Locksmiths don’t get enough credit. Crazy, right!?
Think about it—as a locksmith you keep safe what your clients love most: their families, homes, cars, and countless valuables. Every day, new homeowners increase the demand for better home security, complex lock systems require more training, and clients want locksmiths to be hip to the latest locksmith software tools.
With so much new security hardware, you might find that you’re still lugging around some outdated equipment. If your toolkit hasn’t seen an update since MacGyver was last on TV—or if you want to perform faster on the job and blow clients away—you’ll want to stick around for our list of the 26 essential locksmith tools that every technician MUST have.
What Tools Do Locksmith Technicians Use?
Locksmiths perform installation, repair, and rebuilds of locking devices. You’ll need a variety of small and large hand tools, power tools, fuel-burning tools, electric tools, and inspection flashlights to get the job done.
Standard Locksmith Tool Kit
Beginners’ lock pick set: As a first investment, you’ll need a diverse set of 9 picks. Yep, this is the same set of lock picks that made your parents suspicious when you bought them as a kid. Choose a set that includes a basic hook pick, a diamond pick, and a rake.
Broken key extractors: An extractor scissor set with various configurations will remove broken keys and awkward pieces jammed inside keyholes.
Formed end tweezers: Obviously, not the ones you pick your nose with, but tweezers specifically for locksmiths. Tweezers with formed ends pick up small pins and do what your hands aren’t capable of.
Laser key cutter and key duplicator: Is your workspace crammed with multiple cutting machines? Nowadays, a single machine can cut standard, auto, simple cut, barrel, and dimple keys. Cut every key code by using the Miracle A9/SEC9 milling machine, and duplicate keys at the same time!
Padlock shims: These tools for locksmiths take apart locks by twisting between the hasp and body of the lock. Hasps differ in width, so you’ll want a few sizes.
Tension tools: We’re not talking about the tension that arises when certain family members come over—locksmiths’ tension tools stop pins from being pushed back down by springs when torque is applied to lock plugs. Keep a spring-loaded circular wrench on hand, or use a feather touch tension wrench for greater control and torque.
Hand-held scope: Good eyesight is the difference between staying safe and getting seriously injured on the job. Working in compact spaces throws off our perception, which is why a lighting scope is an essential tool for locksmiths.
Locksmith Tools for Cars
In 2015, AAA rescued 32 million helpless drivers, many of which were car lockouts. (Ahem-we were definitely never one of these calls.) What does this mean for you? Locksmith tools for cars are an essential part of your toolbox. Auto entry kits require specific tools for technicians covering American, Japanese, and European cars.
Universal gas cap: Car door keys aren’t the only keys that go missing. Many gas caps feature a lock to prevent gas theft, so bring along a universal gas cap tryout key to open any tank.
Small and large auto wedge set: Made out of ABS plastic, wedge sets slide in smoothly between the window and rubber window scraper during car openings.
Slim jim set: This came in handy the last time the authors did not call AAA for a lockout. Round and clamp-on slim jims should always be in your case; every lockout has different conditions, so aim for variety.
Auto shutter toolset: This toolset holds open dust covers of automotive locks. Handle locks with care and be sure not to damage a customer’s car with auto shutters. This toolset holds open dust covers of automotive locks.
Auto jigglers: A special lock pick for cars, useful for domestic and foreign cars.
Locksmith Tools for Homes
Lock and safe scope: A scope for safes or vaults should have a strong beam of light to read wafers and to make sure you don’t damage any valuables.
Everest locks tension wrench: Designed for picking Schlage Everest cylinders, which are commonly found on house door knobs; these lift the check pin in the rear of the cylinder keyway.
Key decoder: It might sound like something from a spy movie, but a locksmith’s key decoders are plastic or metal cards that help determine the pin depth on different keys including Weslock, Master, Weiser, Schlage, and Kwikset.
Locksmiths Safe and Vault Tools
Safe change key set: The K-18 Change Key Set is a set of the twelve common safe change keys.
Broken drill bit extractors: There’s nothing like a broken drill bit to bring your work to a screeching halt. This precision drill has 3 layers, offers a solid grip, and helps extract broken bits that are 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick.
Thermic lance: This powerhouse tool burns at a temperature of over 5530°C and easily melts through all materials including bullet-proof glass, steel, concrete, granite, iron, and high-density barrier hard plates.
Locksmiths Equipment and Safety
Toolbox: A Stanley Fat Max toolbox is durable, rust-resistant and will protect your hand tools and accessories from all weather conditions.
Safety gloves: You need hand protection, so cut-resistant gloves stop splinters from slipping under your skin.
Eye protection: Corey Hart might wear his sunglasses at night, but sunglasses won’t protect you from debris, cutting and drilling metal shavings, or fire sparks. Make sure to invest in a good pair of safety glasses.
Protective footwear: Technicians are on their feet all day. Steel toe boots reduce injuries and swelling to your feet while you’re working.
Business Software for Locksmiths
- 23: Client scheduling: A string of scattered job cancellations or last-minute reschedules can rattle your cash flow. A detailed, color-coded calendar view spots gaps when dispatching jobs, and client notifications prevent profit losses from booking mistakes.
- 24: Team tracking: You’ll need a mobile app that allows technicians to collaborate in real-time and location tracking to optimize time, travel costs, and routes.
- 25: Communication & voice: Create a local and toll-free number for your business, record client calls, and track sales call closing rates.
- 26: Invoicing: Field tech and office dispatches easily send out recurring or custom invoices and gentle reminders, and speed up the payment process.