Aside from the normal tools of the trade, such as key blanks as well as a key making machine, a locksmith must break down the types of key blanks in to different categories and buy other items to go along with these. Key blanks come as at least three different types of residential blanks (from $5 to over $50), ten brands of commercial key blanks, and automotive key blanks for domestic and foreign vehicles.
Locksmiths have to put several thousands of dollars in to their tools and equipment investment. they may start out in the hundreds, but the cost will grow as the business grows. If a locksmith is interested in specializing in several areas, there’s different tools for each area.
A locksmith must buy pins, pinning kits, picks, pick sets, tension wrenches, and plenty of different locks. there’s hospital locks, government locks, gate locks, electronic hardware, furniture locks, biometric fingerprint locks, and electromagnetic locks ($200-$700).
how’s the locksmith to keep up with all the different keys? He/she must buy key tags, drawers, and key towers (tower only with no blanks, $500). These keys require key cutters. there’s at least three different kinds of cutters. A manual duplicator costs $400-$600. A semiautomatic duplicator costs $655-$1600. An automatic duplicator costs $800-$1300. A tubular key duplicator costs $400-$1200. Code cutters cost $1900-$3100. Then there’s your cutter wheels which cost in the range of $33-$340.
there’s also transponder keys that require a code machine to code the key for the vehicles to work in the ignition. Newer model vehicles with added security methods use electromagnetic fields of energy that are sent to a computer in the automobile. (This is an example of technology and computers sneaking in to yet another area of our lives.) Coding keys in this manner is a way to increase security for the automobile owner as well as reduce costs for the insurance companies.
there’s older vehicles still in operation that require the simple use of the Slim Jim device, so a locksmith must keep older tools around as well. Besides accommodating people who can’t afford the newer, more sophisticated vehicles, there’s collectors of antiques who won’t require their cars damaged. So, the locksmith must know how to open the vehicles in a way that causes the least amount of forced entry. Even people who don’t own pricey cars are proud of what they own and won’t appreciate damage.
Every locksmith who has trained with a distance school will know about Kwikset locks and IICO key making machines. These are standard equipment for locksmiths-in-training. there’s academies that teach courses on a course-by-course basis to further educate the craftsmen.
As is evident, there is much for a professional locksmith to learn. Much of it can be retained by repetition. there’s plenty of locks that use the same tools and methods to unlock. But for the loads of information that can’t be retained, the locksmith must rely on paper tools. These exist in the manuals and written information that must be kept for reference purposes.