Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to belong to the NSO Safecracker Support Forum? I have heard that it is similar to Netflix.

It is a subscription-based membership, much like Netflix, with one difference: if you have even a small interest in safecracking, you will spend far more time at the Safecracker Support Forum than you will on Netflix! The cost is $9.99 per month, with a $25 processing fee. Note: the processing fee is waived for NSO members.

Why do NSO members not have to pay the $25 processing fee?

It is our way of saying thanks to our loyal NSO members while giving non-members an incentive to join. As a further incentive, we are posting two sample issues of the NSO magazine for your perusal. It’s often helpful to kick the tires before buying the car! (For the sample issues, click here and here.)

In the ad it says that no safe opening question will go unanswered. Is this literally true? And if it is, what does it mean?

Yes, it is literally true. And it means exactly what every working safe technician would want it to mean: They will never be left high and dry on a lockout. Although this is a forum where members help members, we will make sure that no safe opening question goes unanswered. Now that Dave McOmie is finally semi-retired, he has the time and will be checking the forum several times each day, to answer any unanswered questions.

An important clarification is in order. When we say that no one will be left high and dry, we do NOT mean that a novice can be walked step-by-step through opening a high security safe with a malfunctioning keylock and fired relockers, or through a catastrophic boltwork malfunction. We do mean that every tech who is on a difficult opening will get advice on how to approach that opening. Whether the tech will be able to use that advice to be successful on the job will depend in large part on their tools, experience, and aptitude.

Tech support cannot do the impossible, and it should not attempt the irresponsible. Every tech develops at a different pace, and to be successful it requires occasionally getting in a little over your head. But only a little, otherwise it can be a recipe for disaster and deep disappointment. Good judgment is called for here, not only by the tech asking for help, but by those offering help. When the tech is green and the job a nightmare, sometimes the best advice is to sub out a particularly difficult opening to a more experienced tech, to watch and learn. We don’t anticipate this happening very often, but it will happen.

I know the emphasis at the NSO Safecracker Support Forum is on opening methods, but can other types of questions be asked?

Of course! There is only one overarching rule: be civil. In other words, don’t post obscenity and don’t be an asshat. Everything else is fair game. Discussions and debates are not only allowed but encouraged, since there are many ways of doing almost everything that we professional safecrackers do. We disagree on the best method of removing particular dials, we differ on our favorite drill bits and drill motors, we all have our pet ways of accomplishing discrete safecracking tasks. It is to everyone’s advantage to have these differences of opinion shared in a civil manner. We can disagree agreeably, learn an immense amount in the process, and have a blast doing it!

There are other tech-support options for locksmiths and safe technicians all around the Internet. What makes the NSO Safecracker Support Forum different and worthwhile?

Three things. First, as we have already discussed, no one will be ignored on a safe opening job. This alone will sometimes make the difference between success and failure on a PITA lockout. Second, the depth of the discussions. Many questions will launch us into discussions of alternatives. And since most safes can be opened many different ways, the airing of alternatives will result in detailed answers not likely to be found elsewhere. On the ad page — the one you were on when you clicked FAQ to arrive here — you can view a sample thread and see an example of a discussion that goes fairly deep. Third and finally, the Safecracker Support Forum is optimized for mobile devices. It can tell whether you are logging on from a computer or a phone/tablet, and the forum will display accordingly. This makes reading and posting from mobile devices not just easier but enjoyable!

To be clear, the Safecracker Support Forum is not intended to replace existing forums. Given the ultra-narrow focus here, that would be impossible. Although it is true that any question can be asked, it is also true that most of the high-level discussions will revolve around drill points and safe opening methods. For that reason, we strongly urge members to maintain their presence on all the other forums they currently frequent. Clearstar, Locksmith Community, The National Locksmith, and many other forums play valuable and irreplaceable roles in the dissemination of important information to the members of our industry. The Safecracker Support Forum is meant to supplement those existing forums by offering what is essentially a niche service: expertise in drill points and opening methods. Take advantage of all your sources!

Why the delay in getting onto the Safecracker Support Forum? I would prefer instant access!

Understood. But we just cannot allow every Tom, Dick and Harry in the door. We have to screen prospective members. The shortest wait (in many cases, mere minutes) is for locksmiths and safe techs who are already members of NSO.

If I decide to quit the Safecracker Support Forum, will it be a difficult process? I have had problems in the past with subscription type services and want to be sure before I commit.

The process is simple. Click on the Manage Subscription link, and select “Cancel Subscription”. It is that simple. Your access to the site will terminate at the end of that month’s billing cycle, and you will not be charged again. And if you ever have a problem that is not being resolved to your satisfaction, don’t hesitate to email Dave. It WILL get resolved.

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