Help With Your Home And Garden

How Can A Locksmith Make Your Day?

by Carolyn Fox

What are some of the different tools and techniques used by locksmiths these days, in order to help you out of your predicament?

For Digital, Mechanical Locks

These are becoming increasingly commonplace, as they do not require a key, per se, but that the individual remembers a specific code.They're often found in offices, storage areas and commercial environments where a number of different people require access. However, where a code cannot be recalled, a special button gauge set can be used. These tools use a particular technique, measuring the amount of decompression for each button, allowing the locksmith to determine the code after a process of calculation.

For Broken Key Extraction

Sometimes spare keys are made using rather inexpensive materials, with the net result being that they're not particularly strong. It's not that difficult for these keys to break off in the lock when someone is in a hurry and maybe in the process of walking away before the key has been completely removed. A typical key extraction set used by a locksmith comes in around a dozen sizes, depending on the size of the lock. Each tool has tiny hooks on the end to hold onto the remnant and to extract.

By Hand Picking

Most locksmiths carry a professional "hand-pick" set in their toolbox. These can be used in a variety of different locks for household doors, automobiles, cabinets and so on. The typical set will have 30 or more individual components. They are designed to work on pin tumblers, auto, dimple and wafer locks. The set will include a tensioner, pin tumblers, handpicks and wafer picks, to cover the vast majority of emergency callout situations.

Using Tryouts And Jigglers

An alternative approach is to use tryout and jiggler keys. For example, a locksmith may carry a set of 15 tryout keys designed to cover the most commonly used types of mortise lock. It's quite possible that one of these keys will "do the job" and open the recalcitrant lock, without the need for any additional effort. For simpler locks, such as those found on cupboards or briefcases, the "jiggler" can often open these in short order, as the design of the lock itself is very basic.

For Padlocks

Finally, sometimes personal property can be secured with a padlock. Often, as in the case of a motorcycle, for example, this padlock can be an expensive item in itself. The locksmith will usually bring a specialised tool, in this case called a "pick and decoder." This enables him to determine the shape of the key needed to open the padlock and to cut a new one, rather than destroying the lock itself.

For more information, contact a local locksmith.