Locksmithing/Mosler Safe Service


Our Mosler safe (SN 182455) is becoming difficult to open.  Success using the combination almost seems random with many attempts before success now being the norm.

We've owned this safe for 3-4 years and the previous owner said he had it serviced about 2-3 years before we bought it.

Up until about 6 months ago, we were able to open it with one or two attempts.  It is opened very infrequently (4-5X per year).  The only variable is that our grandson is now old enough to become fascinated by the dial and he likes to spin it when he visits.

I'm guessing I need a skilled professional to look at the combination lock.  My research into local companies does not leave me with a lot of confidence on their knowledge and and capabilities on old safes (many suggest replacing the lock mechanisms with new digital devices).

Can you suggest a skilled person in the 87123 area?


I feel your pain!   A couple years ago, I had to fly to Albuquerque for several days for a customer that have several locations, because they could not find a competent safe technician locally.

There are several companies listed in your area, unfortunately no one that I personally know or can recommend.    I would discuss the service of your safe with any of them.   If you have specific questions concerning what they propose to do or pricing, feel free to run it by me.   While I do not try to set prices, many locksmith shops try to charge exhorbant pricing while either providing sub par service, or worse yet while they "LEARN" on your safe.

Bill's lock & Key          (indicate that they sell, service and open safes)
4200 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico   87111

Heights Key Lock & Safe Inc.     (indicates that they have a "trained" safe tech on staff)
920 San Mateo NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108

Unfortunately the nearest professional safe technician that I would recommend would be in Casa Grande, AZ area or possibly Phoenix, AZ - about 335 miles away!!!

Discuss your safe, and the problems that you are having with the safe technician (NOT a locksmith) at the various shops to get a feel for their training.   I generally NEVER recommend locksmiths as they usually don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.   While Safe Technician are usually locksmiths also, Locksmiths are rarely also safe techs.

While changing your safe lock to a digital lock may have certain appeals, it does NOT make any sense what so ever on a possibly antique or collectible safe - on the other hand "YOU" shouldn't be using an older safe for storage of ANY valuables or documents.   Safes over 50 years old generally do not meet current standards for fire or burglary resistance, AND as they are usually obsolete, having a problem CAN ruin an antique!
If you NEED a safe to store your "stuff", I would recommend having a current model safe to store your valuables for proper fire and burglary protection.    Your "old" Mosler was probably built around 1906-1908, (based on the serial number you provided), which WOULD possibly make it an antique.

Again, unfortunately, if you don't have a qualified safe technician, proficient in antique safe servicing and/or repairing available, then I can't offer much hope.   To get  a qualified safe tech to fly or drive in from a distance away is going to be expensive.

Hope this offers at least a little assistance.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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 AllExperts.com

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

Past/Present Clients
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)

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]