Locksmith Greenwich

Should a Locksmith Drill My Lock? (When to Drill a Lock & Not to)

Have you recently hired a locksmith & the locksmith drilled your lock to gain entry to your house as you were locked out, or your door lock was broken?

Find out the scenarios when it is acceptable for a locksmith to have drilled a door lock, and when a locksmith really should not be using a drill.

1. Should a Locksmith Use a Drill on my Lock?

There are instances when a locksmith has to drill a lock such as when the lock is broken, however drilling a lock should not be the first attempt, we would expect a locksmith to try non-destructive methods first and only use a drill as a last resort.

A professional Locksmith will have various tools and the knowledge to apply specialist techniques first, before drilling a lock.

We recommend always using a skilled & vetted MLA Approved locksmith that has the skill set and knowledge to know when not to drill + when drilling a lock is required as a last resort.

2. When Will a Locksmith Need to Drill a Lock?

There are various scenarios a locksmith may need to a drill a lock, below are some examples :

  • Lost Keys with Lock Replaced – if the customer has lost their house keys and the lock needs replacing anyway, then drilling can be used as the old lock will be replaced anyway.
  • 3 Star Diamond Lock without correct Lock Pick – If the door lock is a 3 star diamond standard lock and locksmith does not have the correct lock pick on the van.
  • No Feel in the Lock – If when trying to pick or bypass there is no feel in the lock, then the lock may need to be drilled or attacked to open.
  • Lock Mechanism Failed – If the lock has failed or attacked & is fully locked or doubled locked, the locksmith may need to drill to open the lock.
  • Last Resort – If the locksmith has tried to pick, bump, rake, bypass and all has failed then drilling the lock is a last resort normally.

3.  When Will a Locksmith NOT Need to Drill a Lock?

Most MLA Approved Locksmiths are skilled enough to pick, bump, rake, bypass a lock to get a customer back in without the need to drill a lock.

A locksmith will not always need to drill your lock in various scenarios, for example:

  • Locked out Keys in Back of Door  – rather than drill, the locksmith will use a variety of non-destructive techniques.
  • Lost Keys or Lock out – instead of drill the lock, the locksmith might find another entry point easier to open than the one in question.
  • Night latch Lock Out – instead of drilling a night latch lock, a locksmith has a number of expert techniques to open the lock without damage.
  • Euro Thumb Turn Cylinder Lock Out – the locksmith can open a euro thumb using non-destructive locksmith methods.

4. Will Drilling through a lock open it?

Drilling through a lock will definitely not open the lock, a lot of modern locks are actually designed to combat drilling, or snapping, therefore drilling should be considered the last thing to ever attempt.

When drilling a lock, this can cause further issues like damaging the locking mechanism inside the door that ultimately makes the job even more expensive replacing more parts.

A Professional locksmith will be able to identify the lock in question, establish where to drill and how to then open the lock with minimal damage.

5. Why do Rogue Locksmiths Immediately Attempt to Drill Locks?

A rogue locksmith will use drilling as the first attempt, as the exact intention of a rogue Locksmith is to inflate the price by damaging the lock.

After drilling a lock, the invoice produced by a rogue locksmith will include lots of items to inflate the cost, such as a) labour to drill b) labour to fit a new lock.

Multiple item charges after drilling is a massive indication that you could be being overcharged, as the labour is usually one item while you are on site.

Locksmith Greenwich

3 Red Flags When Hiring a Locksmith – How To Spot a Rogue Locksmith & Prevent Being Scammed!

Locksmith greenwich
If you are looking to hire a locksmith there a some warnings signs you should be aware of before committing to the hiring the locksmith.

Our guide below will cover some major red flags to look out for when searching for a locksmith near you and prevent you from potential hiring a rogue locksmith.

1. Locksmith Google Adverts Stating from £39 / £49 / £59 Price 

The locksmith bait and switch price scheme is a major problem in the industry currently, resulting in customers being charged over £500 for a simple job such as a lock out.

Below is what a typical rogue locksmith bait and switch price advert looks like on Google:


The above rogue locksmith advert will draw in desperate customers with the cheap £39 price point.

Bait and Switch Price – The final price is highly unlikely to be £39, we have seen some customers ending up with bills over £500 for a quick lock out job where a cheap initial price was promoted on advertising material.

For advice on costing see our locksmith price guide.

How to Spot a Rogue Locksmith advert

A typical bait and switch rogue locksmith advert will likely consist of the following:

  • Cheap Advertised Price be wary of from £39 / £49 or £59 prices – we have found this is the price rogue locksmiths are using
  • Top of Google 1st position in the Google Adverts, they have PAID for be here, for a reason!
  • Nationwide Problem – Rogue locksmiths also turn on and off their adverts to appear in ALL areas of the UK and at certain times of the day.

If a low price looks too good to be true then more often than not it will be!

This brings us onto the 2nd red flag to look out for, after clicking on their Google advert their website will sometimes make claims of 3rd party approval.

2. Claims of 3rd Party Approval / Certification / Accreditation

One of the other most popular red flags to look out for when hiring a locksmith are false claims of being certified, accredited or DBS checked.

After clicking the Cheap £39 / £49 / £59 Google advert the website usually makes false claims.

Look out for any false claims of the following:

  • False claims of being Approved or Certified by a trade association
  • False claims of being Vetted by a 3rd party
  • False claims of being DBS checked


We come across many false claims of MLA Approved Company status, which is why we recommend verifying your locksmith is a full Master Locksmiths approved company.

As the MLA logo is trademarked we can take action against incorrect use,  false claims of being MLA approved is also against the consumer protection from unfair trading regulations.

Genuine Locksmiths will Provide Details of Accreditations

A legitimate locksmith company with genuine 3rd party approval will gladly provide you with the details of their accreditation, most will link through to their 3rd party accreditation profile as proof.

3.  Locksmith Claims to be Police Recommended or Work with Police Force

Another red flag is if the locksmith claims to be Police Recommended.

A rogue locksmith will usually claim the following:

  • Police Recommended – the Police do not recommend locksmith companies, the Police MAY recommend using an MLA approved locksmith due to the vetting process our locksmiths go through, the Police are highly unlikely to recommend a specific company though.
  • Police Approved Locksmith – There is no such thing as being a “Police Approved Locksmith” – the Police DO NOT approve locksmiths!
  • Work with MET Police – The MET Police are aware of locksmiths making these false claims and falsely using their logo.

Genuine locksmiths may carry out locksmith jobs for the Police though, but they will not claim to be Police Approved or Police Recommended.


4. Locksmiths Name & Are They Subcontractors?

The final red flag to be aware of when calling a locksmith is the use of subcontractors, this is a clear sign the locksmith is not local and indeed a nationwide company/call centre you are phoning.

Questions to ask a suspected rogue locksmith:

  • 1. Name of locksmith – Who will be carrying out the work, do you have the name of the locksmith?
  • 2. Are they are a Subcontractor Ask if they are subcontracting the work
  • 3. If a subcontractor – ask for the name and contact details in case any problems arise
  • 4. Who are you paying – find out who your contract is actually with and who it is that you are paying

5. Locksmith is Vague on the Phone about Price Details

A genuine locksmith should be able to provide a quote for the job either over the phone or by email, as long as they know details about the job.

Red flags of a rogue locksmith prices on the phone are:

  • Very vague about price details on the phone
  • Keeps mentioning a low price on the phone
  • Unable to give accurate price quote for the job e.g price of specific lock, cost to unlock your lock

Pro Top: Read our locksmith price checklist here and don’t be afraid to ask for more information on pricing.

Summary on Spotting a Rogue locksmith

The red flags to look out for when a hiring a locksmith are:

  • 1. Cheap Google Advert Price usually states from £39 / £49 / £59
  • 2. False Claims of 3rd party approval and accreditation, always check any claims of being vetted/accredited by 3rd parties
  • 3. Claims of being Police Recommend or Police Approved
  • 4. Using a Subcontractor and refusal to give the locksmiths name usually indicates a call centre subcontracting work.
  • 5. Vague on Pricing only mentions low price in advert

For advice on hiring a locksmith see our choosing a locksmith guide here.

24 Hour Locksmith Service

Lockmaster1 Locksmiths is here for you

Lockmaster1 Locksmiths is here for you during this challenging time.

We now function as an essential business to provide customers with emergency Callout. Our Mobile office in Greenwich is generally open with limited inventory, Monday to Sunday 8am to 6.30pm. Please adhere to social distancing.

Mobile Emergency Locksmith Greenwich SE10.

We provide lock and key services 8am to 6.30pm, seven days a week. Whether you are locked out of your home or business, our team of reliable locksmiths will come to you in in 15 minutes. Our service is fast! When you call, we will be there to help you immediately.

Our Locksmith will always be qualified Master Locksmith’s

We offer a wide variety of services and products, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Bill at Lockmaster1 Ltd today for more information about how we can best help you with the security of your home or business.

Lockmaster1 Ltd Locksmith in Greenwich Lockmaster1 Ltd Locksmith has been serving in Greenwich since 2000. There’s nothing worse than locking yourself out of your home or Business and having nowhere to turn.

It’s frustrating, stressful, and sometimes can be dangerous. That’s why at Locksmiths Greenwich, we provide quick, reliable services so you never feel alone in a Time of need.

We want to make the process stress-free and simple.

Our  qualified Master locksmiths are trained to handle all types of emergency locksmith calls whether if it’s for commercial, residential, business, Locksmiths Greenwich are here for you.

Call Bill at Lockmaster1 Limited on 07908959198 or email us

Interview with a Locksmith

Interview with a Locksmith Greenwich

To celebrate Home Security Month we’ve been quizzing our locksmith’s members on their top tips for home security, the ups and downs of their job and the weirdest situations locksmithing has gotten them into.

Our latest interview is with Bill McFadyen of Lockmaster1 in Greenwich. After trying everything from cabinet-making to carpentry Bill stumbled across the Master Locksmith Association and discovered locksmithing was where he wanted to focus his attention.

Here, Bill tells all about the security mistakes homeowners make all too often, and the best and worst parts of his job.

1. What’s the biggest security mistake you find homeowners make?

Those with a composite or UPVC door tend to close the door and think that it’s completely locked, what they don’t understand is that the correct way is to lift the handle up fully and turn the key.

2. Are there any other common mistakes?

Neglecting home security measures on sheds and outbuildings, leaving ladders unchained (allowing burglars to use them as access to the upper floors of the building), not having locking security measures on the first floor bedroom windows, installing cheap locks and leaving the security alarm unarmed just in case it goes off while on holiday thus annoying the neighbours.

3. What do burglars look out for?

Unanswered mail gives burglars a heads up that you’re on holiday – letting everybody know on social media while they are on holiday is even worse! Leaving keys under the porch carpet or in a pot are obvious places for a burglar to look and leaving valuables on display.

4. Why did you choose to become a locksmith?

In the past, I have been a carpenter, cabinetmaker and a bit of a MacGyver. I’ve always liked playing about and picking as a hobby, but about 10 years ago I was a contracts manager in a window manufacturing company and I was made redundant so I decided to give locksmithing a go.

When I got involved with the Master Locksmiths Association I discovered that this is an industry that I find fascinating. I wouldn’t say it was easy at the beginning – there are quite a few three to five-day courses out there where they say you can become a locksmith instantly – believe me this is not the case.

5. What are the best and worst parts of the job?

The best part of the job is the fact that it’s never the same from one day to the next. You are always meeting different people from all walks of life. One day you could be working in a mansion the next day you can be working in public toilets, you just never know.

Also, where else could you get paid to do your hobby? As I have improved over the years I’ve been able to help other locksmiths enhance their skills which is another highlight. The only negative part of the job would be the unsociable hours and the fact that you are never off duty even when you’re on holiday.

6. What would your one top tip for Home Security Month be? 

Go outside your house and question how you would enter your premises if you were locked out. It is surprising the number of surveys I do with homeowners where I ask them to do the same things and they realise themselves where their security is really lacking.

READ MORE LOCKSMITH INTERVIEWS: for more Interviews with MLA approved Locksmiths, please see our every interview with a locksmith so far page

Lockmaster1 Ltd Working during COVID-19

Lockmaster1 Ltd qualified Master Locksmiths are still working with emergency locksmiths open for essential work such as locks outs, lock-ins, lock repairs. During the lockdown locksmith shops will be closed or allowing one customer in the shop at a time.

As qualified member  of the UK’s largest trade association for locksmiths our customers are kept up to date with developments in relation to COVID-19 as well as ways of working including isolation, social distancing and hygiene.

The number one priority is the health & safety of both locksmiths and the customer, our locksmiths understand the importance in reducing the spread of Coronavirus.

We would advise customers and Locksmiths alike the following.

Hiring a lockmaster1 ltd Locksmith during COVID-19

Locksmith services
Locksmiths are available and here to help.

If you are self-isolating
Do let your Locksmith know if you are self-isolating, locksmiths work with vulnerable individuals and emergency services on a daily basis and must ensure the safety of all customers.

Follow the Governments advice on protecting yourself and the locksmith.

Social Distancing
As we are all aware social distancing measures are in place, our locksmith will not be offended if the normal close proximity and chatty conversations are not happening.


Lockmaster 1 Company Logo

Open 24hrs

Lockmaster 1 Ltd, 28 Zangwill Road, Blackheath, London SE3 8EU.
Click Here For Directions

Out Of Hours: 02088 560874


Locksmith approved by Master Locksmiths Association

LICENSE No: 003657

Lockmaster1 are DBS Checked Locksmiths in Blackheath, SE3 in South East London approved by UKs largest locksmith association.  Our locksmiths offer a 24-Hour Emergency Locksmith service in Blackheath, Greenwich and other areas of South East London.

Bill McFadyen from Lockmaster 1 image

Need a Emergency Locksmith in South East London?:

Mobile: 07908 959198 TAP TO CALL

  • Lost Keys? Locked out?
  • Locked out of your house or home?
  • Moved into a new home?
  • We specialise in changing locks with non-destructive opening.

Blackheath & Greenwich Locksmith

If you are locked out, lost your keys or need your locks changing Lockmaster1 can help with the following:

  • 24 Hour Emergency Locksmith
  • No Call Out Charge
  • Mobile Locksmith Service
  • Key Cutting on Site
  • Locks supplied and fitted to British Standards (BS3621)
  • Changing Locks to British Standards
  • uPVC Door and Windows Locks repaired and fitted
  • uPVC Patio Doors Repaired
  • Alarms and CCTV systems supplied and installed
  • Digital Locks
  • Access Control Systems supplied and installed
  • Restricted keys and master suites
  • Bespoke Master Key Systems
  • Burglary Repairs
  • Bailiffs Locksmith Services
  • Security Grilles, Gates
  • Window Bars and Shutters
  • Steel Security Doors
  • Car Key Cutting
  • CCTV Installation
  • Safe Engineer – Safes Supplied and Fitted
  • Work Guaranteed
  • Friendly Advice
  • Disabled Services
  • Covering all South-East Kent London areas

Locks – Supplied/Fitted & Repaired in Greenwich

Locks supplied and fitted image

  • All Locks Supplied and Fitted
  • Door Locks
  • Window Locks
  • Master Keys and Locks
  • Insurance Standard Locks
  • Lock Opening
  • Period Lock Keys
  • Digital Locks
  • Latches
  • Mortice Deadlocks
  • High Security Locks
  • uPVC Window Locks
  • Window handles and mechanisms
  • Escape Locks
  • Master Key Systems
  • All from leading brands including Yale, Union, ERA, Chubb.

Key Cutting in Blackheath & Greenwich (All Keys Cut)
Keys cut on site image

  • All types of keys cut on site
  • Cabinet Keys
  • Door Keys
  • Safe Keys

Safe Opening in Blackheath/Greenwich
Security Safes image

  • Fire Resistant Safes
  • Insurance Rated Safes
  • Jewellery Safes
  • Laptop Safes
  • Gun Cabinets
  • Deposit Safes
  • Data Safes
  • Drug Cabinets
  • Key Cabinets
  • Safes with Standard Lock, Traditional Lock, Electronic Lock mechanisms.
  • Safes with 30 minute to 60-minute fire protection
  • Floorboard Safes

Access Control Installed
Access Control Systems image

  • Mechanical Access Control
  • Push Button Mechanical Locks
  • Card Swipe and Proximity Readers
  • Card and Key Fob Readers
  • Wireless Remote Access Control
  • Battery Operated Access

Security Gates & Grilles Fitted
Security Gates and Grilles image

  • Bar Gates – Secure area protection with gates
  • Bar Grilles – Window and Door Grille Protection
  • Steel Sheets – Fitted externally to doors for increased strength
  • Roller Shutters

We offer a made to measure service. Designed to deter criminals, gates and grilles can be fitted to almost any door or window. Steel sheets can be fitted externally on vulnerable doors.

Burglar Alarms Installed

Alarms installed image

  • Remote Control Alarms
  • Safety Alarms
  • Choice of Alarm Monitoring
  • Alarm Maintenance
  • High Power Alarms

Areas We Cover

  • South East London
  • Greenwich
  • Thamesmead
  • Abbey wood
  • Bexley
  • North London
  • Hackney
  • Stratford
  • Canning town
  • West Han
  • Stepney
  • Canary Wharf
  • Essex
  • Ilford
  • Rainham
  • Thurrock
  • Dagenham
  • Kent
  • Dartford
  • Lakeside
  • Gravesend


Why use a MLA Approved Locksmith?

We are Vetted

We are Inspected

We are Qualified


MLA Approved

Emergency locksmith Greenwich Blackheath

Master Locksmith Approved


MLA qualified and approved company

● No Call Out Charge

● Emergency Door Opening

● 12 Months Guarantee

● No Parking Fees

● Lock Replacement & Repair

● Competitive local rates

● Free estimate

● No Parking Fees

● Locks supplied & fitted to BS3621

● Locks supplied and Fitted  to postboxes –  cabinets

● Burglary & Door Repairs

● No Parking Fees

● Locks supplied & fitted to BS3621

● Locks supplied and Fitted  to postboxes –  cabinets

● UPVC  mechanism replacements – repair

● Boarding door & window service

● And high-security cylinders

● Commercial & domestic Access Control Systems

● Key Cutting

● safe

● CCTV and Alarms








Burglaries in Greenwich & Blackheath

Burglaries have spiked in Greenwich as new stats show increases in crime across the borough. A task group has been set up following a surge in break-ins at the end of last year. It comes as new figures show 606 burglaries were reported in the last quarter of last year, compared to 427 in the period before

Faulty Yale

Emergency  call out Blackheath . Attended  a customers premises today after they

were locked out due to faulty Yale PBS1 BS3621: 2007  High security night latch. Fortunately they had a back door so I was able to pick that open even though there was a key on the opposite side of the door. Customer purchased Lock from Amazon and now has the issue of sending the Lock back to Amazon.