There are all types of locksmiths out there. Good ones, that would be us, ones that are good enough and ones it would be good if you never called upon at all.
And while all locksmiths should be handy enough for most situations with a screwdriver and a chisel in hand, what perhaps really separates the best from the best avoided is what they’ll do for you, or to you, when you find yourself locked out. Y’know, the time you deal with a locksmith and feel the most stressed and hurried.
For instance, when you call a good locksmith he will be able to say he will use ‘non destructive methods’, to get you back inside. Something you don’t need Google Translate to work out means without causing any damage to your lock or door.
And a good locksmith will do that but in truth no locksmith can absolutely guarantee it. If they do, it’s only a sign they are good at bluffing, not locksmithing, and is something else to be wary of.
It does depend on the lock and whether picking it, sliding the latch, bumping the lock or the other myriad adjectives we use when going through our techniques to gain entry, the method a good locksmith is always at pains not to want to use is ‘drilling’.
Yep, that’s the bad one, because drilling is never non-damaging is it. But sometimes even the most well meaning and diligent attempts to open a lock non-destructively won’t do. Drilling always works. It also ruins the lock so that you will need a new one.
But now you know the last resort of a good locksmith, you also know the first resort of a bad one.
If you call them, explain the situation, describe your lock and especially if it’s a common Yale type lock which is the most amenable to successful no damage entry, they still tell you they will have to drill it and fit a replacement, they are either no good at locksmithing in the first place or their first thought is ‘here’s someone desperate we can charge for re-entry AND for fitting a new lock!’
Well dear reader, if you hear that, now you know where you can tell a locksmith like that to go.
And it definitely shouldn’t be to your home address.