Locksmith Blog

How to Open My Safe If I Forgot the Combination

4 Steps to Getting your safe open

If you are ever unable to open your safe (even a gun safe) and access the contents of it, we advise against trying to open it yourself. A non-professional could damage the lock, safe, or the contents in the process, making it much more difficult for a professional locksmith to open the safe without damaging the safe or the contents inside the safe further. Before calling a Locksmith, there are a few things you can try to get your safe open. Below we list our 4 steps to getting your safe open.

Step 1: Find Out Which Safe You Have

How to Open My Safe If I Forgot the CombinationThe first step that you need to take is to identify the type of safe that you have. Properly identifying your safe means that you will be able to use the appropriate measures to reset your code or recover the code, to unlock your safe.

The last thing that you would want to do is panic and use the wrong access methods for your safe. This ends up damaging the safe and all its internal components. If you think this could never happen, you should probably talk to someone who has been in a lockout before.

What types of safe locks are there?

Currently, there are 3 types of safe locks that are used:

  • Key Lock: This is the old-fashioned generic lock that is unlocked using a key. It gets the job done, but can be troublesome if the key is misplaced or lost.
  • Combination Lock: Another analog type of lock, it requires you to manually turn a knob to specific numbers displayed around the dial to unlock.
  • Electronic Lock: An electronic safe that typically runs on battery, this lock requires you to input the correct sequence of numbers to unlock. This type of lock is currently the most popular.

You must request help for a certain safe, this holds true regardless of whether you contact the manufacturer or a locksmith. When you contact either or, you will have to provide basic information about the safe for them to know which course of action they should take. The information that is needed in this situation can either be a serial number on the safe or your purchase information.

The serial number can be found on the side of the safe or the back panel of the safe. For security purposes, some safes have their serial numbers on the body of the safe. So, if you can’t find your serial number, use information from your purchase order to find out the brand and type of safe you have.


Step 2: Determine If Your Safe Has a Key Override

Once you know the type of safe that you have, you should check whether the safe (or gun safe) has a key override that can be used if you have forgotten your combination. Key overrides allow you to gain access to your safe using an alternative method. The key override is also extremely useful when you have forgotten the combination to your safe.

It is possible that you didn’t even know that your safe had a key override. Lots of people neglect to read the user manual when they buy a safe. Also, not all safes advertise the fact that they have an override key.

You should take the time to read through your owner’s manual and verify whether the safe has a key override or not. Doing so will save you time, and it will help you get back into your safe. However, if you find yourself saying “I forgot my safe combination”, do not get your hopes up about the mechanical override key. Not all safe manufacturers utilize one in their safes.


Step 3: Determine If the Safe Has a Change Key

If your safe does not have a key override, there is no need to worry, you will make your way back into your safe. There are many people who have said, “I forgot the combination to my safe,” who have ended up gaining access to their safes once again. In the absence of a mechanical override key, a change key can be used to help you out of your situation. A change key allows you to change the combination so you can gain access to your safe again. This is extremely useful for when you have forgotten your combination.

The change key doesn’t work for all safes because you might be required to input your old combination when you are using a change key. To get the change key to work you insert the key in the back of the safe and then you must input the reset combination. This set of numbers is merely a way of wiping the slate clean for you to set a new code to your safe.

If you forgot your safe combination, the use of a change key or a mechanical key override can be quick solutions. People rarely have these elements on hand, so you will likely have to resort to calling a locksmith to help you get back into your safe.


Step 4: Find A Locksmith

If you have tried all of the above methods and you have not been able to get into your safe, it might be time to reach out to the professionals. A locksmith will be able to help you enter a safe that you are locked out of.

Finding the locksmith to open your safe sounds relatively easy. Safes are very intricate devices, and if they are not treated properly, you could potentially damage your security investment and the contents of your safe as well. Ideally, you want to find a locksmith that is familiar with safes, and one that seems knowledgeable about your safe (or gun safe).

Call Milwaukee Lockstar today to gain access to your safe and valuables



What Do I Do if I Lost My Car Keys and Have No Spare?

Losing your car keys can be very stressful. All of a sudden you realize that you can’t go where you need to go..now what do you do? First thing to do is to stay calm, if the keys are really lost, a locksmith can usually get you back into your car within 10-30 minutes once they arrive.

lost car keys locksmith Milwaukee

Car key replacement can be handled in a few different ways.

  • You can go to the dealership – Most expensive option, not for emergencies
  • Do it yourself – Need the tools and knowledge but still possible
  • Call a locksmith – Can be there quickly, will get the job done, less expensive than dealership

What type of Car Keys have you lost?

Letting your locksmith know what type of car keys you have is another critical piece of information that they will need to have in order to perform the job with optimal efficiency.

Transponder Chip Keys

Most cars after newer vehicles have transponder chips are programmed to a specific car.  All keys madein the last 20 years are required to be fitted with an  immobiliser system.

This will require a transponder key, which has an embedded electronic transponder chip in the key to start the vehicle.

If this kind if key is broken or lost, then you won’t be able to turn the ignition and the vehicle will not be able to start. You will need a replacement transponder chip.

Remote Key Fob

These are generally a keyless entry push button key that controls the locking to doors of the car and turns off any alarm system.

Non-Remote Car Keys

Non-remote keys will have no remote central locking and have no remote control functions on the key.   These type of key is normally known as a ‘copy key’.

What Do I Do If My Car Keys are Lost?

Your next step is to call a reliable locksmith. Their job will be to reprogram the locking system to render the old keys useless and, in some cases, reconfigure the door locks and ignition as well – depending on the age of the vehicle.

You are going to need to collect a few pieces of information to make the process smoother for the locksmith to get you back into your vehicle. Before the task can be done, you will need to provide:

  • Vehicle make and model
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Personal identification
  • Your current location

Why do we need all of this information to make a key?

Some of it is technical, basically so that the key can be reprogrammed. But we also want to make sure that you are the owner of the vehicle. Imagine if locksmiths did not verify that you were the owner of the vehicle..anyone would be able to call a locksmith to get into almost any car they wanted.


What Models of Car Keys Can a Locksmith Help Me With?

A qualified locksmith should be able to assist you with keys for all makes and models of vehicles, from standard family cars to exotic and luxury cars. In the rare instance that your locksmith does not work with your specific type of vehicle, rest assured that they can direct you to someone who does.

The same process applies to all vehicles such as trucks, motorcycles, RV, etc.


Can I Get a Car Key Made Without the Original?

In short, yes. Many of today’s best locksmiths have the tools and technology to cut and program an identical car key to the one you have lost. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not mandatory to have the key code on hand when you call the locksmith – all you need is the above information to have a new key created.


Do I Need to Go to My Main Dealer to Get a Spare Transponder Key?

No – the majority of locksmiths serve as the primary provider of transponder key duplication. Many dealers today practice the outsourcing of this service to locksmiths.

This means that you will save a significant amount of time and money by going directly to the source, since they will mark up the price of the locksmith that you could have called directly.


Can a Locksmith Replace My Electronic Chip or Remote Key Fob?

As a general rule, your local locksmith will have the tools needed to duplicate an existing item or program a blank one to function in accordance with your vehicle’s entry system.


Do I Need to Take My Car to the Locksmith to Have Keys Made?

In most cases, no. In fact, one distinguishing characteristic of a good locksmith is that they provide a mobile service and are fully equipped to perform the job onsite.

That’s one of the differences between a locksmith and the dealership. A locksmith will come to you, while you would most likely have to have the car towed to the dealership for them to work on it.


How Long Does It Take to Make a Spare Set of Keys?

Creating a car key will take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of key and complexity of the transponder system. In rare cases where your locksmith does not have a blank key in stock, rest assured that they can order it for you and provide a spare set as soon as possible.


How Much Does It Cost to Replace Lost Car Keys?

The cost of replacing lost car keys in Milwaukee can range anywhere from $50 to $350, depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the overall scope of the work. Although a locksmith’s services cost less than your local dealer’s, there is no defined cost structure that locksmiths must follow: hence, your ideal solution is to obtain a quote from more than one locksmith.

Consider having more than one key made if you have found yourself in this situation. Once the locksmith is there, it is not that much extra to fabricate another.


Your car is more than just a means of transportation: It gives you the freedom to not only accomplish your daily tasks with greater speed and efficiency but also to go wherever you want, whenever you want. Whether you are 16 or 96, owning a car is something that you likely take for granted, which is why finding your car keys lost or stolen can be absolutely devastating!

Fortunately, a trained and certified locksmith like Milwaukee Lockstar can resolve the problem before your very eyes.

If you seek one of the most skilled yet affordable locksmiths in your area, look no further than Milwaukee Lockstar for all of your car key replacement needs. Call today!


What are the Pros and Cons of Keyless Locks?

Keyless locks work by pushing in a numbered code on a keypad. They are convenient, but are they a secure?


For many years, keyless entry locks on both homes and cars, have been very popular. However, as with any modern technology, there are pros to switching to a new system as well as some cons to go along with them. Both the pros and cons of a keyless lock system need to be examined before purchasing one for your family home.

Benefits of Keyless Door Locks

There are 3 main benefits to installing a keyless door lock system in your home:

Keyless locks Milwaukee 1. Key Not Required!

The number one reason that someone will switch their old-fashioned locks to have keyless entry, is a reason that is pretty much common sense because they don’t need to carry a house key! When you have keyless entry, you don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing your key, or making sure you have a spare in any kind of emergency if you do.

2. Code Access

Another advantage of a keyless entry system is that you don’t have to worry about making sure that you have extra sets of keys for relatives that drop by or even visitors. All you need to do is give them the access code, and instructions on how to lock and unlock the door properly.

3. Virtual Keys

Want to know who comes in and out of your home and when? You can program multiple codes for each family member, relative or friend. This way you know who has accessed your home while you were out.

Problems with Keyless Door Locks

The benefits of keyless entry listed above might make it seem like the best option for home security,  but you also need to consider the problems with keypad door locks. We’ve listed the most common issues below:

1. Hackers

Just like any piece of technology that has a password, there is the possibility of a hacker to gain access to your personal accounts. The same goes for keyless locks. There are hackers out there that can hack into the system or even just guess the code.

When Choosing your code, choose wisely and make sure it has a high-security rate so that its harder for hackers to try to get in your home.

The good thing is that you can set up your keyless lock to alert yourself or the police if the wrong code has been inserted too many times.

2. Forgetting the Code

Just like forgetting your keys you can also forget your code to your home keyless lock system, causing you to be locked out until you can get a locksmith to help you.

3. Installation Cost

The initial cost of installing a keyless door system can be 3 – 10x more expensive than that of a regular entry system to your home. Costs can range from $150 – $200, depending on brand and quality of the system.

4. Power Failure

Where a keyless lock entry is electrical they can stop working, therefore, leaving you locked out of your home or not able to lock the door when leaving. They have a backup power source but it only lasts a certain timeframe, depending on your system.

Is Keyless Entry Right for You?

There are many things to consider when deciding whether keyless locks are right for your home. You should think about who will be using the door and whether they will have problems getting in and out of the house because of the type of lock you choose. Just like with any home improvements, you need to consider what’s best for your family and make an informed decision. The purpose of keyless door locks is to make your life and your family’s life easier.

Call Us Today to Learn More

Contact Milwaukee Lockstar today if you’re interested in installing keyless locks in your home. We can also help if you’re experiencing any difficulties with a previously installed keyless entry system. We will be there to help you get back into your home.

Call today at 414-939-8811.

What Our Clients Have to Say:

“Nadav from Lockstar was fantastic. He fixed my locks with no trouble, was very efficient, and offered me excellent advice. He was easy to communicate with, and accommodated my schedule. I would 100% recommend and use again!”

Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Allison Sullivan
November 2018
Read more reviews on Google!


What to Do When You’re Locked Out of the House

Wondering what to do when you are locked out of the house?

what to do when your locked out of the hours

We have compiled a wide range of simple yet reliable options for you, if you are Locked out of the house:

  • Call for help – Living with family or roommates usually means that there is someone available to let you in, even if you are coming home in the middle of the night. A trusted next-door neighbor or perhaps a close friend who lives nearby might also be able to bring you a spare key. Meanwhile, renters have the additional option of calling their building manager to let them into their unit. If your landlord does not know you personally, remember to show them your identification.
  • Use an unlocked window – Although you should never leave your windows unlocked when leaving the house, a window is often a great alternative for a door. It is not difficult to remove the screen and open the window from the outside in order to climb through, although you should remember the furnishings or other items that could be below the window.
  • Remove the doorknob – If the deadbolt is not in use, removing the doorknob can be a simple way to regain entry to your home. Insert a straightened paperclip or bobby pin into the small hole below or to the side of the doorknob, and push on it while twisting the door knob. Once done, you can remove the locking mechanism in the same manner.
  • Use a credit card – If your doorknob operates with a spring bolt, a credit card may be able to unlock it. Insert the card between the door and its frame where the latch is situated, and try to slide it beneath the latch. Because the card may become damaged, choose an expired gift card or another non-valuable option.
  • Upgrade to a keyless entry system – With this option, you have the security and peace of mind of unlocking your door with a keypad or a smartphone app.

Unfortunately, even the above precautions are not always foolproof, whether you are in a rush, in the midst of an emergency or are simply forgetful. In such cases, you also have the option of calling a locksmith. Keep in mind, however, that some unprofessional locksmiths prey on customers just like you, hoping to turn your woes into a money-making opportunity.


If you are looking to hire a locksmith to unlock your front door, consider the following tips to minimize the stress and money spent on that call:

  1. Before you find yourself locked out of the house, obtain quotes from at least 3 reliable locksmiths in your area to select the best one for you.
  2. Beware of companies that answer the phone with any phrase that does not state their legal business name. If a business that appears legitimate refers to itself as “locksmith service,” ask for their name and address for verification purposes.
  3. Always confirm the rate advertised on the website. Some companies charge a separate visit fee or after-hours fee in addition to the unlocking service.
  4. Once the locksmith arrives at your home, request to see their identification and license. Also, note that a legitimate locksmith is required to ask for your own identification to confirm that you live at the given address.
  5. Beware of a locksmith who arrives in an unmarked vehicle. Legitimate locksmiths will typically arrive in a service truck with their logo printed on it.
  6. Beware of a locksmith who arrives with a drill in hand. A qualified expert strives to minimize damage to the lock, hence attempting to pick the lock first.


If you are locked out of the house, the most important thing to remember is not to panic: With adequate preparation, there is always a way to regain access to your home. Furthermore, the Milwaukee Lockstar team is always here to help Milwaukee-area residents not only with unlocking their homes but also with a variety of lock and key options. call today!


Car Key Repairs: Do You Have a Broken or Damaged Key?

car key repair MilwaukeeThis is where Milwaukee Lockstar comes in – a dedicated provider of car key repair in Milwaukee, WI, and surrounding areas.

Common Reversible Problems with Damaged Car Keys

When you encounter a problem with your car keys, it is difficult not to panic and assume that the car key is lost forever. Fortunately, there are several problems that can be resolved without the time, costs, and effort of a full replacement:

  • Car key is stuck in the ignition
  • Car key has worn out
  • Car key snapped is half
  • Difficulties starting the car
  • Transponder chip is broken or damaged
  • Key fob is broken or damaged


What Types of Vehicle Keys Can Be Repaired?

A qualified, “one-stop shop” locksmith is one who can repair all manner of vehicle keys, including:

  • Standard car keys
  • Transponder keys
  • Remote key fobs
  • Van and truck keys
  • Motorcycle keys
  • And many more.

With the rapid shift towards electronic keys in recent years, your locksmith will need to be specialized in key programming to deliver the highest quality level of service. Rest assured that Milwaukee Lockstar is fully trained and certified to assist drivers with any and all car key repair needs.

Can You Fix a Broken Car Key?

It is possible to fix a broken car key, however, depending on where the key is broken, it might need to be replaced altogether.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a New Car Key?

Most car keys would typically cost anywhere between $95-$165 to be replaced. Depending on the car brand and the features within the key (if it’s high security), the price can be higher. When you call us we can give you a quote over the phone.

My Car Key Broke in Half: What Can I Do?

Without the training and expertise of a certified locksmith, many individuals lodge the broken segment deeper into the lock or even damage the locking mechanism altogether.

Resolving the problem rather than escalating it is what distinguishes a professional broken key removal from an inexperienced attempt. Due to the intricate nature of the task, it is essential to choose a locksmith who specializes in the removal of broken keys to ensure that you are receiving lasting, quality service.

My Car Key is Stuck or Won’t Turn in the Ignition: What Do I Do?

When a car key is lodged in the ignition, it is important to contact a qualified locksmith for professional diagnosis of the problem. Key-related problems can typically be resolved by cutting and reprograming a new key, while ignition-related problems can be resolved by repairing or replacing the ignition itself – depending on the extent of the damage.

How Do I Get a Broken Car Key Out of the Ignition?

If you are confident in your abilities and would like to avoid the extra few minutes of calling a locksmith, follow these steps to remove a broken key out of the ignition:

  1. Use compressed air* to remove any obstructions from the lock.

* Spray cleaners contain harsh chemicals that may damage the ignition.

  1. Place the key fragment back into the lock to assist in retrieving the other piece.
  2. Bend the ends on stiff wires or straightened paperclips and slide them along each side of the key to grasp the broken piece.
  3. Keep the wire in the ignition and carefully remove the upper key fragment.
  4. Hold the fragment between the wires and pull it out with an up-and-down motion to prevent relodging it in the ignition.

How Do I Get a Broken Car Key Out of the Door?

In a similar fashion to the above, you can also follow a set of steps to remove a broken car key out of the door:

  1. Remove* the upper key fragment from the lock.

* You may need to fully break off the fragment if it is only partially broken.

  1. Rotate the lock to the “insert” position with your thumb or a small object.
  2. Clear the lock of any debris and lubricate it with a liquid spray to aid in the key removal.
  3. Purchase a lock removal tool or use a homemade substitute – a long, narrow object with at least one hook on the end.
  4. Inset the tool into the key and twist the hook(s) towards the key fragment.
  5. Pull the fragment out of the lock until you are able to grasp and remove it by hand.

Can You Make a Copy of a Broken Car Key?

In short, yes. Once the broken parts of the key are removed from the door or the ignition, a locksmith can utilize them to cut a brand-new, identical key. The unique chip is simply removed and reinserted into the replacement key, thereby restoring your ability to open and operate your vehicle without compromising its security.

Who Repairs Remote Car Key Fobs?

A full-service locksmith who specializes in key programming will typically also be skilled in key fob repair and reprogramming. Because a broken or damaged key fob can prevent the opening of your vehicle doors or even interfere with the ignition’s most basic function – starting your car – it is essential to have it repaired in the quickest and most efficient manner.

If you are looking for professional car key repair in the Milwaukee area, please do not hesitate to call Milwaukee Lockstar today. We have trained experts ready to come to your rescue in 30 minutes or less!

What Our Clients Have to Say:

“Excellent service, lost my key. Made and key and opened the car doors in just 15 mins. Recommended!”

Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Aamer Saleem
November 2018
Read more reviews on Google!


Locks and Keys : Then and Now

Locks and Keys. Keys are small devices that are used for opening or closing a lock. Typically, a key is composed of two individual parts: the blade, which is the part that slides into the opening of the lock and the bow, which is the part of the key that sticks out and gives you the leverage you need to turn the key in the lock. Each lock requires a different key to operate it. Keys are a security token of sorts that prevents just anyone from being able to make their way inside of your home or business. Only the individual with the correct key is going to be able to gain access to the lock and come inside of the structure. (more…)