How to Recognize a Reputable Locksmith

You are the key holder at your business, and you get to work and can’t find your keys – with the store opening in an hour. During moments like these, you are too preoccupied with getting out of your predicament to spend a lot of time investigating the locksmith.

It might be a good time to investigate further so you are prepared before the next lockout.

Here are a few ways to know you've contacted a reputable locksmith.


Did you know that locksmiths don't need licenses in Ontario? Unfortunately, this means there are scammers out there alongside the experienced professionals. If your locksmith company keeps mentioning their license, that's a tip-off that they are being dishonest with you.

Watch for companies that are up front with their policies, products, and services. You should always hear the company name when you call for assistance. If someone simply answers the phone with "This is Jim" or other vague references about the company, go elsewhere for help.

Feel free to ask if the locksmith has a physical as well as mobile presence. Most locksmith sites provide photos of their location or service vehicles for brand recognition. They will also offer price quotes.

Even if you get lucky with an inexperienced locksmith, you cannot afford to damage a costly security system with sub-par installation or parts. When faced with a unique challenge or difficult lock, a reputable locksmith counts on multiple years of experience to take care of the problem.

Tools and Equipment
It's tempting to think that you can configure a hair pin to open that closed lock, but the truth is more complex. In particular, today's high-security locking systems require special equipment during installation and maintenance.

A trusted professional generally carries these basic tools to every installation or emergency job:

  • Plug spinner – rotates or spins a plug to the unlocked position
  • Computerized pick – configures as many as 6 pins during complex procedures
  • Key extractor – removes a broken key or other debris from a lock's cylinder
  • Pick gun – uses picks instead of drill bits (similar to a drill)
  • Tension wrench – accesses shear lines with light to rigid pressure (locksmiths generally use 3 pressure types)
  • Deadbolt kit – allows locksmiths to install deadbolt systems correctly
  • Router drill – cuts holes in multiple directions, offering flexibility to the locksmith
  • Locksmith hammer – comes with different faces, including chiselled, round, rectangular, or flat; allow locksmith to do embossing, chasing, riveting, or chiselling during specified jobs.
  • Calliper – measures a key's root depth in order to duplicate keys or replicate locks

Fair Prices and Payment Options
If you ask a professional locksmith for a price estimate, he or she can give you a reliable quote. If the locksmith gives a vague response, you may have to pay more than you want to.

Similarly, a reputable locksmith company gives you several payment options (not just cash) and backs up the work, either with an in-house guarantee or warranty. It's never a problem to get a detailed receipt, either. Scammers won't guarantee their work or offer a receipt for their cash-only jobs.

Sometimes, even a true professional has trouble with complicated tasks. Still, it shouldn't take long for a locksmith to see what's wrong and tip you off to the price. If your lock has to be replaced, your locksmith will give you specific reasons for the extra expense. Also, if you have to pay emergency fees or service minimum fees, your locksmith should tell you as part of the preliminary quote.

In sum, it pays to ask about prices and payment policies up front.

Although many locksmiths offer service around the clock, they will be clear about their service policies at odd hours. A reputable company wants your business and is willing to offer services that match your needs.

If you have to call a locksmith in the wee hours of the morning, you may pay more for that privilege, but you will still get the help you need, when you need it.

Finally, a reliable locksmith builds up a good reputation in the community.

Once you know how to find a true professional in the lock and key business, you will never worry about your security at home, at work, or on the road. Contact Davies Lock & Door Services for your commercial locksmith needs in Toronto, Ontario today.