Essential Car Opening Tools for Automotive Locksmiths

Essential Car Opening Tools for Automotive Locksmiths

Essential Car Opening Tools for Automotive Locksmiths: Learn about the essential tools needed to safely open modern car doors, including a jack tool, high-quality airbags, and sophisticated reach tools. Avoid using outdated methods like Slim Jims to prevent damage, especially with modern vehicles equipped with multiple airbags.

Essential Car Opening Tools for Automotive Locksmiths

Unlocking a car isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, especially with the variety of locking mechanisms and intricate systems in modern vehicles. As an automotive locksmith, it’s crucial to have the right tools to get the job done efficiently and safely. Here’s a breakdown of some of the essential tools you’ll need in your toolkit.

Basic Tools for Car Opening

The Jack Tool

One of the foundational tools for an automotive locksmith is the jack tool. This handy device allows you to wedge the door, window, or door frame just a little bit, creating enough space to maneuver other tools.


High-quality airbags are indispensable, making up about 80 percent of the tools used regularly. These airbags help to gently create space without causing significant damage, making them ideal for long reach tools and other devices necessary for unlocking a vehicle.

Long Reach Tools and Strips

The long reach tool, often coupled with a strip to pull the buttons, is a commonly used instrument. The strip usually has a small piece of sandpaper on the end to provide extra grip and precision when manipulating the car’s internal mechanisms.

Advanced Tools and Techniques

The Sophisticated Noose Tool

For more complex scenarios, a sophisticated tool with a noose on the back can be invaluable. This tool is designed to latch onto buttons inside the car and pull them, allowing you to unlock the door from the inside.

The Slim Jim: When to Use and When to Avoid

The Slim Jim is a classic tool in the locksmith’s arsenal. However, its use has declined due to advancements in car technology. Modern vehicles often have numerous airbags inside the doors, making the use of a Slim Jim risky. Triggering an airbag can cause damage and can be dangerous.

In older model cars, a Slim Jim might still be applicable. When I was a kid, Slim Jims were effective on almost any vehicle. However, with contemporary cars incorporating a lot of plastic and complex systems, it’s safer to avoid using this tool unless you are certain it’s safe.

Caution: Avoiding Car Damage

Using the wrong tool can result in damage, especially in modern cars. With many of the internal components now made of plastic, forcing a Slim Jim can break these parts easily. Therefore, it’s generally best to err on the side of caution and rely on safer, more modern tools like airbags and long reach tools.


As an automotive locksmith, having a versatile set of tools is essential. While the jack tool and airbags are your go-to for most situations, more sophisticated tools and an understanding of when not to use a Slim Jim will ensure you can handle any car unlocking job effectively and safely. Remember to stay updated with the latest in car locking mechanisms to keep providing the best service without causing damage to the vehicles.

Stay safe out there, and keep fine-tuning your craft with the right tools!

Mr. Locksmith is a family owned and operated business that provides Professional Locksmithing & Security Services. They provide regular and emergency locksmith service. Mr. Locksmith offers 24 Hour Locksmith mobile service for your lock change, rekey locks, door locks, safes opened, safety deposit boxes emergency lockouts.

Terry Whin-Yates is a 3rd Generation Locksmith with over 35 years of Locksmith Experience. Also, Terry has a BA (Hons) in Criminology from Simon Fraser University.

Terrys’ 24Hr Mr. Locksmith YouTube Channel has 200,000+ Subscribers and 25+ Million Views:

Locksmith Training: Go to Mr. Locksmith Training.


Essential Car Opening Tools for Automotive Locksmiths
Essential Car Opening Tools for Automotive Locksmiths

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