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The Key to Locksmithing: Essential Tools for Basic Home Security Repairs

10 min read


Top Tools For Locksmithing

Tool Use
Narrow Latch Picks Insert into keyhole’s holes to open the lock
Plug Spinners To manipulate and unscrew a lock’s plug
Tubular Lock Picks To turn and open a pin-tumbler lock
Warded Picks For unlocking warded locks
Torsion Wrenches To turn the plug while picking a pin-tumbler lock

man surrounded by locks on walls

Basic locksmithing and tools

Basic locksmithing is essential when it comes to home security repairs.

Having the right tools on hand is a must! Basic tools such as a natural tension wrench, lock picks, and a key decoder are necessary for any locksmithing job.

Using the right tools is important as they will help ensure that a lock has been successfully installed or opening the correct way.

Additionally, locksmithing tools come not only in handy but in a variety of sizes and styles depending on the type of lock being worked on.

Knowing which tools to use and when is key to any successful locksmithing project.

Taking the time to understand the different tools and their uses will help you get the job done right and protect the home from unauthorized access.

Understanding Locks and Security

Basic Mechanics of a Lock

Locks are an essential part of keeping your home secure.

Different types of locks use different methods to keep your doors and windows locked, but all have the same basic principle.

A lock is made up of two parts; the cylinder and the mechanism.

A key is used to turn the cylinder, which is connected to the mechanism, allowing the door or window to be opened or locked.

Common types of locks found in homes are doorknobs, deadbolts, and padlocks.

Doorknobs are usually installed on interior doors and have a locking mechanism which pushes a bolt into a hole in the door frame when the door is closed, locking the door tight.

Deadbolts are used on doors that have a knob and the lock is accessible with a key on both sides.

Padlocks are portable locks that can be used on exterior door handles, gates, and even sheds.

Importance of Proper Lock Maintenance

Proper lock maintenance is essential for keeping your home and family secure.

Locks should be checked periodically to make sure they are functioning correctly and are not worn or damaged.

When locks are regularly examined and serviced, they are less likely to be breached, providing a higher level of security.

Neglecting to check the locks can lead to serious consequences such as theft and home invasion.

Ensuring that locks are in good condition will help keep your family safe.

It’s also important to choose locks that are high quality and designed to resist tampering.

Investing in good locks can give you peace of mind knowing that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your home and family.

Must-Have Tools for Locksmithing

Lock Picks

Lock picks are essential tools for locksmithing.

There are different types of picks, from beginner to more advanced.

A beginner set might include a standard hook pick, a diamond pick, and a double end pick, all designed to help unlock a wide range of locks.

A more advanced set might include half diamond picks, W picks, and snake picks for more secure locks.

Lock picks are used to open a lock by manipulating the pins inside the lock, and for opening wafer locks and dimple locks.

They’re also helpful for making keys and safe cracking.

Lock picking is a useful skill to have for locksmithing.

Tension Wrench

A tension wrench is an essential tool for locksmithing.

It’s a small, flat bar used to apply torque to a lock and is usually bent into an “L” shape.

Its used to turn the lock pins and apply tension during lock picking.

Insert the straight end of the wrench into the bottom of the lock and use the bent end as a grip.

Apply pressure to the rotating side of the wrench and slowly turn while keeping tension on the pins.

You may feel the pins bouncing or eventually the lock will turn.

With practice, you’ll learn how to adjust the amount of tension on the wrench to pick the lock correctly.

Plug Spinner

Plug spinners are an essential tool for locksmithing.

They are used to reset locks, quickly and easily.

Plug spinners are made from high quality metal and can be used over and over again.

Plug spinners help locksmiths reset locks faster and more easily than other methods, in less time and with less effort.

They are also able to reset locks with more accuracy than other methods.

Plug spinners are an essential tool for locksmiths and anyone who works with locks and wants to reset locks quickly and easily.

Key Extractor

If a key’s jammed in the lock or can no longer turn, a Key Extractor tool can be helpful for removing it.

Pliers and tweezers can sometimes be used, but the Key Extractor is more precise.

Insert it into the keyway and gently push.

If the key won’t budge, try a slightly larger size extractor that fits around the broken key.

Now carefully twist the extractor back and forth while gently pulling outward.

Keep working the tool until the broken key is completely extracted.

Properly maintained, the Key Extractor tool will remain dependable for many security repairs.

Bump Keys

Bump keys are locksmith tools used when it’s necessary to unlock a door quickly without damaging it.

They are specially cut keys with an angled tip that ‘bump’ the pins inside the lock cylinder in order to unlock a door.

They’re useful because they can open almost any type of lock, regardless of how it’s designed.

Bump keys are invaluable when you’re in an emergency situation that requires you to get into a residence quickly.

They are fast, versatile, and relatively easy to use.

They may be just the tool you need when faced with a locksmithing emergency.

Basic Home Security Repairs

Rekeying Locks

Rekeying locks is a great way to improve home security.

It involves resetting the existing lock so that a different key is needed for entry.

Rekeying is convenient if you have just moved into a new property, as it ensures the old homeowners do not have access to the property.

On top of that, if you have lost your keys or have them stolen, rekeying can help give you some peace of mind.

Here’s how to rekey a lock: First, remove the doorknob and the screws in the plate behind it.

Next, take out the cylinder and remove the plug and spring.

Third, insert a new key and replace the plug and spring.

Finally, replace the doorknob and screws.

Rekeying a lock can be a quick and simple way to improve home security.

Fixing Stuck Locks

Sticking locks are a common problem.

A lock may start to feel stuck because the key has worn down the tumblers or because the lock has become rusty or has broken parts.

One possible solution is to apply graphite lubricant.

This will help loosen the tumblers and get the lock working again.

Another fix is to take the lock apart and replace any broken parts.

If the lock is old and rusty, you can spray it with lubricant to break up any corrosion.

Replacing the lock or picking it may be options if these fixes don’t solve the problem.

Replacing a Deadbolt

Replacing a deadbolt is an essential part of home security repairs.

Deadbolts are reliable and can give homeowners peace of mind.

To replace a deadbolt, turn off the power to the door.

Unscrew the screws on the inside of the handle and remove the interior of the door.

Place the new deadbolt in the door and make sure the screws fit securely.

Connect the interior handle to the new deadbolt.

Make sure the latch is in the locked position.

Tighten the screws on the inside of the handle.

Turn the power back on.

Your door is now secure.

Upgrading Security

Upgrading security doesn’t have to be a difficult or expensive task.

Start with replacing old locks with new ones, such as deadbolts.

Make sure each door has two locks, one at the handle and one at the deadbolt.

Add window locks and locks to all sliding doors and windows.

Install motion-activated lights around the perimeter of the home.

Make sure all outdoor locks are keyed alike and that they need a new code every few months.

For extra security, replace locks with key-free entries, such as card readers, keypads, fingerprint scanners, and biometric locks.

All of these features can be relatively inexpensive and simple to install.

Safety Tips for DIY Locksmithing

Always Work with Good Lighting

When locksmithing, always make sure you have good lighting in the area you’re working.

Poor visibility can lead to mistakes and increase the risk of injury.

To make sure you don’t cause unnecessary damage to the lock, use bright light sources.

Natural light is ideal, but if it’s not available, use a powerful flashlight.

And no matter which source you use, make sure the lighting is stable and not blinding.

With good lighting, you’ll have the best chance of nailing that repair.

Never Force a Tool

Fixing locks with DIY tools can be difficult, and it’s easy to damage the tools and the locks if you’re not careful.

When using tools, never force them.

Forcing a tool puts stress on both the tool and the lock, which can cause them to break or malfunction.

If you find yourself pushing too hard, take a break and re-evaluate the situation.

Remember: when locksmithing, be careful with your tools so you don’t ruin the lock or tool.

Always Have Backup Security

When it comes to security, it’s always best to have a backup plan.

Before you start any locksmithing or home security repair project, make sure you have an emergency plan with alternate measures in place in case something goes wrong.

Keep a spare key, a physical alarm tool, or other emergency measures at the ready in case anything should happen.

Additionally, if you live in an area with a high crime rate, it’s also a good idea to keep your home monitored with security cameras or an alarm system when performing DIY locksmithing work.


Recap of Lockpicking & Locksmithing

Lockpicking and locksmithing is a skill that can help you secure your home while also learning a useful trade.

Lockpicking is a method of opening locks without a key, while locksmithing is the practice of repairing, creating, and installing locks.

Knowing the basics of both can be beneficial in understanding the fundamentals of home security repairs.

DIY lockpicking requires special tools like tension wrenches, lock picks, and pick guns, while locksmithing requires specialized tools such as key cutters, screwdrivers, and file sets.

With the right tools and knowledge, anyone can maintain their locks and gain more control over their home security.

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