The last 12 months have been challenging, with the annual inflation rate expected to hover between 3.5% and 4% this year and higher interest rates meaning that financing new equipment is more costly. The products that locksmiths install have become more expensive, too, with most distributors passing price increases down the line to their customers. One positive is that the average cost of a gallon of gas is $3.46 for March 2023, down from $4.22 a year ago.
In this uneasy economic environment, we hope Locksmith Ledger’s 2023 National Average Price Survey, will be a tool for commercial locksmiths to use when setting their prices. We are interested in seeing if locksmiths held the line or passed on their rising costs to their customers.
While calculating results, the only trend we could identify is that every locksmith business charges a little differently. Many folks noted in the comments that our categories are vague and that their pricing models depend on mileage, parts and other factors. Still, we had a great response and we hope this general pricing information is helpful.
This year, we added the general category of service calls, based on some reader requests, because some locksmiths charge hourly; some charge a flat rate and many charge a combination of the two, often with mileage/travel charges calculated as well. Most pricing in our survey does not include the cost of parts. The average service call was $90.
Readers Explain Their Pricing
We appreciate the readers who offered the following explanations of their pricing strategies, as listed here.
Prices to rekey locks are prices we charge when locks are brought to us at the shop. We charge $20 labor to remove and replace, in addition to service call and rekey charges, when we go to their location. We charge service call plus labor and materials, unless it is a very minor fix, then we only charge for the service call.
Our local charge is $89 Canadian, taxes extra, which includes first half hour within 20 kilometers of the shop. We add $1 per 5/8 of a mile. We operate in a small city. We frequent Toronto which is 90 miles away. We have a flat rate charge of $159 plus a $15 fuel surcharge. We try to set up two or more jobs on those days.
Most service events are by the hour. It depends on frames (concrete vs wood) etc.
Our hourly rates start at $165/hour, $185/hour for electronic and safe work Minimum charge is $89 trip charge plus two-hour minimum ($165 or $185) so minimum is $419 to $459. Hourly charges are doubled when it’s a 2 man job like safe moving/installation or door replacement.
All my labor is based port to port on $165 minimum one hour and $115.00 per hour after billed (including partial) 1/4 hour increments. Safe labor is the only thing that deviates from this rate. I am working on increasing our labor rates this year.
Honestly, the idea that many of these categories have a generic price is absolutely ridiculous. The only rational way to operate is a service call charge to arrive at the job location and a price for each service performed, such as: Service call to your home, $129, Schlage B60 deadbolt, approximately $75, installation $160, rekey two other cylinders while I’m there, $39-$49.
Lockout call is not a thing, for us; it’s in the more useful category of ‘Emergency Service Call.’ The cost of the procedure needed stays the same; the cost of ‘the ‘first drop on the meter’ will be more if we are squeezing you in before dinner than if you scheduled a week in advance.
Single Cut 3.80
Double Cut 6.30
High Security 23
Key from Broken Sample 15
Fit Key or Rekey Cylinder
Set to Masterkey System 28
High Security Cylinder 35
Safe Deposit Lock 54
Tubular Lock 45
Fitting 1st Key: Impressioning 30
Fitting 1st Key: Reading 30
Fit Standard Key 75
Fit Transponder Key 140
Fit Sidewinder Key 176
Fit Motorcycle Key 115
Program Transponder Key 82
All Keys Lost 240
Rekey Ignition Lock 100
Install Electric Strike 175
Install Exit Alarm 175
Install Electromagnetic Lock 240
Install Electronic Lock, Wired 230
Install Electronic Lock, Wireless 200
Program Electronic Lock 59
Install Keypad/Reader 172
Electrify Lock/Exit Device 400
Upgrade to Touchless Actuator 300
Install Integrated System 502
Lock / Door Hardware Installations
Install Cylindrical Deadbolt 75
Install Cylindrical Lever Lock 70
Install Mortise Deadbolt 148
Install Door Closer 132
Install Rim Exit Device 158
Install Vertical Rod Exit Device 372
Install Automatic Door Opener 410
Install Continuous Hinge 270
Open Safe by Drilling 380
Open Safe by Manipulation 325
Change Combination 80
Convert Lock to Electronic 180
Safe Moving / Installation 305
This year’s results were very similar to last year’s results. Some prices increased slightly, while a few others decreased by a small amount. The average lockout call charge was $110, compared to $85 in 2022, possibly as a result of uncertain fuel costs. Average hourly rates were $95 for 2023, compared to $92 a year ago.
In the automotive sector, the average cost for transponder key programming was $140, with prices quoted from $20 to $250. The most expensive auto jobs involve an all keys lost situation, which can cost up to $500 and averaged $240
Electronics jobs were especially hard to price, since they depend on the cost of the hardware and the installation site conditions, as well as the hourly rates of the technicians. Many locksmiths were charging approximately the same amount for wired and wireless lock installations. A wired electronic lock install averaged $230, only$30 more than a wireless lock installation at $200. The cost of electrifying locks and exit devices jumped sharply in 2023 to $400.
Other high-ticket jobs included vertical rod exit device installations at $372 and automatic door installations at $410.
In the safe servicing niche, four out of five categories were up slightly, while combination changes fell from an average of $94 in 2022 to $80 in 2023.
As expected, prices are generally higher in large metropolitan areas and resort areas and lower in smaller cities and rural areas.