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Locksmithing/Operating instruction and change key


QUESTION: Hello Andy,

my name is Ralph, IŽm from germany. My problem:

a few days ago I bought a used safe that was delivered without a Users Manual and without the Change Key! The manufactor of the three number combination lock is Sargent & greenleaf, the model number is "Group 2 R6700 series".

Is there any chance to get the Operating Instructions for R6700 three number combination lock and is there any chance to get the Change Key? I contacted the customer support of Sargent & greenleaf: they told me, that this lock is nearly 20 years old and that it is no longer produced. Any how, I think a company like that should keep all documents for customer support.

Attached to this mail youŽll find a Word-File which shows pictures of the dial and of the locks cover.

I searched in the internet and have been on but I couldnŽt find my kind of dial.

I checked the Operationg Instructions of model 6730. This manual describes the setup of a new code via a marked "11 oŽclock postion" on the dial. My model does not have this marking! So I can not use the published instructions!

A few days ago I asked a dealer in germany (Clavis Deutschland GmbH) about Operating Instructions and a Change Key. They gave the information, that my model is nearly 20 years old and that it is not possible to deliver an Operating Instruction and a Change Key.

Maybe you can help.

Looking forward to your answer

With regards

ANSWER: Ralph,

First point - about the user's manual and change key - manufacturers generally do not have user manuals for safes, and they also do not provide end users with change keys, for the same reason that I don't recommend using locksmiths for safe work - lack of training, knowledge and/or tools CAN result in a locked up safe.
Unfortunately in this day and age of "NO RESPONSIBILITY", end users or safe owners regularly contact manufacturers to claim "warranty problems", which probably 75% are customer caused and not actual defects.   Because of this manufacturers WILL not provide you with tools and/or instructions for DIY projects.

As far as your lock being over 20 years old and instructions and the change key not being available, is not true.   Basically the instructions haven't changed in over 50 years (other than it is now written in several languages) and the tool is also the same one which has been used for at least as long.   YES these items are available, the problem you have is finding someone that will sell them to you.

I have no problem selling the tools and instructions to you, however the import export fees to sell the item is going to make the item cost excessive.

You can download the basic instructions at:
While your lock is probably a "zero" index lock, changing instructions are the same other than you use the 12 o'clock index mark.
The S&G part number for the change key is "U8".

Again, lack of training and knowledge of the lock is WHY I NEVER recommend someone trying this project as a DIY type service.

While most companies will not sell you service tools or instructions - personnally I don't care, and I always hope in the back of my mind that you will make a mistake and lock the safe up, as I make a lot of money from DIY'rs trying to save money by DIYing.
If you want the tools and a better set of instructions other than those at S&G's web page, with the cost of the tool, admin, import, export fees and costs to ship it to Germany - you could be looking at around $100 US.   I hate to do that but I don't make up the shipping rules.

Combination changing is not a "BIG secret" that the manufacturer and safe companies are guarding, but there are very real reasons that these items are NOT included with a safe, nor are they made available by most companies - sorry not my rules, just a fact of life.

Just because one safe company won't sell to you, doesn't mean that there aren't other companies in Europe that might not.

Sorry, I wish the answer was better.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


thank you very much for your soon answer. This morning I could order the Change Key “U8” at a company in my country that represents Sargent & Greenleaf when I gave them the S&G part number. What they could not offer yet, is the Operating Instruction for this “old lock”. But they are trying to get it.

You tell me, that you donŽt recommend someone trying to change the combination. If I buy any lock at S&G, this lock is delivered with an Operating Instruction and a Change Key. This belongs to the lock – in my case to the safe, where the lock is installed! I think that everyone who owns a lock in whatever should be able to change the combination as often as he wants.
If  training and knowledge of the lock is a basic requirement for a user who wants to change the combination, such locks should never be installed further.

I hope that the Operating Instruction is clear and understandable. If this is the case there should  be no problem!

Again thank you very much for your answer and your time and sorry for my english.

With regards


ANSWER: Ralph,

Please understand, whilie I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm simply stating a reality.

As far as your comparison between buying a lock and a safe - this is an apples and oranges comparison.   And as far as your thinking that simply bying an item entitles you to tools etc. Is simple nonsense.   When you buy a car, you don't get necessary tools which maybe required for service, and the car company may not even offer them for sale.  So I'm confused be your. Idea that someone has kept something from you.

As locks are not generally sold as a separate item to the public, they are usually sold to the locksmiths.  Having the tools with the lock ensures that it will be a complete istallation.   If you have me install a lock on the safe, you don't also get the tool.

Again as originally stated, I don't have a problem with customers having the tool & inst.  For every one person who can change their combo correctly, there are at least 25 that can't.   Also your coment about training and knowledg is unwaranted and petty.  While I understand your frustration, it isn't the industries fault, and I'm sure that everyone who has had to pay an expensive opening charge because they made a mistake would agree

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


sorry but I do not agree! Let us take a Satelite receiver instead of a car. I can set a code to keep my children away from TV-programms with adult language. Also I can change this code as often as I want - because: I got the initial code from the manufacturer to start changes to my receiver system.

In my eyes this initial code is the same as the Change key for the lock, independent which thing it closes - a toilet door or a safe.

You tell me that locks are not generally sold as a separate item to the public! This is wrong. Go to ebay and search for such a lock. YouŽll get a minimum of 25 offers (via this way I got the adress of this forum).

Any how, you gave me some very important information that take me forward.

Again, thank you very much. IŽll let you konw if my changing of the code was successful or not!
With regards



It doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree, it is a fact of life - You don't normally get maintenance tools with ANYTHING that you buy.

As far as changing the combination when ever you like, there are no refrains from your having the combination changed - YOU have two choices, if you elect to use a mechanical lock on the safe then you will have to have a safe tech change the combination for you - especially if no one will sell you the tool.
If you would rather change the code at will, as with the satelite receiver, then simply have an electronic lock installed on your safe.  You can easily change the code, at any time you wish.

Your are mistaking your right to have the code changed when ever you want it, with having someone provide you with a tool which you don't necessarily have any rights to have given to you.

And you also assume that just because something is sold on EBAY that this is the way that the rest of the world should act as well.  IT ISN"T SO!!!!    As I originally stated, I have no problem selling you the instructions and tools.   I have no problem selling anyone the instructions and the tools, but this doesn't mean that anyone else in the world believes the way that I do, or will sell you these items.   So just because someone on EBAY makes something available, DOES NOT mean that this is the normal business in this particular industry.  Again, while most of the industry WILL NOT sell these items to an end user, I have no problem - but part of the purchase agreement that I (the seller) insist upon with any buyer, is that YOU assume all liability and responsibility for the use and/or abuse of the tool, and the understanding and/or misunderstanding of the instructions.   Generally locks installed by and/or combinations changed by someone other than a trained safe technician WILL void any warranty on the lock and/or safe.

Sorry, I don't mean to seem to be butting heads with you over this, but there seems to be a great difference over our agreeing that you should be able to buy and own the tool and instructions, and your believing that YOU have some sort of right to demand the item, which you don't.   My recommendation, if you can't get the tool, and/or the instructions - or if you can't get it to work correctly, would be to change over to an electronic digital lock.   It should be a straight swapout, and combination changing can easily be done without any tools.

RULE NUMBER 1, when changing combinations - DO NOT close and lock the door, until AFTER you have successfully tested the new combination several times.   Failure to do so may result in an expensive lockout.

Good luck with your lock / Sorry to butt heads over this.  


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

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US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service Area is Northern California (Fresno to Oregon and Western Nevada)

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