Words of Wisdom from William and Leon – Commercial Counter Q&A

By Justine King, Sales and Marketing Administrator at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers - HistoryAs a 124 year old company, Kenton Brothers Systems for Security has been the leading name in locksmithing and electronic security systems for the Midwest region. We remember where we started as locksmiths to know where we’re going as a company. Here are some words of wisdom from our founding brothers, William and Leon:

Most Common Questions from Customers at the Commercial Counter:

Can you cut this rare style of key that I can’t find anywhere?

Most customers walk in and ask if we can cut “this” key. Typically, they started at a mainstream supply store such as Lowe’s. Here at Kenton Brothers, we stock enough keys that we’ll be able to cut just about any key brought in.

Can this lock be fixed or do I need to purchase a new one?

Yes, most locks can be worked on and saved/restored. (Now, the question is if the lock is still the safest and most efficient way of protecting your business.)

What is the importance of choosing the correct keying system?

Depending on budget and goal of the system, we will be able to find a locking system that will solve your issues.

Words of Wisdom from William and Leon - Retail Counter Q&A

Tricks and Suggestions:

Words of Wisdom from William and Leon - Retail Counter Q&ADo not use graphite for fixing locks: Many people find online sources that suggest adding graphite into a lock as a lubricant. Mortise locks used to have a chamber for the graphite to fall into, however, most cylinders no longer have this open chamber for the graphite to settle into. If graphite is added to these new mortise locks, it can cause build up in the cylinder and eventually create more damage to the lock over time.

Avoid SmartKey Kwikset Locks: The KB Commercial Counter suggests that customers stay away from SmartKey locks. They don’t contain pins that one would need to master key the lock. These SmartKey locks contain plastic parts that don’t have the longevity of metal parts and therefore are not as safe because they can be bypassed or broken more easily. Rather than these locks, KB recommends any Schlage electronic or mechanical locks for any style of property.

How to Remove a Jammed Key from the Lock: Keys often get stuck in a lock for numerous reasons. However, the most common reason is that the bezel nut or cam may be loose on the inside of the lock causing the lock to create a Chinese Finger Trap situation. In order to remove a key that has become stuck, it is best to use the index finger to push against the face of the cylinder while simultaneously pulling back on the key. It is important to bring the lock cylinder into a locksmith to tighten and adjust the malfunctioning bezel nut or cam.

Do you need help with commercial keying?

Our Commercial Counter helps customers create and manage key systems, duplicate keys, re-key, order parts, repair parts and the list goes on. We welcome local walk-ins every day, but not all of our customers are local. We have customers across the country that rely on our knowledge and products to protect them. If you need help with your commercial keys, let’s talk!

Words of Wisdom from William and Leon - Retail Counter Q&A

What Happens When Your 100 Year Old Lock Breaks?

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers has been in business since 1897. Through our 124 year history, we’ve seen just about every type of lock imaginable. But in 2021, we rarely see locks that are 100+ years old. Most of those have become obsolete, the companies who once made them are out of business, and most were just thrown away over the years.

Recently a customer of Kenton Brothers brought into our commercial locksmith service counter a lock from the early 1900’s that had a piece broken. The customer bringing in the lock knew it was a longshot that it could be fixed. But it was a piece of history and was in a historical building, so they were going to do everything they could to try and fix it. The piece that was broken is vital to the lock because without it the bolt would free float… not allowing the lock to properly engage and lock.

The section circled below is the part that was broken.

100 Year Old Lock

Vern is our senior front counter commercial locksmith has been a locksmith all his life. His father was a locksmith before him, so he is always up for a challenge. After looking over the lock, he came up with a plan that required him to take a very small bit to drill completely through the piece and then install a small roll pin to attach it back to the lock body. This was an extremely difficult task because of the size of the part that was broken. If the drill bit did not go straight through, the piece wouldn’t be repairable.

After re-attaching the broken piece to the lock body, it was tested over 100 times to make sure the repair would hold up. And it did!

100 Year Old Lock Repair

Repairs on 100+ year old locks don’t always turn out like this. But we like solving problems for our customers. Being innovative is one of our core values, and in this case it allowed us to help keep a part of history intact.

Do you need help with commercial locksmith services at your business? We can help!

100 Year Old Lock Repair

People Counters and Intercoms – Adapting to this New Normal

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Like many businesses, Kenton Brothers is adapting to the “Stay at home” order and the “New Normal”. While we remain operational, we are changing our operations to reduce risk and exposure for our team and yours. One of the ways we’ve adapted is by looking at our systems and seeing what they can do for us.

With fewer people in the office, we’ve introduced some new challenges.

Commercial Counter - People Counter in ActionOne such challenge is when people come to our commercial counter. The commercial counter is not always staffed like it used to be. The employees staffing our commercial counter are still in the building, but they’re helping out other teams. We don’t want a customer waiting for service, so we looked to our systems to increase alerting.

In this case, we used the Axis “People counter” software to send alerts to our team members when someone gets to the commercial counter. This counter is loaded directly onto the camera and can send alerts from the camera itself or notify the Video Management System (VMS) which can apply more logic to the alert.

The intercoms installed at our main entrances have become even more vital.

Old intercom systems used to be answered by a physical device at one or two desks in an office or retail environment. Today, intercoms are assigned to an extension on your phone system and can be answered by any station.

Most intercom systems have mobile applications where you can see and talk to the person at the intercom from anywhere in the world. We have an Axis 8105-E and 2N Solo mounted at two of our main entrances. The person who usually answers the intercom is at home, but shifting the answering station to another person was as simple as changing the extension in our phone system. We could have enabled the mobile app for after-hours answering if that was necessary as well.

Although these are “strange times” we can look to technology to help fill some of the gaps. These tools and technologies can  increase our ability to do more with less. If you’re faced with some business or security problems in this new world, give us a call. We’re happy to help!

The Kenton Brothers Retail Counter [Video]

By Ryan Kaullen

Kenton Brothers can trace its customer service roots back to 1897. Our Retail Counter, customer-facing environment is at the forefront of service for our customers. Every day, our customers are coming in with various needs as a result of their businesses growing and evolving. That’s where the Kenton Brothers Retail Counter comes in. It’s a resource for their overall facilities physical security needs. Those needs come in the form of keying, part repairs, parts ordering, security needs, and knowledge database.

Our customers rely on the Retail Counter to be the gatekeepers for physical security at their facilities. Our internal database of records is guarded by checks and balances specifically outlined by our customers. Approvals must be followed every time. The Retail Counter staff works tirelessly to make sure requests are correctly followed and delivered on time.

Over the years, the Retail Counter has grown from a key shop to a full service solution for our customers.

The Retail Counter can help customers create and manage key systems, duplicate keys, re-key, order parts, repair parts and the list goes on. We welcome local walk-ins every day, but not all of our customers are local. We have customers across the country that rely on our knowledge and products to protect them. One day the Retail Counter Staff is cutting keys for a customer in Texas and the next they’re working with a customer in Arizona. We have thousands of key blanks and cylinders on hand, thousands of lines of in-stock product, as well as thousands more available through our vendors, and decades of experience to back it up.

From the entire Kenton Brothers staff, we invite you to allow Kenton Brothers and the Retail Counter Staff to help protect the people, property, possessions, you hold dear.

Welcome to KB Truman. The Midwest’s premier security resource center!

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Welcome to KB Truman. We’re proud to show off our new flagship location and all it’s amenities.

KB Truman Amenities

  • The KB retail locksmith counter
  • New “Locksmith Lounge” with beverage center
  • 5,000 square foot security showroom
  • 40+ person multimedia training center
  • Expanded shipping, receiving and storage capabilities
  • More offices and collaborative work zones
  • Expanded Employee Amenities including a full size pickle ball court!!!
  • The new Kenton brothers Museum

This has been a long time coming and we are very excited about all the possibilities our new home provides us.

We have fresh, hot coffee ready for you so don’t be a stranger!

Kenton Brothers: KB Truman Kenton Brothers: KB Truman