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How To
DIY - Keys and Locks
China has many types of locks and keys - many of which are pretty good and unknown of outside China.

Copying keys can be easy, or a nightmare. You obviously want another set or two for your apartment, so try the local smith. Whilst these copies usually cost a few RMB, and less than Y10; most times they may not actually work!

Therefore we advise you to only get one copy of each key done at first, and if they work, get more next time (From the original).

Simple keys are not usually a problem, but complex ones that have 3 dimensions, or a weird configuration can be.

Padlocks are normally for show, rather than fit for purpose. The standard ones for bicycles are particularly useless and easily broken (If you know how?) Similar for Motorcycles, so pay extra and judge by western standards.

Padlocks for doors are less of a problem, as any decent retailer sells a range of products - the higher end of which are pretty reasonable.

If your apartment door lock is playing up, the chances are your Landlord will not be at all interested. First by a can of Chinese 'WD40' and spray everything, including the internals, and work the lock for a minute or so. This should ease the problem for a few months, but may not last long, as you really need an engineered silicon grease for this purpose.

You can easily replace this lock yourself, but do not do so without your Landlords permission, and when done, offer him/her a key for it. This does not apply to your own padlock put on extra to the main apartment door lock.

This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.
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