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    What equipment is needed to become a locksmith?

    In order to become a locksmith, it is essential to acquire a range of good quality equipment. This article outlines some of the key pieces of equipment required.

    Given the wide variety of different lock types in use, ranging from simple key operated locks such as padlocks to comprehensive locking systems of a more sophisticated nature which require suitably more sophisticated equipment to unlock, it is important for a locksmith to have a range of specialised equipment to cover all lock types. Car locks, for example, require tools specifically designed for the purpose.

    At the very minimum, becoming a locksmith requires a certain level of basic equipment including lock crackers, lock hammers, drilling tools and installation kits. In addition, a range of different lock pick sets are available and form an essential part of any locksmith’s set of equipment. Successfully employing the use of lock picks does, however, require a significant amount of professional training in advance. Lock pick guns are widely available which can greatly speed up the process of lock picking when used correctly. For more sophisticated lock types such as combination locks, computerised picks can be used.

    A key duplicator is potentially one of the most expensive pieces of equipment required, but it is wise to invest in a good quality machine which can duplicate keys for a range of different lock types.

    Locksmiths also commonly employ the use of a technique known as lock bypassing which, as the name implies, negates the need to pick the lock. A number of tools are available designed specifically for this purpose, including decoders, door openers, letterbox tools and combination lock bypass kits.

    Plug spinners are a tool which may be used to rotate the core of a lock which has been picked the wrong way, whilst tension wrenches (ranging from light, medium to rigid) can make the job easier by preventing movement during the often complex lock picking process. As with any piece of equipment, the true benefit of any locksmith equipment comes from the skill of the person employing it, therefore professional training is advisable.

    Other important items of equipment include key extractors (to remove broken keys and debris from within the lock), key gauges (used to establish key cut depth), key turners (employed in circumstances where the key has been left in the back of the door) and key marking devices such as key stamps.

    In addition to the equipment listed above, a range of different training aids are available for aspiring locksmiths to practice their skills on. These training aids cover a variety of different types of lock, including mortice, cylinder, lever handle, deadbolt, car and padlocks.

    As the locksmith progresses and gains more experience, they can expand their repertoire of equipment to build upon their knowledge and experience in order to expand their business. All of the equipment required, from basic through to professional standard, can be purchased from a range of accredited suppliers.