Click out of 1, 2 is binding.. and.. we're in!

Hey, my name is Ian! I'm back for my 2nd AmA ever, you guys seemed to love the last one I hosted.
I'm 28, from Raleigh, North Carolina, and I've been a locksmith for about 3-4 years now. I'm interested in talking about everything, from stories on the job, to home security advice, tools of the trade or just basic questions about the career. Nothing is off limits- if you have a question, I can probably answer it!

My Proof: Apologies for the mess! Haha.

Comments: 678 • Responses: 94  • Date: 

SendMeNudesThough544 karma

Who are you, and how did you get in here?

HeyMyNameIsIan652 karma

I'm a locksmith, and I'm a locksmith. =)

dystopiaincognito45 karma

Have you ever made skeleton keys? Have you ever made skeleton keys for anyone else besides the law enforcement?

HeyMyNameIsIan127 karma

Skeleton keys is kind of a unicorn term, when people mention them, I think they're mostly referring to bump keys, which I've made quite a few of for both law enforcement and regular folk. Closest thing to a skeleton key that I could think of, in the realm of possibility, would be a master key, that opens a series of doors.

duncan_macocinue93 karma

All of my keys are bump keys

HeyMyNameIsIan29 karma

theoretically this is true

HeanDuts398 karma

Do you care if the key says, “Do Not Duplicate”?

HeyMyNameIsIan612 karma

That's a formality, I tend to ask for paperwork or proof of rights-to-use if applicable but in most cases, I'll take the job, as it's better I get paid than someone else. Because, trust me, someone else will cut that key.

everett640178 karma

I worked at a place where we duplicated keys. Most of the people couldn't even read the "do not duplicate"

HeyMyNameIsIan140 karma

Most, not all, but most people are... just dumb.

th3r3dp3n265 karma

I have a close friend who is a locksmith, I once boosted him through a 12" bathroom window (my house) to get him through. His bump key, and the rest of his tools were taking a bit, so we opted for a less... common option.

He almost fell headfirst into my toilet, just below the window, but I luckily had the lid closed.

What is your strangest/most comedic job site experience?

HeyMyNameIsIan919 karma

I had a call for an auto unlock, about 45 minutes away at 9:30 pm. It was POURING down rain, so I quoted almost twice of what I should have, hoping that she would find someone closer. Nope! She accepted, and pays half up front, all good. I make the drive and it's a Chevy Tahoe, but the lady is, bless her heart, about 5 feet tall. Turns out, she slipped and threw all the stuff she was carrying in the air, and could find everything except her keys. I'm about 8 minutes into the job when I stand up and.. what's this? Her keys, on top of her car?

Yeah, turns out she flung them through the air and they landed dead center on her roof. She couldn't see them. It was great, I gave her a discount and we laughed about it a lot =D

th3r3dp3n156 karma

Ha, that is a fantastic story! I am glad it turned out well for you and your client. Sometimes those miserable late calls turn into something to look back and laugh at, glad it all turned out well!

HeyMyNameIsIan260 karma

Oh that's one of the funnier ones, I've had some not-so-funny calls. I once made the mistake of taking a call to a less.. nicer part of town after dark, and when I pulled in, I was told the car was in an alley-way behind the house. I noped out of there and not even 5 seconds later, I heard 3 gun shots, but had no damage to my vehicle, so I guess the guy was a bad shot.

I typically don't stop if it seems sketchy now-a-days. Fool me once, ya know?

th3r3dp3n85 karma

Good call trusting your gut instinct and being aware of your surroundings!

HeyMyNameIsIan114 karma

Well, my number 1 goal is to not get shot on the job, so it was definitely great to gtfo of there! Thank you btw

stiletto92924 karma

I know for a while robbing pizza drivers and cab drivers was a trend. But seems kind of stupid to try to rob a locksmith. Unlikely to carry cash. I mean, I’m assuming the motive was robbery.

HeyMyNameIsIan40 karma

I carry tons of cash tho. I am too stupid or too lazy to take it in at night so I usually have 3-4 nights worth of cash in my overhead compartment in my van.

eniporta57 karma

Thieves in Raleigh are suddenly calling every locksmith in the area..

HeyMyNameIsIan6 karma

i keep it tucked tho, on every job

Orcwin12 karma

Mobile payment terminals aren't commonly available yet where you are? If your surroundings are dangerous enough to have to worry about armed robbery, I would seriously consider moving away from cash payments as much as possible if I were you.

Practically nobody here takes cash anymore, or at least not as a preferred option, unless they're trying to keep it off the books.

HeyMyNameIsIan12 karma

unless they're trying to keep it off the books.


PCrawDiddy22 karma

Now that is how a sour beginning turns into a lifelong story that makes people smile

HeyMyNameIsIan41 karma

She's been a return customer several times, we laugh about it constantly =)

throwawayatwork3020 karma

I've never in my life needed the service of a locksmith, how clumsy is that woman to have several more incidents?

HeyMyNameIsIan4 karma

Hey! Everyone messes up every now-and-again.

nubbins0111 karma

Have you had the heart to tell her yet that she should stop throwing her car keys on top of the car where she can't see them?

HeyMyNameIsIan11 karma

She called me a few weeks ago and the first place I had her look was the top of her car lol

wpascarelli10 karma

How did she expect to start the car once you opened the door? Or was she just gong to wait in the car until it stopped raining and then she would look for the key?

HeyMyNameIsIan39 karma

We were on the basis that I would open the door, and if her keys weren't inside, we'd consider them lost and I'd make her a new pair. she thought she left them in the car. I'm not entirely sure how she didn't know where her keys were, considering they had to be out of her pocket when she threw them when she slipped, but I wasn't there, so I couldn't tell ya.

throwaway5027597148 karma

How do you feel about abloy locks, I hear they are the best and after using one that seems true, do you agree? If not what is the best lock?

HeyMyNameIsIan186 karma

Abloy is fantastic. I'm a fan of Medeco locks, if I had to choose between one or the other, but Abloy has a lot more variety for different uses.

If they made a Medeco that used the same key system as Abloy, I'd be impressed.

throwaway502759732 karma

What about in terms of durability and pick resistance?

HeyMyNameIsIan87 karma

Oh, abloy 100% for sure. Those things are sick fucking nasty.

cutelyaware24 karma

Do you believe it's possible that someone could make a lock that's impossible to pick, even knowing the entire design of the mechanism?

HeyMyNameIsIan115 karma

It's possible, but it would take a huge redesign. One particular video that I've always found fascinating, in terms of pickability, is this snake-type key from Bosnian Bill.

IT_bosse28 karma

As a assa abloy employee its so weird seeing people talk about the company i work at. Thanks for the ama

HeyMyNameIsIan5 karma

pls sponsor me

vbcbandr122 karma

Of the films you've seen, which has the most accurate lock picking/breaking scene?

HeyMyNameIsIan234 karma

I don't think I've ever seen a film where they've picked a lock, but one that I thought was absolutely fucking hilarious was when they filmed this scene from the movie Office Space where he hits the lock off... but there's no latch on the inside, meaning the door was never closed to begin with, lol

vbcbandr28 karma

First film that comes to mind you may want to check out is The Italian Job (the new one).

HeyMyNameIsIan65 karma

The Italian Job I just watched the safe crack scene and it seems ridiculously unrealistic. Even WITH a stethoscope, you'd barely be able to hear or detect those false gates.

vbcbandr15 karma

Follow up: is there a Youtuber you think has good videos about lock picking? This seems like a rabbit hole I could go down even though I cannot imagine any situation I could end up where I would need to pick a lock.

HeyMyNameIsIan76 karma

Honestly, not really. I'd say stick to LPL if you wanna learn something. There's a guy I've been seeing a lot called McNallyOfficial, mostly on tiktok, and while his content is OK, he hollywood's the hell out of his videos, and makes an unrealistic standard for anyone trying to get into the practice.

forgotmyusernamedamm113 karma

What's the shadiest and shittiest thing you've seen in the field?

HeyMyNameIsIan321 karma

Saddest; I've opened a house that the tenants abandoned. Nobody had been home for over a month, and what was left of the dog was in the kennel.

Shadiest; Uhh, I had an acquaintance call me to help him rekey an office where they apparently kept some high-risk data, but had low-end security. I met the guy maybe twice total before then. They had standard 6-pin sc4 schlage locks, and instead of rekeying the locks to a brand new key code, he just kept the first 2 cuts of the key the same, and took out 4 of the 6 pins on the end. Compromised the security of the lock GREATLY, from 6 pins to 2. I noped out of there with the excuse that I got another call, blocked him and left a note with the front desk for the complex manager, and a voicemail to the Licensing board about him. Never heard what happened to him, super shady though.

Shittiest; had to install a new lock on a door for a lady, her ex boyfriend kicked it in, in a domestic case.

gormster150 karma

Ok that was too sad

HeyMyNameIsIan186 karma

Broke my fuckin heart man, animal abusers are at the top of my shit list.

throw123454321purple67 karma

You should track them down and viciously re-key their locks at night.

HeyMyNameIsIan111 karma

Superglue and a tooth pick in a lock, it works wonders.. ;p not that I'd know!

moveovahh76 karma

Low key pro-tip

HeyMyNameIsIan55 karma

rolls eyes my goddddddddd

Shae_monueau86 karma

What was the biggest hurdle you've run into when starting in the industry?

What was your first job in the industry?

What's the average salary?

What is your favorite type of callout?

HeyMyNameIsIan144 karma

Hey! I'm sorry, I thought I answered this one.

Biggest hurdle is when you get stuck on a job. Sometimes it's very easy to over think things, but I've spent way too much time trying to over complicate a solution instead of just fixing it. Having nobody to call when you're stuck is a very bad thing as well. My first job was actually being an on-call tech for a larger company who only paid me 40%! It was a livable wage but not where I wanted to end up in life. Average salary can vary, mostly between 45K and 80K depending on the year and my availability. My favorite callouts are house lockouts, mostly cause I get to meet peoples dogs, and to help people inside. You can get locked out of a car and be fine, but if you're locked out of your home, that's a whole different story lol

pterodactal77 karma

Do you have any stories you want to tell but don't get to because they don't fit into any superlatives (best, worst, funniest, saddest, etc)? Can you tell it?

HeyMyNameIsIan262 karma

Yes. 2 stories I have yet to tell anyone.

Last-last summer, I got a call about a locked car right by the Dorothy Alumni Center in Raleigh. Girl sounded my age, real cute, great accent. She said she was tight on cash, I was only 15 minutes away, I told her I'd help her out since I doubt anyone else did. This was about 5 pm, right before sun down. I make the drive, open the car, she's thanking me up and down and asks me if I want to share a cigarette, I say sure. Small talk, the usual, she asks me if I've ever been there before and I say no- the building is waterfront to the gorgeous Lake Raleigh, so she takes me down to the water, and we're just hanging out, sitting on a log and smoking. No other jobs lined up. I'm chatting the shit and she leans over and whispers that I'm cute and kisses me. Like a deer in fucking headlights. She was my summer fling that year. She's at Appalachian State right now, we talk almost every day, but I'm staying single in the hopes that when she gets back, if she does, we can kick it off again.

I also saw an 85 year old's dick. He was apparently super rich, asked me to drive 2 hours to Sanford, NC where he had an escort on his balcony. Didn't think to bring clothes out. He let me know all of this in advance, and while I knew not to make eye contact with it, I slipped up and saw it anyways. Funny thing is, his laundry room door was unlocked the whole time. He was very grateful, total net on that job was $460.

vonnegutfan275 karma

Great stories. Keep in touch with her.

HeyMyNameIsIan79 karma

I think about her every day. I will!

Raioc243667 karma

How did your job affect how you feel about your home security and the state of security in general (domestic and commercial locks) ?

HeyMyNameIsIan131 karma

Didn't change my views on my own home much. If someone wanted to break in, they'd find a way, usually. I will say, I had a left over vintage lock from a job I did about 2 years ago, and I put it on my main entry door. For someone who didn't know what it was, it would take them a hot minute to get through it.

CygnusX-1-2112b64 karma

I'm an armored car worker, so I deal with a Lot of locks. My absolute least favorite locks are the square-hole locks used on ATM machines, because the key is very long and narrow, and is extremely easy to snap when opening. What is the procedure for removal when asshats like me break off a key inside of a lock when it has been turned?

HeyMyNameIsIan106 karma

The procedure for you, is to call my dumbass and let it be my problem. The procedure for me, is to figure out how to remove a long key from a place I can't reach it. I've never even had a job like that either, so I wouldn't know where to begin. Maybe something with wires? Hell, you got me wondering now.

BubblesAndRainbows54 karma

Ooh, this is so fun!

What makes up the majority of your day-to-day work?

How difficult is the processing of becoming certified to work as a locksmith?

HeyMyNameIsIan94 karma

Mostly car and house lockouts, but here lately I have been swamped with car keys. And believe it or not, only 15 states require a valid license for work! And the weird thing is, I'm in one of them, and NOBODY has ever asked to see my license, outside of the bigger commercial jobs I've gotten. Weird right?!

Ok-Feedback560448 karma

What antique lock company is your personal favourite and why?

HeyMyNameIsIan57 karma

I thought about this for a few minutes, and I don't really have a favorite :( Most of my day-to-day work doesn't involve vintage stuff, but man do I sure wish it did. Great question though!

wrl101942 karma

Hi Ian, thanks for doing this! I find your profession fascinating. I've always wondered - are you required to or do you choose to verify provenance/ownership of the lock you're hired to pick/bypass?

And would you face any professional or legal consequences if you did a job for someone who should not have access to the contents behind said lock?

HeyMyNameIsIan76 karma

I usually ask for a drivers license, and if the address doesn't match, I usually ask to see proof of address, which is usually a slip of mail. To the 2nd question, my state has a law that pertains to people acting in good faith. If I do unlock a house for example, and the guy doesn't live there but he led me to believe he was the owner and had all rights to the house the entire time, then I could make a case to the police or to the court that I was acting in good faith with reasonable doubt. Otherwise, cross that bridge when I get to it, you know?

wrl101912 karma

Thanks again, Ian! I've been on this thread endlessly refreshing it - you're awesome for doing this. Stay safe, my friend!

HeyMyNameIsIan17 karma

Ask me anything! I'm always here. Glad to give you a good read!

QueenieQueeferson41 karma

I heard keeping a key in the lock from the inside makes you more vulnerable to the lock being picked from the outside. Is that true?

HeyMyNameIsIan88 karma

I'll take it you're referring to a double sided lock, where there is a key hole on both sides of the door. If that's the case, then it's actually worse to keep the key in the lock, rather than hanging it up 2-3 feet away. Double sided locks are 2 individual locks, that connect to a single latch, and both locks have their own separate tail pieces that connect to the latch. Picking one side or the other would open the lock, otherwise if you had to get in, you'd have to pick both, which is impossible. Hanging the key up 2-3 feet away, means if someone were to break the glass on the door, hypothetically, they couldn't reach the key. Whereas if you left the key inside the lock, they'd turn it and get in. Same with a single sided lock that has the thumb turn on the back, they could just turn it by hand. Great question though!

gerhudire34 karma

Have you ever had to open a safe, if so, how difficult was it and did you find anything valuable inside?

HeyMyNameIsIan81 karma

I try to steer away from safe work, but I had one recently where the lady locked up her daughter's Ps5 and the daughter ripped the electronic keypad to the safe off. I took it home, soldered some wires, attached it when I got back and surprisingly, it worked.

dudebobmac29 karma

If I wanted to replace the lock on my house's front door with one that has a keypad with a customizable code to lock/unlock, what would you recommend?

HeyMyNameIsIan106 karma

In practice? I'd say buy a deadbolt and have a locksmith vamp it up for you. Random cuts, security pins, shrouded wafers, make it really hard to pick.

If you want a honest answer though, and this is coming from me, but I'd buy a really obscure, gimmicky knock off from a different country and put it on my door. If I showed a locksmith in my area a schlage lock, he'd have it open in 5 minutes. But show him a random lock, from like china, that nobodies ever seen? Oh he'd spend the whole day trying to figure out how to open it. There's a fine line in these areas, haha.

ChessBorg29 karma

Do you have a 100 skill in lockpicking in Skyrim?

HeyMyNameIsIan36 karma

I'm in the high 80s lol

zerofuckstogive0927 karma

Have you seen lock picking kawyer or Bosnian bill on youtube?

HeyMyNameIsIan36 karma

Yes, and I prefer Bill :P

Davok27 karma

I entered this ama actually expecting a lot of comments or questions about opinion on LPL, so since this was the first one I saw and based on the response, I gotta ask: why? Is there something about LPL that makes you dislike his content or is there simply more to Bills content that makes you prefer his?

HeyMyNameIsIan48 karma

I'm not a fan of the way LPL formats his videos, or that his voice puts me to sleep. I can watch bill for hours and not get bored. Bill retired though which sucks.

Avachiel23 karma

Hey Ian.

I bought a cheap $150 safe from walmart.

No key, just a combination with a latch.

I forgot the combination - what should I do?

HeyMyNameIsIan25 karma

Shoot me pictures of it! Whats the brand?

HeyMyNameIsIan30 karma

Some sentry safes have a stamped code on the bottom/back that you can use as a reference to find out the key code. I'd call around and find someone who has experience, ONLY if you need the contents inside. If you don't, the cost of hiring a specialist will be higher than replacement costs.

Avachiel6 karma

That makes sense, thanks for all the information!

HeyMyNameIsIan9 karma

Is it a dial-entry only or does it have a key hole?

Avachiel9 karma

It's just the dial and a latch. I just imagined like.. using a stethoscope and listening for clicks, but that's probably for more experienced and expensive minds than mine! haha

HeyMyNameIsIan18 karma

It's, actually easier than it sounds. Give it a try! You may have a knack for such a thing... =D

Victory_Over_Himself22 karma

Will shooting an average padlock with a gun unlock whatever the padlock was trying to lock? Video games in the 1990s told me this was possible :)

HeyMyNameIsIan25 karma

It's a very good possibility! I've shot a master lock before and it opened, so I'd say yes!

SanitariumJosh21 karma

Are you expanding your knowledge set to include more electronic or digital locks? Do you see the industry pivoting towards contactless entry? What's the oldest lock you've had the joy of working with?

HeyMyNameIsIan58 karma

Every single day, I wake up and look at myself in the mirror with the intent of learning electronic access control, and every single day it kicks my ass. I'm actually afraid for contactless entry, especially since things like the FlipperZero are getting more and more popular

virgilreality18 karma

Back for my 2nd 2nd AmA!

So...your 4th AMA?

HeyMyNameIsIan15 karma

Woops! My 2nd. Sharp eye though!

TangoMikeFoxtrot17 karma

Can you open a lock with a credit card, or something similar?

exwasstalking16 karma

Were you a criminal before becoming a locksmith?

HeyMyNameIsIan39 karma

Nope! My state requires a mostly clean record to become licensed, although I've seen some pretty shady shit in the field that I should have reported.

wolf_metallo12 karma

Two questions : 1. Do you buy every new lock in the market to learn how to break it? Or is there a standard pattern to break them, so you just try to see what type of lock it is and viola, you already know how to break it? 2. Has anyone ever not paid you after they've received your services? What did you do then? You know some people haggle, but there's no contract per se that you have and some assholes may not pay.

HeyMyNameIsIan20 karma

I have bought probably no less than 30 of these shitty little disc locks that storage units are giving people, JUST to try to figure out better ways to remove them. They are the spawn of satan. So far the best method seems to be a cordless dremel, and just cutting the bar at the top.

I usually call the police, and provide evidence of texts or calls. Most of the time when I receive a call, I shoot a summary text with a price and ask the customer to respond to the text with confirmation, like a small form of some agreement, essentially.

Mr_Gaslight12 karma

My building’s washing machine eats coins. The landlord won’t fix it because it’s free money for him.

It’s a Whirlpool commercial washer. The coin box is separate from the round key that I think is the activation mechanism.

Is it worth it getting a round key to see if I can trigger the machine so I can wash my clothes?

HeyMyNameIsIan81 karma

You didn't hear this from me, but most commercial washers all use the same key. Check the serial number, or model, and see if you can buy one online. I'm not advertising you to break the law though, this is just a daydream possibility. I definitely didn't do this when I was in high school and DEFINITELY didn't use the key I bought to do free laundry.

PrancesWithWools11 karma

Whats the proportion of picking vs drilling/cutting on your jobs, and how do you decide which avenue to take?

HeyMyNameIsIan25 karma

95% picking, 5% drilling. Now-a-days, I typically only drill padlocks, and kwikset smart key locks. Yes, I know they make a tool to open kwikset smart key locks, and while the product is great, every one I've ever bought has shit the bed after 5-10 uses. Therefore I keep it OG and just drill them out with a tasteful stock of replacements in my van. I will exhaust every resource to open a lock with no damage before I decide to drill it out.

paperskater9 karma

Do you have any pets?

HeyMyNameIsIan37 karma

Hell yes. I love my dogs. From right to left, Foster, Alex and Wyatt. And not included in that photo, is liberty, whose on the left of this photo. She's my favorite, cuz she's chunky' and a good cuddle buddy.

HeyMyNameIsIan15 karma

Alex was abandoned :( We took him in several months ago, he's just a puppy. Someone dumped him in the road in front of my house, so we snatched him up.

paperskater3 karma

Awwww, they're sooo cute!! Thanks for the pictures!! <3

HeyMyNameIsIan11 karma

Any day I get to talk about my dogs is a good day

kellykellykellyyy2 karma

Idk man, Foster's got those airplane ears 🥰

HeyMyNameIsIan6 karma

She's also got some freaking legs. I spent 2 hours today with my dad, redoing a section of our fence because she's been getting out lately, and becoming a nationwide track star. We had to buy a GPS tracking collar for her! Like..??

Redrainman7 karma

How would someone get started in that industry?

HeyMyNameIsIan19 karma

Step #1 is obviously checking state laws, after that it would be to learn a basic set of skills. In no particular order, what I would call the bare minimum, is knowing what a lishi is and how to use one, as well as traditional lockpicks, knowing how to open a car door with air bags, and knowing the fundamental basics of how a key operates a lock, and how to do a fresh installation of a lock on a door. Meaning, you drill the holes, the whole 9 yards.

Spec1876 karma

I have a garage with a side door. The dead bolt keyhole will spin to lock with the key but will not unlock. The door is exposed to the elements. What can I do myself to get it to unlock? I've read that getting graphite powder and putting in on the key might work? Or drill the screws out that hold the lock together? Any help or thoughts?

HeyMyNameIsIan11 karma

Honestly, replace the lock. If it's an issue of getting it open first, I'd drill it out, it's easier to do than you think. But if it spins one way and not the other, the first thing I would check is the cuts on the key, but also the latch hole inside. Some people don't drill them right, and contrary to popular belief, most latches have a rod that moves some-what up and down when it locks/unlocks, and if it's not got enough room, it won't operate properly. L

Silver5comet5 karma

Your previous post said from eastern NC and this post says from Raleigh, so as a native of the city of oaks I have to ask, why the disrespect calling us eastern NC? /s

HeyMyNameIsIan17 karma

i will meet half way, we are weast

chezfez5 karma

Islan, how did you find yourself on the career path of becoming a lock Smith? Seems like a cool career. Is there anything you can't get into?

HeyMyNameIsIan6 karma

Honest to god, my dad was a locksmith before me and invited me into the trade. I had watched tons of videos before then and knew what the job was like. From there, it was just applying for my license and finding a company that would hire me. There's quite a few locks I can't get into, Medeco would be one of them.

HappyCamper_20205 karma

Is this your full time profession? Can one make a living out of this and provide for family?

HeyMyNameIsIan14 karma

I'm actually a locksmith, AND an insurance roofer. You could absolutely live a comfortable life as a locksmith, but it would take a few years of solo business to get to that point.

SwoopnBuffalo4 karma

Have you ever installed or worked on an LKM?

HeyMyNameIsIan4 karma


I have not! It's not ringing an immediate bell, either.

king_krimson3 karma

Some movie with Bruce Willis and Ed Norton. Bruce Willis needs to crack a safe. He drills a hole in the top, fills it with water, and blows an M80 to blow the door off because 'physics.' Damage to contents of safe aside, is this accurate?

HeyMyNameIsIan6 karma

Absolutely not lmfao. That's just more hollywood bullcrap.

llacer962 karma

Obviously anyone with any interest in locksmithing knows about anchors, picks, and rakes. What's a lesser known tool that you would consider invaluable to your trade?

HeyMyNameIsIan12 karma

I'm not sure if it's a specific tool, but knowing how to flash the computers on some of the older car models is a really, really rare thing and those guys make big bucks doing it. Volkswagen is also really rare. I know a guy that charges no less than $450 per VW key.

ndoggydog2 karma

Do you know what makes VW specifically so difficult/expensive? The dealer also charges an arm and a leg for any key work.

HeyMyNameIsIan4 karma

They are considered restricted keys, meaning you have to have the software to access the computer... which costs an arm and a leg for us solo guys. Not to mention, the programmer to go with that, which is usually the AutoProPad at bare minimum

ColJamesSulley1 karma

Would you mind posting your van setup?

Which key machine is your favorite?

What's your favorite way to figure out an all-keys-lost situation? Lishi, ignition/cylinder pull, vin decode software...?

HeyMyNameIsIan6 karma

I went from the SEC-9 to the Dolphin XHorse X-005 and it was a pleasant upgrade. I still have my SEC-9. If you shoot me a message, I'll send you van pics tomorrow, but it's a bit dark out atm.

Lishi's are my favorite for AKL situations, but I'll pull an ignition if I have to. Anywhere there's a key code, like the honda floor or glove box locks, I'll try those before I lishi. I find myself asking Home owners if anyone has a copy of their key, and if they do, I usually request a photo. That's actually saved me a LOT of time in the past.

HappyCamper_20201 karma

Are there locks in the world that cannot be broken? Are there any special design?

HeyMyNameIsIan3 karma

To my knowledge, all locks can be picked.

HappyCamper_20201 karma

How is locksmith regulated? Since they can break into any house.

HeyMyNameIsIan3 karma

Not very well regulated in my state, even though we require a license. It's mostly a morality thing. The board revokes your license if you use it in any criminal way.

MaybeCuckooNotAClock1 karma

Who carries insurance for the locksmith ID, you personally or your company? Also is the locksmith ID applicable to just yourself or is it under a company umbrella? Thanks in advance if you get time to reply!

HeyMyNameIsIan6 karma

Since I own my company, and work solo, it's held under the companies name. It would apply to all employees, which is just me :)

BitPoet1 karma

What's the weirdest thing you've done with a lockpick?

HeyMyNameIsIan3 karma

I used a hook rake to ash a bowl once. :p

Honestyforsale1 karma

Probably been asked but percentage wise, how many calls do you get because someone “lost” their keys? 90?

HeyMyNameIsIan4 karma

About 40% of the time, someones lost a key. Mostly just locked out, but it happens more than you'd think.

Honestyforsale2 karma

With the quickness! Ok, second question. On most locks, is it really easy to pick? Thanks

HeyMyNameIsIan5 karma

Depends on country and type of lock

American houses? Yes, all very quick. Fastest one I've done was under 1 minute. Car locks? Yes, universally, most can be done in under 10 minutes

Tactical_Epunk1 karma

Which LPL video is your favorite?

HeyMyNameIsIan5 karma

The april fools one where he makes all the dick jokes about his 16 inch johnson. Love it lmao

BenFranklinsCat1 karma

Who are you, and how did you get in here?

HeyMyNameIsIan2 karma

I am a locksmith, and I'm a locksmiiiiiiiiiith!

risketyclickit1 karma

I have a barrel key with one tooth broken off. Can it be reproduced?

HeyMyNameIsIan3 karma

Absolutely. Get with a local locksmith and have them help you out. do you have a picture?

TheBlueSlipper1 karma

Are old timey skeleton key locks hard to pick? (Outside door--not the simpler inside door skeleton keys.)

HeyMyNameIsIan2 karma

I haven't had the chance to work with one, so I'm not too sure to be honest! Great question though, nobodies asked me that yet.

HappyCamper_20201 karma

Are there basic education qualification to be a locksmith?

HeyMyNameIsIan2 karma

In my state, you have to pass a test involving basic knowledge of locks, and a morality test. Apart from that, they didn't ask me for an education level what-so-ever.

DeathByZanpakuto110 karma

Why are normal consumers not allowed to carry Skeleton keys for their own vehicles?

HeyMyNameIsIan10 karma

Skeleton Keys don't exist, sir, especially for vehicles.