Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Guest Phill

Hi Charlie,

6 years ago we took the leap from shoe repairer to locksmith.

Trainning wise, you have a couple of options a quick coarse will teach you in a week how to open most common locks, identify different makes and types of locking systems and cover some of the tools needed. Alot of people do these coarses


I chose to become a member of the British Locksmith Institute (sounds very lardydar) its basicaly a trainning division of the master locksmith association.They take a more in-depth outlook which can be frustrating sometimes when you first start. On a weeks coarse you spend 1 1/2 days on things you already know I.E key blank identification etc. But your never to old to learn something new.

In the long run the MLA is the best association to invest in (in my opinion)


I took my first open coarse 9 years ago and have been back on dozens of occasions for trainning in other fields Safes, Bumping locks, access control and so on


My advice to you would be take it slowly and dont spend fortunes on lock picks you'll never use, believe me I speak from exsperiance.


As posted before on here we are now touching the surface of auto locksmith something alot of the guy's do on this forum and are very helpful.


We're here to give advice when we can and learn off each other.


Knowledge is power :lol:

Good luck mate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

You and 200 a week - there is no big money in Locksmithing anymore -ask me how I know -

There is more to Locks than picking them open - specifying/repair/installing-making keys to doorclosers/panic hardware DDA/ a raft of standards and every man and his dog prepared to cut you down in price to make enough for a pint.

bitter Yep! glad I got out Yep well double Yep! Happy now - No

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You and 200 a week - there is no big money in Locksmithing anymore -ask me how I know -

There is more to Locks than picking them open - specifying/repair/installing-making keys to doorclosers/panic hardware DDA/ a raft of standards and every man and his dog prepared to cut you down in price to make enough for a pint.

bitter Yep! glad I got out Yep well double Yep! Happy now - No

that about sums it up, the general locksmith trade is all but knackered mainly due to the amount of training schools that have been opened by people who couldnt make enough money by just been locksmiths. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's one of the reasons i stopped doing callout work and became a bench locksmith,i now supply and do work for over 30 different

locksmiths of differing skills from absolute drillers to a couple of really talented guys.Opening is their specialty,stripping and making keys for them

is mine.


Lately there have been so many people walk into my shop asking to be trained but i'm not interested and although im not a member i always

recommend the mla as the best way to go.(tried to join over 25 years ago but it was a lot harder then unless you new someone).


We had a lady call in about 2 weeks ago telling us that there is a locksmith willing to change euro cylinders for £20.00 including the lock and call out,

WTF why even bother when someone is going to work for next to nothing.


Auto was the way to go but even that market is becomming saturated with people trying to earn a fast buck,if your in for the long run its a worthy

and wonderfully diverse job to be in,just do your homework and find out how many there are in your area otherwise your fighting against the tide

right from the beginning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charlie, Locksmithing isn't an easy option but if you are genuinely interested in getting involved I would recommend Jay at Island locks.. His training and understanding is fantastic and he will train you in the basics for a very reasonable sum, and you can always go back for top up training, but you will have to practice, practice, practice to become halfway competent.. Whether you join the MLA or BLI is up to you.. I haven't as I see it as an uneccessary expense, locksmithing is unregulated and has no governing body although the MLA would like to be that body and are pushing for it. There are people that will undercut you and there are the nationals that will fu*k all the customers and you have to find your market inbetween the extremes.. Most of all it's good fun though and remember that every business is about marketing, running a business without marketing is like winking at a girl on the dark, you may know what you are doing but she doesn't......



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best advice i can give when choosing any course , is to look at what is being taught on the course and the timescale it is being taught in.


The problem is that they all teach much the same , basic entry , but basic entry is about 1 to 3% of the calls you will get once advertising , so is the investment worth it for that few calls.


the majority of other bread and butter work that comes in is basic lock change work , mostly swapping out like for like locks , and in many areas mostly euro changes , but as has been said , be prepared to do this for nothing as the market is flooded with desperate new start ups willing to work at a few pence of cost .


we get on average 30 to 40 new start ups a year in our area , almost all are gone by year end to be replaced by the next crop , why do so many fail ? it is simple really , they did no research , they believed they could do a few days training and become an all singing all dancing locksmith , but mainly because they can only do the simple bread and butter openings and simple lock exchange work , but with so many bidding for this simple work , prices are rock bottom and jobs thin on the ground.


so the clever money looks at what isnt generally taught on the courses available , and the work that involves good carpentry skills , upvc skills and basic electrical skills , all subjects that cant be taught and mastered in a few days.


entry is such a small part of what you do these days unless involved in warrants , that its pointless basing 90% of your training budget learning what will form no more than 5% of your call outs .


greenfox and mpl both do excellent UPVC id and repair courses , invaluable as failed upvc mechs are a very common call out .


alot of the access control firms offer free or low cost training on fitting and servicing their products .


most adult learning centers do a basic woodwork course .


all more usefull long term to deal with the more common call outs of


burglary repairs

failed upvc door mechs

fresh fitting lock systems

british standard upgrades across upvc and wood doors and windows



look carefully at the service you want to offer , the local area , how many lockies , how low will they go financially per job , is it worth the investment , do the courses that best suit what you want to offer .


Bob curry at SAS in hereford offers the best and most complete training course , but its not done in a few days , and its not the cheapest , but it is the most comprehensive , but if you are looking at just wanting to change locks in your area and deal with failed upvc doors , then mpl or greenfox is of far more use to you .


plenty of local research , then proper planning is essential , neglect this and you may as well flush the money down the toilet .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...