Slim Jims: Are They A Consumer Tool?

Posted on November 5, 2010 by Jaece Hogue

Bad things happen, this is the way of the world. You will inevitably have days where you feel on top of the world as well as those days where you feel that getting out of bed was a mistake. It happens to everyone, regardless of job, location, or age. You take the good with the bad, you win some and you lose some…you have probably heard it all before. But, it’s true. Bad and good happen to us all and it is not likely to ever change. The best you can do is prepare for the bad times and enjoy the good ones while they last. Nobody likes being locked out of their car, especially during instances of bad weather or in an unfamiliar place. The truth of the matter is that it happens with regularity to people all across the country. Sure, having a spare key or an AAA membership is handy when you are locked out of your car. However, is there another way to solve the problem?

Slim Jims (not to be confused with the food product), formally known as ‘lockout tools,’ are one such solution to being locked out of a vehicle. A Slim Jim is really just a long piece of thin metal with a handle at one end and a hook at the other. It is used, typically by locksmithing professionals, to unlock vehicle doors as in the above-mentioned scenario. They work by interacting not with the complex locking mechanism in the door, but rather the rod-and-lever system of the door itself to unlock the vehicle. It is slipped into the door between the outside of the window and the rubber weather seal, where it is used to unlock the door and allow the driver access to the vehicle once more. All in all, it is a useful locksmithing tool. But, is it also a useful consumer item, a good addition to the vehicle’s emergency kit?

Therein lies the rub, as they say. Slim Jims, if applied and used without experience can detach the door’s lock rods and render the lock inoperable. Inoperable, that is, with or without the key. The inexperienced use of a Slim Jim is also a sign that the vehicle in question may have been the target of theft, attempted or otherwise. There was a brief public concern that the use of Slim Jims might accidentally set off side airbags in equipped vehicles, although this was found to be untrue. It is recommended that only professional, experienced personnel use Slim Jims or similar tools to unlock vehicles.

If you are locked out of your vehicle in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, give the professionals at A-1 Locksmiths a call at (972)-284-7500.

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