What Does a Locksmith Do?
A locksmith is a professional who works with all manner of locking mechanisms and who can help you with problems involving a home lockout.
There are several kinds of locksmiths:
Commercial locksmiths usually work out of a storefront and they focus on providing you with new locks, fixing old locks, and other types of commercial needs.
Mobile locksmiths work primarily from a vehicle, and are often focused on emergencies. For example, a mobile locksmith can help with a home lockout, if you accidentally lock yourself out of your home, as it qualifies as an emergency, on-site situation that would need to be solved with some immediacy. Mobile locksmiths can travel directly to your home and provide expertise for getting you back into your home without damaging any part of it. Mobile locksmiths also come help you when you’ve accidentally locked yourself out of your car. This can be an especially important task if your car is still running at the time, or if you really need to get somewhere and are pressed for time. Mobile locksmiths can come to wherever you are and gain access to your car so that you can drive it again. You can hardly do this any other way, since getting to a stationary locksmith often requires the use of a vehicle.
Investigational locksmiths are also called forensic locksmiths, and they specialize in determining what part locks might play in a particular crime. You can also have subdivision specialties in locksmiths depending on what type of lock. For example, locksmiths can specialize in automobiles, homes, or other types of locks attached to specialty areas.
What Materials and Tools Does a Locksmith Use?
There are several lock-picking tools that are essential to the locksmith trade. These include items such as a “tension wrench,” for actually turning the lock, and various picks for depressing the pins inside of the lock mechanism.
In the case of unlocking cars, a “slim Jim” might be used. This is a long, bent metal bar that’s used for sliding in between the window and the door in your car, to easily open the lock from the outside. This makes it so that locksmiths can easily open a car for someone who has locked their keys inside, and they can do it in just a few seconds with one easy motion.
The art of gaining access to a lock without damaging it is called “lock picking.” Inside of a lock there are a number of different pins. The lock will not turn until each pin has been depressed in order. Thus a key is typically used to depress these pins when inserted into a lock, and is always cut ‘teeth’ that match the order of pins within the lock so that it serves this purpose.
While picking a lock, instead of using a key, you use a pick to individually depress each pin. The more pins a lock has, the more difficult it is to pick. This is partly because it takes more time, but also because the more pins a lock has, the deeper it is. It can be hard to see the pins all the way at the back of a deep lock, that need to be depressed without setting off any other depressed pins.
There are a number of locksmith certifications available out there. Some of these certifications can be achieved online, though the higher qualities ones are often in-person programs that provide a hands-on experience.