security screen door

Whitco Tasman Mk2

Whitco Tasman Mk2

Whitco Tasman mk2 security screen door lock is the most popular security door lock used in Brisbane. It replaced the Tasman mk1 which used a more conventional latch design which had no deadlatching pin.

The Whitco Tasman mk2 has proven to be a very successful and reliable lock for security screen doors. While we do replace many of these locks on a daily basis, it is often due to the sheer number of cycles these locks have performed. A security screen door can get opened and closed a large number of times. In an average home a security screen door can get used more then 100 times a day!

One of the latest upgrades to this screen door lock is the new handle spring design. Older designs used a handle spring that would cause the handles to sag over time. While the new design has not been around long enough to test in the field, it does look like the sagging of the handles might have been fixed. Whitco often update their designs when they discover a better way to manufacture their locks.

Whitco tasman mk2 blackThe standard mk2 Tasman comes with an inside locking snib which is used to snib the door locked when inside the house. The snib is removable so the door can be only locked with the key if needed. The snib can be unlocked from the outside of the door if fingers can get through the fly screen mesh. There are plastic guard plates available to prevent fingers unlocking the snib from the outside. Solid screen doors and Crimsafe doors make it much harder to unlock the snib from the outside and give added security in this regard. The locking snib is advisable to use when at home. A key deadlocked door can be much harder to exit in case of an emergency.

The latch on a Tasman looks quite different to other screen door locks. It has the main bolt latch and a separate deadlatching latch. The deadlatching latch does not enter the main hole on the strike. This allows the main latch to fully extend only when the door is shut. If the deadlatching latch is too far away from the door strike the latch will not extend fully and the door will not be able to be locked.

carbine profile cylinderCylinders are available for this security door lock in various styles. The most popular cylinders made by Whitco are the 10 disc and 5 pin cylinder. Both these locks can be keyed alike to other screen doors in the home. The 5 pin cylinder can be keyed alike to many more locks including most Lockwood locks. The choice of cylinder can depend on the level of security needed and other mechanical considerations. Some screen doors will not work with specific cylinders.

When removing a cylinder from a Tasman security screen door lock, you must have the key. The key must be turned to the locked position then the cylinder screw is removed. Without the key the cylinder will not be able to be removed and a locksmith will need to be called to remove the lock.

A lock with 3 point locking or triple locking will require a specific mk2 security screen lock with the triple locking parts. When installing or using a triple lock door always make sure the locking mechanism is easy to operate and not binding. An unaligned triple lock door will put a lot of extra force on the locking mechanism and cause the lock to prematurely fail.

The inside locking snib can give an indication of a worn out lock. If the inside snib has lost its’ spring and flicks from locked to unlocked without a noticeable click, then the lock will need to be replaced. The failure or breakage of the snib spring mechanism can cause the lock to fail and you can get locked in or out of the house.

Overall the Whitco Mk2 Tasman has proven itself to be an efficient and long lasting screen door lock for Brisbane homes. A little lock lubricant now and then will help to keep the screen door in working condition for many years. These locks are still readily available from locksmiths and are a current model for the foreseeable future.

Posted by arbus in lock review, locksmith Brisbane, security screen door, 6 comments
Whitco Tasman Security lock

Whitco Tasman Security lock

Whitco Tasman Mk2 Security Door Lock

The Whitco Tasman Mk2 security door lock is one of the most common locks used on security screen doors in Brisbane.   It is designed to withstand a lot of high frequency use and last over 10 years.   The Mk2 Tasman is available with different functions and not all Mk2 Tasman variations will suit every security screen door.

DIY Security Screen lock Replacement

If you have a security screen door lock that has lost its spring, has saggy handles or just broken then you will want to replace it.  Before you go to the hardware shop buy a replacement lock there are a few things you really need to know.
Whitco Tasman security door lock in Brisbane fitted to door new or repair
Number one.
Security screen door locks come in 2 basic types. Locks for sliding doors and locks for swinging doors. Make sure you buy the correct one.

Number two.
Try to match up brands. The 3 most popular brands in Australia are Whitco, Doric and Lockwood. Matching the same brand of lock will make your life much easier when it comes to installation.

Number three.
Try to match the model. If your lock is a Whitco MK2, try to replace it with a Whitco MK2. A Whitco MK1 will not work on most doors that have a MK2 lock installed and vise versa.

Number four.
Even though you have the same model lock… Look harder… Even the same model locks can be different. The same model lock can have different functions that are not suited to your door.

Number five.
Most hardware shops do not sell security screen locks for triple lock doors. If you have a Crimsafe door or other well made screen it probably locks in three places on the door. The hardware shop locks might have the same name and model but they do not work.

Number six.
If you do not have a key for the lock to remove the cylinder, consider calling a locksmith to replace the lock.  It can save a lot of time and headaches as the lock will not be able to be removed from the door.

If you need help with the replacement of repair of a security door lock, our Brisbane locksmiths are always available.  We have a 24 hour emergency locksmith service which will come to your home or business whenever you are stuck.  Call us anytime for security screen door lock problems.

Posted by arbus in lock review, locksmith Brisbane, security screen door, 1 comment
Brisbane Security Doors

Brisbane Security Doors

Repair and service of security doors in Brisbane

Security screen lock and key WhitcoSecurity screen doors in Brisbane are used much more then other doors in the house. Especially in summer months they get opened and closed constantly. Often they have an automatic door closer that bangs the door closed and puts a lot of force on the lock mechanism. It is often the case that a screen door lock will last for 10 years with normal use but some doors get so much use that they need to be replaced much more often.

Security screen inside with snib locksmith BrisbaneThere are many different brands of screen doors in Brisbane. Some use the diamond pattern aluminum and some such as Crimsafe use a stainless steel mesh. Generally while the materials used in the doors differ, the security screen door frames are very similar. This makes the locks used similar also. Generally locks used are made by Whitco, Austral, Lockwood, etc.

On some doors the locks are interchangeable. While other doors they are not interchangeable at all. The lock needs to be a specific lock with the correct dimensions. The locks even have different locking methods. The triple lock doors especially need to have the correct lock. Locks you buy at the hardware shop generally do not fit in triple lock doors. There are too many variations in the design for the hardware shops to stock all the models of screen door locks. Some security door locks work on a rod system. Some work with a cable setup. Some have triple locks set at 680mm. Some triple locks are set at 620mm. The little differences in the locks can make fitting a new lock a nightmare. Having the correct lock to start with makes the job of replacing a screen door lock much less complicated.

Security door lock in Brisbane fitted to door new or repairMost security screen doors have a key lockable cylinder as well as a snib lock for the inside of the door. The snib is used when there is someone at home so the door is not deadlocked. Allowing people to escape in case of emergency is good practice, especially in Brisbane with the fire risk of Queenslanders. There are also locks available which are designed to always allow people to exit from the inside. These are good for situations where you definitely do not want a deadlocked door.

The cylinder in the security doors is of great importance for security. There are 3 main types of cylinder used in security screen doors. The cheapest cylinders are generally shorter and use a disc type mechanism. These offer little security against lock picking and forced attacks. Burglars know this type of cylinder and can actively seek it out as it is an easy place to break into a home.
The second type of cylinder uses a longer pin tumbler cylinder. These offer a better resistance to lock picking then the disc cylinders and the same attack methods do not work with pin cylinders. We recommend a pin cylinder as a minimum security for a security screen door lock.
security screen 6 37The third type of cylinder to suit a security screen door is a high security lock cylinder. A high security lock cylinder offers the best protection from lock picking and also forcing. For people who leave their main doors unlocked all night to allow a breeze through their homes, a high security lock cylinder is recommended.

Security screen doors are either sliding or swinging. Both doors use a different type of lock. Sliding doors require a specific strike to be fitted on the door frame. The strike has to be lined up exactly with the door lock for correct operation. The strike is usually adjustable to allow for proper alignment.
Sliding doors also need to have good operating rollers. If a roller is not rolling correctly, the door will not slide correctly. Rollers that are seized will wear very fast. A worn roller will make the entire door offset and out of alignment. Always check your door is rolling correctly and freely and have the rollers replaced if needed.

Our Brisbane locksmiths stock the whole range of security door locks used in Queensland. We also have replacement door parts such as triple lock kits and rollers, and strikes. You can call us for service 24 hours a day and we will come to your home if you have suffered a break in or if your security door is broken and needs repairing or a lock replacing. We also can change your locks to match the same key and even change all the locks in the home to a completely different key. Phone us any time.

Posted by arbus in locksmith Brisbane, security screen door
Security Screen Doors Brisbane

Security Screen Doors Brisbane

Security Screen Doors For A Safe Living

There are many houses where almost everybody goes to work. They leave the house in the morning and return to the house by night. As crime rates tend to be rising across Brisbane there is a concern of house theft when nobody is home. Many precious, confidential and costly things are kept in the house. Some things may be of great importance and a loss of such thing gives a sentimental shiver to the house owners. This is the reason why the people are interested to secure their house in all possible ways. Security screen doors installation is also one of such security given to the house. It is better to pay a little for this installation rather than allowing the burglars and intruders into the house.
The security screen door is a metal frame. The size of this security door is same as the main door. It clips to the main door and gives more security. When someone is in front of the door, the owner can just open his main door and see through the security door. If he does not want them to be let in then he can just close the main door. But if there is no security door then there are chances of the intruder rushing into the house. This can be installed in a few hours. There are many companies which are undertaking the installation process. Many people prefer this door to be installed in the front and back. If installed on both the sides then the house is secured from both the sides.
Many people may feel that the look of the house is completely spoilt by installing the security door. There are many types of doors which make the house look glamorous even after installation. These security doors allow the house people to enjoy fresh air and also feel secured behind the door. This door is exposed to the harsh weather and thus it has to be robust. The paint or powder coating on the door should be able to withstand the weather changes. A steel mounted frame door is a secured one and many people prefer this. A metal door will prove to be more secure and robust.
A reputed company will give the ordered door in a fixed time. The warranty period has to be given by the company so that the house owner can have protection for his house with peace off mind. The measurements should be perfect and the door should fit exactly. If the measurements are not proper then it does not serve the purpose. The company should easily install the door and it should last for years. There should be an uninterrupted airflow and good light should be allowed into the house. Intruding small animals should be kept away from the house.

Posted by arbus in locksmith Brisbane, security screen door
How to Pick a Lock

How to Pick a Lock

lock picking made easy

How to Pick a lock

Picking Locks

Picking locks is the technique used to open a lock without a key by lining up all the pins or discs to allow the lock barrel to turn. Well, we have all seen it in movies. You just grab a bobby pin out of your hair and stick it in the lock and Hey Presto!! lock opens… Uhrrrrr If only it was that easy!

So how do you pick a lock? Well if you type “How to pick a lock” into Google you get 121,000,000 results!! So you don’t need me to tell you.  Sites on lock picking are all over the net.  Anyway here is the top YouTube video result for “how to pick a lock”.  This explanation is not from a locksmith!  It is just some guy who bought a lock pick set online!

Well, the reason for this post was not to show you how to pick locks. It was more along the lines of how easy are door locks to pick in Brisbane. I say Brisbane, because the types of locks used for a particular region, city, country, etc differ quite a bit. So lets use Brisbane as a case study, because that is where I live.

I will try to be as honest as I can with regards to just how easy or hard locks are to pick. Even though I pick locks professionally as a 24 hour locksmith, I still have a pretty good idea just how hard it is to pick locks for an amateur lock picker.

Lock pick set to pick locks you can buy online.

Lock Pick Set for sale on the internet

Lock picks and picking tools can now be purchased on the internet which will open a range of locks in Brisbane. Sounds scary? Well, yeah, it is very scary! A lot of people might not know this? Even if they do know, then it might be a case of, well, my neighbors have the same locks. Why would a burglar target my home or business? There is truth to this. A lot of break ins are just random and not targeted. So having a lock on your door that can be easily picked open does not mean you are going to get broken into. Neither does leaving your door unlocked.

Some places are targeted for break and enters. Especially businesses that keep a high dollar value of stock or that are a high value target for thieves. I often see business premises that are locked up with a low quality lock that could easily be picked by amateur thieves.

I was going to try to go through some of the common key operated door locks that are sold at the large chain hardware shops and let you know how hard they are to pick open.  But there is no point to singling out any particular lock.  Truth is, just about all the door locks sold by the major chains are easy to pick with tools readily available on the internet!!
Before information and tools was easily available over the internet, it was a different story. But the truth is the door locks have not changed in their designs. It is not that they are any more insecure then they were 20 years ago. It is just that it is a lot easier to buy lock picking tools and find the information to use them. So I would have to say that most of the door locks sold by major hardware shops are not secure enough to fit to peoples homes or business.

Easy to pick open entrance lock set from hardware

Entrance Lock Set you might buy at a Hardware Shop

There are a few door locks sold by the major hardware shops that are not easy to pick. They are mainly the Lockwood range of domestic locks with Kinetic Defence cylinders. The Kinetic Defence cylinders use a very simple and effective pin design that makes them harder to pick open. Many locksmiths can not even pick these locks and have to drill the cylinder out if they need to open a locked door. Our 24 Hour Locksmith can pick Kinetic Defence lock cylinders, using specialised tools that are not available over the internet.

Lock from hardware shop easy to pick

What are you getting when you buy a lock at a hardware shop?

Is price a good guide of a quality lock?

No! Many expensive key operated door locks sold in hardware shops are still very easy to pick the lock cylinders. Basically most of the pin tumbler locks operate in the same way and these locks are easy to pick with low cost tools.

Can anyone pick a lock?

Yes and no. The tools make it possible for anyone to pick a lock with a little practice. The more practice you have at picking locks, the better you will get. Picking locks is a skill that is learned over time and when you get proficient at picking locks there is a much higher chance of picking each lock you come across. As a professional 24 hour locksmith, our skills at picking locks have to be of the highest standards. We need to be able to pick every lock that we possibly can to perform our job. An amateur lock picker might only be able to pick a percentage of the locks a professional locksmith can.

Are commercial locks any harder to pick?

Lock easy to pick on commercial door

Standard Pin Tumbler Commercial Door lock Cylinder

Many standard commercial locks use the same pin tumbler mechanism as domestic doors. These standard locks are just as easy to pick as domestic locks.
There are of course high security locks that can not be picked with tools bought on the net. Many businesses do use high security lock cylinders and are secure from these types of attacks.
Just simply having a heavy duty shop front lock fitted to your door, does not mean that your lock can not be picked! The lock must be changed from the standard pin tumbler cylinder to a high security lock cylinder that can not be picked.

I have a registered key system.

Restricted registered key lockwood Australia

Registered Key by Lockwood

There are many types of registered key systems on the market. Some use a high security cylinder that is practically impossible to pick. These are the best lock cylinders to have on your doors. Why you would secure your doors with anything less is a mystery to me. The cost is not that high, and the fact that it can not be picked open with tools you buy online makes these locks more then worth their value.
Some types of registered key systems use lock cylinders that are easy to pick. While others are very difficult with off the shelf products you buy on the net. It is very hard to tell the difference between an easy to pick registered key system and a difficult to pick system. It is not about the quality of the lock or price. It mostly comes down to weather the locksmith sold it as a difficult to pick lock cylinder or just a “Registered Key Lock System”. Locksmiths who know what they are doing can make registered keys locks very hard to pick. Sadly, most locksmiths do not ensure registered key lock cylinders are difficult to pick at all.

I have a deadlock on my door

Brava deadlock deadbolt


Ummm Off the shelf deadlocks from hardware shops generally use the same Pin Tumbler Mechanism as other easy to pick locks. Deadlocks with a standard lock cylinder are no harder to pick with a tool bought over the internet then any other type of door locks.

Security Screen Doors

door with security lock

Security Screen Door

I have a $1000 stainless steel mesh door installed. It even stops attacks from “Bowling Balls” 🙂
I love that add!! If ever I get attacked by a bowling ball, I know I will be safe 🙂
Seriously, most of the security screen doors are installed with disc tumbler lock which is almost in the class of “Able to be picked with a bobby pin” These cheaper screen door locks might keep out flies, but spend $5.99 on the internet and buy a lock pick and you will have these doors open in a few seconds.
Screen doors also have a better lock cylinder that can be installed which is a Pin Tumbler lock. These locks are generally a little harder to pick. They are still easy enough to pick with tools you can buy on the internet.
Security screens can be placed onto a high security cylinder that can not practically be picked. You will only find the high security cylinders available from locksmiths.

Electronic locks

electronic lock Brisbane

Electronic door lock with key override

There are still very few homes fitted with electronic locks. Even though they are available at a reasonable price many locksmiths do not recommend them as a good alternative. Most electronic locks have their own unique vulnerabilities for which are not generally in the public domain so discussing ways to defeat electronic locks is out of the scope of this post.
One thing most electronic locks do have in common is that they also have a key override. If the override key is simply a standard pin tumbler lock, then being able to pick these locks is generally as easy as any other pin tumbler lock. This kind of makes any security feature of an electronic lock obsolete.

Electronic locks generally can be unreliable. Batteries go flat and many electronic locks just fail. Most electronic door locks have the batteries on the inside of the door, so a key override lock cylinder is an important feature.

Not all electronic locks are terrible. We fit a range of electronic locks that are reliable. We are careful to select locks that can not be bypassed or easily opened as many electronic locks can.

Posted by arbus in crime, electronic security, locksmith Brisbane, Lockwood, news, security screen door, unlock door
Lock Bumping

Lock Bumping

lock bumping brisbane locksmith

Lock bumping a deadlock

You are probably not the only person with a key to your house or business.

Lock Bumping is a covert way to open a lock when you do not have a key. It is similar to lock picking in that it is used to open doors and all types of locks. Lock Bumping and Lock Picking are not the only way to open a lock without a key but lock Bumping is a problem for most houses and businesses as no real skill is required to open a door and some of the most well made locks can be unlocked with the bump key method.
Burglars can cut a Master Bump Key to open 95% of locks in Australia.
Bump keys were made known to the mainstream due to the information going viral on the internet. Using bump keys is so easy, people started making videos and uploading them to youtube and tutorials on how to make bump keys were available of forums and how to sites. The spread of the information over the internet led to many high profile manufacturers feeling that their locks were from the dark ages as they were way too easy to open. Even very young kids could now open their locks.

Bump proof lock.  Abloy key

Abloy key for a bump proof lock

The bump key can be made from just about any old key that inserts into the lock. All you need to do is file it down the correct way or cut a key and you have made a bump key. To bump open a lock a bump hammer is used to tap the key which lines up the pins inside the lock cylinder. Many locks in Brisbane are vulnerable to bump keys including most regular deadlocks, security door locks, commercial locks, registered key systems and unit door locks.
Common locks sold in hardware stores still have no resistance to lock bumping. There are locks now available in Brisbane that can not be bumped. There are high security locks sold by locksmiths which can not be bumped and which are practically pick proof. A high level of bump resistance can be achieved if you have your locks changed to a bump proof system. High security locks are a little more expensive then regular locks and it depends on weather you are concerned with this security risk in your home or business as to weather you request bump proof locks.

Home door that might be easily bumped open

How to know if your lock has been bumped?

One of the biggest problems with lock bumping is that it leaves no visible signs of your lock being picked. There are no break and enter marks on the door and no sign of a thief entering your home or business. For insurance companies this is a problem. If there is no sign of a break-in then how do you prove it? The lock bumping phenomenon has forced many businesses and home owners to upgrade and have locks changed to a higher security lock cylinder. If you are in doubt weather your locks can be picked or bumped you should consult a qualified locksmith for more information.

Posted by arbus in crime, Entrance door lock, L handle & T handle lock, lock bumping, lock latches, lock related, locks changed, locksmith service, news, Safes, security screen door, unlcock apartment door, Unlock bathroom door, unlock bedroom door, unlock door, unlock garage, 3 comments
Choosing a Security Screen Cylinder

Choosing a Security Screen Cylinder

Security Screen Cylinder

Pin Tumbler Security Screen Cylinder

A security screen door is used not only to keep the flies out, it is also a protective security barrier to keep out unwanted human guests.

When choosing a locking cylinder for a security door it is worth considering how secure it will be.  Generally pin tumbler lock cylinders are much stronger then a disk or wafer cylinder.  Pin tumbler cylinders come in a few different profiles and can be keyed alike to other locks in a house.

When choosing a pin tumbler cylinder attention should be given to the quality of the cylinder.  Machined brass is usually make with a lot tighter tolerances then a die cast cylinder.  With locks tighter tolerances makes a lock much harder to pick.  Die casting generally is  much easier to snap.  The difference in price between a high quality cylinder and a low quality cylinder is only a few dollars.  If you are wanting to really secure your home why install low quality cylinders?  Whitco makes a high quality brass security screen cylinder with excellent machining  for Australian doors.

There are also a range of high security screen door cylinders which make lock picking almost impossible.  High security cylinders do cost a little more but they do make attacks from professional burglars very difficult.

There are a range of high quality security doors on the market these days.  Many have stainless steel mesh and a triple lock mechanism.  I often see these doors fitted with lock cylinders that are of very low security.  If you do have a triple lock door or a stainless steel mesh door, check the cylinder is not a cheap low quality cylinder.  Most disc cylinders are not of a quality level needed to secure a home although if you just want to keep out the flies they might do.  If you have a new security screen installed with disc cylinders, call a locksmith to have them replaced with a more secure cylinder.  Often a security door can be keyed alike with other locks in the house, cutting down on the number of keys needed.

Posted by arbus in Lock Products, security screen door, 1 comment