I was listening to a seasoned locksmith complain about the high cost of automotive tools. He went on for several minutes talking about the automotive tools “in the day”. A lock pick was under one dollar, car opening tools were not much more than a couple of dollars and specialized tools were less than ten.
I asked him if he still does automotive work as I agree, some of the specialty automotive tools are expensive. He replied yes, however, it seems to take much more time to finish a job. He complained that door panels are harder to remove and trunk locks are becoming impossible because of the amount of plastic. Then once he removed the lock, still had to disassemble it in order to decode the depths of cut. The average job to originate a key to a vehicle can sometimes take half a day, he said almost moaning.
I told him he could simplify his life on at least some vehicles. There are specialized tools that are expensive, but the tool will pay for itself in the amount of time saved, usually after one or a just few jobs.
Just about all of the decoding tools eliminate the need to remove or disassemble the lock in order to originate a key. Depending upon the lock mechanism, there may be no additional work in order to originate a key if the number of wafer tumblers is the same in the door, trunk and ignition locks. For those with varying numbers of wafer tumblers in the different locks, most can be decoded by using trial and error to determine the additional depths of cut in the ignition lock.
Quality tools are only expensive if you do not use them.