Ask a locksmith

FortyMorty

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I've worked full-time as a locksmith for 23 years, I started my own business 8 years ago. I specialize in residential and commercial locksmithing. I'm relatively old school, considering I don't cut or program key fobs and I stay away from access control systems. I rekey and repair locks, drill doors and install deadbolts. I install exit devices and door closers. I handle all the billing, taxes and miscellaneous paperwork as well.
Ask me anything.
 

FDLmold

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I've got four external doors on my house and I want them all keyed the same. Is that wise? It is a 50 year old house with a mishmash of doorknobs new and old.

I just want to throw away the bullshit box of key trash I got from the sellers 1.5 years ago and start anew.
 

FortyMorty

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What percentage of Locksmith's would you say use their powers for evil instead of good?
Percentage of bonded and insured locksmiths on the dark side? Very low. Unfortunately some companies overcharge when they think they can get away with it. Example: the customer has a nice car or big house, charge double.
 

MegaTon44

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Not really a question, but a quick story about locksmithing.

During a long and stressful move many years ago, a guy had to return the moving van to the rental place and accidentally locked the keys in the truck. Feeling foolish and extremely stressed due to time constraints, the guy called a local locksmith who arrived in about 15 minutes. He was friendly, efficient, and very affordable.

As it turned out, the locksmith was @FortyMorty (Adam) and the dumb shit who locked the keys in the rental truck was me. He won't remember me, but I'll remember the Angie's List review on that one as he saved my ass.

Screenshot_20200116-231856_Angie's List.jpg


Look forward to having you over at my micro meetup this month, Adam!

Dan
 

FortyMorty

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I've got four external doors on my house and I want them all keyed the same. Is that wise? It is a 50 year old house with a mishmash of doorknobs new and old.

I just want to throw away the bullshit box of key trash I got from the sellers 1.5 years ago and start anew.
Do it! Start over with brand new locks all keyed to new keys. Maybe the one door you use the most or is most convenient to parking you keep different from the rest of your home. Give the key to that door to the dog walker, house-sitter, cleaning person. If you have a fallout or they lose a key you don't need to rekey the whole house, just that one door. Even better put a pushbutton lock on that door.
 

Denali

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What do you think about the rekeyable locks that are available now?
 

FortyMorty

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What do you think about the rekeyable locks that are available now?
I think you are talking about Kwikset Smartkey. The keys are easy to change but they can fail. They use adjustable components inside the tumblers not traditional pins. If you live in an apartment or townhome with only one entrance I won't recommend them.
 

Denali

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Can tubular cam locks be re-keyed to all matching? I have a few casino chip trays with cam locks, some with missing keys, and I'd like to have them be the same.
 

Denali

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I think you are talking about Kwikset Smartkey. The keys are easy to change but they can fail. They use adjustable components inside the tumblers not traditional pins. If you live in an apartment or townhome with only one entrance I won't recommend them.

Yes those are the ones. Good for single family home?
 

Emitsu

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What would it take to break into fort knox? (Just considering the vault not getting past the loads of security I mean)
 

FortyMorty

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Yes those are the ones. Good for single family home?
They are fine, as long as you can use another door if one door doesn't open with your key. Smartkey locks have really improved in the last two years. I still prefer the schlage brand, they have better finish and mechanical warranties. Schlage uses traditional pin tumbler technology.
 

FortyMorty

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What would it take to break into fort knox? (Just considering the vault not getting past the loads of security I mean)
Security personnel aside, it's still not worth it. I'm not a conspiracy guy but I don't believe there is any gold in the vault.
 

Nuhockey

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What your thoughts on Locksmiths that don't have any sort of business address or store and are "Mobile Locksmiths" with just a phone number. Some of them seem fishy to me.
 

dickzapper

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I have a problem with a deadbolt lock getting jammed. Commercial door, keyhole on both sides, only from one side, you start turning the key, something is jammed, bolt doesn't come up. I realized on humid days, it doesn't jam. I also learned a week ago, when jammed, you can breath on it like a Nintendo cartridge and apparently it gets lubed enough to work.

Should I just spray into it with a spray lube or such?
 

Teach42

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Thoughts on 'smart' locks? Keypads, fingerprint scanner locks, or locks that unlock via app? Any recommendations in that category?
 
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