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Monthly Archives: June 2013

  • Lock Picking

    Posted on June 26th, 2013 0 Comments

    Locksmiths like ours all offer emergency lockout services. What does that mean? It means no matter the day or the time, we will be there when you lock yourself out of your hose, car, office, etc. But what exactly is it that we do? You must be curious and it’s always good to be informed, not matter the topic. Let’s look at some of the more popular ways professionals work on your locks


    Lock Picking

    A classic. You see it on all the shows and they make it seem so effortless. Insert the tool, jiggling it a bit, and voila! An open door. Is it really that easy? Well, that depends on how much practice you’ve had and your knowledge of the locks you’re picking. Most professional lock pickers have a lock picking set to assist them. While youtube videos can show you have to do it with paper clips and bobby pins during an emergency, you got to admit it would be pretty cool pulling out your own tool set.

    The basic idea with picking locks is that you insert the tools and mess with the pins until they slot into place and the lock is released. This may sound easy, but trust me; it’s really not if you’ve never done it before. Of course, professionals can get you into the door in a few minutes, but if you decide to give it a try, it’ll probably take a bit longer.


    Lock Bumping

    Lock bumping is another method locksmiths may use when you have an emergency lockout. They have something known as a “bump key” which they insert into the lock. This key is cut with even ridges. Once the key is inside, it is hit or “bumped”. The idea is that the force of the key being hit will cause the pins to jump. Knock it a few times and in theory the pins all jump into place and open the lock.


    Air Bags

    Inflatable airbags are occasionally used, depending on the situation. Armed with an air pump, you slip them between the crack of the door and the door frame near the lock. Inflate it and it should push the door away from the frame, creating a space that should be enough for the door to swing open.


    Credit Cards

    The classic Nancy Drew method of picking a lock. What you need is a flexible card. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a credit card or not. Actually, it’s probably best it isn’t considering the potential damage. Membership cards and gift cards work just as well. You insert in between the door and the doorjamb. Your goal is to catch the bolt and force it back into the door. It may take a couple of tries and a broken card, but this is the most simplistic method of picking a lock.


    Drilling

    Drilling a lock is usually the last measure locksmiths employ so if the one you hire goes straight to drilling, something is not right. What happens is that a drill is inserted into the lock and it destroys the pin inside. Once the pins are destroyed, you simply turn the lock and the door is opened. If that doesn’t work, a bigger drill has to be implemented. The problem with this type of lock picking is that it completely destroys the lock. There is no way to fix it so on top of paying to get your door unlocked, you have to pay for a brand new lock.


    Chicago Locksmith

    Chicago Locksmith is the name you want in an emergency. Serving the local Chicago area, we guarantee efficiency during your time of distress. No matter the time or date, we promise fair prices and expert services. All of our professionals are trained to be in and out in a matter of minutes. So save our number to your phone. You never know when you’ll need our services.

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  • What Do You Know About You Car Keys?

    Posted on June 11th, 2013 0 Comments

    The locks of your car are just as important as the ones in your home.  And just like there are different keys for your home, there are different ones for your car.

    Mechanical Key

    Mechanical keys are the traditional form of car keys.  They look remarkably similar to regular house keys with notches and cuts.  These are the easiest to replicate if lost.  While this type of key is slowly losing popularity, some domestic trucks still use mechanical keys.  Chevrolet, GM, and Ford are among some of the companies.

    Laser-Cut Keys

    Also known as “sidewinder” or “internal cut”, laser-cut keys are among the more advance automobile keys.  They have blunt edges and identical cuts on the flat sides.  Because of this, the key can be inserted into the ignition both ways.  These keys require special equipment for production making it harder to replicate.  The lock itself is also harder to pick because of the unique shape of the key.  While laser-cut keys used to be expensive, its growing popularity has allowed companies such as Honda and Kia to offer the option along with luxury vehicles like Mercedes.

    Transponder Keys

    Most cars nowadays have transponder keys.  What makes a transponder key is not the cut of the key, but rather the computer chip inside the key handle.  The key itself can be mechanical-cut or laser-cut.  If you have a transponder lock, neither will work without the transponder key because the vehicle is immobilized.  The chip sends a signal to unlock the immobilizer which allows the driver to start the engine.  These keys provide additional security because each transponder is programmed to respond to a specific car.  Reproducing the transmission, while not impossible, is difficult.

    Smart Keys

    Smart keys are, in a way, like universal remotes for the car.  The fob has a laser-cut key built into it that doesn’t need to be used.  Instead, everything is started by remote.  A press of a button on the key fob will unlock the doors and the trunk.  Instead on the usual ignition, cars with smart keys usually have a push button ignition that activates when the key is close by.  Just press it to start the car.  Some companies have gone so far as to allowing individual settings programmed into the key.  Unlock the car with a smart key and the car will automatically adjust steering wheel position, mirror settings, seat positions, etc., to personal preferences.

    Valet Keys

    Usually given with the regular keys, valet keys are car keys that have been slightly altered.  When using valet keys, the user can only unlock the doors and start the ignition.  They are not able to access the glove box or the trunk.  As the name suggests, it is convenient when handing over your keys to a valet or a stranger.

    Chicago Locksmith

    If you’re ever locked out of your car in Chicago, give Chicago locksmith a call.  We have both the technology and skills to deal with all the keys previously mentioned.  We can replicate mechanical keys on site and duplicate laser-cut keys as well.  If you have any problems with your transponder key, we know how to deal with the programming.  We can even re-key your car locks and replace your ignition.  All of our locksmiths are trained and certified so don’t stress.  We can deal with any issues you may have with your car locks

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