Back Page, January 2024

Jan. 26, 2024

10 Years Ago

Like this January, High Security was our cover theme in January 2014. In the article “Maximum Security with Medeco Maxum,” Medeco’s Ann McCrady outlines the features of this high-security deadbolt.,  Solid brass, free turning collar and 1/4 inch diameter mounting bolts resist wrenching, prying and hammering attacks. One-inch throw hardened steel bolt resists sawing and crowbar attacks. Another high-security article gave tips for pinning Kaba Peaks cylinders. Allegion’s Ron Taylor provided guidance on selecting the right products for areas within a facility that need higher security. In the article “Upgrading Trilogy Locks to Networx Access Control,” Jerry Levine installed an Alarm Lock Trilogy upgrade kit to allow for global lockdown capability, audit trails and network management.  Levine also installed the new ACSI 1550K-MDV Motor Drive Electric Latch Retraction Kit onto a Von Duprin XP99 Series Rim Panic Device. Codelocks introduced the Codelocks 5210 and NetLock offering the benefits of electronics via USB and the internet, no wiring required. Tim O’Leary’s article, “Video Surveillance Migrates to IP,” discussed the changeover from analog systems. Gale Johnson took on the challenge of restoring a vintage Schlage screen door latch. “Lock Saver Lubricant Proves Its Metal” described the impact of Alaskan weather on locks. Very fine dust gets into tight crevices, clogging up everything from springs to tumblers. T-handle locks and mailboxes also need a lot of care. After treatment with Lock Saver, Alaskan locksmith Neil Moss found that they worked like new locks.


20 Years Ago

Jerry Levine practiced sidewinder key cutting with an Ilco Triax-E code machine.  Levine also used a Jet duplicator and programming equipment to clone keys for a Honda CR-V.  Gale Johnson reported on the Framon KX-1 code machine.  A list of the 100 top-selling key blanks was printed.  An article on new key blanks focused on profitable decorative key introductions.  An application list for the A-1 Pak-A-Punch showed the dozens of car models and code series supported by this machine.  Tim O’Leary described questions to consider before choosing an electric strike for your next access control job.  Locknetics offered solutions for securing drawers and cabinets.  Levine listed the various original lock manufacturers’ locks which could be operated by the convertible HES 1006 electric strike unit.  Levine also offered basic instructions for installing electric strikes in aluminum door frames.  Falcon Lock wrote an article on solving unit lock replacement problems with their Falcon RU series lever-style unit locks.  Tiny fit keys to a Mauck MSV Special vehicle.  Tiny also showed how to disassemble and service a Schlage A series knob lock.  Our Locksmithing Etc. column had important lock and key information for Polaris ATV vehicles. O’Leary explained how to use a digital voltmeter.


State of the Industry 2004

Twenty years ago, Locksmith Ledger Editor-in-Chief Gale Johnson shared some thoughts on the State of the Industry. Like a Monday morning quarterback, it is interesting to look back and read the problems and perspectives reported at that time.  Aaron Fish suggested that the future course for locksmiths will be in electronics and high-end hardware sales.  Rex Parmelee emphasized the need for education as our industry changes. Sean DeForrest, American Lock & Supply, observed that most locksmith revenue will be coming from service sales and not product sales.

In 2004, George W. Bush started his second term as president;’ the inflation rate was 1.9 percent; the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent and a gallon of gasoline dipped below the two-dollar level.

Based on our 2023 State of the Industry Report, those trends have continued, although we want to add that mechanical door hardware is still very important, with no signs of going away. Here are three key takeaways, 20 years later:

  • 81 percent of locksmiths surveyed sell and install mechanical door hardware, followed by 54 percent selling electrified door hardware and 52 percent, electronic access control.
  • The smart lock market growth continues, both in traditional locksmithing and, notably, in the automotive sector. Technology advances listed as most important to locksmiths in 2023, in order, were smart locks, automotive transponders and wireless solutions.
  • Locksmiths today are also facing some challenges that were not foreseen 20 years ago. These include industry consolidation, supply chain issues lingering from the Pandemic and hiring and training qualified employees.  

Download and read the 2023 State of the Industry Report at