The Modern Day Locksmith – A History of Locksmithing – Part 3

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This is the 3rd and final part of The History of Locksmithing Series.

We have seen how the trade began with skilled metal workers (in The History of Locksmithing Part 1 ), how locks developed over the years (in The Locksmith Industry Through the Ages Part 2) and how the Locksmith Industry has changed to a point where today where, believe it or not, skills and qualifications aren’t a requirement to operate as a Locksmith! However there is no doubt that skills, knowledge and experience are of the upmost importance when it comes to doing a good job.

The Locksmith Industry of Today

Due to a lack of government regulation sadly the modern day locksmith industry is made up of;

  • Those who are dedicated to the job and keen to offer excellent service
  • Those who are just in it for the money

I can’t confirm the percentage of each but I do know that less than 10% of UK Locksmiths today are members of the main regulatory body The Master Locksmith Association.

The Master Locksmith Association (MLA) was established in 1958 and is the recognised authoritative body for the industry by the;

  • Police,
  • British Standards Institute (BSI)
  • Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network.
  • Home Office
  • RISC Authority (formerly IPCRes, the UK property insurers’ technical group),
  • Building Research Establishment (BRE)

The Role of the Modern Locksmith

The role of a locksmith is similar now to the locksmiths of the post industrial revolution in that locksmiths work fitting and repairing products designed by dedicated lock producers.

The main difference and development since then is the range of products that a locksmith can choose to work with is much more extensive. Because of this there are locksmiths who specialise in a particular field of locksmithing.

There are more different types of roles within the locksmith industry these days. There are those who cut keys as a side line but aren’t actually locksmiths and then there are those who offer a full range of products for property security or car locksmith services. Then there are locksmiths who choose to specialise in a particular area of locksmithing.

To operate as a locksmith for cars and a property Locksmith the skills and equipment required for each type of locksmithing are very different.

A locksmith who specialises in a particular field is more likely to have more in depth knowledge and experience in their field of expertise. They are also more likely to invest in more training, tools and equipment to do the job efficiently and effectively.

At IKS Locksmiths we specialise in property security and are proud to be experts in our specialised area. We supply and fit;

We are very particular about what we fit and select only high quality products. We are up to speed with the latest industry developments in products and tools. This helps us to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction.

As modern day locksmiths we occasionally whilst changing and repairing locks we can find ourselves dealing with some very old locks which can be really interesting. This article talks about how the ancient art of locksmithing meets modern day locksmithing where original locks are cared for and maintained in buildings such as churches.

My Hope for the Future of the Locksmith Industry

I would hope that the UK government will soon recognise the need to regulate an area as sensitive as security. It seems obvious to me!

Personally I really enjoy my job working as a locksmith. This post is an insight into how I find being a locksmith in this day and age.  I really enjoy working as both a home security locksmith and a commercial security locksmith. I enjoy the variety of jobs, the challenges I am presented with daily and I really enjoy meeting lots of different people. I do wonder if I would have enjoyed being a traditional locksmith in the same way?!  A lot about the role of a locksmith has changed through the ages but I have no doubt that enthusiasm for the industry has always been and still is a must for a dedicated locksmith.

I hope you have enjoyed The History of Locksmithing Series. Should you have any questions or require a locksmith in North London we would be delighted to hear from you.

How can we help you?

For professional security advice and information call to speak directly to Martin, our Master Locksmith and security specialist.

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Master Locksmiths Association

Master Locksmiths Association



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  • IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    Unit E2,
    Queens Rd,
    Barnet EN5 4DJ
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    44 Greenway
    North London
    N20 8ED
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