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Locksmith Blog | Locksmiths Blog | Blog
Friday, 13 June 2014
King of Locks Wigan | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Featured!

King of Locks based in Wigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This months featured locksmith is Sean King at King of Locks based in Wigan.

Sean has been in the game for nearly a year now and has survived that notorious six month period that sorts the hitters from the quitters. It has never been harder to establish yourself in the locksmith industry with new locksmiths trained every week, few of which actual last the first six months trading.

He has worked hard to establish himself as a local locksmith in Wigan and has built a strong local reputation by investing wisely in online advertsing and SEO alongside a local Checkatrade reviews scheme.

Sean at King Of Locks has proved that online advertising is the way forward with over 90% of new leads from online sources.

If you are based in Wigan and require a locksmith that will go that extra mile to deliver a fast and reliable service then I recommend you give Sean a call and find out what he can do for you.

King of Locks
5 Winsmoor Drive
Hindley
Wigan
WN23SP
07539504998
http://www.kingoflocks.co.uk


Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:18 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 27 April 2016 4:15 PM BST
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Monday, 9 June 2014
The War Against National Locksmiths | Locksmith Blog
Mood:  irritated
Topic: General Chatter

As genuine local locksmith businesses we have all been fighting to hold our heads above the water whilst countless national locksmith firms try their luck at nationwide domination, polluting the advertsing space with multiple large adverts, pricing out smaller companies on Google Adwords and generally doing everything possible to kill us off or get us to join them.

It goes without saying that any locksmith moving to the darkside and subbing regularly is dicing with death and will inevitably be struck off and replaced by more permanent in house lockmiths that are prepared to work contracted hours for a normal wage as soon as the work in the area becomes regular.

I have recently noticed that the national locksmith companies advertsing in my area are becoming more desperate and are employing increasingly aggressive and underhand tactics to grab hold of the thinning work.
It is now common to talk to customers that felt pressured and intimidated into agreeing work by call center style operations that requested a load of personal information before a quote was issued. One woman i worked for recently went as far as saying she felt threatened after revealing to an arrogant man, both her home address and that her door would no longer lock.

So what can we do to ensure these crooks do not damage the reputation of our trade?

The first thing I encourage any genuine local business to do is advertise clearly at the top of all your web pages that you are a genuine local business, put your address and your name! This instantly puts you on first name terms with your potential client and makes the whole affair seem less formal than the tosspot at the call center interrogating the customer.

Use your websites to inform your customers about the problems we are facing with these national locksmith companies. Linking to relevant information and articles on the subject allows them to investigate themselves and will hopefully make them think carefully about who they agree to let into their homes.

Here are a few good articles you may want to link to although taking the time to write one yourselves will achieve greater results.

http://www.locksmith-directory.org.uk/nationals-article.html

http://www.the-locksmith-world.co.uk/dont-work-national-locksmiths/

http://arolockkey.com/aro-lock-and-key-how-to-prevent-locksmith-scams.html

Educating our potential customers is our greatest weapon in the war against the national locksmith plague.
They cannot compete with our prices and they cannot rely on a good reputation to get by.
We can never compete with their massive advertising budgets but we can certainly wave a red flag for everyone else to see.


 

 

 


Posted by Rick the Pick at 10:12 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 March 2016 10:07 AM BST
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Monday, 2 June 2014
Brisant BS Locks | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Reviews

The British Standard Brisant Cylinder

To be honest, Brisant locks aren't exactly new news. They have been around long enough now for anyone in the locksmith trade to have heard about them. Rick at Cannock Door Repairs has been raving about them ever since the company popped up.

I have been sitting on the fence waiting to see what others opinion were on the Brisant locks before putting my hand in my pocket and purchasing any. They recently advertised an offer I could no longer refuse on their all new singing an dancing Brisant BS rangeso I just had to get a batch ordered.

I knew to expect something special after reading several months worth of positive feedback on the Brisant range and upon opening the first box was not disappointed.

It is immediately aparent that this lock is designed to withstand a prolonged attack from even the most experienced burglar.
Unlike the majority of antisnap locks on the market, the Brisant BS has anti-drill pins beyond the sacrificial section to ensure the cylinder resists attack long after the snapping has been tried.

The Brisant cylinder features all the other security features that you would expect of a quality anti-snap product such as anti-drill pins, strengthened spine as well as a couple of trap pins, making for a formidable opponent.

The lock has been designed with the locksmith in mind, which is why this is quickly becoming the most popular product amongst locksmiths around the UK. The antisnap sections are not handed as with the Yale BS cylinders and comes in a dual brass/satin finish similar to the MulTLock for a universal colour match. It seems we no longer need a van full of locks for every application!

brisant bs locks brisant upvc door lock

What I was most impressed with was Brisants reluctance to sell to the general public, a tactic which can damage the locksmiths ability to sell the product. ** The very reason a lot of professional locksmiths are unwilling to offer the Avocet ABS which is sold with very little discount to trade professionals. There is nothing worse than working for a customer that sits there quoting lock prices from Ebay whilst you work.

(** I have since learned that Brisant will actually deal with public orders and key cutting. There are also rebranded versions of the Brisant available on ebay)

The BS range carry a TS007 one star rating (unsure why they didn't meet the criteria for a three) but should be more than sufficient to satisfy any special insurance requirements for uPVC security.

Update Jan 2016

I feel I need to update this post to reflect a chnage in view on the Brisant range. I am hearing countless stories of locks failing due to an over fragile sacrifical section. I myself had a couple broken which I had put down to my own heavy handedness but it seems this is in fact a design flaw.

I am also concerned about the actually key control as it turns out anyone can ring up Brisant and order a key copy by supplying the code to them, no questions asked. This is not good enough for me personally to continue using them.

 


Posted by Rick the Pick at 2:56 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2016 4:24 PM GMT
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Monday, 19 May 2014
Stop The Nationals | Locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter

Raising Awareness Of National Locksmiths

Anyone that is a member of Island Locks Locksmith Forum has probaly already seen Jays huge banner at the top of the landing page.

This is a great banner to display on your locksmith business web page, it will catch the eye of potential customers and make them think twice about who they are calling to complete thier lock work.


Since we struggle to compete with national locksmith firms and their everlasting budgets we can only continue to offer an affordable locksmith service that is reliable, trustworthy and do our utmost to educate as many people as possible about the continual scamming and poor service provided by these large national locksmith chains, out to grab every penny they can.

In all honesty I think the general public are beginning to wise up to the fact that using a genuine local tradesman is the best option and it is often mentioned on my own locksmith jobs that they either know of someone or have been ripped off themselves in thre past so shopped around to find a genuine local business.

If you would like to add this banner to your own website, along with a link to more information on national locksmith chains then you can copy and paste the html code below into the body of your webpage.


----------

<a href="http://www.locksmith-directory.org.uk/nationals-article.html"><img src="https://media.angelfire.lycos.com/preview/2206319/1024x1024-2346216.jpg" alt="local locksmiths"></a>

----------

 

local locksmiths

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:12 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 March 2016 10:09 AM BST
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Saturday, 10 May 2014
Chasing Debts | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

It's an all too common situation that can have any number of reasons from poor management of paperwork to calculated deception. Every now and again someone will try it on and lead you on a wild goose chase for the money they owe you which is both time consuming and irritating, particularly if you a relying on that income for the month.

I am currently chasing a small debt of £200 for some recent locksmith work myself at the minute, from a regular customer no less, that has never given me any trouble in the past.

Whilst you need to be firm enforcing your terms and conditions you sometimes have to relax a little as not to put off a regular customer from ever using you again. However, nobody likes a piss taker and I would rather have no custom at all than one that fails to pay on a regular basis.

Here are a few steps that I have successfully followed in the past to help resolve these situations and identify a genuine fraudster from a simple mistake.

1/ Terms and Conditions

If you haven't got this at the bottom of your invoices already it is something worth adding. State clearly a due by date or reasonable time frame in which you expect to be paid. For new locksmith customers I specify 14 days if not immediate payment, customers that I already have a good relationship with get 28 days which is pretty much the national standard.

2/ Signature

Once work has been completed ensure you obtain a signature of satisfaction to say that work has been completed, the customer is happy and they agree to your invoice terms.

 3/ Friendly Reminder

You can judge this one any way you feel fit. Based on 28 day terms I would expect payment to have been made within the first 14 days and usually this is the case. The beginning of week three I would call or email a reminder through just to let them know you are still waiting. If you are in a queue of paperwork this usually gets you bumped to the top for immediate payment. Depending how familiar I am woith the customer I would do this a couple of time approaching the due date.

4/ Firm Reminder

Day 28 and still no payment. It is time to send out a reasonably firm reminder in writing stating terms agreed and requesting a reason for the delay. More often than not there has been a staff member away, paperwork misfiled or you were just forgotten. You can include a copy of the invoice if they have lost the original.

5/ Final Request For Payment

It is up to you how long after day 28 you leave this but up until now you have been both reasonable and patient allowing plenty of time for a response. It is now time to state clearly you will not be undertaking any more work until debt is cleared and that further delays will leave you no choice but to hand the debt to a collection agency including additional costs incurred. You may want to specify a further timeframe, seven days is usually more than reasonable. Send this letter by special delivery so you have proof of contact should you require it in the future.

6/ Taking Further Action

Failure to act up upon the previous contact it is now clear the customer has little intention of settling the debt. My mate Rick at Cannock Locksmiths showed me that there are online solicitors that will send out an official letter for a small fee, stating clearly your intentions to escalate the matter and follow up in court, including all the additional fees and potential black mark against their organisation with regards to future credit. A proper letterheaded document from a real solicitor has always been the tipping point in my experience and has yet to fail. Money usually arriving within seven days.

7/ Follow Up / Write Off

If all else has failed you either have the option to write off the debt, take the loss and never engage in further business, or to proceed further via small claims or however a qualified solicitor suggests. If you have followed all the steps above you will already have proof of work satisfaction, records of letters and confirmation they received them. This shows in court you have been reasonable throughout the dispute and have given more than enough opportunity to query or settle the debt.
There is never any guarantee you will see your money after a court hearing and may need to employ further collection agencies on top of court fees. It is something you either follow up out of principal or for a large sum owned.

Conclusion

It is important to maintain good communication throughout to ensure a favourable result and hopefully resolve the issues without damaging the relationship with customers. Never be naive enough to keep accepting work from rogue customers and persistent non payers, it is rarely worth the headache.

Rick


Posted by Rick the Pick at 10:00 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 24 June 2015 7:32 PM BST
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Sunday, 4 May 2014
Lever Lock Cutaways | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Lock picking
Not much of a post really...

I has nothing on today and saw a video on youtube of a guy demonstrating some lever lock cutaways he had made.

Thought I would have a shot while I had nothing to do.

One standard 5 lever lock, One curtained lever lock with H style levers.

Could probably cut a lot more out of the cases if you wanted but all I did was mark around the important fixings with a sharpie marker and then chop out the unessessary metal and finish each section differently using a dremel tool.

lever lock cut away

inside a 5 lever lock

Posted by Rick the Pick at 7:44 PM BST
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Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Worst Locksmith Job Ever | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

The Lock Out From Hell

Thought I would write about a job I did last night which won the award for the worst job i have encountered in my five or so years of trading.

After a fairly busy day it was about knocking off time and I was looking forward to a spot of dinner. As I pulled upon the driveway the phone rang, a chap locked out as his uPVC door had jammed.

Not a problem I thought. I have probably unjammed hundreds of doors and rarely present a problem, I carry a tonne of uPVC gearboxes so although out of hours I can replace it.

When I turned up the chap had already sawed off his handle and been digging at the spindle gear which was now sitting sideways in the hole.
I immediately identified the lockcase as a mila/coldseal.

The key was turning fine to 'unlock' the mech so it was just a case of forcing the locks' hooks back in place... or so i thought.
Using various bent tools in the spindle gear hole I dug around to find a bit of rail to slide the hooks in but nothing would budge. It was jammed solid, a bit more digging around in hope of releasing jammed parts probably obstructed by broken cast metal also failed.

Now half an hour in it was time to try plan B.
Using a flat wedge i spread the door gaps to see how many hooks I was dealing with. It was a 4 hook system and an incredibly tight fit!

Now the basic principle of unjamming a door in this way is to make enough gap to manually retract a hook which in turn should put them all back in place, providing you have unlocked the mech with a key.
Another half hour passed and it was beginning to get dark with still no progress on retracting these hook bolts which appeared to be jammed locked.

Having faced this situation on a two hook system in the past I would normally spread as wide as possible and push each hooked section out of its keep one at a time until the door pops open. The problem with a 4 hook system is that you have two pairs of hooks throwing both upwards as well as down making this impossible.

At this point the next door neighbours arrived and we were allowed access to the rear of the property where i gained entry to a back door and get the customers in. This also allowed me to tackle the door from the inside.

Another half an hour spent I finally submitted and made the decision to venture into unknown territory and remove the hinges in hope of freeing the interlocking hooks. With the door off its hinges and rotated as much as possible without bending anything I again tried to free the hooks to which i had full access. Still I could not free them from the keep!!

After much struggling and a murderous headache coming on I finally released it by unsrewing the keep completely, which is not easy through an angled door gap I tell you!

The next hour was spent repairing the lock, re-hanging the door and adjusting it all to work smoothly again.

In the five or so years of opening jammed uPVC doors which I believed I was pretty much an expert at (Its usually a thirty minute job to open and repair) I have never had to go to these lengths to repair a door.

It just goes to show no matter how good you think you are, theres always going to be that job that will knock you down a few pegs and remind you that sometimes you will have to work hard for your money.

Update 06/11/2015

I have since encountered a couple of similar scenarios with this particular lock setup and have developed a great way to unjam them. Keeping it to myself for the min but it may make a future appearance on the locksmith blog ;-)

 


Posted by Rick the Pick at 9:14 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:05 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Carl GIbbs Locksmiths Kingston Upon Thames
Topic: Featured!

I first heard the name Carl Gibbs locksmiths on a locksmiths forum a couple of years ago, a newcomer to the trade seeking advice and information regarding training and setting up business as a locksmith in Kingston.

Since then Carl has established himself and fought hard to become one of the leading locksmiths in the Surrey area and has earned an enviable reputation amongst locksmiths across the country as well as inspiring new comers to the trade.

Carl Gibbs Locsmiths is living proof that if you want something bad enough and work hard enough you will succeed!

CG Locksmiths now provide all the traditional services you would expect of a master locksmith as well as modern aspects such as uPVC door lock repairwork. A recent addition to CG Locksmiths services is the new auto keys equipment allowing Carl to program, decode and build new car keys in Kingston.

As a proud ex-forces member Carl has  decided to look after his fellow servicemen by offering special rates for locksmith services. He explains regularly how the SFA maintenence teams rarely provided a satisfactory service whilst he was serving and would like to provide a reliable locksmith service for his fellow members.

If you live in or near Kingston upon Thames and require a locksmith then do not hesitate to call Carl, a friendly and reliable local locksmith service with a blinding reputation. I hear he's a nice guy too ;-)

 


Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:16 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 21 January 2015 6:58 AM GMT
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Friday, 21 March 2014
Chubb AVA Deposit Boxes | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Im currently working on a job to open and replace locks on a bank of deposit boxes for a customer in the West Midlands.

Its a really old system using dual key Chubb AVA locks, most of which no longer work or are missing keys. Its going to be an interesting job for sure.

The hardest part is sourcing these obsolete locks as there isn't anything that will retrofit the existing fittings that won't require a load of modifications, something which I doubt the customer will be interested I paying for.

Apparently Gunnebo have a load of bits and pieces knocking around in a warehouse I may be able to use, hopefully enough to do the job.

Anyway I grabbed some photo's for the lock enthusiasts out there that may be interested to see the innards and how it works.

I won't waffle on, the pics are self explanatory really.

Enjoy

Rick - Wednesfield Locksmiths

 


Safety Deposit Lock Chubb ava deposit lock AVA Safety Deposit Lock Chubb AVA disks Chubb AVA Lock


Posted by Rick the Pick at 11:41 AM BST
Updated: Friday, 5 June 2015 8:30 AM BST
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Tuesday, 25 February 2014
JS Locksmiths Manchester
Topic: Featured!

This months featured locksmith is James Smyth a local locksmith based in Sale, Manchester. With over twenty years experience in the locksmith and security industry it goes without saying that James knows his onions, particularly in the field of non destructive entry and vehicle lock opening.

The competition in the Manchester areas is fierce, particularly online advertising which is littered with national companies employing negative SEO tactics on anyone that gets near the top of the search engine results. In fact my first meeting with James was to discuss a new website build for JS Locksmiths in Manchester who's online presence was as good as dead.


Since building theFacebook page and listing in review directories on James' behalf I have seen a wave of positive feedback from his customers who regularly email and review JS Locksmiths vouching for the excellent service provided in the Manchester area, most notably in his auto work, an area in which JS Locksmiths specialise.

James also designs some great locksmith tools! I recently received a homebrew letterbox tool from him which is really effective. Its nice to see locksmiths out there still innovating and sharing their ideas for the good of the trade.

If you require a locksmith in the Manchester area, Sale, Salford or Altrincham then I would urge you to get a quotation from JS Locksmiths, a homegrown local business that is both affordable and ethical. You wont be dissappointed.

James Smyth: 07789593034

 


Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:37 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:06 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
RAKnomination - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

 

 

 

So everyone has already heard of the Neknomination craze that has spread across Facebook recently and has now given birth to the spinoff RAKnomination (Random Act of Kindness) which in my opinion is a more positive use of that spare time.

So today I decided to jump on board that bandwagon after meeting a little old lady in Brownhills in need of some expensive door work. I had adjusted her door in the past and knew she was a worthy  candidate.

Her uPVC mech was shot and needed a replacement which as you know is expensive stuff. I had been waiting for an opportunity to do my good deed and decided this was the time to do it.

As a Yale Expert I fitted a brand new Yale Doormaster repair lock to the outward opening door getting completely soaked in the process by torrential rain. Just my luck.

Job completed, I went and told her the good news. I'm not sure she knew what to make of it all and was a little confused with my response upon inquiring how much it would cost.

I just hope she doesn't tell all her friends she knows a guy that will do it for free :-D 

Heres the video and my two new nominees.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=664qwWa70rU&feature=youtu.be 

https://www.facebook.com/wolverhampton.locksmiths/posts/10152661024743569
 

Update 06/03/14


Rick - Wolverhampton Locksmiths


Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:00 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 3 June 2014 8:30 AM BST
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Thursday, 23 January 2014
Day In The Life | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Day in the life of a UK locksmith

Reading back through my blog I haven't posted about any locksmith jobs for a while. I have written you an insight into one of the more interesting days worth of locksmith work.

1/ uPVC Mechanism Repair

So first job of the day was one I had been out to the previous day and ordered a new Yale multipoint lock since the existing one was having sticky latch issues.

The internal latch section was so worn it had begun catching on the faceplate and not retracting fully after use. As you may or may not know unless the latch is allowed to fully retract you will not be able to fully turn the key, the same as a hook that meets an obstruction in the keeps and does not fully extend.

Easy replacement of the centre case and a few adjustments to the top hinge of the door resulted in a fully functioning uPVC door lock. Had to do the usual explanation to the customer how to use their own door, it always surprises me how many people can't understand that the handle and key do not need to be operated together whilst slamming the door....

2/ Locked Classroom Door

Had a call come in from a local school that could no longer open one of their doors and the master key had snapped off inside.

I arrived to find an ancient horizontal mortice sashlock so was hoping I wouldn't need to order an expensive replacement. I was presented with another master key and carefully turned back and forth. The bolt felt solid to unlock so I turned backwards in the locked position popping the bolt back out slightly. The lock then opened fine.

I removed the Sashlock and opened her up to find a lever spring had snapped off inside. I removed the lever from the pack and replaced the lever spring with one from an old 110 detainer lever, which was a similar length and crimped it in place then put the lock back together.

3/ Dodgy Euro Sashlock

Had to open a euro sashlock with an internal thumbturn that would no longer unlock. Usually this happens when the bolt falls into a half open/closed position so the cam on the euro just hits the flat bottom of the bolt.

I tried for a few minutes to bump the bolt into a better position using a rubber mallet but it was a pretty tight and I eventually snapped out the euro to make access to the lock case. It opened easily using a screwdriver blade to pull the bolt open, Now I was expecting a broken lever spring inside which is the usual cause however the internals were all in tact.

I fit a new euro lock which worked fine inside the lock case and upon testing with the door closed felt the bolt bottom out and would not lock.
Upon closer inspection of the keep there was very little wood taken out by whoever fit it. A little swelling in the damp wood meant the bolt wasn't fully throwing. Chopped a little more out with a sharp chisel and job sorted.

4/ Up And Over Garage Door

I was called out to open an up and over garage door who's cable had fallen off the back so would no longer unlock with the handle.

Usually these are a doddle and you can just flick the shootbolt in with a screwdriver or pry bar, however this garage had a nice wooden facia rendered in neatly with the brickwork obstructing the usual gap.

After fifteen minutes or so of digging away with bent wires I figured I wasn't going to be able to do it without physically seeing the shootbolt.
I used my mica to locate its exact position and drilled a small hole in the facia. Using another modified wire I now had access directly to the bolt and nudged it down out the way.

With plenty of spare cable swinging on the back of the door I repaired it and made sure it was all bolted back tightly this time.

5/ Sashlock Not Unocking

Final job of the day was a sashlock that was not unlocking but spinning 360.
Nice easy one to round off the day, its always a bonus when theres a key to work with.

I inserted the key and turned to the upright position so that all levers were in line to open and used  small screwdriver in the door gap to inch the bolt inwards and unlock. This is a common fault with the Era Fortress locks and I replaced the broken curtain wheel for a new one to make good.

Thanks to: Locksmith Cannock | Locksmith Enfield

 locksmith van and new lock


Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:36 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 January 2015 7:00 AM GMT
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Thursday, 9 January 2014
Island Locks Training Course | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Featured!

 

Island Locks Logo

 

This month I have decided to feature a locksmith training course based in Middlesex, Island Locks.


It goes without saying that you have probably already heard the name Jay Dorner on various locksmith forums or via his immensely popular Youtube channel featuring lock picking demonstrations and techniques that are taught on his locksmith training course.

I have been a member of his purpose built locksmith forum at http://www.islandlocksforum for a few years now. It was initially built to support his trainee's whilst they establish their own business, however this forum attracted a lot of attention due to its loyal following and incredibly useful resources. It is well worth joining if you haven't already found it.
What is most striking on this locksmith training forum is the lack of prejudice against newcomers and the willingness of more knowledgeable locksmiths to share information and offer advice.

As for the quality of Island locks training course, the testimonials speak for themselves. Jay has clearly played an immense part not only in providing sufficient locksmith training but also ensuring his trainees set off on the right foot and build a successful business.

lock picking course

There are so many locksmith training companies out there that will churn out new 'locksmiths' at an alarming rate offering no further support or help once the course is over with, most of which fail within the first six months of setup.

It is clear from being a member of Island Locks Forum that the success rate is considerably higher than even some of the most reputable locksmith organisations advertised online. With Island Locks there are no subscription fees or memberships to ensure you remain in 'the circle' and to make a bit more profit. Its forum is completely free to anyone wishing to look into joining the locksmith profession seeking a little more information and advice before investing and money.

In my opinion ,and in fact many other peoples opinions, this is currently the best locksmith training course in the UK with the friendliest gang of followers on the internet.

Rick

You can contact Jay at Island Locks directly at:

Mob: 07960 231418      Email: info@islandlocks.co.uk

locksmith training school

 


Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:51 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:07 PM GMT
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Thursday, 2 January 2014
Locksmiths Quiz | Locksmith Blog

Firstly, Happy New Year.

I hope you didn't get called out too much this Christmas and managed to sneak a few drinks in.

I have been sorting my locksmith van out this morning removing all the old bits of tat lying around and removing the scrap brass from my old locks.
Thought I would have a bit of fun with it and took some pictures of the old locks that have been thrown out to make a little locksmith quiz for you.

There are ten questions based around the images in this picture which you will want to open alongside the quiz for reference.

Winner is determined by speed and accuracy of the answers so good luck and no cheating :-)

No prizes unless you fancy winning  a bag of old escutcheons and euro screws, something I seem to have an abundance of.

1/ Open the image linked above.

2/ Start the Quiz here

Enjoy.

____

 

Congratulations to Gavin of Sir Locksalot Locksmiths in Middlesbrough for answering all ten correctly in the quickest time.

I will post out your bag of scrap lock parts LOL


Posted by Rick the Pick at 2:53 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:10 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Budget Snap Resistant Locks | locksmith Blog
Topic: Reviews

It's the last month of the year and a few weeks before the Xmas holiday period so I have been stocking up on my euro cylinder locks to ensure im carrying a good range of sizes and finished whilst the main suppliers are closed.

box of locks

Nothing worse that not having the correct sized lock and having to go to B&Q as a last resort. So my euro cylinder cases are full to the brim and should see me through the next few weeks when work tends to pick up.

Both of my local suppliers have begun to stock a budget range of snap resistant cylinder so I thought I would try them out and let you know my thoughts on these two cheap as chips brands.

-----

NEO cylinder lock

The first is a brand imported by Morgan Locks in Walsall called NEO.

These cylinders have a milled cut after the first two pins and a pair of antidrill pins in the front of the cylinder.

I am not convinced that the milled cuts are quite deep enough to make this an effective anti-snap measure but providing the cylinder is not protruding too far it will work.

Four pinstacks remain in tact after snapping which should be enough to keep a common burglar out although anti-drill pins are removed with the sacrificial front section. A locksmith should quickly NDE these without any issues.

Price wise, NEO locks are very cheap and in my opinion a good lock to stock as your most basic snapsafe lock.

 -----

schlosser cylinder lock

The second range of budget lock I picked up was the Schlosser Technik cylinder supplied by Security hardware.

The snap resistant properties of this lock are a little better with three anti-drill pins and a more delicate snap resistant section that will break off easilly when forced.

The lock however does not feel particularly robust and feels very sloppy straight out of the box with the key sticking a little on turning. I know James at JS Locksmiths Manchester has had a few bad ones out of the box.

These are a very similar feel to the old ICL cylinders that used to be sold.

My other main concern with this lock is the quality of the finish, particularly on the brass cylinders. They appear to be made of a very poor brass/metal alloy that weathers very quickly.

This one has only been out of the box a few weeks and is already pock marked and dirty looking.

Again a very easy pick for a locksmith and all anti-drill properties are removed upon snapping off the front section which leaves only three pinstacks in tact.

Schlosser cylinders are reasonably cheap although a bit more expensive than the NEO.

-----

On conclusion I do not think I will be ordering many of the Schlossers due to the poor finish and feel of the locks which could have me recalled to replace them in the future.

The NEO's aren't a bad lock for the money and look and feel decent enough for em to use although are no substitute for a medium - high end snap resistant cylinder such as Brisant or Yale.

Rick


Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:26 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:11 PM GMT
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Sunday, 24 November 2013
SEO For Locksmiths | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Featured!

As my regular readers of the Locksmith Blog and other locksmith associates know I have been dabbling with SEO for some time know and have had great success with both my own sites and for other locksmiths.

I have decided it is now time to take this to the next level since I am confident I can compete well against most rival locksmith chains notoriously taking over the google listings.

SEO is something that a lot of locksmiths have neither time for or limited understanding of.

I can offer complete site build + monthly locksmith SEO for a fraction of what is charged by local seo companies and ensure your business is seen online!

I will building a page explaining my fees and what is included in the package in the next few days.

UPDATE:

The new website is now live. https://midlandlocks.angelfire.com/seo

locksmith seo image

Locksmith Wednesfield | Locksmith Blog | Rick the Pick


Posted by Rick the Pick at 4:13 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 January 2015 7:02 AM GMT
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Thursday, 14 November 2013
Cyberlock - New Generation | Locksmith Blog

As some of my followers know iv always had a particular interest in the Videx Cyberlock and have acquired a few sample locks to experiment on in the past.

So a few weeks ago I got a call from a company asking if i could attend and help open a few at one of their sites. Of course I jumped at the chance to attempt an opening 'in the wild' so to speak.

In preparation I dug out my old Cyberlocks and gave myself a refresher course on the internals and experimented with a few methods to drill them open.

The old magnet opening trick wasn't going to be much good against the new generation Cyberlocks that have replaced the second brass pin that plugged the back of the solenoid with a free floating steel one.


 cyberlock front plug portion

The two methods that seemed to work well on the sample locks were destructive but effective.

The first was simply a brute force attack to sheer the front half of the plug apart and then pull from the lock body to bend the circlip that holds the two plug portions together.

The brutal nature of this attack ruled it out as an option since the locks were going to be mounted in some expensive devices that needed to remain unscathed.

breaking open a cyberlock























The second idea was to drill directly into the face of the plug and open up the solenoid chamber to extract the blocking element.

Drilling bang on the earthing point of the cyberlock took out the rivet and removed the shaped section of the keyway which also happens to be spot on in line with the solenoid chamber.

Further drilling into the plug face with a 1/8" drill bit exposed the pin and allowed me to suck it out with the magnet.

drilling open high security locksdrilled lock

So armed with a couple of methods to open the locks I was happy and confident as I arrived on site.

Things did not pan out well to begin with as I soon realised these Cyberlocks had evolved considerably since my sample locks had been made, discovering ball bearings pressed into the face of the plug to prevent drilling of the sweet spot and serious anti-snap and drill protection added to the main body of the locks, including an uprated circlip to prevent even the most brutal pulling/sheering attack.

However after much head scratching and sweating they were defeated!

But you will have to wait for the rest of the blog post when I have a little more time to continue.

videx cyberlock new generation

Rick | Locksmith in Cannock


Posted by Rick the Pick at 2:45 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 14 November 2013 2:57 PM GMT
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Thursday, 26 September 2013
Sendola Messaging Service | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Reviews

As most locksmiths know, getting the customer to hang on to your number after the work is complete isn't always as easy as we think.

So we did a great job at a reasonable price and left a handfull of business cards, but truth be told they get stuffed in a cupboard/bin never to be found again.

sendola logo for locksmiths

I recently discovered a neat little online application called Sendola that allows you to create free buttons for your website which when clicked by a user allows them to have all your company details text directly to their phone for saving.

Obviously this is usefull in its own right but more importantly for locksmiths and tradesmen is that the user can then save your number to their phonebook quickly for future reference.



locksmiths contact details



Sendola is a system already in use by a lot of online directories and I have been testing it on a few of my locksmith websites with the intention of adding it to the featured section of my locksmith directory.

With the inevitable death of paper advertising it is important to keep up to date with the latest gadgets and trends to keep our valuable websites one step above the competition.


Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:36 PM BST
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Friday, 6 September 2013
Stolen Locksmith Tools | locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter
Just a quick post to reprt some bad news.

A locksmith in Birmingham woke up to find his van torn open yesterday and a load of expensive locksmith tools have been stolen.

Keep your eyes peeled for cheap items for sale and any suspicious online listings etc, etc.

A lot of moneys worth of locksmith equipment has been taken with serious impact on someone's business.

Lets hope these crooks are identified quickly and punished accordingly.

Any information or leads should be reported immediately to West Midlands police.


























Please take time to look at a colleagues new website:
Arvco Locksmiths Brierley Hill


Posted by Rick the Pick at 12:49 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 7 July 2014 8:26 AM BST
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Saturday, 10 August 2013
Lock Spotting | Locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter

Much to the dissappointment of my wife I began snapping this odd Euro cylinder/Safe lock whilst on holiday in St Lucia this month.

Strange designed half euro that has a 90 degree locking end to it instead of the usual cam.

Not really much more to say about it, i thought it was an oddity so thought id share it with ya.

 Just a cheapy 10 pin dimple lock that looked like it would pick open with any old bit of wire you could get in it.

Heres the pics:


 euro cylinder safe lock
euro cylinder safe lock and key
euro safe
euro cylinder safe housing
euro cylinder safe unlocked
euro cylinder safe locked position


Posted by Rick the Pick at 9:37 AM BST
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