What does a locksmith do?

April 23, 2019

Locked out of your house? Lost your car keys? Or perhaps you need a broken lock fixed, or replacing. Checkatrade has hundreds of locksmiths listed, with countless reviews to help you find a locksmith in your local area you can trust.

If you need an emergency locksmith, a number of our locksmiths offer 24-hour call-out.

What does a locksmith do?

Locksmiths are typically the first person you think to call if you’ve lost your car keys and don’t have access to your spare, or you’re locked out of your house. In fact, locksmiths also carry out many non-emergency tasks. Locksmith services can include:
• Key cutting (including keys for garage door locks, window locks and padlocks)
• Fitting and repairing locks
• Cutting, programming and repairing car keys
• Fitting, opening and repairing safes
• Installing access control systems

How do you find a locksmith you can trust?

While there isn’t any legal requirement for a locksmith to have a license, looking out for MLA Approved Locksmiths (Master Locksmiths Association) is a good place to start. Often, choosing a local company over a national call centre is preferable, because larger call centres often contract work out to local tradespeople, and may not vet them as fully as a smaller, local company would.

Before a locksmith can join Checkatrade, we personally speak to a number of their previous customers to check that they provide excellent quality service. All of our members are then rated against their reliability and timekeeping, tidiness, courtesy and more by other customers, so you can browse reviews to find the perfect fit.

What questions should you ask a locksmith?

Locksmiths in the UK don’t need to have any specific qualifications, and many learn their trade by becoming a trainee or apprentice first. However, knowing that your locksmith has received a certain level of formal training is always helpful in ensuring they can provide a high-quality service.

Are you insured?

Locksmiths will be handling some of your most prized possessions, like your car or your home. Making sure they’re insured gives you piece of mind in case there are any accidents.
Do you carry out background checks on your employees?

If hiring a locksmith from a larger company, it’s useful to know if they carry out any kind of background check on their employees to make sure you don’t have any unscrupulous tradespeople working on your locks.

Especially important if you need an emergency locksmith, being local and available are very important factors if you’re locked out!

Are you able to work with transponder chip keys?

Most modern car keys have these chips in them, but locksmiths need specialist training to work with them. If you need a new car key cut, make sure the locksmith is able to work with the type of key you have.

Can you give me an idea on price?

For many types of locksmithing jobs, the locksmith should be able to give you an estimate over the phone. This is especially good to know in an emergency; the last thing you want is for a locksmith to arrive for you to find out it’s more expensive than you hoped! Be aware that unforeseen circumstances may affect the actual cost of the job, and it’s worth confirming the price with the locksmith once they’ve had chance to properly examine the task.

What qualifications should a locksmith have?

While there are no requirements for locksmiths to have qualifications, and many learn their trade on the job, there are a number of qualifications and accreditations that locksmiths may hold.

Locksmiths who have completed a Master Locksmith Association apprenticeship will hold a Level 2 Certificate in Locksmithing, which is currently the only nationally recognised locksmithing qualification. However, there are specialist training courses available for certain types of car keys, UPVC locks, access control systems and restricted key systems.

If you need specialist locksmithing work carried out, ask whether the locksmith has experience in carrying out similar work, and have a look at their reviews to see what their past customers have to say.

You can view a full list of the qualifications and accreditations a locksmith has on their Checkatrade profile.

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