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on all orders over $150*
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I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I appreciate all of the sacrifices of the men and women in the armed forces. Thank you for your service! It was an excellent time to reflect on how fortunate we are to spend time with loved ones and family during that time. Open up a bottle of Topo Chico as we talk about the post of the week, comment of the week, and field questions with Ian. Let's get started!
POST OF THE WEEK
This is a good one. I loved reading the comments on these. So, thank you guys for submitting those were good. Make sure you check them out. There is kind of other comments, all sorts of places.
We got a funny Friday post from Dillon. Man, the internet's creative, isn't it? I think it's the best way to say that one. It's just one of those things that will live with us forever.
We got some stuff sent in from Leo. A little Mortise Gator or Mortise Wrench Turner, Gator wafer popper, and the VSP Wafer Kit. I was using it in a video I shot last week. And at first, I wasn't going through it. I was like, 'I'll do it by hand.' But then, when I started doing it by hand, I realized how much I missed it, and I went to get one and finished it. That is good.
One more from Lucas. It looks like he got the lab mini-direct security pin kit, which is really handy when adding extra security into a standard tumbler lock: the lab tray, pinning tray, and the eight-in-one key gauge. Let's get going.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
I agree with you, John. Driving that thing is interesting. It's similar to the feeling of like driving a go-kart. Okay, so I've been driving a lot of go-karts with my kids, right on a dirt track, and it feels similar. The only difference is you're on the road with actual vehicles. So, in a sense, if you were to take your go-kart right out in the backyard and drive it on the road, that's the kind of feeling. It's like if something were to hit me or if I were to hit something, that would hurt.
FIELDING LOCKSMITH QUESTIONS WITH IAN
In the beginning, I figured it'd be fun to go over some of the questions, at least ones that we could answer in a short amount of time. And this is the thing if you've always done residential or commercial work, and you want to get into automotive, it's a whole separate world. In the same way, it's the opposite. If you've always done automotive work and want to start doing residential-commercial, it's a whole separate world, and you can find yourself asking questions that once you know the answer, you're like, 'Oh, yeah, well, those make sense.' But until you ask those types of questions, sometimes you'll get it. So, we sat down, we went through many questions, and I figured, what are some fun ones? Some helpful, some serious steps that we could have fun with online.
PJ: So, now the exciting part, though, you don't want to rewind for a second because when you started working here, you didn't know anything.
Ian: I had some. I'm a former firefighter, EMT. So, I have experienced destroying locks, and doors, breaking in or breaking vehicles apart to get patients out, or doing whatever needs done as far as putting out fires. So, I've experienced the forcible entry portion of locks and doors, but never really the actual picking of doors; we usually didn't have time even to attempt that. Sometimes we pull out the big easy kit and try to do it that way. If there's a kid in the car, we don't want to destroy anything. So, nondestructive entry into vehicles got quite a bit of experience. But other than that, no locksmithing experience whatsoever.
PJ: So, it's one of those things that, I mean, you've had to learn as you have weight, right? And, you know, when you start, you don't know what a KW1 is? or B111, right? So, you've ever learned and developed that knowledge yourself as time has gone on, right? At the same time, the cool part about that, and why I bring that up because we all have to learn the information at one time or another.
PJ: Right? And hopefully, we're all together, still learning. Right? We're all continuing to continue to work. So, with that being said, let's hit some questions. So, give us a question that you get asked, coming out? Is it safe to say that some of these questions we've kind of like-
Q1: Why can't keep programmers pull key codes?
Ian: - We've had to condense a lot of questions because everybody's different. Everybody phrases it differently, but it's the same question at the core. You can add a lot of fluff, but when you get down to its base, it's all the same question. One of the most common ones we get is, why can't keep programmers pull key codes?
PJ: Yeah, why can't key programmers pull key codes? If you've been in the business for a while, you know, you know the answer that, but we want to get started, you know, and there's a PIN codes, key codes, key programmer, kind of makes sense. And so, let's answer that question. Seriously, key codes refer to a mechanical code of the biddings of the key.
PJ: Right? And thank goodness, you can't pull that code with the key programmer. So, you can't do it because that information is not in there. Thank goodness. And I hope that always continues
Ian: - go through the doors.
PJ: Oh, yeah. It'd not be good. I do that. So, the good news, though, is that your programmer, for the most part in today's world, can pull pin codes, which is something that you do need to program a key. So, when it comes to making mechanical keys, step one would be learning how to use the Lishi tools to decode the door or ignition lock. Or get a membership to Mastiff and buy key codes to get that mechanical key. So, that's step one. Step two. What do we have next?
Q2: Why is there difficulty with electronic key code machines in duplicating automotive high-security keys? Because we see issues there frequently, especially the worn automotive keys.
Ian: I'm following the automotive trend because I see, we see a lot of locksmiths they were institutional or some then they decided to go private, not work for whatever school district, hospital or whatever, they started, and they go private and have their own company, and they start automotive. So, automotive brings up many questions we handle in customer service and sales. So the other one would be, why is there difficulty with electronic key code machines in duplicating automotive high-security keys? Because we see issues there frequently, especially the worn automotive keys.
PJ: Yeah, you're right. I mean, I think worn keys in general. I think it can even apply to non-automotive, but we'll stick with automotive here. It's tough because this is the interesting thing, and I'm glad we're talking about this one. Because if someone hands you a house key, right, and asks you to make a duplicate, you just put it in your duplicator. You go, you know, trace it. You move on. It's not a big deal. But when it comes to high security, in particular, and duplicating a lot of times, okay, I've talked a lot about it, like copying a standard edge cut key compared to duplicating a high-security key manually, it's a lot of work. And so using an electronic machine like that, try and sit back there is so much. It's easy. It's just easy. Now, this is a general rule for machines; it's going to want to trace that key; what it's doing is decoding the key and trying to put it back to factory cuts. And the problem with the key being worn is that it has to, at some point, the algorithm, the software there, has to guess, one way or another. And so, depending on the where and many other factors, you can decode it incorrectly. Now, that's why you'll notice a lot of things. And a lot of times, when you see me with the machine decoding a key, I'm watching it because I want to make sure it's hitting those cuts at the root perfectly. Right?
PJ: And yeah, it can be kind of a pain.
PJ: You have to learn as you sometimes have to teach the machine or watch the machine and realize they have to change things.
PJ: Now, there are always exceptions to that, but it's difficult to copy or duplicate a high-security automotive key because it's not duplicating it. It's decoding and then cutting the code cut key.
PJ: That's fine.
Ian: Let's see.
PJ: What do we have next?
Q3: What is the best key machine when it comes to bang for your buck?
Ian: On the topic of machines, what is the best key machine to bang for your buck?
PJ: Bang for the buck key machine? Now, Ian, you tell me like I know what machine I'm going to say. Now I'm guessing we're talking to edge-style duplication.
Ian: Well, if we start their edge style duplication, I'd say either the Nomad or looking for something mobile, the Ilco 008 mobile will be your best, but there, if you're looking for mobile, otherwise, the JMA Nomad.
PJ: Yeah, I would say the same thing. When it comes to like the best bang for your buck period, the JMA Nomad and significantly because the price increases, like JMA, have not increased the Nomad price. And think about this. I mean, coming up as Matt Mazur can talk suddenly, here we go. Tomorrow, JMA keys are going up. Right, so they have a price increase. JMA does tomorrow. June 13, Ilco has a price increase. And then, July 1, Avis approached me. We can go on and on with that. But the exciting part is, is that JMA has not increased the price of the nomadic.
Ian: Smart businessman.
PJ: Yeah, well, depending on if they're making money.
PJ: But I mean, even more importantly, is the best bang for the buck, that Nomad with it staying after what, about 20% over the past year and a half on price increases for just Dobby. That is pretty impressive.
PJ: I talked to JMA last Friday about it. Like, how do you not raise the price on it? You know, but yeah, it's worked out well. But okay, let's do one last question and get on to the giveaway.
Ian: Let's see.
PJ: We'll do that. Why can't-
Ian: Yeah, let's do that! When we get a lot of beginner locksmiths here. And so, sometimes, they don't understand how different systems work. You've reached your best with a small format inner - I can't speak all of a sudden
PJ: Joining the club SFIC
Q4: Why doesn't Kwikset or some of the other residential key ways? Why don't they have LFIC cores for them?
Ian: Yeah, SFIC products with the best key ways, and you've got your Schlage with the LFIC and then the key knob cylinders. So, often we'll get questions like, why doesn't Kwikset or some of the other residential key ways, why don't they have LFIC cores for them?
PJ: Okay, and we want to answer this one. Do you want me to?
Ian: You can do it.
PJ: Okay, yeah. So, when it comes to like, and I get that question, why can't I get SFIC cores in other key ways. In reality, to some degree, you would think, hey, why isn't there a Kwikset SFIC core?
PJ: Right? They're convenient, and they're nice. And the most basic answer I can give you is that they're just completely separate systems. Now, newer systems have come out, like the MX that has both key and knob cylinders for like with standard Schlenk style pins. And then, you know, like LFIC cores and that kind of stuff. So, as time goes on, they'll be more available. Definitely, like people find ways to make that type of stuff work, but they're just completely separate. It'd be like, Hey, I'd like to make this my full-size pickup truck, and I would like to have it fit the size of a Mini Cooper.
Ian: Yeah, it'll happen.
PJ: Yeah, does it, like, does it work. Most of the time is probably the best way I could.
Ian: There are different pros and cons to each other system. And when you start mixing them around, you lose the pros and cons.
PJ: Yeah, I think. Especially one of the big ones is this like a Kwikset. It's like a residential key way, SFIC is more of a commercial and long walk price, the difference in the pricing of locks between a grade three residential walk and a heavy-duty commercial lock, you know, there's a gap there
Ian: And there's also a security factor. Kwiksets are available everywhere. A KW1 key you can get pretty much anywhere. Walmart Scott on Ace Hardware, Scott on everybody's got them. When you start getting into your SFIC best keyways, not many people have those almost their locksmiths, so it can provide extra added security.
PJ: That's true. Well, that's what we have for our topic today. I hope you guys found it interesting. You know, it was just glancing at the comments a second ago, and I can see, you know, if you remembered a few months ago, we talked about, you know, with all the inflation going on and gas prices, how important it was, or is to keep track of where you're at a price-wise on that. You know, and I see some comments in there. It's just, man, it's tough. You have to keep an eye on, I mean, as inflation keeps going up just in general, we all have to keep a close eye on that.