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I don't want to pay a locksmith £150 quid!

Posted by Chris Dangerfield on

Hello lock pickers

One of the more frequent questions I get (and I mean daily!) is from someone who's lost a key to some lock or another and doesn't want to pay the £150 they've been quoted by a locksmith.

I feel their pain. Many a time I've had to get an emergency tradesman round only to see them twist a knob, tighten a screw, etc then invoice me for a similar amount. It hurts. 

And yet, with the locksmith example they seek some kind of solution. They are always 'looking for a tool' that will open the lock for them. Often a bump key - they've heard the hype - but anything, any 'lock pick' that will save them £150. And so the problems start.

For instance the last such inquiry I received was to open a little unbranded Eurocylinder. The type of lock I could probably open with some Polaris rakes in seconds. They type of lock I could probably shim with some MICA in seconds. They type of lock my Kronos pick gun usually eats for dinner. The type of lock that more often then not a nicely polished 3 peak Bogota Rake will tease open almost as quickly as it touches the pins. The type of lock I can usually open with a bump key on the first tap.

Surely I can get into this?


I could - and often do - recommend all of these tools. The problem however is the 'probably' of the MICA shim. The 'probably' of the Polaris rakes. The 'usually' of the Kronos EPG, the 'more often than not' of the Bogota rakes, and the 'usually' of the bump key.

The reason a Locksmith is asking for £150 is because he is DEFINITELY going to open that lock. He has the rakes, the pick gun, the MICA, the Bogota rake, the bump keys. But more - he knows exactly how to pick a lock. He can Single Pin Pick, Impression, and Bump. The tools don't do the work, they are an object that allow the lock picker to transfer his knowledge and skill into the lock.

Some MICA - that's a lot less than £150


In short, he knows how to use those tools. That's his job. It's not just about having the lock picking tools, but about knowing how to use them, and more importantly, how to use the others when one, two, three techniques don't work.

He charges £150 because he spent time learning all about locks. He spent time learning so that he can identify your lock and work out how to open it. He spent money on a wide variety of tools and techniques because he knows even a £10 might be resistant to MICA, or an EPG, it might require single pin lock picking, a technique on which he has probably spent hundreds of hours, hundreds of locks, and a few lock pick sets perfecting.

It's easy to say - and I hear it all the time - that a locksmith arrived, stuck a little tool in the lock and it was open in seconds, only then to complain when he asked for £150. Do you want him to take an hour? Do you want him to sweat, do you want him to have cuts on his fingers? 

I've seen them do it on YouTube, can't be too difficult!

Because if that's the issue, worry not. He already has! The reason he can get the job done in seconds is because he's already done the sweating, he's already spent the hours learning, hours upon hours of practicing, learning, studying, becoming excellent at his chosen skill. And he did that so you don't have to, so that he doesn't have to when you want the lock open.

So rather than complain when a locksmith opens your lock in a matter of seconds, be glad - you can carry on with your life. Unless you're some kind os sadist, some kind of psychopath, and need to see someone suffer before you're going to pay them, in which case - thankfully - I can't help you.

Of course, there's another answer to not paying £150 - and I promise you'll never have to pay a locksmith again. Get the skills yourself - that's what brought you here in the first place. Get the tools, learn the techniques, and you'll never need to call a locksmith again.

Keep picking.

Chris Dangerfield

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