposed shackle may discolour over time, the conventional type of padlock would generally be a better option for normal outdoor use. Whilst this discolouration may worry some customers it is nothing to worry about as the corrosion they see will not affect the functionality of their lock.

As with most things in life, however, there are exceptions to this rule. The ABUS Granit series padlocks found on this site are actually manufactured using fully marine-grade materials, are cataphorically coated and therefore able to cope with incredibly extreme environments for over 80 years.

All things considered, however, if you are planning on leaving your lock unattended for long periods of time, by the sea, on a boat or in areas with extreme environments we would always recommend you use a fully marine-grade padlock. To make it easy to find locks like these on our site, any padlock with the ‘raindrop’ icon is classed as fully weatherproof.

Some types of padlocks offer even greater levels of protection by including an external protective plastic jacket and a shielded keyway. You will find that this specific type of padlock is frequently marine grade or ‘weatherproof’ and present a suitable option for those wishing to guard their lock from moisture be it from precipitation or other elements.

Insurance Rated Padlocks

More and more often insurance companies are requiring policy holders to install specific types of padlocks, often ones with minimum security ratings. Whilst this will depend upon your individual insurance firm the majority of them will adhere to a similar set of basic requirements, most insisting that the insured used a ‘closed shackle’, keyed design rather than a more traditional or combination style.

Quite often, however, underwriters will insist on padlocks that are towards the higher end of the industry standard for European padlock testing – the CEN grade. Whilst Level 6 padlocks frequently cost in excess of £100, they are easily the most secure padlocks on sale in the UK today.

The grading process undertaken by CEN is intended to effectively simulate a determined attack upon the padlock. Environmental effects and manipulation by humans are not included in these tests:

  • GRADE 6 – Maximum Security
  • GRADE 5 – Extra High Security
  • GRADE 4 – High Security
  • GRADE 3 – Medium Security
  • GRADE 2 – Standard Security
  • GRADE 1 – Low Security

Frequently criticised, this grading system is arguably rather flawed due to the fact that a padlock need only fail one of the test criteria to be awarded its lowest grade. One example of how this can affect an otherwise excellent, high security padlock is where the said lock may pass all tests with flying colours but may fail at minus 40 degrees centigrade, a temperature that would never be reached in most areas of the world.

Despite its flaws it is still a much more useful system of classification than simply defining a lock as ‘closed shackle’ as required by many insurance underwriters. Nothing But Padlocks stock a number of open-shackle padlocks that are 2 levels higher in the European CEN scheme than some of our (traditionally more secure) closed-shackle locks.

If you find yourself with this problem and discover that a closed-shackle padlock just won’t work, why not consult your insurance company and they will provide you with the relevant BS EM or CEN grading.

Can A Padlocks Be Picked?

It is an inescapable fact that any padlock can be picked by a true expert. Some padlocks, however, are more easily picked than others. Reassuringly though, even the greatest locksmiths can spend hours picking the cream of the modern padlocks.

The workings of a padlock are not as simple as many would imagine. Inside is a series of spring-loaded pins of varying lengths which are aligned as the notches cut into the key move over them. It is technically possible to adjust these pins (using specialised lock picking tools) into such a position that the padlock will open.

Unfortunately, due to their smaller dimensions and the correspondingly smaller number of pins, smaller padlocks are usually easier to pick. As a general example, a 50mm lock could contact around 4-7 locking pins whilst a smaller, 30mm device would only use 3-4.

This is not to say that smaller padlocks will not be particular secure, not at all. Knowing the limitations of their locks all too well, the premium manufacturers of padlocks have come up with a number of devices that help prevent manipulation by outside elements – commonly known as criminals. Split pins with mushroom-shaped heads, guarded keyways and completely ‘pinless’ locking mechanisms are just a few of those anti-manipulation devices that now mean any high-quality padlocks, regardless of size, will be resistant to almost any thief or lock-picker.

However, when it comes to securing truly valuable items it is always worth going for the very best, something that will defeat even the most experienced lock smiths around. Both ABUS and Abloy, for example, have devised ingenious padlock lock cylinders for the padlocks that now use rotating discs instead of pins. Those very ABUS padlocks are available on this site and are referred to as the ‘Granit Plus’ range. With these discs rotating around 360 degrees, compromising such a padlock is near impossible. Furthermore, a malicious keyholder can’t simply get another key cut to further their own ends. These padlocks come with a unique code card that must be presented to an authorised locksmith before another key can be cut.

Keyed Alike and Master Key Padlocks

Whilst the majority of padlocks can only be opened by a single key it is frequently useful to have a number of padlocks that can be unlocked by a single master key.

At manufacture most padlocks are what the industry refer to as ‘Keyed Different’ meaning that the locking mechanism of each lock produced by that manufacturer is chosen at random. Usually this translates to 2 out of approximately 500 locks working with the same key. Clearly the number of duplicates will fall along with the number of locking pins used in the lock, i.e. if the padlock in question is a smaller device with fewer locking pins there will probably be more duplicates in existence. The same applies to many budget padlocks where quality control and accuracy are more in question.

  • Keyed Alike

There is also another type of padlock, only marginally more expensive than keyed-different locks, called ‘keyed alike’. Due to their minimal price difference they have become incredibly popular purchases for the customer who needs one key that can open the same ‘suite’ of padlocks. The term ‘suite’ refers to a series of identical padlocks.

“Does this compromise security?”… a commonly asked question and one that makes a lot of sense considering that more people will have access to the keys. Quite simply the answer is yes, more people will have access to the key but, for many of our customers, that price is worth paying for the added convenience.

If this does concern you it is possible to reduce this risk by choosing a lock from one of the premium manufacturers. Most of these firms will have a number of key-sets available thereby reducing the level of risk to the security conscious customer. As a padlock specialist we take steps to further mitigate the risk inherent in keyed-alike padlocks by stocking a number of these key-sets and rotating them on a regular basis.

  • Master Key

For a compromise between ‘keyed-different’ and ‘keyed-alike’ padlocks there is always a third way – ‘Master-keyed’ padlocks. In this case each lock has its own key but is part of a larger group which can all be opened by one common key, or master. As long as the master key is kept tightly locked away the whole set should be perfectly secure.

Clearly with this increase in security comes an increase in cost if only because of their added complexity. When a combination of both convenience and security is essential the master-key setup is ideal.

Source by Tim Good

Locksmith Key Codes

Keycodes are used by locksmiths to create keys. These key codes are made up of characters that have both numbers and letters; hence, they are called alphanumeric key codes. If you observe the locks on your desks or filing cabinets or their keys, you will notice that they have certain letters and numbers stamped on them; these numbers and letters are key codes. Key codes are generated in a random manner and provide an identity to a key that is different from that of other keys. Locksmiths have the skills to decipher any lock’s keycoder and make a key to fit the lock.

There are several types of key codes used. One type is the direct digit keycode. Each digit on this type of key coder corresponds to a cut in the key. The value of the digit indicates the depth of the cut. Many lock manufacturers print the kay code on the key. Since each digit corresponds to a pin on the key, digit key codes are generally long codes. The second type of keycoder is one in which there is a pattern between the code and the key. Mathematical tricks are used in this type of key code and hence this code isn’t a straightforward one where each digit corresponds to the depth of the cut. There is a third type of code which is quite complex and requires a codebook to decipher it. Since there is no pattern to the cuts on the key, the locksmith must have a codebook. One example of a codebook is the Reed Codebooks. This particular brand has a volume for each type of lock. In this day of computers, locksmiths can buy computer programs that have information on keycodes. This software is quite secure as it’s copy-protected. There are different types of computer programs with different features and they come with demo disks to assist the locksmith in understanding them.

Locksmith key codes are usually categorized into 2 types; blind codes and bitting codes. Most key codes are blind key codes and a codebook or computer program is required to translate this blind code into a bitting code. However, for security purposes, only licensed locksmiths can have access to these codebooks and computer programs. Locksmiths can also create their own blind code systems for high security clients by using the technique of blind coding. Bitting codes are those codes that are translated by the locksmiths from the blind codes. Locksmiths use the bitting codes on blank keys to make the new key. The blind code provides the setting and information required for the bitting code. Once the locksmith gets the bitting code, he can then set his code machine to that particular setting and cut the new key.

The locksmith key coding system is in widespread use. It provides maximum security as this system ensures that there is only one code for one key. Computers will never generate a code that has been created once and, hence, keys cannot be duplicated by error. You are this way assured that your property is safe as only you have the keys to the locks that protect it.

Source by Vince Samios

Different Types of Safe Locks and Keys

Medeco’s patented lock design make sure that it allows the angled cuts of a key to elevate and rotate the pins inside the lock so that a side-bar will drop, which allows the cylinder to turn. The pins are differently chisel tipped which allows them to be rotated and have a slot along the length of the pin from the sidebar to drop into once the pin has been rotated to its correct orientation. Being that the chisel tip is off centered it leads to 2 different offsets to the pin. Making the key way very secure. There are 2,176,782,336 different key combination’s, not including consideration of different key ways.

Dead bolts are the most used type of locks. They are safe but not as safe as a lock should be. As a locksmith I recommend using either a jimmy proof lock or a Medeco or Mul-T-Lock. I have been in the field for many years and I believe my article will help readers to choose safe locks. Remember safety is the most important thing.

Locksmith companies work with keys. Everybody know s that key is used to open a locks. Key consist of two parts one is the blade, which slides into the key way of the lock and identifies different keys. Other one is bow.

Different types of keys are master, control, transponder, double-sided, four sided, para centric, internal cut, abloy, dimple, skeleton, tubular, magnetic and many more.

Lock have a history of 5000 years. Oldest lock worked using large wooden bolt to secure a door. Famous locks smith are Robert Barron and Joseph Bramah, they live in 17 the century. First successful key -changeable combination locks was made by James sergeant.

While going through the history of automotive locks, in 1920 ignition locks came standard on most cars

And closed vehicles and closed vehicles frequently sported door locks. six-cut sidebar locks introduced by general motors in 1935. In 1959, Chrysler began using sidebar locks on their trunks, but dumped the design in favor of pin tumbler locks on both trunks and doors in 1966. From the 1960s to the present, car lock technology has advanced significantly to include key less entry, combination keypads and even bio-tech recognition devices.

Source by Mike Craptol

Van Storage Ideas to Start a Mobile Locksmith Business

Mobile locksmith business

Starting your own mobile locksmith business is a great opportunity as an entrepreneur, and protecting your inventory and equipment with proper van storage will improve the overall return on your investment as you begin your business.

Outfit your van properly, and you will be more organized, efficient, and committed to your work. It's frustrating trying to accomplish a task when you have to search around a haphazardly arranged van arrangement to find the right tools or supplies.

You don't need to buy a brand new van to start your mobile locksmith business; however, it would be a wise investment to spend some time and money on the storage ideas that will help you do your job more efficiently. Some of the higher vans allow you to actually move around inside and sit at a workbench while cutting keys, without the risk of banging your head whenever you need to locate a tool.

Here are three things to consider when selecting van storage systems for your locksmith business.

Plan Van Storage Space for a Workbench

Since you are a mobile locksmith business, plan your storage space with a workbench in mind. Don't settle for standing outside, at the rear doors of your van. Put yourself inside your mobile office and get yourself out of the weather to do your work in comfort. Take time to measure out your space and find the best location for a workbench and a step stool for comfort. A good mobile workbench allows for six or seven feet of space to spread out and accomplish your tasks.

A full-length workbench can accommodate a key machine as well as file storage and the locking drawers necessary for your keys and other supplies. Maximize the storage space at your workbench by including catalog organizers, hooks, safety equipment and other accessories that will make your job easier.

Van Storage Should Include Locking Drawers

There is nothing more annoying than listening to hundreds of key blanks jangling like loud wind chimes while you are driving down the road. Storing your product in well-cushioned, locking drawers is a wise use of your cargo area. The keys will be protected from "road rash" marks from rubbing against each other or other items.mobile locksmith business

Locking drawers as part of your storage space will also protect you from flying objects if you need to stop or swerve suddenly. Plus, it looks very professional to have drawers full of your product, categorized and ready to use.

Van Storage is Best Organized with Adequate Shelving

One of the most important storage concepts is to determine your shelving needs. What tools and equipment will you need for your mobile locksmith business? What storage location of these tools will make your work most efficient?

Look at your van as a mobile work cell, and set it up as efficiently as possible. You will accomplish your service calls faster, and will be able to make more service calls throughout the day because your van storage plan has helped you become efficient.

Source by Naomi J Lolley

Locksmith History – Short Evolution Of The Locksmith Trade

Locks are used to secure rooms, cabinets, even buildings and certain storage facilities. Though most locks will open with a key, some locks require you to know specific combinations or codes. The original locksmiths were proficient in the science of making as well as defeating locks. The locksmith may be may be viewed as one of the first security engineers and the lock pick as the first tool of breaking through that security. Since most of these individuals were blacksmiths who made locks, they came to be known as locksmiths.

Nowadays, locksmith services and the locksmith tools have all undergone tremendous technological advances and sometimes it may seem a bit odd referring to an electronics security specialist as a provider of locksmith services but there is no other technical term. Our modern locksmiths perform electronic lock servicing that ranges from the locks on vehicles with transponders to personal assets of all types including homes, safes, and so on.

The locksmith services however do not merely cover installing the various security features. A good locksmith is meant to assess the risk level of what needs to be secured as well as other factors like location, access rights, and so forth, and based on that the optimal security measures are recommended. The locksmith tool might be an entire suite of various security features depending on the level of security desired. Of course there are times when the property being secured will not have some layers because each layer of security costs a bit extra.

Locksmiths may operate from their own premises, be mobile, could be employed by a security agency, or they could be forensic investigators. A locksmith may also choose specialization in a specific type of locksmith service like safe technician, security consultant, and so on. Different specializations come with different skills and they lead to different trades. Most often though, certifications from manufacturers or locksmith associations are more acceptable than training certificates. Some locksmiths often misuse the term Master Locksmith as their qualifications are mostly training certificates. Different countries have different minimum requirements for anyone to qualify as a Master Locksmith.

What is well recognized among all locksmiths is that a truly determined person who has the skills, knowledge, time, and unlimited resources will eventually manage to break any lock. That is why there are always secondary features installed by locksmiths that serve as deterrents to people with malicious intent.

Modern locks provide a high degree of security for buildings, documents, personal assets, and other valuable or crucial objects.

Source by Rob Hargreaves