What is a Locksmith?

A locksmith is a highly trained and educated security professional. “Locksmith” means any individual that performs locksmith services, or advertises or represents to the general public that the individual is a locksmith even if the specific term locksmith is substituted with any other term by which a reasonable person could construe that the individual possesses special skills relating to locks or locking devices, including use of the words lock technician, lockman, safe technician, safeman, boxman, unlocking technician, lock installer, lock opener, physical security technician or similar descriptions.(https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/faq/locksmith).

What Certifications or Licenses Must Locksmith Possess?

The Locksmith trade is serious business.  Locksmiths are security professionals that are invited into your home and business to secure your property.  Fortunately, the Verified Locksmiths use trustworthy technicians that are employed by the Company.  In most States there is currently no Legislation or Licensing requirements.  In fact, as of 2016, only 15 out of 50 States have licensing laws for locksmiths.  The verified locksmiths in our locksmith directory have a business license, insurance, and licensing where necessary.  A locksmith can improve his skill and knowledge by acquiring a variety of certifications such as Certified Automotive Locksmith (CAL), General Locksmith Certification (RL), Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL), Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL), Certified Master Locksmith (CML), and Certified Master Safe Technician (CMST). (http://www.aloa.org/certification-and-testing/pdfs/CertificationInformation.pdf)


Do Locksmiths offer a warranty?

Many locksmiths do offer a warranty on their labor and parts, however it does vary by company.  In most cases, the warranty length will range from 6-12 months.  Always ask about their warranty offerings before agreeing to the service.  If you are interested in automotive keys specifically, locksmiths can provide a warranty on the high end automotive keys with Road Angel.


What type of services can a Locksmith provide?

Locksmiths offer a huge array of services ranging from simple unlock services to high end access control installation.  As you can see on our services page, locksmiths offer lock services for your car, house, business and safes.

What is a Verified Locksmith?

A ‘Verified Locksmith’ is a locksmith company that has passed our screening criteria.  At 1-800 Unlocks, we are industry insiders, so we have relationships with all Verified locksmiths on the website.  We have known them and their company for years.

What is 1800UNLOCKS?

1800UNLOCKS is a legitimate dispatch service, locksmith directory, and network of verified locksmiths.

How do I know if I’m being charged a fair price for any given locksmith service?

Beware of scammer “locksmiths” quoting rates of less than ($30) for services. These are not legitimate rates and you will be charged unnecessary fees for unprofessional services. Beware of websites that quote ‘starting prices’.  Many verified locksmiths have set prices for their service.  Pricing will not normally skyrocket.  Most emergency services, such as house unlocking and car unlocking, have a flat rate of about $100. More complex services such as lock installation or repair, cost in the $100-$300 range depending on how many locks are involved. Legitimate locksmiths offer honest quotes for their services based on what they are told over the phone and do not add additional costs once they begin the work.  Pricing does vary based on your location.  If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  For a more accurate quote, consider shooting a video.

How long does it usually take to complete a Locksmith service?

Locksmiths offering 24-hour mobile and emergency services usually can respond within one hour and complete the work in less than an hour.  A skilled locksmith can unlock your car or home within minutes in most cases, and without damaging your property. On site key duplication, rekeying, key extraction and reprogramming, (etc.) usually requires less than an hour of your time. More complicated work, such as home lock installation/repair, car door/ignition lock repair, access control systems installation, (etc.) naturally takes more expertise and time to complete. Certified locksmiths always provide accurate time estimates for their services.

What does it mean to rekey a lock?

Rekeying is very much like changing the combination to a safe. When a locksmith rekeys your lock, the locking pins inside the lock are changed. This renders the current key useless, so a new key is made for the rekeyed lock. Rekeying is highly recommended for both homes and businesses to ensure duplicate keys cannot compromise your security.  Rekeying a lock is recommended over changing a lock, unless the lock is broken and needs to be replaced.

What is a master key?

A master key is the primary key for a group of locks or locking systems. For example, a landlord will often have a master key to unlock all the rental unit locks under his/her ownership, while each lock has a separate distinct key for each tenant/door.  

I’m locked out of my house, what do I do?

Don’t panic! The first mistake most people make in the anxiety and stress of an emergency lockout situation is to call the first and cheapest locksmith they can find on the internet. This could end up costing you hundreds of dollars in unnecessary expenses and, even worse, expose your home’s security to criminal scammers. If it’s an emergency situation requiring a locksmith, always remember to call a certified locksmith with a legitimate business address and credentials. If a “locksmith” arrives at your home with no company branding, brings a drill to perform the work, claims you need a new lock, or increases the advertised or quoted price, do not allow them to touch your home and call the police immediately.

Do I need deadbolts on my door?

That depends entirely on your security comfort level.  A properly installed deadbolt offers added security and strength to your property.  A verified locksmith can install a deadbolt on your wood door or metal door.  If a deadbolt or door knob is not installed correctly, your security can be more easily compromised.  Prepping and drilling the door and door frame to accept the deadbolt lock is a precise skill that requires the use of power tool. A locksmith will keep in mind a variety of issues such as your security goals, any laws and codes such as ANSI and ADA, and how a deadbolt will affect the other locking hardware on the door so it does not negatively effect any means of egress.

What is lock bumping?

Lock bumping is a technique for opening a pin tumbler lock using a certain key. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lock_bumping) Can you locks be picked or bumped? Your local professional locksmith can answer that in two seconds. To enhance security and reduce risk of your locks being bypassed without damage consider upgrading to a high security locking system or an access control system that doesn’t rely on a key at all.

How often should I lubricate my locks?

This depends on the type of lock you have.  All locks are not created equally.  Some locks have pin tumblers and some have wafer pins.  There are many other lock types with different internal moving parts and you should consult your local locksmith for the best advice.  Some prefer a grease while others prefer an oil.  In most cases, we do not recommend you use a dry graphite on locks. 

What is a key code?

A key code is an identifying series of numbers and/or letters on either the lock or key and is used by locksmiths to create a key. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_code