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How Long Do Locksmiths Take?

Category : Blog , Locks

How Long do Locksmiths Take?

Few things are more frustrating than being unable to unlock your property. This event can happen when you’ve accidentally locked yourself out of your car or your front door keys no longer work. In either event, you need a locksmith’s help, fast. But how long do locksmiths take to arrive and provide their services?

In our article, we’ll describe what to expect in terms of a locksmith’s estimated time of arrival and how long it may take to unlock your front door or car,  rekey a home, or duplicate a key.

How Long Do Locksmiths Take to Arrive?

Many factors influence the arrival time for a professional locksmith, but in most cases, it should take around 15 to 30 minutes for them to reach your destination. Situations that may extend this arrival time could be instances of bad weather like heavy snow or rain. The amount of traffic in your area can also increase your waiting time. There may be an accident on an important road, or rush hour can prevent a fast arrival. 

Distance also plays a large role in arrival time, so it’s important to be aware of how far the locksmith is from your location. Once the lock technician does arrive on the scene, it will take varying amounts of time for them to complete their services based on the task at hand.

How Long Does a Locksmith Take to Unlock Your Front Door?

There may be times when you get locked out of your house or apartment and need access quickly. Perhaps you have food cooking on the stove or there is an important deadline coming up and your laptop is inside. In either event, you should feel comfortable knowing that most locksmiths take no longer than 10 minutes to unlock your front door. In some cases, though, the time frame may extend to 45 minutes depending on the state of your lock.

Locksmiths will use a myriad of tools to unlock doors, including some of the following:

  • Hand picks
  • Electric pick gun
  • Lock decoders
  • Tripwire
  • Hex keys
  • Plastic shims

How Long Does a Locksmith Take to Unlock Your Car Door?

What about when you’re locked out of your car? Will it be more complicated to unlock than a door lock? In most cases, probably not. A professional lock technician should be able to unlock your car in a similar amount of time. The same expectations should apply that the state of the lock and the security systems in place will affect how long it takes the locksmith to open the car door.

When opening a car door, the locksmith may do some of the following:

  • Reprogram the keyless entry system
  • Determine the electrical resistance values of the car to create a duplicate key
  • Address the immobilizer
  • Use special tools to unlock buttons by the inner door panel
  • Extract a broken key from the lock
  • Use a metal slim jim tool between the weather stripping and glass on the door

What Are Common Unlocking Time Factors?

There are cases when certain locks may take longer to pick than others. This occurrence is commonly attributed to unconventional lock designs or the lock jamming or deteriorating. If you notice that your current key no longer works on your lock, it may be due to some of these reasons and will likely require more of the locksmith’s time.

In cases where the lock itself is damaged, the technician may be unable to pick it. In these situations, the locksmith may have to remove the lock completely so you can get access to your property.

Even the most skilled locksmith professionals may not be able to pick the same lock quickly every time. For one reason or another, a professional lock technician may have to dedicate extra time to pick the same lock they’ve unlocked many times before. So sometimes it may take them five minutes and other times it could be significantly longer. Locksmiths normally have locks picked within 10 minutes, but it’s important to have patience in the times that they don’t.

skilled locksmiths still take time

How Long Does a Locksmith Take to Rekey a Home?

Rekeying a lock is much different than picking it. While unlocking a door just requires that you’re able to gain one-time entry, rekeying a door requires setting up a new locking system. You may choose this service for various reasons, like if you lose your house key and are worried about a stranger gaining entry.

In any case, it will likely take the locksmith around 10 to 40 minutes to rekey each lock since they will be replacing the old lock pins with new ones. To get an estimate for how long it will take to get your entire home rekeyed, you will want to count how many locks you’d like to have rekeyed and then multiply it by 10 to 40. 

For example, if your home has 10 locks that you’d like to have rekeyed, it will likely take between an hour and 40 minutes and six hours and 40 minutes.

How Long Does a Locksmith Take to Duplicate a Key?

Key duplication can be a smart investment to help ensure that you can still access your property if you lose your key. You may also be interested in this service if you are going to be sharing the locked space with others who need access. For these reasons and more, it’s a great idea to get a duplicate key.

Locksmiths often use a key duplicator machine to perform this service. Most keys only take a few minutes to copy, but the process can be longer for more intricate designs. Duplication will likely involve placing the original key in the machine with a piece of metal. The new key is carved out of the metal using the original key as a template. When the machine detects the new key has the same dimensions as the original, a professional will sand the new key to finish it.

It’s important when requesting duplicate keys that the original is used as the template. Otherwise, the copied key may not be effective for unlocking. If the original key is starting to break down, you can get an expert to decode the lock so you’re able to make a key that can act as a new original.

Find a Licensed Locksmith at Ernie’s Today

While there may be many businesses providing locksmith services, few possess a locksmith’s license. Next time you’re in need of locksmith services, contact our team here at Ernie’s Lock Company. We provide lockout services within a 10-mile radius of Riverdale, Maryland.

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Our Services

    Commercial & Residential

  • High Security & Restricted Keyways
  • Key Duplication
  • Key Cutting
  • Custom Master Key Systems
  • Lock Rekeying
  • Lock Installation
  • Lock Repairs
  • Door Hardware Installation
  • Electrical Access
  • Keyless Entry
  • Safes & Vault Sales
  • Safes & Vault Unlocking Services
    Lockouts - *Within 10 Miles

  • Automotive Lockouts
  • Residential Lockouts
  • Commercial Lockouts

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  • Monday – Saturday: 8 AM – 7 PM
  • Sunday: CLOSED


Ernie's Lock Company, Inc. believes in full transparency when it comes to pricing! We always provide honest, competitive and up-front pricing to our customers - we don't like sticker shock. Call our licensed locksmiths today for pricing & custom quotes!


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