Top Ten Locksmith Student Mistakes | Mr. Locksmith™ Video


– [Narrator] Here is
number one of the top 10 beginner locksmiths make
or locksmith students make. This is the end cap. So there’s the end cap pin. That’s pointy on both sides
so it can go either way. You can just see the spring in there. So, what the students do, is they number one mistake is they put this in too loose. In theory a Schlage should be tight and back it off one click. Then the key is perfect. Almost every time. But what the student do, they don’t tighten it down enough. They leave it loose. The key goes in and they can’t get the key out. And they get in the bad habit
of always pushing on this. So it turns, looks like it’s perfect. Customer can’t get the key
out but, as locksmiths, we’re used to holding it down and pushing it, pulling the key out. So, number one mistake they make is it’s too loose and they don’t check it so, all locks are slightly different but the Schlage is basically
tight, back it off one click and then it works perfect. So one is they make it too loose. The other mistake it they don’t check that the end cap pin is
not engaged in the notches. So, if it’s not engaged, this is also the number
one callbacks we have with new people, they leave it like that and it slowly backs off. And then all of a sudden
the customer’s calling you. Customer puts the key in,
they can’t pull the key out. So the client trying to close
up the shop or the house and boom. And well usually tell
them, just push on it, okay we’ll send a guy out right away but or next morning, but the other problem is sometimes the whole things comes out, make sure it’s perfect, check it and again I’m harping
on this, yes I’m harping and ranting maybe a little bit or whatever but this is for your own good. Always make sure it’s engaged, make sure. Number two of locksmith students and even a lot of locksmiths out there. Check your top pins. Always always always check your top pins. You put the key in, they key it up. This is a six pin. Check your top pins. Trying to get this on
camera, a little tough. One, two, three then I gotta turn it around
and I’ll check the back. Six, five, four. See they’re all there. There’s no extra master
pins, there’s no nothing. Check your tops you wanna
make sure they’re all there and you wanna make sure you don’t have extra master pins. If you get the extra master pin, you’re gonna have the
potential for ghost keys. So check your tops all the time. Number three error for locksmith students is, I’m gonna over exaggerate it here, but when they put the keys in, one or both, I’m over exaggerating, make sure you got it
nice and smooth going in. Make sure it’s flush. Even a little bit up you’re not gonna have a good key. So, number three, make sure, I always put my index finger on the end. Make sure they’re flush,
make sure they’re flat. Not like that. This is number four. And actually we do a lot of
night calls, after hours calls, emergency work ’cause the
customer buys a deadbolt and they can’t get it to work. And I know some of the
locks it doesn’t matter but just get into the habit on
every single lock you put in. Have the deadbolt extended, extend the bolt. Have the key out of the lock. Bolt out, key out. Then, when you install the tail piece, they’ll always go together properly. And, once you put the back on
and everything, it will work and the key will come out
and they key will go in. I’m gonna show you what happens is when the locksmith student or the customer, this is our most common night call. They installed the lock, key goes in, oh it locks. Yeah, take the key out, oops. The tail piece is timed
wrong to the dead bolt so yeah it locks the customer can’t lock
the door and go home. So, again, number four top
locksmith students’ mistake and actually one interesting
night call always is it’s not timed properly. And this can happen with
the key in the hubs as well. But that’s another problem. Key out, bolt out, you
stop one major problem. Number five. You have your cylinder,
you have your plug. Always, always mark the front of the plug. So we have the cylinder. The whole thing’s called the cylinder. This is the plug, this is the bible. Always mark the front of your bible. Scratch it, mark it, do something. Now we know where the front is. Again this is a common error
for locksmith students, they’ll put it in backwards. So, you mark it, you take the lock apart. Always get that little spring out too. If you don’t get the little spring out, it’ll fall out on you so know where it is. So, if you haven’t marked the front, now this one’s easy, it’s the new style, it’s got the check pin hole
in the back of the housing but a lot of the locks
out there don’t have… Inexpensive locks, off shore, Chinese, quick sets everything. Mark where the plug is, that way when you take out the cylinder and you’re keying it
up and playing around, you know where the front is ’cause if you put it in backwards, so you don’t know what it
is and they can’t remember, they put it in backwards, what will happen the most times, yeah it’ll turn but
the key won’t come out. Look at that oh. Student’s going, “My key won’t come out.” Yeah ’cause the cylinder’s in backwards. Number six is, don’t put the cylinder plug in backwards. Key won’t come out and you get all sorts of other problems. Now we’ll put it in the right way. Now some locks, some crappy locks will work either way, it works. There we go see? So, mark your cylinder,
don’t put it in backwards. Which takes us to another problem. This is number seven problem,
we see a lot of this. It’s mostly with the five pin, now this is a six pin lock. So it’s a six pin. Now a lot of the
residential versions come, they’re five pin so they
have a five pin key. So they’ll have a Schlage five pin, so it’s five pins and that’s normal and it’s got the six pin as an extra. The problem they do is, they’ll put the key in and twist it. So let’s say there was
only five top pins in here, they’ll, I’m not gonna do it. They’ll put this is in
and they twist the key and one of the top pins gets
stuck in that sixth hole. So that’s, again, common
error for new students. We try to have them start with five pins but, eventually you put
them to a six pin lock, with the sixth hole empty, they will twist it and get that top pin stuck in that last pin. Look at it go in here. There we go, see? Ah what happened here? They go ah! And then what happens? They go to pull it out or bang it out look at it now, we’ve destroyed a spring. We’ve caused the… Now look at that totally f’ed it up here. Excuse me. So we’ve got the spring, look
what happens is the top pin gets stuck in that sixth hole. Don’t do that. So make sure you put it
in at a 20 or 30 degree or 45 degree angle,
depending on what you have. And sometimes they’ll take a six pin lock, key it to a five pin key, yeah they keep the last one empty, they forget to remove
the sixth spring, bingo. Top 10 for locksmith
student errors, number eight is and this is just getting a little lazy. Is they will let’s say they lose a top pin. Top pin is flat on both
sides, they lose a top pin and they just scrounge through their kit or whatever’s loose and I see a lot of this, they’ll take a bottom pin and put it in upside down so
the bottom part’s there. That makes the lock so easy to pick. If I wanna show off picking a lock, I’ll put in all bottom pins facing down. So never put a bottom pin
with the flat side down. With the rounded side
aimed to the cylinder. It makes it too easy to pick
and other keys will fit in. So always replace your top pins with a proper top pin, flat on both sides. So use a proper top pin, don’t put a bottom pin. I guess it’s less of a sin if you put it in, it’s not proper, if you put it in upside down or you put still the flat side showing right? But no don’t do that. And I see a lot of bottom pins like that. So always use your top pin. Flat on both sides, put it in. I see a lot of students do this too. They’ll take the pin, this is number four, instead of doing bottom
side down they go it up. So they take the correct pin
and they put it upside down. So that’s a common
problem with students too. Is round side down. Don’t put the bottom pin up, should be rounded side down and flush. Number nine, just be gentle. Don’t beat the heck out of your shims. Gentle, gentle. Locksmith’s supposed to have nice hands. We train a lot of beginner locksmiths and they don’t have gentle hands. They just destroy the shims. The only way to learn how
to shim a lock is practice. I train a lot of locksmith students and they’re pretty brutal. Like look at that one, how does he do it? So here’s a brand new shim. This one’s brand new, never been used. I got other videos on how to shim a lock so this is not this. This is how do I get a little bit more use out of some of my shims? So what happens to a lot of them, again, gentle hands guys to do it. You can just barely see it, sometimes the ends get bent and
the corners get broken. And there’s different things to make your shims last a little longer. You can put a little bend in it slightly, you can cut the corners off a bit. I just like them the way
they come out of the package. This shim here, so to get a little bit extra life out of your shims, some of them are just toast. But what you can do, and just any pair of scissors will do it, just cut the little piece off. Look at that brand new almost. And I get another little bit of use out of that shim. Little bit shorter now
but we just use that. So again, quite simple. If you got a little bit of life left, I don’t think this
one’s got any more life. But I’ll give you an idea,
they’ve bent over the corner. That one’s kind of shot but I’ll just show you again, they bent it over. We just give it a little snip. Brand new. Not really. This one’s shot, look at they bent jeez. But, again, locksmith
students, gentle hands guys but you gotta practice so
you’re gonna go through shims. I had one student, his
shim looks brand new after four days of training,
his shim is still perfect. I get another guy and it’s
like, this is the first lock. So, again, gentle gentle hands. Gotta have nice gentle
guys, you don’t have to force the heck out of
this we’re trying to shim. So there’s other videos on how to shim it. This is how to get a little bit of extra life out of your shim. Check the old key. Re key your lock and take
the old key and check it to make sure it doesn’t turn. You’d be surprised how many times, it’s happened to me, I’d say in over 30 years it’s happened to me twice. I’ve re keyed, never with a good quality lock it’s always been the quick sets. I think it’s one out of 20,000, depends on how you wanna do your
math and what you wanna do. Also depends on wear and tear. But, you’ve re keyed the lock, you’ve generated a nice new key. You’ve re keyed the lock perfectly. Take the old key, check it in a lock to make sure that old key doesn’t work. It’s happened to me twice
and I’ve re keyed the locks, gone there, put them all on the door, checked the old key once I’ve done it and the old key still works. It happens. With the inexpensive
locks, it could even happen with the good locks, very rare to next to impossible on the high securities. But check the old keys. You’ve re keyed the locks, check the old key to make sure it doesn’t work. So that’s a good for locksmith students. Even regular locksmith who’s
been doing it for years. Twice in 30 years, I’ve re keyed the locks and the old key still fits. It’s just statistics, it’s gonna happen. You got a million plus
people in your city, there’s lots of keys that
are gonna fit other doors. So always check the old key
to make sure it doesn’t work. Okay this is a, again a
common locksmith students, this is a bonus one, I don’t even know what number to call this. It’s amazing how many students forget to put the clip in the back. They put the lock together,
don’t put the clip in. Always put in your C clip, reinstall it back in. Now, on job sites, what we do now, it’s different in the classroom. Make sure you always put the back on. But have a bag of 100 of these and, when you re key the locks, throw a new one on. These are crappy locks and then, customer
doesn’t wanna replace it, you throw on the old C clip and it falls off and then who’s got a call back? Is you. So locksmith students, put on your C clip. Regular locksmiths and locksmith students, replace the thing. All your suppliers have
packages of these things and just replace it with a brand new one. They cost us nothing and
it’s just so easy to do and it’s such an embarrassing callback. Again, locksmith students, put the C clip on, don’t forget. The lock just falls apart. I hope you enjoyed watching this video. Subscribe to my channel. Also visit my website and you
can see what online locksmith training I have for beginners,
intermediate and advanced. As well as my covert methods of entry and my non destructive methods of entry. (dramatic music)

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Locksmith Student Mistakes | Mr. Locksmith™ Video

  • Great tips, already knew them all but then after you disassemble/reassemble enough locks you will see the whole list at one point or another if you aren't careful and understand how things work.
    Great vid. Tips may save other people a headache!

  • How much do crap locks like kwikset cost if re pinning is a viable option?
    I re lever things like chubb 5 lever or detainer series , but for a standard pin tumbler in the uk it isn't worth doing.

  • So I have been guilty of 2. I see alot of 5 and have even seen people crank on the key to the point of putting a corkscrew in the tail pice. We have only had to fire one employee in the 35 years of our company and it was for continuously doing number 9

  • Happened to me once in almost 10 years.
    I didnt check the old key.
    Master keyed 6 panic bars.
    I got a call back later that day.
    "Hey, the old key still works"
    WTF?!?!
    Then you got to explain to the customer how extremely rare it is and that you weren't trying to rip them off.
    Now I always double check definately.

  • Ok
    Number 11 has happened a couple of times too. Only when rushing, trying to get the job done then off to the next. And it suck when you dont realize until you have the lock already put back together and on the door. You go and check and the whole cylinder comes out, pins and springs falling everywhere.
    – seems every time I rush, is when mistakes happen.
    And having to use the restroom really bad, rushing trying to get done. Nothing ever goes right.

  • Such tips seem obvious but making sure such things are followed can impact your reputation and even your google reviews.thanks for your insight.

  • Bosnia Bill @Bosniabill is a great lock picker, but he is BRUTAL on shims, and fumble fingers as hell gutting a lock hahahah. Probably why he is fun to watch, but seems I always learn something from him. Like watching this Video.

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