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July 30, 2010

Competitive lockpicking growing in US popularity

SOMERVILLE, Mass.—Schuyler Towne took a gleaming brass lock, inserted a small bent piece of flat steel into the keyhole and gently applied finger pressure. Then he slid in a lockpick and manipulated the mechanism until it swung open, in less than 20 seconds.

Towne, 26, is not a burglar. He's a lockpicking instructor and part of a growing competitive movement called "locksport" that involves learning the theory of locks, analyzing the devices and figuring out ways to quickly defeat the systems without destroying them.

While lockpickers thrive on the intellectual thrill of beating all sorts of locks, they oppose attempts to use the skill for mischievous purposes and have laid down universal ethical guidelines: "You never pick a lock you don't own and you never pick a lock that's in regular use," Towne said.

Some lockpickers observe a code of responsible disclosure by providing manufacturers information on weaknesses they discover in locks they defeat -- just like responsible computer hackers do when they detect security flaws in software.

Still, the sport worries some law enforcement authorities, like James Pasco of the National Fraternal Order of Police.

"I'm sure that they are having a good time and I'm sure that the vast majority of people engaged in it are just puzzle solvers of a sort, (but) you run the absolute risk of educating criminals who might be inclined to pick locks for illegal purposes, you know," Pasco said.

Babak Javadi of the U.S. chapter of The Open Organization Of Lockpickers, or TOOOL, disagrees. He says locksport requires enthusiasts to invest a lot of time and patience to learn the skills. What's more, crooks are likely to use crowbars and saws to quickly pick locks because they do not care about surreptitious entry, he said.

The practice of lockpicking is generally legal if the picker owns the lock or has explicit permission from the owner to pick it. But possession, creation and distribution of lockpicking tools may be illegal, depending on the location.

Locksport fans compete in several formats, including head-to-head contests that determine the fastest lock picker. In the so-called Locksport Wizard, each contestant is given a burlap sack containing an identical set of locks and is required to blindly pick them using only tools they have put in the sack.

In other challenges, participants have to pick their way out of handcuffs before attempting to defeat a set of locks. There also are competitions to disassemble locks and reassemble them properly.

"This is why I pick: I love competing," Towne said. "Nothing makes me happier than sitting down across from another person and attempting to open a lock faster than they can."

Towne's group meets once a month in a Somerville garage converted into a studio for artists. Winners at its contests take only one prize -- pride in being the best lockpicker.


ALOA National Convention 2010 Orlando FLA

The Associated Locksmiths Of America (ALOA) are holding their annual convention this year, August 1-8 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando Florida.

This is the 54th annual conference and security expo of the most widely known locksmith industry showcase. The trade exhibit's run August 5, 6 & 7.

ALOA are expecting significant attendance from across the country and around the world. Exhibitors from the leading security products manufacturing companies are all providing booths and show specials.

We intend to showcase some of the exhibitors with articles here. We hope you find these products and news interesting.

July 24, 2010

Kwikset Smartkey Problems...

8/23/2018 UPDATE: We just updated the video above to a better video from our colleague Terry Whin-Yates.

Came across an interesting blogpost today that has several comments by product users, all complaining about similar problems shortly after installing Kwikset Smartkey locks.

One such comment by a poster....

"Our smartkey failed this evening. We locked both deadbolt and door as we left, came home to locked out. I called kwikset and after working with them on the phone trying to wiggle the key to the 1/4 turn position to try and get it to the learn position – nothing worked. The customer support person said since we had keys duplicated using the grinding method instead of having a locksmith stamp them out the keys had made the cams in the lock out of alignment. I asked CS how we will get in if we are on the OUTSIDE wanting in and he said we would have to either find another way in or drill out the cylinder. They are sending a replacement cylinder. No thanks – I don’t want to take the chance."


"My husband just bought this and installed it yesterday. While “rekeying” to our key, it stopped working! Now both the key that came with it doesn’t open the door nor the new key. I was looking for the company’s website for troubleshooting the problem and found this! Glad we kept the receipt as this installation is not continuing! Thank you all for commenting! You are saving more people from getting ripped off with this lock!"

"What a nightmare.My baby boy moves out to his first house and buys the kwikset smartkey to assure his security.comes home one night,pouring down rain and 28 degrees outside cant get in the house the key doesnt fit the lock .He has to sleep out in the car all night long.what a nightmare.never again will a smartkey be bought especially $80.00.there needs to be a recall on the kwikset smartkey.what a let down."

"What a joke, installed YESTERDAY, worked perfectly fine until coming home today with groceries and a 6 month old, to find out our key no longer worked. Was told by customer service that this is NOT an issue and people do not have this problem (Obviously I told him to check this website, because he was wrong)

Option one, I can take the deadbolt off my front door to bring to Home Depot and have them fix the lock, which would leave my house unsecure as there would be NO lock on my door. The other option is to wait 5-7 days for a new lock from them. He said the new lock they will send me is more efficient then the one month old lock already installed and he guarantees it will not have this problem.
In the meantime, how the heck am I supposed to get in and out of my house if my lock doesn’t work?
WHAT A JOKE! Take these stupid things offffff the market"
" I received the new smart key cylinder from
Kwieset and installed it on the front door. From the get-go I had problems, only some of the existing keys worked. Bought new keys and they seemed to work better for a short time. Now they are giving me problems. I have to jiggle them inside the lock to unlock the door and even now they are giving me problems. Finally I had enough: no trust in the lock and never knew when I would be locked out again. I took the smart key cylinder out and installed the old lock, which is a non smart key. At least now I have peace of mind that it will always work. I am keeping the old smart key locks, because I know with all the problems that everybody is having, there has to be a recall and maybe I can get my money back, but I will not hold my breath. Keep complaining to Kwikset about the so called smart key. I wasn’t very smart to buy it in the first place."

Many people seem to think that locksmith services are too expensive. In fact locksmith services are often cheaper than purchasing the DIY products from the big box hardware stores, because locksmiths have taken the time and training to master their product lines. Installation, service, maintenance all taken care of by a true technician with experience in the field.

I understand the perception that DIY is often cheaper, but realistically the locksmith (one of the oldest professions) has deliberately trained to service, advise and protect consumers from the poor advice and suggestions often received at the big box stores from untrained, unknowing part time sales assistants.

I regularly see both Kwikset Smartkey and Schlage Securekey products in the field. Often they are purchased by consumers at the big box hardware stores because most locksmiths refuse to stock them.
I can easily reset the tumblers for clients, often because they have lost the reset tool for the Kwikset or are simply unaware that the process is uncomplicated. The Schlage Securekey is a little more complicated process to re-key, but this is because many customers no longer have access to the blue reset key.

For the better (and often cheaper) products, visit your local locksmith today and find out the why's and how's behind purchasing suitable functional and correct locking systems and products.

July 22, 2010

Remote Controlled Motor Cycle Alarm System

The business of security products often involves finding solutions tailored to many and varied needs.

There are a great many motorcycle riders on the roads and securing their bikes is as important as securing their cars or homes.

Many motorcycles are often parked on the street and are of interest to many pedestrians. Sometimes these pedestrians are over eager in their appreciation and affection for the bike they are admiring, often touching or even climbing aboard a parked bike.

Worse still, are the thieves who steal bikes. How do you stop them? A determined thief cannot be stopped, but as a locksmith and security products and services provider, I am constantly looking at quality and inexpensive devices that aid owners in protecting their property. Pictured here is an extremely affordable motor cycle alarm system that when professionally installed, not only sounds an alarm, but can prevent the bike from being started too.

If you own a motorcycle then this is a must buy. Protect your investment with an affordable yet powerful security solution offering complete peace of mind. This is a simple DIY installation unit with no special tools needed.

With a user-friendly remote control alarm setup, the bike is fully protected from tamper and theft once the audio and phonic alarm is armed. If the motorcycle is touched, the alarm siren will beep and the direction lights will flash. And, if the motorcycle is touched again within 20 seconds, the alarm siren will trigger fully and sound constantly with the direction lights flashing quickly. The motorcycle engine will be locked and rendered inoperative at this stage.

The system also has an anti-hijacking feature causing the motorcycle engine to be cut off after a short period. The sensitivity of the alarm system can be easily adjusted by remote to four different settings according to your specific needs. For additional peace of mind, an emergency security function ensures that the engine is completely immobilized should the motorcycle be started up forcibly.

With its effective functionality and ease of use, this alarm system is an affordable security solution for any motorcycle, providing maximum peace of mind.

$45.00 + Shipping.

Genuine inquiries by email preferred.

July 21, 2010

OZI Lock

OZI Lock is another Australian manufactured supreme quality mortise door lock, that is available in both 60mm (2-3/8") backset and 45 mm (1-3/4") backset.

Especially designed to comply with the international building code. This stylish and modern approach to locking system design and function, provides much sought after solutions to building design and hardware selection.

I think the ability to install easily into multiple different styles and builds of doors, separates this product from other considerations.

Clearly, Nidus have have positioned themselves in a new and exciting world of form and function hardware. They (like me) are keen promoters of Italian design and quality products as well.

July 19, 2010

Crime Statistics - West St Louis County June 1-30, 2010

The map here represents crime incidents reported by St Louis County Police for the West County Precinct, for June 2010.

As usual, we are primarily concerned with Burglary, Robbery, Larceny.

There are 150 of these incidents reported to St Louis County Police in June.

It seems the higher rates of these crimes are appearing in Chesterfield, Manchester, Wildwood and Ballwin.

Crime prevention involves adequately securing your premises with suitable and correctly functioning products.

We prefer not to report the precise location of these crimes and if you want to know the block and street location of these crimes, please click the source.

We are regularly servicing both residential and commercial clients in the West St Louis County region, securing their properties, repairing faulty lock and door products and re-keying properties (to prevent unauthorised access).

We can help you with that sticky lock, that rubbing door or that sliding patio or pocket door that is hard to operate.

Bilock Press Release July 16, 2010

BiLock is proud to announce the certification of the BiLock New Generation Quick Change Core locking system to EN 1303.

This high security standard is the pinnacle of security standards in Europe.

After extensive internal testing, and some additional upgrades, we are getting ready
to submit an even more improved version for US and Canada certification.
This BiLock system will far exceed the requirements set forth in UL 437.

The new design will also thwart even the most sophisticated picking and decoding tools that are in use by the US intelligence agencies.

Our rigorous testing and the certifications demonstrate that a convenient interchangeable core system can be manufactured to withstand physical attack, picking, and decoding and still be a real value for end users.

We expect to be in full production of this newer generation product this fall.

July 11, 2010

Honda Motorcycles Now Secured By Meroni

The motorcycles of the great Japanese manufacture are protected by Meroni locks.

Among the many companies that have adopted Meroni products for their guaranteed and certified quality is the prestigious motorcycle manufacturer, Honda.

The core of the chosen locking device is the 33 series, certified by the CNPP and TUV institutes, that lies at the heart of many of Meroni's leading products, including the antitheft-padlock Luccotto. and the innovative UFO 'versatile defender'.

The key characteristics of this drill-proof, anti-picking steel locking device, available with over 250,000 combinations and designed to withstand determined attack, made it the ideal device around which to build locks for the Japanese motorcycles. A Honda motorcycle is a high-value item that must often be left unattended at insecure locations; it deserves the kind of high-quality security protection offered by the 33 series from Serrature Meroni.


Pratiko by Meroni - A New, Easy To Install Furniture Handle

Quality construction, easy fitting and high versatility make Pratiko a true resource for furniture manufacturers

A detailed market survey among producers of office furniture revealed a strong demand for new closure solutions that were faster to fit, had fewer component variants and with a greater emphasis on quality. Meroni's first response to this demand is Pratiko., the revolutionary patented doorknob design that satisfies all of the requirements in a single model.

Pratiko is easy to fit in a few simple steps

1) remove the lock cylinder using the special extraction key

2) mount the Pratiko knob on the cylinder

3) insert the lock cylinder into the Pratiko knob

Pratiko is versatile

Pratiko is extremely flexible and is totally compatible with all Meroni cylinder locks. It is also equipped with a special adaptor device, allowing it to be used on panels ranging from 17 to 21 mm in thickness. In addition, thanks to a special spacer system, Pratiko eliminates the play that is often a problem between the door and a handle not perfectly flush with the panel surface.


Lockable Stopcock By Serrature Meroni

There is growing demand from utility companies for stopcocks with integrated security locks. Much of this demand is being driven by the introduction of new regulatory standards, in particular UNI-CIG 9036/01, which stipulates that, for reasons of safety, the stopcock fitted to each meter should be operable only by the user. The requirement can only be satisfied by fitting stopcocks with security as well as, in the case of single users, lockable cabinets.

The new Meroni 26RB5 is a patented lock system which is even more secure, flexible and quick to install and can be used on every type of stopcock – water, gas or compressed air.

Thanks to its automatic fitting system, the 26RB5 can be installed in half the time of a conventional stopcock lock.

In addition to the 26RB5, the 28RB5 model is a stopcock lock with body and cylinder in brass.

— brass tumbler lock with zama alloy body

— personalised groups of combination codes available for individual suppliers

— reversible key with over 500 combinations

— dust cover for maximum protection from dirt and weather

— automatic locking – key required for opening

— cylinder with service suspension key – lock dismantles for easy replacement

Many educational institutions and local councils would benefit from being able to secure the taps of their watering systems, reducing the crimes of convenience committed by persons wishing to disrupt normal efficient operations.


July 3, 2010

Breaking News - Bioaxxis Development Corp Close Their Doors

July 3, 2010 - The BBB (Better Business Bureau) report that Bioaxxis Development Corporation, makers of the innovative BD1 Deadbolt and Thumblock, have recently closed their operations.

Bioaxxis were at the forefront of biometric access technology, producing some surprisingly inexpensive yet good quality modern, aesthetically appealing and functional security hardware.

Personally, we found the products to be useful but in low demand.

The Kwikset & Schlage cheap mentality era is still upon the USA.

We will be clearing our excess stocks and anticipate reductions to cost + shipping.

Used properly and in conducive environments, the products hold up well. I did find some age related implications for the product line, however. It seemed that there was a problem with the scanners ability to properly load, store and distinguish fingerprints in the memory, but only of people over 65.

It is a known issue, that as we age, we literally wear out and sometimes fingerprints are one of the first body parts to wear.

Home Advisor (formerly Service Magic) Testimonials And Sites That Recommend Us

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Danny was very professional and friendly at the same time. He not only gave me the quote and fixed the exterior door and explained his work. He was prompt and upfront about the work and did the work. He came in time took care of it on the same day. (Sasheethn K St Louis MO) June 2018d out problems but assured not urgent. Please feel free to have Danny pass out my number for my total experience review 314-351-5553

Charlie M. (St Louis, MO) November 2015

Danny was pleasure to meet and was very knowledgable. He explained several lock replacement options but I decided none of them were a good fit for a storm door, however, I did replace a lock on my entry door with a type of lock I had never seen before. I would highly recommend this company.
Patricia J (Bridgeton, MO) March 2014
They were prompt and showed up when he said he would show up. He knew his stuff. I had ordered new handles and he was honest enough to say that we don't need them that he can fix the doors and he did. Made me lock and unlock my doors to his satisfaction so that I knew what to do. Am very, very pleased with the service and cost.
Joyce K (Glencoe, MO) May 2015

Showed up on time for appointment. Was very knowledgeable about the project and offered a solution beyond what I asked to be done.
Stephen G (Chesterfield, MO) May 2015

Daniel was right on time, assessed the problems I had with two doors, made the repairs, and explained what caused the problems to begin with .... He is a "door expert" and a true professional. I highly recommend him.

Vince V (St. Louis MO) May, 2015

Danny was fabulous! He went over my concerns and he provided me with more than a fair quote. He was there when he said he was going to be there. I would highly recommend Danny. Cheers!
Denise S (Imperial, MO) May 8, 2014

Hired Danny to re-key locks on "new" house purchase. He advised to replace with new deadbolts & door knobs on 3 entry doors instead which I agreed with. All doors have 1 matching key & the safety of excellent quality product & workmanship. He also added new strike plate to door frame to complete project.. I recommend as your 1st & only call to a Locksmith.

Denise F (St. Louis, MO) April 3, 2014

Danny was very helpful in solving a pretty complex problem involving many lock.
Scott C (Eureka, MO) March 27, 2014

Needed patio door track to run smoothly. Arrived early, fixed door and explained what he was doing during repair. Quick and easy. Door works great, my wife will now speak to me, and I've become a better dancer.

Mike W. (Arnold/Oakville MO) July 2013

The owner spent a longtime with me on the phone helping diagnosis the problem. He was on-time, friendly and helped resolve my issue. I will definitely use him again!

Chris C (Lake St Louis, MO) July 2013

I had a very pleasant experience with Master Key Systems. They came out, did the job (which took longer than expected) and they did not change the price they quoted me. Now, I am not certain that it was a great value for the money because I don't have a comparison, but they did what they said, when they said, for the price they said. Enough said!!!

Antonio B (Saint Louis, Missouri) March 2013

Professional.. Upfront about charges. Fixed the sticky door within 20 minutes. I will recommend Master Key for exterior door issues.
Muthu R (Ballwin, MO) July 2012

Danny was a master craftsman, knowledgable and professional. I will be calling on him again in the future as well as passing on his services to friends and family.

Marsha L (Saint Louis, MO) July 2012

Danny was excellent! I called him on a Monday to fix a sliding glass door. He happened to have the exact part we needed (and it was not an easy find - we had looked everywhere) and he came over Tuesday evening. He stayed until 8:00 until the job was done, and cleaned up afterwards. He was courteous, professional, and efficient! I could not be happier!

Rachel P Maryland Heights, MO (July 2012)

He did an excellent job. Got there on time and quickly solved the issue. Was very pleasant and explained the situation and how to keep the door from sticking in the future. Would definitely use Master Key LLC again!

Neil F. (Saint Louis, MO) April 2012

Danny was very friendly and knowledgeable, although his apprentice seemed to do most of the work, Danny kept an eye on him to make sure it was done right. He had very reasonable pricing for re-keying.
Greg D (St Louis, MO) October 2011

He was extrememly fabulous and helpful and did a wonderful job. He was very professional.
Shannon M. (Arnold, MO) October 2011

Growing up spending so much of my time in Italy, the uniqueness of the Nova Classico left quite an impression on me. To be able to have and enjoy them in my own home here in the states is a nostalgic indulgence I'm enjoying beyond words. Thank you Danny for coordinating this transaction.

Joseph M (Chicago, IL) September 2011

great job. hired on the spot and he did job right then at great price

Ron B (Arnold, MO) July 2011

I searched the internet and found your services. I received three phone calls within several days. A service call was scheduled. Two gentlemen arrived promptly, analyzed the problem and fixed it.
James & Florenc M Saint Louis, MO July 2011

The repairman was on time and did an excellent job of fixing a very stubborn door lock. He was persistent and cleaned up the work area afterwards. I would use this service again.

Brenda F (Saint Peters, MO) June 2011

Danny at Master Key Systems has succeeded in making the purchasing of our Meroni door locks, from Italy, an absolute breeze. Even though I live in Australia with a 16hr time difference and was ordering door knobs from Italy that weren't in stock, the whole process was faultless. Danny was prompt and efficient with all his emails and made sure we had covered every possible variable so that the product I received was exactly as required. I would have no hesitation in recommending Danny for your next purchase.
Patrick Carr (Canberra, Australia)

Your product really helped because I needed to secure a nurse's station adjacent to a waiting room and needed a pocket door. Unfortunately, no real options were available to lock a pocket door effectively that would keep me compliant with HIPAA and secure an area that stores medical supplies. This was vitally important as this particular waiting room was for "waiting detox patients". Thank you very much.
Randall R The Fritz Clinic (Birmingham, Al) March 2011

Danny was very polite and knew what the problem was and how to fix it. He also gave me some information about other issues that could arise with my door and locks. Will hire again if I ever need that type of work done.
Jason M Imperial, MO March 2011

I had an exterior basement door that dragged when opening and closing. The hinges were not fitting properly and the door frame had shifted, probably due to the age of the house.The screwswould not go far enough into the wall without hitting stone...even using a special drill bit. Dan worked a long time drilling and sanding to shore up the door as best as possible. I know it will never be perfect. He could have easily sold me a new door and the same issue would happen. He was honest, thorough, and did an excellent job without charging me a fortune. I'm satisfied with the door now. If you want an honest, experienced man, Then Dan is the man

Roger M Saint Louis, MO March 2011

I purchased the Cowdroy P697 Pocket door lock with key over the internet. I emailed questions before my purchase and was provided with the answers quickly by return email. The purchase was quick and easy and the lock was shipped immediatly. Installation is quick and easy. But you do need to convert millimeters to inches (use the internet) in the installation instructions. And the lock looks great and works great. I will do business with them again. THANK YOU

Ed D (February, 2011)

Who Are We?

Welcome to Locks210.com.
This site is to inform about historical and modern approaches to Keys and Physical Security products and services.
Locks210.com, established in 2006, offers residents and businesses of St Louis Locksmith premium quality products and services. As the Premier Bilock Extreme Security Dealer in The Mid-West,
Our conveniently located workshop and service vehicles are uniquely designed to offer trade qualified, bonded, insured tradespeople with knowledge and experience spanning multiple countries and product lines.

Shipping and Returns

All products are sent in manufacturers condition.
All products are subject to sales tax where applicable.
All products are dispatched within 10 business days of remittance.
All products are subject to manufacturers warranties.
All products returned within 30 days, will be 95% refunded less shipping.
Prices are subject to change without notice.
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