MLA Master Locksmiths are Vetted Inspected Qualified


What Knowledge is Required to be a Locksmith? – Quick Checklist


Whilst there are no essential academic qualifications required to call yourself a locksmith, there is a huge amount of knowledge, practice, skills and patience to truly become a locksmith.

We have put together a quick checklist of locksmithing knowledge and skills you should be aware of if you are interested in becoming a locksmith:

Locksmith Knowledge Checklist

The topics listed below are some of the areas that most locksmiths should have a good grasp of:

 1. Key Cutting Knowledge

Below are some areas of key cutting that as a locksmith you will usually be required to know:

✔ An understanding of the principles and methods of key duplication
✔ Physical key cutting by hand
✔ Key Cutting by machine and code
✔ Procedures relating to security keys
✔ Knowledge of all principal lock types and systems and their keys.
✔ Knowledge of key types with regard to security, ease of duplication and pick resistance.

Best course to learn about key cutting

2.  Knowledge of Locks & Different Types

Having a thorough understanding of different lock types is very important as a locksmith, especially knowing lock standards.

✔ Knowledge of British Standards relating to locks and keep up to date with changing standards.
✔ An understanding of lock terminology and the operation of different lock types.
✔ An appreciation of lock fitting requirements and an ability to fit all types of lock.
✔ An understanding of electric locks and releases.
✔ An understanding of master keying and its implementation.

Best course to learn about locks & standards


3.  Knowledge of How Locks Work

It’s important to know how a particular lock works and therefore what use it may be suitable for, this knowledge is required if you plan to repair door locks

✔ An understanding of common lock malfunctions and their rectification.
✔ Skills in lock stripping, servicing, repair and reassembly.
✔ An appreciation of locksmithing hand and power tools, their use, care and maintenance.
✔ Knowledge of current safety legislation.
✔ Experience in the use of materials and appropriate cutting, shaping and joining methods.
✔ An ability in lock picking, manipulation and entry procedures with no or minimal damage to property.

Best course to learn about how locks work

Euro Cylinder Lock

4.  Product Knowledge ( Very Important )

Knowing lock product details is a very important aspect of being a locksmith, as it allows the locksmith to identify locks.

✔ Product knowledge with regard to security devices for doors and window
✔ A knowledge of what to fit and where for best possible security
✔ Identify locks and padlocks by manufacturers names and codes
✔ Working knowledge of door closers and floor springs, their servicing, and repair.

Best course for product knowledge & identifying locks

5.  Knowledge of Safes ( If working with Safes &  Vaults )

If your thinking of working with safes as a locksmith you will need to know the following:

✔ Knowledge of basic safe types, their construction and lock mechanisms.
✔ Installation and removal of safes and vaults
✔ Opening, repairs and fixing malfunctions of safes
✔ Knowledge of safes for insurance company requirements.


The area of security safes and vaults is a very specialist area, those who wish to become a safe engineer will require a lot of training and experience, safe engineers will also require specialist tools such as scopes to help open safes.

Best course to learn about safes & vaults


It must be said that locksmithing is one of the careers in which you can never say that you know it all.

There are many specialist fields and no one locksmith would be an expert in all of them.

New products are constantly being developed, requiring new understanding and techniques on the part of the locksmith – it’s a constant challenge!

We recommend to regularly attend locksmith courses & seminars to keep your knowledge up to date, a way to do this is booking on seminars and courses at MLA Expo, UK’s & Europe’s largest locksmith event.

Further Reading

Why use a MLA Approved Locksmith?

All locksmith companies approved & licensed by Master Locksmiths Association are:

Vetted Locksmith
All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


Our Locksmiths are criminal record checked.
How we check our locksmiths

Locksmith Inspection
All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


Our Locksmiths are Regularly Inspected.
How we inspect our locksmiths

Locksmith Qualification
All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


Our Locksmiths have passed the MLA exam.
Read about MLA Exam here

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