How many times in Texas have you said, “Where are my car keys?” or been late to an appointment because you had to run around the house for fifteen minutes trying to figure out where you put them? Even worse, have you ever found yourself unable to open your car doors only to peer into the window and see all the locks secured and your keys dangling from the ignition or lying on the driver’s seat? Either of these situations can be make a terrible impact on your day, especially if it is dark, cold, rainy, or a particularly pressing engagement. If this happens to you, stay calm and call a car locksmith.
Replacing your lost car keys, or getting into your locked car, is a simple task for a professional locksmith. These workers are skilled at the creating and getting past locks. They understand the complicated series of moving parts that make up a lock, whether it be for a house, a shed, a business, or a car. Because each type of lock poses different parts, a locksmith needs to know how each works, how it is made, and how they will be able to breach it should someone need to open a lock in Texas for which they have lost the key. When it comes to houses, locksmiths are not just able to open a lock, but can completely change them. This can mean actually changing the entire mechanism or just “re-keying”. Re-keying refers to modifying the lock so that previous keys will not work and a new one will be necessary. This is a good idea if you lose your house keys or a person whom you do not want to be is in possession of a set.
Cars are a little different for locksmiths. Getting in to a locked car is sometimes called “popping” the lock because it requires manipulation of the lock mechanism that results in the manual lock “popping” up. This service will enable you to get in your car if you have locked yourself out or in an emergency when you absolutely need to get inside but cannot find your keys.
Locksmiths are also skilled at cutting keys. Taking advantage of this and getting extra copies of your car keys, both door and ignition, is a good idea even if you have never lost your keys or gotten locked out of your car. Some locksmiths recommend keeping an extra set of keys in a magnetic lock box under your car, or keeping a spare door key outside and a spare ignition key inside. Keeping an extra ignition key inside the car will enable you to actually use the car should you lose your keys and need a locksmith only to let you inside.
How Do Locksmiths Work?
Much of the history of locksmith services can be traced back to the existence of blacksmithing in the middle ages. Blacksmiths were labourers who worked by hand with metal and steel, most often creating weapons and armours for soldiers and horses and horseshoes for their horses. As the years progressed, the need for someone to shape simple metal locks and keys became inevitable. Higher crime rates were a major factor in the invention of locks - people needed a device to secure their homes and their personal belongings. Thus, the service of a locksmith evolved into a larger industry.
It was in the early 1930's when the first complex locks where built and introduced to the market. The upgrade of the lock quality became more difficult for burglars and thefts to pick through the previous basic designs. Following another increase in burglary and theft crimes, a locksmith became in demand. It was during this period that locksmiths were specifically recognized as a necessity in the community. Although metal locks were unheard of in the past, history states that locks have already existed even during the Biblical times. They were crudely made of wood, meant to seal gates and doors from enemies. People of the olden times would set wooden bars against their gates or doors from the inside to try to prevent unwanted guests from coming in using the basic principle of security. This operation became a basis for metal locks which came much later into the picture.
Found among the ruins of a Palace in Egypt was the most old mechanical lock. It was composed of two crossbars mounted on two surfaces with only a keyhole to disable it. It was operated by dropping pins into small holes in the crossbar so that once the pins are set in place, the door becomes locked. To unlock the door, the key is inserted into the keyhole, pushing the previously dropped pins out of the way. Locksmith guilds became common associations but only locksmiths who have successfully presented their inventions were promoted to master locksmiths during 14th century. Sadly, the guild eventually gained control of all locksmiths and set forth strict regulations in pricing and design. Corruption became an insolent factor in causing the advancement of these beautiful locks. The inventions of master locksmiths remained in the hall for display and not for commercial or public use.
During the World War 2, locksmiths became hard to find because they were either drafted into the army, or simply too concerned of the raging warfare when man's most basic needs where even hard to obtain. Their income declined drastically as well because of the plummeting economy, although a few locksmiths went on with their business. Locksmith services are found worldwide in present days. For security purposes, many companies have moved on to produce in bulk a myriad of devices. Locks are now considered as standard commodities which can be bought almost anywhere. Locksmiths have also extended their expertise: selling, installing, replacing and repairing keys and locks are some of the major services offered by locksmiths at present.
What Is the Cost of a Locksmith?
The art and science of making and breaking locks is carried out by locksmiths and the profession is known as locksmithing.
Sometimes, referred to as security engineering, a well established method of cracking locks and security systems was known as lock picking. The technology behind making locks has not changed since medieval times. The basic technology involves the 'pin tumbler' methodology. Therefore the role of the traditional locksmith has not changed much. However, with the advent of technology in general and digital and lasers, security systems have undergone a metamorphosis. It is only natural that today's security engineer as he is known as is more adept with laser and computer or digital systems rather than the traditional lock.
In the olden days, a single locksmith would make a lock single handedly. Hours of work with use of files and hammer would produce a single lock. Today the method of manufacturing locks have changed. A same basic design is used with one part being unique to each lock. The role of the locksmith also has evolved where today he is more in repairs rather than manufacturing.
Though their role has reduced in the area of production, certain specialized segments such as family vaults remain the domain of the traditional locksmith. Since these are exclusively designed chances of duplication as in locks which are produced in an assembly line environment.
Locksmiths work out of commercial showrooms, they may be moving around in vehicles and do in-house servicing, employed by a company or forensic locksmiths whose job is to investigate burglaries and unearth evidence for investigations.
A new breed of security engineers or electronic lock servicing locksmiths has emerged. They would work for security companies and design the entire security systems working on access control. The locksmith would evaluate the level of security, the threats and design a security plan according to the threat level. The higher the security level the more expensive it becomes. The locksmith has to do a trade-off between cost and security level for the customer.
The profession of a locksmith has also become specialized. It is common to see locksmiths who deal exclusively on domestic locks and keys, automobile locks. Many have become security consultants. There are various certification levels that a locksmith can acquire today depending on his levels of skills, areas of expertise and experience.
Master locksmith is a term coined by the fraternity of locksmiths who claim to have all round skills. However, many countries now insist on certain Certification and registration requirements before the locksmith can use the tag of Master Locksmith.
With dwindling scope of work due to technological innovations such as digital locks, locksmiths now have increased their scope of work to door hardware, door and window frames, door hinges and electric strikes.
Some common terms used by locksmiths are: Bitting, Bolt stump, Change key, Key blank, Key code, Key origination, Key relevance, Locksmith,Maison key system, Master keying, Rekey, Shear line, Slim Jim (lock pick), Tension wrench, Tubular lock pick.