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Locksmith Blog | Locksmiths Blog | Blog
Friday, 15 March 2013
DE Solid Bodied Lock Cylinders | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Bypassing
No locksmith likes a destructive entry, however sometimes there is just no other options available.

Today I encountered a lockout at an apartment.

It was a decent setup of Arrone+ Cylinder and nightlatch that had phantomly popped into the deadlock position when slammed shut.

arrone plus lock cylinder

With no letterbox available I would normally 'mickey mouse' the cylinder from the door and use the snib removal method i discussed a few years ago.

However as you will probably know the Arrone+ is a solid bodied lock cylinder and attempting to take out the retaining screws in the usual fashion would'nt be a smart move and could get messy.

I decided that the best way to attack this lock would be to use a rod style snapping attack, taking a bit of a gamble that the retaining screws were the clippable type and not the solid thread version.

So i drilled a decent hole into the meat of the lock body making sure to miss all pins and any anti-drill protection the lock might have had .

drilled lock

Using a tight fitting hardened rod; ala screwdriver i rolled around the edges of the hole applying force in both clockwise and anticlockwise motion and eventually fractured the retaining screws which as i gambled on, had snip off points making them considerably weaker than a solid thread screw.

snapped lock cylinder

Cylinder out the way, i drilled for the snib button and released the deadlock in the usual manner.

If you do suspect that the lock cylinder is fitted with a solid type screw then i would advise drilling diagonally through the lock body as to hit the retaining screws just behind the cylinder and weaken them enough for this to work. Id recommend a 1/8" drill bit for this as to leave enough meat in the cylinder for the snapping attack.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 3:11 PM BST
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Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Inside A Floor Safe | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Had to open and repair a faulty floor safe in Wednesbury yesterday and took a few photos for my own reference. They are worth a look if you ever have to replace a floor safe lock or make a repair to one.

Floor safe and key

This particular floor safe was locked shut with the key jammed inside.
After much pursuasion with a healthy dose of release spray i managed to free it up and get it opened.

The key had been over-turned inside the lock causing one of the fingers to bend inwards through the lever pack, the whole mechanism had an unhealthy rattle so i pulled it apart and gave it a good servicing.

inside a floor safe

floor safe internals

removing the four large allen bolts holding the back plastic cover releases the sandwich of steel plates which the lock body sits on.

About 1/2lb of dust and shite errupted from the case at this point which was probably why the lock had become so stiff.

Beneath the lock body sits a central pin that engages the centre of the clutch and allows the thumbturn to activate.

If the lock were to be forcibly detached, this pin would fall loose preventing the thumbturn from working.

floor safe lock

The bolt stump has two roll pins attached which link the lock body to the release mechanism of the safes lid.

Two spring loaded plungers block the main bolts from retracting via the thumbturn.

When the key is turned 350 degrees the bolt is thrown and the plungers fully compressed out of the way.

bolts in locked position

bolts unlocked position

Its a pretty solid design and would make drilling tricky considering being mounted a good 6-8 inches below the floor. You would have to be spot on with your accuracy.

Now that i have seen the internals I would avoid drilling at all costs and definately choose the NDE approach since the lock was a relatively simple 7 lever.

Quick Tip

This will save you half an hours head scratching if you have never rebuilt one of these!

When re-assembling do not think of the lock in the usual sense.

Seems silly but REMEMBER:

When the lever lock bolt is fully withdrawn; the lids locking mechanism need to be set up in the locked position. (ie side bolts out)

If you do not set it up in this way upon re-assembly you wil find the keyholes out of line and it takes a little head scratching to work out why.

We are so used to seeing bolt out= locked, however in this case it is the opposite.

Inside a Floor Safe | Locksmith Wednesbury | Opening a Floor Safe

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:03 AM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 8 January 2014 2:35 PM GMT
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Thursday, 24 January 2013
Sidewinder Thumbturn Opener | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Reviews

I recently received a new tool to play with designed by a locksmith named Simon Barber of Outside-In Lock Tools.

The 'Sidewinder' had been in the pipeline for some time and had been tested amongst locksmiths at local meets held by Jay at Island locks.

sidwwinder tool

I watched its development on the online forum and saw feedback from the prototypes that were eventually tested out in the real locksmithing world.

The feedback was outstanding and it appeared that Si was on to a winner with his Sidewinder tool.

Certain aspects were refined and the final product was ready to be sold, snapped up instantly by all the locksmiths that had seen it.

Needless to say i was keen to test mine when it arrived this morning and nipped around a friends to test on his door (much appreciated).

The Sidewinder is a neat addition to the existing Souber letterbox tool. and is manufactured to fit perfectly with the same push together fixings.

So how does this locksmith tool actually work?

Set your letterbox tool up to the same specifications as if you were pulling the handle and use the Sidewinder fitting at the end.

letterbox thumbturn tool

Feel for the thumbturn of the lock and position the grippers over the end, you may need to feel the grippers gently over the turn then a good pull over the end will secure the grip.

The force you apply when turning the handle piece is directly  transferred through the cable to the lock thumbturn. It may wind up slightly before building up enough to throw the turn.

Now if like me you jump in without much thought you may want to remember to turn the correct way. (Turn as if you are locking on your side of the door). Take a step back and think about it...

Click, door open!

unlocking door with sidewinder

The Sidewinder is not limited to just thumbturns, it can be used on lever lock keys left inside, internal deadbolts and rounded nightlatch handles, basically anything that needs to be turned that you can get a decent grip on.

Mike at PSS locksmiths in Huddersfield recently unlocked a door with a huge bunch of keys in the back. A small child had locked his dad out whilst emptying the bins!

It is surely a great improvement over existing thumbturn tools that require winding reels of wire!

Im sure there are many yet undiscovered uses for this tool that we will no doubtedly hear about in the future.

Definately a tool to keep aboard the van and one i'd recommend to buy! It is now available through duffells on the link below.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 3:42 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2013 8:52 AM GMT
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Monday, 21 January 2013
Amusing Locksmith Stories | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Ricks Locksmith blog:

Before i begin writing my intended post i would first like to WARN all the CONTENT THIEVES stealing pictures and articles from my locksmith blog that I have now started reporting it to Google who will bum your site accordingly.

If you are reading this on any other locksmith site other than  then it is being used without my consent and you are probably looking at the site of a rogue locksmith or national company employing a poor webmaster.

Try writing your own content you lazy feckers!


So back to my original post:

It goes without saying that being a professional locksmith brings you into contact with all walks of life. A few years working as a locksmith and you will pretty much see it all, whether you want to or not, right down through the utterly grusome, the absolutely hilarious and the down right awkward.

So I thought i would share with you some of the most memorable locksmith stories that i have heard over the last few years as well as a few tales of my own.

The Sleepwalker

Firstly an unbelievable scenario that I encountered in my very first year of locksmithing:

I was called out late one night by a neighbour on behalf of one of the residents that had become locked out of his apartment block.

I pulled up outside the block in my van and had a quick look around for the customer. At first glance nobody was around and got out of my van to take a closer look.

I heard "Pssst" from behind a bush and a head popped up followed by the rest of the mans naked body. Luckily he was wearing his best tight fitting Y front pants but looking rather cold. I bit my lip and listened to his tale of woe.

As a professional locksmith you learn to bite your lip and resist any kind of laughter while listening to the explanation.

Now the story goes that this guy had been travelling from holiday and was pretty shot, gone straight to bed and next thing woken up outside on the grass with no clothes. Lucky for him a neighbour spotted him and called a locksmith before he caught hypothermia.

Turns out the fellow was a serial sleepwalker and had decided to take a stroll mid dream shutting both his and the communual door on the way out.

A couple latches slipped and back in the warmth of his apartment, although i had to take a load of Euro's as payment.

The Horse

This is one of my favourite locksmith stories purely because its bizzarre!

My father in law works as an emergency locksmith for a local housing group and one day was called out to a lock out on one of the floors of some local high rise flats.

Whilst working on picking the lock for the tenant he spots a neighbours door opening down the hallway and man comes strolling out...

...followed by his pet horse on a rope.
Obviously a few refresher glances were taken at this point to make sure he wasn't losing his marbles, however the neighbour then explains that this particular guy likes to take his horse out for a walk about this time of day.

I would imagine the only way this locksmith story could have been any more bizzarre was to have discovered the beast whilst waiting for the lift door to open.

Ultimate Lock in

Again, another story from my earlier locksmithing days and one of my first eviction jobs.

I was called to attend with the bailiff upon reposession of a local house in the area. Once everyone had arrived and the courts had phoned through to give the go ahead I proceeded to gain entry and a few minutes later the door was open and I let them in to go and do their thing.

The house appeared to be abandoned anyway and was in a state so the sitex crew got to work and started unloading the steel shutters to board the house up.

At this point i got my paperwork signed and set off with the rest of my locksmiths jobs for that day.

Later that evening i got a call from the firm responsible for the operation and was asked "Why didn't you check the house!".
Completely puzzled by what i had been asked it was then explained that the Sitex team had in fact secured the house and left leaving the tennant trapped inside!

Now firstly its not the job of a locksmith to go checking these things thats what the bailiff should have been doing. I dont enjoy trapesing through other peoples shiteholes and mess and rarely set foot in these places.

Secondly, How on earth did they not see someone in the house!? My only explanation is that they must have been hiding for whatever reason... but in my opinion the bailiff should be sacked! Dropped a real bollock there to say the least and luckily the tennant had a phone handy.


And i think thats enough amusing locksmith stories for one post but will definitely be sharing a few more later on as they are being told thick and fast, its hard to remember them all. Maybe next time I will focus on some of the more grusome and disgusting locksmith tales!

Posted by Rick the Pick at 12:49 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:16 PM GMT
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Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Pennine Security Solutions | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Featured!

Pennine Security Solutions - Locksmith Services

locksmith based in sheffield

Welcome to the sections first Featured locksmith company.

As a relatively new locksmith, Mike Kitchen of Pennine Security Solutions -Locksmiths Sheffield has worked incredibly hard to get his locksmith business up and running as quickly as possible.

In this economy it is extremely difficult to establish a business furthermore in a saturated industry such as locksmithing where every man and his dog are dabbling at lock changes and upvc door work.

Pennine Security Solutions specialise in uPVC and double glazed door locks which now account for the majority of locksmith work in the Sheffield area since the boom in double glazing and the increased security these doors offer.

As well as repairing uPVC door locks and mechanisms Mike is also stocking a large range of cylinders to upgrade the doors security further in the form of Avocet ABS lock cylinders that incorporate magnetic pin technology and anti-snap features.

Pennine Security Solutions cover the majority of the West and South Yorkshire areas particularly Sheffield, Huddersfield and Barnsley where the majority of their larger business and commercial locksmith customers are located.

Mike is the only locksmith working for PSS in Sheffield and when calling you will speak direct to him and book directly for any locksmith work required. There are no call centres or receptionists here, you are speaking directly with a knowledgable and experienced locksmith!

Based in Penistone, Sheffield, PSS Locksmiths can respond and be on site in the Sheffield area within 30 minutes in most cases and stocks the majority of locks and door hardware to complete the job on site without the need for a return visit.

I have been working with Mike at Pennine Security Solutions to optimise his website and build his brand and am pleased to report that he is a knowledgable and honest individual that i would not hesitate to recommend.

Need a locksmith in Sheffield? Call PSS Locksmiths today for the best locksmith service at the most reasonable price!


Mike: 01142 135134

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:55 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:17 PM GMT
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Sunday, 13 January 2013
Common Security Risk | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Are you one of those people that always leaves a key inside the lock on a upvc door?

Well you may be surprised when i tell you that on this weeks locksmith jobs i have opened three doors through the letterbox and two doors (unusually) through the cat flap cut in the bottom panel of the back doors.

Where keys were left on the inside of the doors i have managed to turn and unlock the door with the key using various poking instruments, a technique that could be used by any crook that fancies his chances, no special locksmith tools required, any old stick would do the trick!


Firstly, Don't leave a key in, or in fact anywhere near the door. Ever heard of key fishing crimes?

Secondly, if you have to leave a key in make sure you have a letterbox guard or similar fitted, particularly letterboxes situated close to the lock. A small child may even be able to put their hand through the ltterbox and turn it from outside!

As for catflaps, some form of internal lock should be fitted to prevent a crook getting his arm inside. Sash jammers or upvc deadbolts would be a good addition.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 9:28 AM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 13 January 2013 11:11 AM GMT
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Monday, 7 January 2013
Can a lock be too secure? | Locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter
I heard through the grapevine today that the local housing association responsible for the door and lock maintenance in the Wolverhampton area have decided to do a U-turn on upgrading all its doors to the all singing/dancing anti drill/bump/snap locks.

It seems the locksmiths employed by the housing association have been struggling for some time opening these locks when the tenants lose keys or get locked out and despite being trained at a local locksmith training school, still lack the techniques and tools to open these locks effectively.

I must admit i have been waiting for this for some time and surprised they managed for so long. I also recently spotted a small out of hours locksmiths contract offered online by the company.

Having worked on these monster doors in the past i feel for the inexperienced carpenters and handymen that get pushed into these tricky jobs.

Typically the doors comprise of a good quality composite door and frame, well fitted and equipped with all the extras; letter box guards, proper cylinder guards that bolt through the width and breadth of the door, high quality anti drill cylinders such as Roto, ABC trap pin or Mila Evolution.

Its fair to say that picking a good quality cylinder such as these is well out of the capabilities of a handyman and indeed a lot of locksmiths, drilling can be a hard slog when met with off center anti drill posts and stainless pins; without correct drill bits it would be nigh on impossible.

Snapping is well and truly out of the question without causing considerable damage. The anti snap guards inside the doors are collossal and hold very well against destructive attack.

So the question arrises..

Can locks be too secure?

My opinion for what its worth is that lock manufacturers have been in such a rush to address the lock snapping problem and/or just jumping on the bandwagon that the products user friendliness and maintenance capabilities have been overlooked, possibly to the extent that these locks could actually cause as much harm as good.

Don't get me wrong here its important that security issues such as lock snapping and 'bumping' (if that is a problem?) are dealt with in new designs to conform to insurance requirements and to meet BS standards but should also be designed to be removed easilly by the end user should keys be lost or damaged locks needs changing.

Changing a vandalised euro is going to be much more hassle for the locksmith called to replace it if he cant just remove the interior handles to snap it out and prices in the future will increase to reflect that.

Im hoping that this issue will become more aparent to the manufacturers in the future and that solutions are developed to create a more user friendly lock.

I think a little more functionality and a little less impenetrability would make for the best lock!

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:09 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:19 PM GMT
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Friday, 28 December 2012
Featured Local Locksmith | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Featured!
featured local locksmiths

'Featured' is a new section I have decided to add to the locksmith blog.

I feel this will be a welcome addition to the blog and tie in nicely with my other efforts over at in promoting local locksmith businesses.

The featured section is space for local locksmith companies to explain a little about what they do, who they cater for and the locksmith services they can offer.

The same rules apply as in the locksmith directory and no national locksmith companies or call centres need contact me as this is solely for the small local locksmiths seeking additional exposure.

What is required?

> 2-300 words that best describe your company.
> Full address and contact details.
> 3-5 pictures of your locksmith business and/or work.
> A company logo.

These can be emailed over to me clicking here

Once i have received the details and checked through them they will be stored untl my next Featured update. These updates will be made in due course as not to saturate my locksmith blog posts and no guarantee can be made on the publishing time.

featured local locksmiths  locksmith picking a lock

Posted by Rick the Pick at 5:38 AM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 June 2014 1:46 PM BST
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Thursday, 27 December 2012
Testing the Yale Anti-Snap | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Reviews

The latest Yale BS cylinder has been giving me grief for a while now.


Despite the unusually wide keyway of the new Yale BS, picking this lock cylinder is very tricky! As well as the usual spooled driver pins you will now find serrated key pins making it a formidable opponent. Long gone are the days a locksmith can quickly zap away with his EPG as this lock incorporates high tollerance security pins.

yales anti snap lock cylinders

The serrated key pins will bind when a pinstack is lifted past the sheer line and into the milled groove on the pin. Unlike a spooled driver pin these cannot be 'undone' without releasing tension and allowing the pinstack to respring.

Bad news for me as my cylinder picking skills have gone completely out of the window as of late.


Snapping a correctly fitted Yale cylinder outright is going to be no easy feat and well beyond the capabilities of the common burglar and his grips.

The joint inbetween the lock body and sacrificial section is a lot stronger than i expected, its not a case of using a flat blade screwdriver down the keyway, it is pretty resistant and still requires a good grip to remove this portion.

Removing the sacrificial section eliminates the first three pins of the lock cylinder and also the anti drill pin at the front of the cylinder, leaving you with three pinstacks.

snapped yale bs lock cylinder

The sheerline of the frontmost pinstack will be visible leaving you two to pick blind. You may find these surprisingly tricky since the plug now moves back and forth as well as rotating and may also contain a serrated key pin. You will also have the problem of getting tension on a lock set back behind the handle face and will probably need to make a custom tension wrench for this.

The remaining section of the lock incorporates the grip deflecting bumps that look like ball bearings. These work very well and make gripping anything other than the first few millimeters of the lock particulaly tricky, however several attempts sees them deform quickly, they are not the same strength as bearing steel.

The hardened spine of the lock is tough yet flexible and I failed to snap this section in a satisfactory way.


The new Yale BS cylinder is no more drill resistant than the last BS rated lock cylinder.

It contains an antidrill pin pressed into the front of the lock however i found this to jump out of the bottom of the lock on several occasions when drilled in the 'sweet spot'. The plug contains two antidrill pins side by side in the front of the plug face.

There are several pinstacks containing stainless pins which can take some drilling even with a carbide drill bit should you be aiming for the traditional sheer line area.


Shimming the lock by piercing the plug face is far trickier than if you remove the sacrifical section.

Snapping the front section of the lock gives you access to the sheer line of the lock and eliminates 3 pins from the equation. It will also save you wrecking a drill bit when you meet the two antidrill pins in the front of the plug.

shimming open a lock

The shim slides in nicely since you can see the first sheer line.

Remember my original lock shimming post? If you feel the shim slide in but jam the pinstack you are more than likely in a pin serration or catching a spool. Pulling the shim back a fraction so the pinstack resets will sort this but may have damaged the end of the shim.

shimming a yale lock open

So overall, what do i make of the new yale BS lock cylinder?

I think its a great lock for the money and the best from Yale so far, possibly the best anti-snap lock available on the UK market since it avoids the gimmicky keys like the ABS or Magnum that I find put off a lot of my customers off the idea.

These are readily available to the public at a reasonable price and a lock that I think may separate the handymen from the real locksmiths in the future.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 5:42 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2013 7:48 AM GMT
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Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Seasonal Lock Problems | Locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter

At certain times of the year a locksmith will expect to see an increase in seasonal door and lock problems.

I would define this as a lock problem caused or amplified by the change in weather.

In the colder weather leading to the winter season the most common problem I come across as a locksmith in Bridgnorth is upvc door contraction.

As the temperature falls the door shrinks a few millimeters and can throw the locking mechanism out of line.

Usually this problem can be cured by adjusting the hinges and/or keeps to match the warping in the door and is a fairly straightforward job for a locksmith in the majority of cases.

However the increasing stiffness of the lock is often ignored resulting in additional forces being applied to the lock in order to get the key to turn.

Eventaully something gives and you have a whole different problem to deal with. Unjamming a upvc door lock can be a complete nightmare and prices will reflect that!

Again in the Summertime the exact opposite can occur and you can find yourself with a door that seems too big for the hole with rollers catching on the frame when closing.

Some doors will swell so badly in the heat that they no longer open at all, particularly the darker brown colours that attract more heat.

A tip given to me by another local locksmith for this scenario is to run a cold hosepipe over the door to cool it. Sounds ridiculous to a customer but it works and saves using a door spreading tool.

Those two issues are rarely seen in the more solid composite doors however when choosing a new composite door I would always recommend a customer to choose a lighter colour.

Again with some of the darker shades of door a lot of heat is retained in direct sunlight which can cause the resin shell to blister and eventually crack, particularly in the cheaper range of composite doors.

Padlocks are prone to freezing in the frosty weather, furthermore when we are unfortunate enough to have a downpour beforehand.

In this situation you should NEVER try and force the key. Its not going to happen and you are likely to bend or snap the key making for a tricker opening.

There are a couple of methods I have used in the past from pouring hot water from a kettle onto the padlock, warming the key with a lighter and inserting, or heating lightly with a blow lamp on some of the more extreme frozen locks.

Unfreezing the locks to your car is pretty much the same process however i dont expect anyone to be silly enough to take a blowtorch to their vehicle... I will not be held liable for any burning cars :-D

This is probably my last post this side of Christmas so I hope you have a good one and thanks for reading. Merry Xmas


icy padlock

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:11 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:20 PM GMT
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Sunday, 2 December 2012
Willenhall, Lock Capital of the World | Locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter

As most of you know I work as a locksmith and am based in Willenhall, possibly the most famous lock town in the world.

Half the people I work for as a locksmith in Willenhall will talk to me about relatives that used to work in the lock making industry if they haven't themsleves.

Willenhall has its own lock museum and many of the lock makers descendants still operate in the area.

Iv decided to dedicate a small section of the blog to name and offer a little exposure to some of the local lock companies still in the area.

Lewis Locks
furniture locks + supplier of other locally sourced products

Imperial locks
High quality lever lock & mortice case manufacturers

A&E Squire
Furniture and cabinet lock manufacturer

Croft Architectural
High quality brass and architectural hardware manufacturers

There are also the larger lock names based here in Willenhall such as ERA and Assa Abloy Group both of which offer a large range of locking products assembled using imported parts.

If iv missed you off the list please feel free to email me with a little more info and i'l see what i can do.

willenhall lock makers

Rick | Wolverhampton Locksmiths

Posted by Rick the Pick at 7:23 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:22 PM GMT
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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Alternative Snapping | Locksmith Blog
It seems that every crook out there seems to know about lock snapping.

The companies scaremongering the public into upgrading locks put the technique right in the spotlight and i can honestly say i saw the number of lock snap related break ins double if not triple.

However they dont always get in.
I came across this lock mullered in a door a few months ago and had to improvise since picking was well and truly out of the question.

mangled upvc door lock

As i have never dug deep and purchased a plug puller tool I decided to drill for the retaining screw and hope to snap the lock using a bit of leverage with the aid of a tight fitting screwdriver down the drill hole.

30 seconds of jiggling and the weak metal finally gave way and out popped the cylinder half.

drilled lock cylinder

Its a technique iv heard about in the past but never really been in a situation that allowed me to test it.

In fact theres even a small tools company selling the Rod Based Snapper for this very purpose.


I had a spare half hour today and was playing with some locks and decided I would document a flaw with some of the cheaper antisnap locks on the market.

What i have noticed with companies designing locks that 'tick all the boxes' is that they can actually reduce the overall security of the lock.

This particular one made by UAP (BS Rated?) all singing and dancing anti drill/snap/pick euro cylinder.

UAP antisnap lock 

However you will notice that all 'anti drill' properties are contained within the sacrificial portion of the lock.
Eliminate that portion and its game over.
If this particular lock has been awarded a BS rating it should most certainly be stripped of it!

front of an antisnap lock made by UAP

I know it would be easy enough to pick the remaining 3 pins for anyone half capable...

However since i had no anti drill pins to wreck a £3+ hardplate bit i decided to snap this in the same method as I used on the vandalised Zone cylinder i encountered on the job above. 
Just for fun :-)

lock snapped

Posted by Rick the Pick at 11:42 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:23 PM GMT
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Sunday, 25 November 2012
Mul-t-lock G Series Alternative Destructive Opening | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Bypassing

Glued or damaged padlocks can be a nightmare to open when used with a good hasp and staple.
Higher security models usually feature a closed shackle and hardened bolt usual Boron.

A few years back I had to devise a way to open the mul-t-lock g series padlocks for a non-locksmith friend who dealt with a lot of these on their sites.

Bolt cutters are useless and using a grinder would have been particularly dangerous at these warehouses. BOOM!

As a lot of locksmiths know, drilling for the traditional sheer line is hard on a loose hanging padlock. Throw in the usual antidrill measures that multlock incorporate into their cylinders and you are looking at a major ballache!

So I took a few padlocks to play with and heres what i came up with:

The g series padlocks incorporate a special half cylinder in the padlock body making lock changes particularly easy once the lock is open.

mul-t-lock padlocks locksmith

The cylinder is held in place by the usual retaining screw down the shackle hole and a small split pin through the side of the padlock body.

The split pin is not hardened steel as you would expect a 1/8th" drill down it puts you bang on target for the retaining screw.

multlock g series padlock

Run down your pilot hole with a larger diameter drill bit until you hit the retaining screw and remove as much material from the threaded portion of the cylinder as possible.

I have also used the drain hole as an extra pilot hole so that you may bring another angled drill to the rear portion of the cylinder.

drilling a multlock padlock

You may find a little bit of thread holding the cylinder in but a screwdriver or similar can be used just to break the last part and push the cylinder from the padlock body.

locksmiths drilled padlock

Obviously this method is only preferable when picking is not possible and the lock has been vandalised. They are in fact not a bad pick when in a favourable position and not kneeling in a puddle at the bottom of a roller shutter.

picking a multlock padlock

Posted by Rick the Pick at 2:12 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:24 PM GMT
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Thursday, 22 November 2012
Is SEO important to a locksmith? | Locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter

As a lot of locksmiths are now discovering the main bulk of their work is now coming from online leads.

Times have changed dramatically and iv seen virtually all of the major local competition vanish within two years beacuse they thought they could survive on reputation alone.

I was lucky to discover early on that the most important part of running a successful locksmith business is Search Engine Optimisation.

I cant stress how important this is!

Nothing to do with locks, not taught on any locksmith course i know of and completely baffling to the oldschool generation!

75% of the actual physical work i do is sat here at the computer optimising my websites (note the pluralisation).

The likes Thomson Local and Yellow Pages are single celled organisms online compared to the goliath that is Google and although they offer web based advertising products you can do so much better for your money and if you know what you are doing can exploit various aspects of their system to get FREE online advertsing that out performs their paying customers.

The typical online directory listing is £200 upwards per area and will be lost in a sea of other adverts usually in the shadows of large national locksmith advertisers. A website with hundreds of pages can cost you £30-60 a year plus SEO fees if you dont know how to do it yourself.

SEO is still considered a dark art and with Google constantly changing the rules of the game it can feel like you're the donkey chasing the carrot.

As my SEO knowledge has grown I have attracted the attention of other websites and locksmiths asking for help so have begun to take on a small amount of private search engine optimisation work.

I dont intend to make a big business out of it nor much money, its something i enjoy and beneficial to my own locksmith business.

If you would like me to get involved with improving the search engine optimisation of your locksmith website then you can contact me on
07724-828289 or email me at and we can come to some sort of arrangement.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 12:33 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:25 PM GMT
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Saturday, 27 October 2012
Lock opening vids - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Lock picking

Was browsing through my photobucket account this morning and stumbled on a few interesting lock opening vids i made but probably never posted for whatever reason.

Cyberlock magnetic bump attack

This is the magnetic attack used to bump open the older generation of videx cyberlock.

Millenco Magnum Wafer Overlift

Method i discovered to quickly defeat the Millenco Magnums wafers.

 Era BS Thumbturn Bypass

Simple bypass of the new BS ERA thumbturns that can cause so much trouble when drilling.

Lever lock bumping

Local locksmith demonstrating the bumping of worn lever locks

Posted by Rick the Pick at 9:44 AM BST
Updated: Sunday, 11 November 2012 5:06 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Carbide tipped drill bits - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Reviews

With lock manufacturers being pressured into producing even more impenetrable locks our lives as locksmiths are getting trickier by the day.

Im not a big fan of pushing high security locks onto the domestic customers;

for one: It makes my life as a locksmith much more stressful in the event of a lockout.

two: Burglars rarely attmept to open a lock anyway.

So the last few months iv come across quite a few nasty locks that have felt the wrath of the rotary pick... and then laughed at me while they resisted to the last slither of metal holding them strong.

As most locksmiths will know; drilling a lock can go terribly wrong!
(Thats deffo not one of mine btw! HaHa)

Throw in torrential rain or a poorly lit alleyway and you are guarantee'd a headache.

So lets get to the point.

Good hardplate carbide tipped drills are relatively expensive!
Faced witha good BS rated cylinder and a spot of bad luck could see you using 3 bits when drilling at the traditional sheer line point.

Iv been testing a few different brands of carbide drill to see how they fare in the locksmiths world.

All drills have been tested on locks containing two or more hardened anti-drill pins plus one or more stainless key pins.

SKS budget drill:

These are priced in at £2-3 plus VAT for a useable size.

Poor penetration against hardened pins

Struggle against stainless key pins.

Budget Duffells drill:

Priced between £1.30 and £2.20 plus VAT for a useable size.

Reasonble penetration against hardened and stainless pins.

Cutting edge continues down the drill bit for widening holes


Souber Tungsten Carbide bits:

More expensive range at £3-4 plus vat for a useable size.

Reasonable penetration against hardened and stainless pins.

Last slightly longer that the other budget ranges.

Alpen Reds

Much stronger than other budget ranges with the same strength as the Souber bits.

Price is very reasonable and these are now stocked by all the major trade suppliers.


We were recently featured in the locksmith directory featured locksmiths page: Wolverhampton Locksmiths

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:11 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:28 PM GMT
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Thursday, 12 July 2012
Support Local locksmiths - Locksmith Blog

This is the new weapon against the national advertisers.

This directory is about promoting local locksmiths and the logo represents their membership of the No nationals campaign.

In these hard economic times it is important to support small local businesses, in our case locksmiths.

As soon as customers realise that national companies are all about extortionate charges and shoddy workmanship performed by fresh trainees the better.

to share this logo on your website you can paste the following code:

<a href=""><img src="" alt="local locksmiths"></a>

If you see any national company displaying the logo on any of their pages then please report to with details.


Rick | Locksmith in Wolverhampton

Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:28 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:29 PM GMT
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Thursday, 21 June 2012
bad customers - Locksmith Blog
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Being a self employed locksmith can be quite frustrating at times.

This week seems to have ticked all the boxes, being messed about left right and center on most of my locksmith jobs. Its definately been one of those 'Why do I bother' weeks.

First lesson i'v learned is:

Never do anyone a favour!

Your act of charity or heping out that 'friend' is rarely appreciated. Regardless of the greatly reduced fee (if you have made anything at all) they WILL moan about it come paying time. Needless to say i'v been clear that next time; "dont be calling me!"

Second lesson:

Dont expect any thanks for the work you do...

I recently had a hospital book me to arrive at a patients house on their return as the paramedics had just shut the door whilst rushing her off to hospital.

The family of the patient all had keys however none of them could be contacted or had bothered to visit the elderly woman (In 5 weeks i might add) thus a locksmith had been arranged.

So the ambulance pulls up and i begin unlocking the door whilst they unload the elderly woman.

locksmith picking a lock

Literally as the last pin was binding a car screaches alongside the road and a big burly woman screams "Stop, I have the keys!"

Ignoring me completely the woman barges through everyone there and her first words, i kid you not... "Why didn't you tell us you were in fucking hospital..."

Since i was ignored completely whilst they shouted at one another I packed my bag and left. This was clearly not anyone i was going to see a penny out of...

Although not every working week as a locksmith is this miserable, it has dented both my pride and enthusiasm and I'l definately be glad to see the back of this one.

Chin up and Happy locksmithing! :-)

Rick | Walsall Locksmith

Posted by Rick the Pick at 2:56 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:30 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Staffs Police - locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

I havent blogged for quite some time now as work has picked up and it seems im the only locksmith in the area that hasn't gone under.

I can't complain....


Just blogging, well more ranting regarding a certain non paying customer.

I feel it is my duty to publicly name and shame, even if it saves just one self employed tradesman from getting shafted by these unlikely CROOKS!

I completed a locksmith job for Staffs police, over eight weeks ago.

The PC i dealt with (5093 T.Reece) promised me this and that regarding payment for the job and seemed a genuine chap.

So the weeks passed by and I heard nothing from Staffs police and sent out the usual reminders and made a few calls.

Well two months on and iv currently been in touch with six different members of Staffs Police, sent 6 reminders all with payment details, sent a letter of legal action to both the officer i dealt with and the accounts dept.

Still no attempt whatsoever to make a payment, nobody calls back and the original PC full of promises seems to have vanished.

Its customers like this that self employed tradesmen DO NOT NEED.
Times are hard as it is, and frankly I think Staffs Police are a complete bunch of criminals.

I strongly recommend you think carefully before dealing with these pirates.
Staffs Police, come pay time will lead you on a wild goose chase and pass you from pillar to post to avoid paying up.

I will be pursuing this one as far as possible as I think crooks like this need exposing.

For anyone else that has been shafted by Staffs police, here are a few contacts I did manage to scrape together but dont hold your breath!

MARCIA ASHER - Senior Finance Asst

DEE ECCLESTON Responsible for setting up accounts

...and should the money arrive in my account I will let you all know.

Happy Locksmithing


UPDATE: Money finally arrived after ten weeks hassling them and an apology from the gaffer... Case closed Locksmith Cannock

Posted by Rick the Pick at 10:59 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:31 PM GMT
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Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Stale Summer / Locksmith Training - Locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter

Its that stale summer period again and theres not much happening in the way of work, news or anything really and therefore nothing much to report.

I do have a few good items to post later on when i have a bit more time to write them up properly though:

-Femurats manifoil safe lock manipulation guide/experience: An interesting insight into a newbies first NDE safe cracking.

-Thumbturn wires: How to make your own thumbturn wire and how to use it properly

-Locksmith handy tips and tricks: useful nuggets of knowledge to make life easier.

Keep stopping by and keep me posted on any new developments in the locksmith world!


lock picking course learn to be a locksmith

Posted by Rick the Pick at 7:24 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2012 8:54 AM GMT
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