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How Much Does a Locksmith Cost?

Last Updated Jan 17, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider


How much does a locksmith cost? It's not an easy question to answer because locksmiths can do far more than you might expect them to do. Their costs will depend on the type of job they do, the time of day, the complexity of the job and other factors. Here's what you need to know about locksmiths, the jobs they do and their costs.

  1. What can a locksmith do?
  2. Choosing a locksmith
  3. How much does a locksmith cost?

What can a locksmith do?

When we think of locksmiths, we often think of two things. A locksmith might work in a stall in a shopping centre and make new keys or we might need a locksmith's emergency services when we get locked out of our house or car. Actually, trained locksmiths can do much more than those jobs:

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  • They can rekey an existing lock, which is a good idea if you've moved to a new property
  • Locksmiths can install door handles or a deadbolt on an existing door
  • If a key has broken off in a lock, a locksmith can remove the broken key for you
  • Many locksmiths install keyless systems and electronic lock systems
  • Locksmiths also do automotive locks and ignitions

These are some of the more basic jobs most locksmiths can do, but many go beyond these basic services. Some may be able to:

  • Install a security door for you
  • Service a safe or a security system
  • Install locks on windows
  • Install locks on garages or sheds

Emergency services are part of a locksmith's trade. A good locksmith can come to your house or car at any time to help you gain access to the house or car. They can also provide you with new keys or do whatever it takes to allow you to have access to your house, car or commercial property.

A locksmith will come to your premises in a van fully equipped with everything the locksmith needs to get a job done. This includes both jobs done during normal working hours and emergency services. If it's an emergency, they can allow you access to your home, commercial property or car and fix the problem on the spot without having to return to a separate location. The only exception will be if you need a new lock and door handle. They may not have the right parts on hand in the van, but can give you secure entry and finish the job later.

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Locksmiths can also inspect all the locks in your home or business and give you advice on how to increase security. They may suggest installing security doors, deadbolts, locks on windows, locks on garages or other locks as needed. They will give you a quote for the price of everything and you can choose which items you think you need. As an amateur, you may overlook some important factors about your locks:

  • All locks should meet or exceed Australian standard AS4145.2:1993
  • Doors and locks should be fire rated in accordance with Australian standard AS 1905.1:2005
  • Locks should be corrosion resistant according to Australian standard AS4145.2:1993

Indoor locks do not have to meet the standards set for outdoor locks, which are exposed to the weather. An experienced locksmith will make sure the locks they install meet or exceed Australian standards.

Choosing a locksmith

Not all locksmiths can do all the same jobs. Some are specialists and some have a broader range of abilities. When choosing a locksmith, these are the key things to look for:

  • They must be knowledgeable and reliable: you don't want to wait too long for them to arrive, especially in an emergency
  • Most locksmiths are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Of course, they will charge more on weekends and for late night work
  • Locksmiths can vary in price

Most locksmiths will give you an estimate of the cost of their services. However, an estimate is just an estimate. When they arrive, they may see something you have overlooked and may have to charge more.

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Never hire a locksmith who does not carry insurance and bond coverage. A good locksmith will belong to a professional organisation such as the Master Locksmiths Association of Australia. Their membership will be your assurance that the locksmith you choose is:

  • Qualified
  • MLAA tested and endorsed
  • A registered business
  • Security licensed in states where it is required
  • Insured

Locksmiths in general take their work seriously and are fully qualified to make a home or business secure. Most will belong to a professional organisation, be insured and have a registered business. It's a good idea to ask anyway, since locksmiths aren't required to hold a licence. However, in many states they are required to have a security licence just as anyone working in the security industry needs a licence.

How much does a locksmith cost?*

The average yearly salary of locksmiths in Australia is $61,000. The cost of their services will depend on several factors. During normal working hours, you will get a cheaper rate. Some typical costs during normal working hours may be:

  • $100 for two door locks
  • $200 to have seven locked rekeyed
  • $50 to reinstall a cylindrical push button lock that had been installed incorrectly
  • $200 to fit an external door and install locks

These are approximate prices only and may not include the call out rate of approximately $65 to $110. Considering the fact that a locksmith has to come to your home and do the work, the prices above are very reasonable when you take travel time into consideration.

On average, locksmiths may charge (not including the call out fee):

  • $15 to $19 plus GST to re-key a lock and provide two keys
  • $20 to fit a new key to a lock (includes two keys)
  • Lock repairs may cost $66 for labour only

After hours work can be quite a bit more expensive. Some typical after hours charges may be:

  • $175 is a typical rate for just before or after normal working hours
  • $220 is a typical rate for 9:00 p.m. to midnight emergency services
  • $330 may be charged for after midnight services

Locksmith costs can vary widely and it may depend on the complexity of the job. For example, you might pay:

  • Between $30 and $300 to change locks, depending on the type of lock
  • Rekeying a lock without changing the pins costs $15 to $20 per door
  • Rekeying can cost between $40 and $100 if the locksmith rearranges the pins in the lock so the old key cannot work
  • Key cutting can cost from $4 to $20 depending on the type of key

These costs will not include the call out fee if the locksmith comes to your home.

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Locksmith costs can vary depending on the services you need, their rates and travel time. Always get 3 quotes from locksmiths and try to find one who is located in your suburb. More travel time often means higher call out rates. Always look for a locksmith who is insured, bonded and belongs to a professional association that checks their qualifications, insurance and other factors. A locksmith may also need a security licence in some states. Rather than find the cheapest locksmith, find the most qualified locksmith that charges a lower rate than another locksmith may charge.

*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.

You might also like: Using a 24/7 Emergency Locksmith

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