Ziptide October 2018

Oct. 2, 2018

Opinions on Locksmithing

Concerning your newsletter on the ALOA convention’s low attendance (Same Show, Different Perspectives, 12421028), you failed to mention that locksmithing is a dying art, especially old school methods. Manufacturers and YouTube are cutting out the need for locksmiths ...all the secrets exposed, how-to do it yourself videos and self rekeying locks and so on. Try to find a locksmith retail store these days..most are gone. Home Depot and other big stores sell cheaper and even instruct how to do it yourself. The young are not interested in locksmithing at all. That’s the reason Foley Belsaw went out of business -- no more demand for the courses. If a locksmith wants to make a living, he has to get into electronic locks, access systems and security systems or one can not survive in the field. I myself had to drop locksmithing to make a real living in a field that is in demand

Mark Adams

Boothbay, ME

While the ranks of locksmiths have thinned, there are still more than enough operating locksmiths to fill a convention center if there is an incentive for those people to attend. By holding a convention at one end of the country, people from 4000 miles away are just not going to come. That was the point of my article.

Second, you are correct about the loss of some traditional locksmith jobs. Technicians who can fix stick shift transmissions will find very few jobs these days with the change toward automatic transmissions, but there more cars than ever on the roads.  We must change with the times and offer the public what is in demand today which is electronic security.  

A general rule of thumb is that it requires a base of approximately  25,000 people to support a locksmith business within that business area.  According to the internet, BoothBay has a population of 3,000.  I do not pretend to know your situation but it may true that there is not enough demand in your particular area to support a locksmith business.  

Today a locksmith cannot be a general practitioner. He must concentrate on safes, access control, automotive or hardware installations.  A locksmith must decide which facet of the business will be most profitable.  A locksmith cannot wait for the phone to ring. He must actively go out and sell his services to school districts, real estate companies, hospitals or any other entity which might have recurring business for a locksmith. Leave the change combinations to Home Depot but let Home Depot know that you can install Baldwin decorative hardware after their customer buys the lock.  New times require new strategies.

--Gale Johnson

Cadillac Smart Keys

Hi, my name is Jake from Keynet and I have a few questions about the RemUnlocker. Recently when I have been unlocking the Cadillac Smart keys (768T), it says it unlocks it, but when someone tries to program the key, it says it’s locked. I was wondering if you can help me with this?

Electronics in transponder keys can be regularly changed to increase security. We suggest that you contact either the distributor where you purchased your RemUnlocker or the original manufacturer and inquire if any upgrades have been made available.     

-- Gale Johnson

Subscribe To ENewsletters

Want monthly updates delivered right into your Inbox? Subscribe to Locksmith Ledger’s monthly enewsletters.

  • Our issue promo enewsletter gives readers an online preview of each new issue.
  • ProductWatch showcases the newest products being marketed to locksmiths.
  • EventWatch notifies are readers of upcoming trade shows and educational opportunities.
  • Notes from the Editor is a timely, interesting monthly report from Editor-In-Chief Gale Johnson.

Just visit, select the newsletters you would like to receive, and type in your email address, and soon these monthly updates will arrive in your Inbox.

Send Your Letters

The editors of Locksmith Ledger welcome reader input. We would like to hear your comments and suggestions on any of our articles or general industry trends and topics.Share your opinions on relevant topics like locksmith licensing, the shift from key to keyless for both automotive and residential, and the state of our industry in general. Let us know what works and doesn't work for your business.

Letters can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Locksmith Ledger, 125 S. Wilke Road, Suite 300, Arlington Heights, IL 60005.