Video Education in the 21st Century

Close-up of a GM six-cut lock demonstrating decoding principles.


Back in the 1890s, when Thomas Edison patented the device that would give birth to the motion picture industry, he truly believed that the real value in motion pictures would be in education. Even after movies caught on for entertainment, he continued to believe that they were a passing fad and that...


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Now that DVD technology has become so affordable, we can easily offer a DVD along with a tool so that you can actually see how the tool is used in the real world. Being able to see how a tool like our High Security Flip-Pick works shows you the specific techniques that people who are familiar with the tool use when they operate the tool. Just being able to see the way you need to hold the tool can often mean the difference between success and failure.

I have included a DVD video manual with each car-opening tool set that I’ve sold for quite a few years. If the user takes the time to watch those videos, he’ll learn a great deal about how to use all of the tools in the set, including how to use the car-opening manual. When choosing the video for a particular tool, I’ve always tried to select challenging examples that I think my viewers would want to see. Through the years, I have also updated the vehicles covered in these video manuals to keep the content current and show how the older tools still work on many of the newer vehicles.

It’s my hope that these video manuals get used in training sessions for new employees as well. With the tool set video, Jiffy-Jak video, VW-EZ Pick video and others, any shop has access to a wealth of training materials. In these days of tightening belts and sky high gas prices, video education is a bargain when you compare it to taking time off work, driving or flying somewhere, and paying to attend a convention or a class.

Back in the mid 90s, I had a very busy time producing videos on the new lock systems that GM and Ford introduced. Those videos are now available in an updated DVD format and are still one of the best assets a locksmith can have for learning about the lock systems on domestic vehicles. At the moment, I’m producing a DVD on the new high-security lock systems that GM has just introduced on vehicles such as the Camaro, Equinox, LaCrosse, G8, and Astra. I suspect that these new lock systems are going to change the landscape of automotive locksmithing yet again.

In addition, I’m working on the second installment of the transponder series and a long-delayed picking video that uses computer animation to go inside the locks. The computer animation is particularly challenging and rewarding at the same time. I did my first computer animation back in the early 90s and included it in my impressioning video “Mastering the Art of Impressioning,” but the technology has come a long way since then. I also used computer animation in my “Basic Locksmithing – Knoblocks & Deadbolts” video, now updated for DVD. The animation for the upcoming picking video builds on both of these projects and hopefully will provide the viewer with a much greater understanding of the topics.

Video for the web seems like it will be the next big thing and I’m in the process of converting much of my video into a format that can be accessed through the web. Of course there is the problem of restricting access to locksmith videos to professionals only, but that problem is also being solved. Soon, I hope to be able to offer online and interactive video for locksmiths in a very affordable format. But in the meantime, we’ve already started adding video to our online store so that you can see some of the tools in our catalog in use.

As locksmiths, we get paid more for what we know, rather than what we do. The future is always uncertain, but the more you know how to do, the more options you have. Video education for locksmiths is giving us all more options. Are you making the most of your educational opportunities?

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