Tools of the Trade

Although the locksmith’s trade has evolved considerably since the first locks were invented 4,000 years ago, some aspects of the profession have never changed. Becoming a locksmith requires intensive training in the use of specialized tools and equipment, the inappropriate use of which can lead to theft and burglary. In recent decades, as locks became more sophisticated and durable, locksmiths had to master new, state-of-the-art digital tools and equipment. Nevertheless, some of the tools your grandfather’s locksmith used will still be found in the toolbox (or belt) of your own locksmith.

Here are just a few:

Slim Jim: Sometimes referred to as a “lockout tools,” a Slim Jim is a simple—but indispensable—locksmith tool. Used to open car doors, the Slim Jim is a thin, long piece of metal measuring approximately 24 inches long and 1 inch wide. When using this handy tool, you slip the hooked end between the car window and the seal, latching onto the rods that connect to the lock. Why is the Slim Jim so useful? For starters, it acts on the rods, rather than on the lock mechanism. Used inappropriately, a Slim Jim will detach the rods; used appropriately, and by a skilled locksmith, the toll will, usually, open even the most durable of car doors.

J and L Tool: These tools are usually used on older car models—those without electric locks. If your car has raised lock and unlock buttons, a locksmith can slip a J or L tool through the window and raise the unlock button so that the car door opens. The tools are named after their respective shapes—J or L—and although the tool your locksmith uses will depend on your car’s model, both are, when used appropriately, highly useful in opening older car doors.

Bump Keys: You guessed it: Bump keys are used to “bump” locks. A combination of a lock pick and a standard key, a bump key must be vehicle appropriate, for it operates on a car’s key blanks, each of which has its own unique shape and size. When done correctly, lock bumping is one of the quickest (it takes mere seconds) and safest ways to open a lock. Very few locks are designed in such a way that they cannot be “bumped.”

We hope you enjoyed this blog post, and that you’ll continue to check in with us for more interesting posts about commercial, residential, and automotive locksmith techniques and methods. And don’t forget: Multi Locksmith is here to find quick and easy solutions for all of your locksmith emergencies. We’re open 24, hours a day, 7 days a year, 365 days a year.

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