A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.
Posted On by Hugo Reed
Finally! This is the post so many of you have been waiting for, whether you know it or not. (I assume that many of you have, in fact, not been waiting for this, but I believe it will be beneficial to you all the same.) How many times have you found yourself wondering “how much does a locksmith cost”? Chances are, you do not think about how much a locksmith costs on a regular basis. After all, most of us are preoccupied with the more mundane and routine aspects of everyday life. If you are anything like most people, you probably only think about locksmith pricing when you are at a point of need. For instance, if you are stranded in a lockout, it is only then that your mind will wander to the price that a locksmith is going to charge you.
As with most service based things, there is not one blanket price that a locksmith will charge you when they are called to help you out. The pricing of the service depends greatly on the particular service that is being rendered, as well as a few other factors. In order to properly answer the question of how much does a locksmith cost, I will take a look at the type of services that locksmiths provide and the factors that determine locksmith pricing. After this, I will leave you with a guideline that answers ‘how much does a locksmith cost’. Let’s get started!
In order to effectively answer the question ‘how much does a locksmith cost’, you need to understand the services that a locksmith offers. The skillset of a locksmith is very diverse and they often deal with jobs you might not even have considered. The main services that a locksmith offers can be placed under 3 main categories. These categories are automotive, residential, and commercial.
Automotive Locksmith – As the name suggests, an automotive locksmith will handle all services that are auto related. Auto locksmiths only deal with lock and key related issues etc. So make sure you do not call up an automotive locksmith when you need help with a broken fan belt because they will not be able to help you with that. However, if you are stuck in a car lockout, or if you need help with an ignition cylinder replacement, then an automotive locksmith is the person that you need to call. The services that an auto locksmith provides ranges from rekeying ignitions to helping you get locked keys out of your trunk.
Residential Locksmith – A residential locksmith is primarily responsible for lock and key related issues that are centered within residential properties. This means that they will be the person to call if you lock yourself out of your apartment, or if you break a key in your door lock etc. If you ask the average person what they think a locksmith does, they will most likely begin to list services that mostly pertain to residential locksmiths. Their services range from helping people in house lockouts to rekeying locks on doors. Residential locksmiths (and other locksmiths as well) are the equivalent of real life superheroes. Many of them work tirelessly, day in and day out, to help save stranded customers and meet them at their point of need.
Commercial Locksmith – Commercial locksmiths do not sell commercial goods or vie for spots in advertisements. The word commercial is meant to symbolize the nature of the service that they provide. A commercial locksmith usually deals with businesses or buildings that have commercial grade locks, among other things. Their services are similar to residential locksmiths, but they tend to work on a much larger (commercial) scale. Some examples of the services offered by a commercial locksmith include the installation of new commercial grade locks or helping establishments repair their commercial safes.
For some reason, as humans, we like to think that most things are set in stone. We often forget that there are many different factors that come together to influence the price of a product or a service. As I mentioned earlier, when you are considering the question ‘how much does a locksmith cost’, you have to factor in several things. Let’s scale this down to a real world example.
If you have been a frequent patron of McDonald’s, you will know that the price of their chicken nuggets has not stayed the same since it was introduced to the world. Some of the factors that change the price of this product are the state of the economy, the cost of production, demand, etc. The same basic concept applies to locksmith pricing. If the chicken nugget example didn’t help, leave a comment below and I will give you a different example.
It is important to be aware of the fact that most locksmiths have a fee that they charge for service calls. This should be viewed as a base fee if a locksmith has to travel to meet you. If you end up going to a locksmith shop, then there will be no need to factor in the service call fee. This is always important to remember, but I will address it in more detail as I outline the prices later on. Here are some of the factors that will help answer the query ‘how much does a locksmith cost’:
Do not read travel distance and be fooled into thinking that a locksmith automatically gets to travel to extremely exotic locations. The distance the locksmith has to travel to the job plays a huge factor in the price of the service they will provide. In most cases, there is a standard fee for service calls, but this is not immune to change.
There are times where the price of the service call will change because the locksmith might have to travel farther than they normally do to reach you. In most lockout scenarios, you will be able to find a nearby local locksmith to help you out. However, due to the nature of lockouts, there is always a possibility that you might be stranded somewhere without a locksmith close by. There is also the chance that your lockout will occur outside of normal business hours, which is where a 24 hour locksmith comes into play. Keep in mind that not all jobs will dictate travel on the locksmiths part. For instance, if you merely need to have some keys copied, you might be better suited to go to a locksmith’s shop.
In determining how much a locksmiths costs, you will need to factor in the complexity of the service that you need from them. This goes with just about anything because if you need someone to do more work, or more difficult work, there is always the possibility that it will cost much more. As a customer, it might be hard for you to be able to determine which services are more complex than others. This is why it helps to take the time to call a locksmith and explain what you need and talk the service over with a locksmith beforehand.
Due to the varying nature of the many services that locksmiths can provide, the complexity of the job is integral to the final cost. Some jobs are relatively easy and have a very low degree of difficulty. For instance, the installation of one new door lock will be far easier than rekeying multiple door locks. Another simple example can be seen by comparing a regular house lockout to a residential safe lockout. The latter tends to be a much more complex endeavor that will most likely demand a different cost. Luckily enough, customers will not be flying blind into the service because a locksmith will give you a quote that will help you estimate the final cost. However, you should always remember the the final answer to ‘how much does a locksmith cost’ is never certain until the job is done.
How much does a locksmith cost? Well, in order to derive that answer you will also need to play close attention to what might be necessary to complete the job. Not all locksmiths jobs require the use of additional or new parts, so it all depends on the nature of the job. For instance, if you call a residential locksmith because there is a broken key stuck in a lock, there is a possibility that you will have to replace both the lock and the key.
Another example is when you have to call a locksmith to repair a damaged lock. In some instances, the lock might be damaged beyond repair, so it will have to be replaced instead. In a scenario like this, the new door locks that will be used should be factored into locksmith pricing. However, it is not always the case that you will have to rely on a locksmith for parts. If you know the necessary parts that you need, you can always buy them from a local hardware store or get the parts online.
Many people tend to overlook the cost of labor but it is an important factor to consider when you are trying, to sum up how much a locksmith costs. Usually, the cost of labor goes hand in hand with the complexity of the job and the length of the job. It is important to realize that the type of labor necessary, and its cost, will change depending on which service is needed.
In case that was not clear, I mean that labor changes depending on whether or not you need an automotive, residential or commercial locksmith to help you. This is the more general way of looking at it, but once you start to get into the nitty gritty of it, you will see that the cost differs between services because each service has different requirements. This means that when you answer ‘how much does a locksmith cost’, the answers will be different depending on the service rendered.
Locksmith pricing is a majority of the time, directly proportional to the amount of time that it takes to complete a particular job. The time that it takes to finish a job is the length of service. If there is a job that takes up to 4 or 5 hours, it will be much more costly than a job that takes only a matter of minutes to complete. It is rare that you will find a locksmith job that takes longer than 5 hours to complete, but it is possible. If a locksmith had to install commercial grade locks on multiple doors in a commercial complex, it will take them much longer to complete than the average job.
The experience of the locksmith often gets overlooked as a determinant of the cost, but in my opinion, it is one of the most important factors to consider. The experience of the locksmith should always be considered when answering ‘how much does a locksmith cost’. I say this because many of the other factors that were discussed above are dependent on the experience of the locksmith. Allow me to explain this further. If you give an experienced locksmith and an inexperienced locksmith the same job, it is more likely that the experienced locksmith will be able to complete it faster and more reliably, regardless of the complexity.
However, experience often equates to higher costs. There are some people who will decide to go with a much more inexperienced locksmith who might be able to get the job done for much less, but who can potentially cost you more money down the line. If this inexperienced locksmith does a poor job that ends up damaging your property, leaving your home vulnerable to burglars, you should realize that it is also costly. Do not make the mistake of thinking of cost in only a monetary sense.
As I mentioned up above, a locksmith can offer a pretty diverse amount number of services to their customers. This is the reason why the services are usually grouped under the blanket terms of automotive, residential, and commercial. If you require the services of a locksmith, you need to consider the base price before you get into the finer details.
When I say the base price I am referring to the minimum amount that you will have pay no matter what. If you walk into a locksmith shop, the price you pay will depend on the service you need. However, if you call the locksmith out to a location, then you will be looking for a service call of $15 or more, depending on the locksmith. Let’s break down the service costs.
Always try to keep an open mind when you are dealing with locksmiths. The nature of the business dictates that the prices will never be set in stone, unless you iron out every aspect of the job beforehand. Even then there is a chance that things could change. The article above is meant to serve as a guideline to answer the question ‘how much does a locksmith cost’, and it should give you some insight into locksmith pricing. In order to save your time, and that of the locksmith, make sure you are absolutely certain that you need a locksmiths services before you call for one.