Non Destructive Entry | How Choosing The Right Locksmith Can Save You Money

Non Destructive Entry

Usually when someone loses the keys to their home they will type something like ’24 hour locksmiths’  or ‘Locksmith near me‘ into google. There is nothing wrong with these search terms. However, armed with more knowledge of how some locksmiths operate, the customer could save themselves quite a bit of money.

Locksmiths who are trained, and practice the method of non destructive entry, are able to open the majority of locked doors, without destroying the locks. Obviously as time goes by, and locks are becoming more high spec, the art of non destructive entry is dying. However, as things stand most locks should still be opened without pulling the drill out the bag.

If you need a locksmith you should look for a company that offers a ‘non destructive locksmith service’. This means they are highly trained at opening locks, and try many opening methods to avoid destroying the lock. Therefore saving the customer money on expensive parts and labour.


pros and cons of non destructive entry


As mentioned above, getting people in their home without destroying their locks will save them money – which i’m sure makes most people happy.

From a Locksmiths perspective having a happy customer is a good Thing. They will spread the word about your service. They may also call again if they require your line of work. Happy customers leave good reviews online. Search engines like Google take note of these good reviews and alter the company website rankings accordingly.


From the customers point of view there are no cons. Whats the con in saving money?

The main reasons some emergency locksmith firms open locks destructively is to make the maximum ‘MONEY’ from each job.

For example, say someone is locked out, and their lock is a Yale nightlatch. A ‘non destructive locksmith’ will charge around £50 to £60 for opening that particular lock – this can be done 9 times out of 10 without destroying the lock.

However, if the locksmith is money orientated, they will drill out the lock and replace it with a new one. They will charge the customer for supplying and fitting a new lock, plus a fee for getting them back in the property. this total job can now cost anywhere from £80 to £120 – sometimes more.

So as you can see from the example above a ‘non Destructive’ locksmith can get you back in your home faster and cheaper than his destructive counterpart, and their locksmith prices are far cheaper


how does non destructive entry work?

The first thing to point out is that not all locks can be opened without destroying the lock. For Example a British standard mortice lock can be a nightmare to open non destructively. They have so many safety features to prevent a burglary that opening one can be almost impossible. Therefore destroying this type of lock may be the only option for accessing the property.  Apart from these locks however most household locks can be bypassed, sometimes with frightening ease!

Good 24 hour Locksmith firms have many methods of opening a lock without destroying it. For example, if I was attending a lockout with the lock in the adjacent picture. I would first try sliding a special bit card down the gap of the door with the intention of sliding back the latch. Some people believe they can open a locked door with a credit card, However a credit card is neither long enough or flexible enough to open a door this way.

Non destructive entry to a yale lock

If the above method didn’t open the lock I would put a mirror through the letter box and a locksmith letterbox tool. This tool would then allow me to open the lock by turning the handle on the inside to the open position.

If the letterbox method didn’t work I could go on to picking the lock or even  ‘bumping’ it open with special keys etc…

So as you can see from the above examples there are many ways to open certain locks – its highly unlikely they will all fail!

Non destructive targets at Alcatraz Edinburgh Locksmiths

Our top priority upon arriving at a job is to open the lock without destroying it. We have trained in many non destructive locksmith courses, and regularly practice to improve our skills.

Some of the non Destructive percentages below might seem low. This is due to locks becoming more advanced year on year. However, our percentages are still higher than the money orientated locksmith who makes no attempt to save the lock!

  • We would estimate we open about 95% of Yale type locks without destroying the lock
  • We would estimate opening around 60% of euro locks (fitted to UPVC doors) without destroying the lock
  • We would estimate opening around 30% of mortice locks without destroying the lock – most older mortices are easily picked open, its the newer British standard locks that drags this percentage down.

I hope you enjoyed this small article regarding non Destructive locksmith Technique. If it saves you some money in the future it will have served its purpose. If you have any questions or need help don’t hesitate to call us anytime.




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