Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Door Repairs Directory | Locksmith Blog

Working as modern day locksmiths a lot of the work we complete consist of door repairs and upvc door adjustments.
I have found that customers are searching online for door repair specialists as well as locksmiths so it is important we can also be found for these potential searches.
I have found a directory for door repairs that only lists local locksmith firms and excludes the usual national advertisers.
You can add your business to it following this link:

french doors

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Locksmith Call Centers, Time To Take Action | Locksmith Blog

Avoiding National Locksmith Call Centers!
Working as a locksmith it is becoming increasingly common to meet customers who have been ripped off or left unhappy with the work, some even fearing that they may have disclosed security information to untrustworthy individuals. Victims of the money grabbing national call center operations that charge ludicrous hidden fees and charge for unnecessary work.

So what the hell is going on here?

Large national locksmith chains spend millions of pounds each year on advertising. They buy up multiple pages of adverts in physical directories using different company names and redirect phone numbers to appear local and dupe the customers into believing they are dealing with a genuine local locksmith. This massive expenditure is passed directly onto the customers who would be lucky to ever pay less than £100 for the simplest of jobs and anywhere upto £500 (one of the worst I heard of).

More often than not the 'locksmith' or engineer as they like to refer to them as, typically with less than a few months experience under the belt, will be dispatched from their nearest point, which could be miiiiiiiiiiiles away. The customer is always reassured they will be no more than 30 mins away, but this is rarely the case and I have met customers that were left stranded for hours before eventually trying to cancel. At this point they have usually already taken note of your card details and will bill you for their call out anyway despite failing to show.

If they actually show up to do the work it is usually of poor standard due to the locksmiths lack of experience. I have been to jobs where they have fled tail between legs after wrecking door mechanisms and claiming they need to order parts.

Why don't they employ real locksmiths?

Truth is, no half decent locksmith in Cannock would entertain them. Firstly he would be working for a small percentage of the job. Secondly, who wants to help a competitor take work from their own area?

Having had the misfortune of working for several of these national locksmiths in my earlier years I quickly decided that I did not want to be the person handing over ridiculous bills to the elderly, having to beg the call center to pay me my money on time and work for peanuts.

We need to educate our customers on the best ways to avoid these national scammers to ensure we do not all get tarred with the same brush. It is not acceptable and we must make a stand.
Adding this banner onto your webpage along with a summary of what it is about will help customers make the right choice, choose a local locksmith and avoid being the next victim.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Best Locksmiths of 2014 | Locksmith Blog

Best Locksmiths of 2014 | Locksmith Blog

There have been a lot of new locksmith start ups over the past year that have worked hard to establish themselves in this highly competitive trade.

I have watched these new companies grow and become serious players in their local areas, despite strong opposition from more established firms and organisations that would rather new startups die off quickly.

It is without a doubt one of the hardest careers to get started in and is a competitive dog eat dog industry dominated by multi-million pound national locksmith chains eating up all the bread and butter work.

I have dedicated this post as a shout out to my favorite locksmith companies of the year and to help promote their businesses further.

In no particular order:


JS Locksmiths - Manchester
uPVC Door Locks
29 Aintree Ave
Tel: 07789593034


Hugo Locksmiths Romford
5 Hugo Gardens
Tel:  07957624954


Budget uPVC Cylinder
Legend Locksmiths
27 Bevan Road
Tel: 07586903255

Jewellery Box Keys

About Turn Locks
303 Firtree Road
Tel: 01372727104


Pennine Security Solutions
18 Clough Head
Tel: 07917421482

Aluminium Door Locks

Wolverhampton Locksmiths

51 Drancy Avenue
Tel: 07724828289



Sir Locksalot Locksmiths
32 Ronaldshay Terrace
Tel: 07986614865


Lockbusters Auto Keys

87 Goddard Street
Stoke on Trent
Tel: 01782244891


JG Locksmiths
1 Burnet Close
Tel: 07846 962825


Impact Locksmiths
50 Riviera Drive
Tel: 07590208096

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Why Are Locksmiths So Expensive? | Locksmith Blog

Why are locksmiths so expensive?


It really depends on who you are calling.

A national locksmith franchise or call center type operation often appear to be local businesses since they tend to use redirect local landlines to their call center and also display fake locations in their adverts.

National locksmith companies have enormous advertising costs due to the fierce nature of their advertising campaigns, taking up the majority of space in physical telephone directories and the expensive top listing positions in Google Adwords. This has to be made back somewhere and a large portion of the customers bill is made up of this advertising cost.

You will find that these companies sub contract work to the nearest locksmith on their books which could be anywhere up to 50 miles away, these traveling costs bump up your bill enormously. It could also mean you are waiting a ridiculous length of time for your locksmith to arrive.


Use local tradesmen!

As a result of the nationals invading the country locksmiths have been labelled expensive emergency services when in fact the majority of real local locksmith business are reasonably priced and offer a fantastic service.

Using a local locksmith business ensures you are getting a quick response and a reliable, trustworthy tradesman who works hard to uphold his good reputation. National locksmith chains are far less likely to honor part guarantees and fix future problems since it is often difficult to send the same 'engineer' out again.

Spotting a genuine local business can be difficult with the misleading adverts put out by national locksmith companies.

If you go straight through to a receptionist wanting to know all your details before issuing a quotation you are more than likely speaking to a call center. A real local locksmith will be more than familiar with the area you tell them.

Always shop around, get a few quotations! The real local ones will be far cheaper than the nationals so never go for the first quote, no matter how desperate you are to get in.

About Turn Locks, Surrey

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Locksmith Training Courses | Locksmith Blog

With competition for locksmith and door repairs work increasing on a weekly basis there are more and more locksmiths jumping on the training bandwagon to top up their income.

Just a quick search for locksmith training brings up pages of results varying from large training facilities run by locksmith organisations to random Joes training for peanuts from a garden shed.

Since there is no recognised qualification for locksmithing, a lot of these companies will invent their own certifications to lure in customers seeking to join the profession. Let me first warn anyone reading this that these qualifications are not worth the paper they are written on!

This can make choosing a locksmith training course pretty confusing for a newcomer looking to train so I have decided to point anyone looking in what I believe to be the right direction and offer a little advice.

Safe Lock Opening
Firstly, the larger organisations promote exclusiveness and appear to offer good support to their trainees. This usually comes at a hefty price and annual fees and membership are required to maintain this support. Usually access to work and clients is promised, however many of the members I have spoken to suggest this is only the case for the inner circle and main faces of the organisation with little passed on if any to the newer members.

Now the other end of the spectrum; the locksmith on Ebay offering to teach you the basics for a few hundred quid and a 6 pack of beer... As tempting as this may be it is probably best avoided and I would expect only the bare minimum of lock butchery to be taught here with no access to any specialist tools or equipment that would be used by a professional locksmith.

The inbetweeners  are usually self employed locksmiths that have established a recognised training school and have their own purpose built facility offering the same level of teaching as the exclusive organisations but without all the frills and unnecessary extras. In my opinion these are usually the best locksmith courses as will offer better value for money and not try to sell a load of side orders that you really don't need to buy into.

I have met a lot of locksmiths in my time in the trade and have been a member of numerous forums and clubs and there has always been one name in locksmith training that has always stood out, offering unrivalled post course support and has an enviable following of loyal friends.

Island Locks - Locksmith Training are in my opinion the course to choose, if only for the incredible support you will receive afterwards via the dedicated online locksmiths forum.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

uPVC Lock Repair Problems | Locksmith Blog

For an experienced locksmith, uPVC door lock repairs are usually a straightforward swap of a centre case or fitting a replacement mechanism. Every so often there a small complications that can make this job a little trickier and have you scratching your head and puzzled.

I thought I would share a few scenarios with my fellow locksmiths to see if you have had a similar experience. If not you will sure know what to look for when you do encounter it.

Lockmaster/Paddocks Centre Case Replacements

Have you ever swapped the centre case on a Mila-master/Lockmaster/Paddocks mechanism and found that upon lifting the handle the top hook and bolt will only protrude 95% of the way? This makes it impossible to throw the lock by turning the key.

After much head scratching I solved this mystery which has led me to order a complete locking strip in the past.

The followers on these strips connect to the centre case via a 90 degree bend which drops into a slot inside the gearbox. Continual forcing can cause this 90 degree bend to stretch which in turn throws the top hook slightly out of sync.

To repair clamp behind the bend and tap back into a 90 degree angle and refit the centre case.

Fuhr Lockcases Working But Not Opening

So you installed a new Fuhr mechanism and check it all works, however the door is not opening despite the key unlocking and the handles working as normal.

Sometimes the pins in the lock bolt have not been sealed properly and upon throwing the bolt they can slide out of the end, effectively extending the bolt length.

Resist forcing the door open and using a spreader, shuffle them back inside the lock bolt.

Peen over the ends and/or glue the pins in place to make good.

About Turn Locks Epsom

Unjamming Mechs Without Working Handles

When the spindle gear is broken or missing from a upvc door lock you can effectively unlock it with the key but have no real way to retract the bolts and hooks.

If you have access internally you can remove the handles and retract the bolts with an L shaped wire in the hole the gear sits.

When faced with a lock out situation I have found the best method to retract the hooks is to locate the position of the bottom most locking point using a mica card and then spread the door slightly at that point.

Using a bent screwdriver/wire, manually force the bolts or hooks back inside the lock case.
Since it is all connected all of the bolts will retract with it except for the latch piece which is easily popped with mica or a flat steel prising bar.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

So, You Call Yourself A Locksmith? | Locksmith Blog

We all refer to ourselves as locksmiths but the definition of the trade has changed considerably since the days of building locks in your garden with huge lumps of machinery.

The term 'locksmith' nowadays has a  broader definition.

Of all the locksmiths I currently know the more successful locksmiths generally fall into one of these categories:

1/ The Established Locksmith Shop Owner

These are usually the oldschool locksmiths that have been around longer than most and built a business on reputation and have a good highstreet presence that attract the bulk of their custom.

2/ The Warrant Locksmith / Sub Contractors

The majority of the warrant locksmiths work is on behalf of or for another company under an agreed contract usually in the form of Energy Company runs or for national locksmith chains.

3/ Specialist Locksmiths

As well as general locksmith work these locksmiths specialise in a particular niche area of the trade such as Safe opening and repairs and key programming or Access control and electronic hardware.

4/ Locksmith Trainers

Alongside their own locksmith work, train new locksmiths with basic to advanced skills for training agencies and back to work programmes.

5/ Part Time Locksmiths

As well as their main locksmith work also have a little something on the side generally related to the trade such as tool production, websites and seo services or completely different trades such as plumbing and heating. These locksmiths make up the main bulk of the mobile locksmith community.


Of course none of the above are any more successful and the different branches suit different home circumstances and personalities moreso than others.

You will often find members of the oldschool mentality and certain organisations shunning a particular sub section of the locksmith community for selling out or taking away part of their work.
This kind of viewpoint can be intimidating to newcomers and is generally frowned upon by the majority.

Locksmithing has evolved considerably over the years and has grown many more branches than the few I have mentioned and will continue to do so as technology and demand for the services change in the future.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Locksmith Tips and Tricks | Locksmith Blog

Broken Multipoint Locks

Locksmith Tips and Tricks

Back by popular demand once again is five locksmiths tips and tricks.

I have had loads of emails asking when the next locksmith tricks would be added.

So Here you are, Five random tricks that may (or may not) help you out one day.

1> GU Mechanism Failure

The older GU mechanisms are prone to a failure by where the cast gear explodes out the back of the gearbox. (As in the gold mech in the image). If the door is jammed shut all that is required to open it is to apply a reasonable force downwards on the handle. Remember to physically unlock with key first though. A good locksmith will always have  a GU on the van, it is one of the most common out there!

2> Cutting Inner Steel Frames

When fitting a different multipoint lock that requires new keeps to be cut you will sometimes encounter an internal metal frame inside that is going to foul the hooks or shoot bolts and prevent the mech locking. I have found the best way to cut this metalwork is to hammer the edge of it with a sharp screwdriver or old chisel, splitting it. Do this at the top and bottom section of the area you need to remove and then fold inwards using a similar technique.

3> Adjusting Flag Hinges

Remove any cover caps and mark around the hinges with a pencil.
Starting with the top hinge wind each a few turns one at a time to pull the top of the door inwards and sometimes the bottom hinge outwards slightly. You will see the direction of the movement using the pencil lines as a guide. Test after each adjustment and fine tune to improve lock meshing.
If in doubt return all hinges back to pencil marks and try again.

4> Locksmith Training

Want to further your locksmith knowledge or learn how to pick locks like an expert?
There's only one man for the job. Jay at Island locks - Locksmith Training

5> Guest Posting Online

Guest posting is now an important part of how we should be advertising as locksmiths. A lot of my customers find me through investigating a problem themselves online and then reading a post I have made about it. Of course all your contact details are in the article and when recognised as an expert I get a call asking me to go and attend and help.
I recently travelled across the country to unlock some Cyberlocks for a company that had read an article of mine online. It was a good earner and well worth the trip!


Thanks to Rob at Arvco Locksmiths at for some of that valuable content.