Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Here’s the deal. You rarely need a locksmith, so you really have no idea what it costs. If I told you it’s $50, you’d probably say, “okay, cool”. If I told you it’s $500, you’d probably say, “okay, cool”. The lack of information out there is what makes it challenging, and sadly, where less legitimate companies will take advantage. If you don’t want to read this whole article and just want the price of a locksmith service call in Calgary, just scroll to the bottom.
To understand the costs of locksmiths in Calgary, it’s best to think of it like an a-la-carte menu at a restaurant. The good thing is you can call and ask beforehand and any legitimate company will tell you. If your spidy-signal tingles, trust it! Hang up and call someone else (hopefully us! 403.250.5698).
There are three main components to pricing for locksmiths:
Service call / travel charge / truck charge (all synonymous) which is the cost to get a locksmith to your house
Labour rate which is the charge per hour to perform the work
Hardware prices which can vary wildly depending on what you need
When wondering how much a locksmith costs, here’s the rule of thumb – it should cost about what you would pay a plumber, electrician, or carpenter – and if it seems way cheaper than you expect, it’s because you’ve more than likely come across one of the many non-licensed locksmith scams.
You should expect to pay at least $80 for the most basic service (open your door). If they advertise anything less than that on Google, read the reviews and I guarantee the legitimate reviews will steer you away from these low priced companies. We see invoices from these companies all the time and it’s $15 for a service call, $150 for “travel time” (whatever that is), and then they sell you a new lock for $300+ dollars because they ruin yours while opening it. If this seems crazy, I again recommend Googling the terms “locksmith scams” and the internet will back me up.
A common locksmith scam is when they arrive at your house they say your lock has “special security” which cannot be picked open and they have to drill it. First off, “special” security is not a term of a locksmith, it’s the term of someone that doesn’t know what they’re doing and trying to dupe the public. Locksmiths in Alberta all take a 3 year apprenticeship and are well versed in picking locks. There is a special classification of locks that can’t be picked, but they’re rare in residential settings.
Locks that cannot be picked are few and far between, however if you’re unsure if yours is one of them look at the name of the lock. If it says “Medeco”, or “Abloy” or “Mul-T-Lock” on it than it is a high security lock and cannot be picked or drilled. Virtually all others can be picked and a locksmith that says it cannot likely doesn’t have training to do so and you should send them away immediately.
Understanding how much a locksmith costs in Calgary can be a bit tricky for other services outside of opening your house or car – for that reason we will explore the different services individually so you can protect yourself for being scammed.
Our job, at Calgary Lock & Safe, is to provide the public with a hassle-free locksmith experience and want to make sure people aren’t taken advantage of. The biggest challenge is that because you so rarely need a locksmith, you have no expectation of what cost is and are vulnerable to exploitation by those that do this for a living.
Pro Tip: General guidelines for how much a locksmith costs:
No less than $70 advertised price (for any service)
Easily explainable pricing for service call/travel, labour
Labour rates between $80 – 130
The author, Lars Johnston, is the CFO of Calgary Lock & Safe, Canada’s largest private locksmith company. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Business Administration from Brandon University. He sits on the Medeco Security Center’s Advisory Board and is a member of the Calgary Construction Association and Better Business Bureau.