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Door and window opener kits launch across exclusive events

The Locksmith Journal joins industry professionals for one for three launch events for new uPVC door and window opener kits by Paul Batty (Safehome and SASHSTOP) and Paul Souber (Souber Tools).

The first time I met Paul Batty was on the eve of Lockex 2018 – my first show with The Locksmith Journal; our own event. In fact, this was my first industry show full stop, having joined the team to help promote the exhibition (and then I never left)! Paul’s stand – Safehome and SASHSTOP – was not only popular at Lockex, but continues to draw the crowds at every event he goes to, and with good reason.

Paul has worked ‘in the field’ for nigh-on 35 years and during that time he’s earned a reputation with his peers and the public as being a master in his trade, carving a niche for uPVC door and window repair and building a fantastic business model. One of the biggest ‘secrets’ to his success has been his design and development of repair tools and kit. I say ‘secrets’ because Paul is an open book; always willing and able to share not only his hints and tips (and he’s done that here in The Locksmith Journal many times) but also must-have products such as the SASHSTOP jigs and window jammers, TORCHGUARD plates and installers cases.

The first time I saw Paul Souber was at my first MLA Expo. I say ‘saw’ and not met, because this was the launch of the Magi Burr, and I couldn’t get anywhere near the stand or the man. To say that locksmiths were queuing up to try the Magi Burr would be an understatement. The stand was inundated with people wanting to get their hands on this revolutionary (pun intended) tool.

The last time I saw Paul Batty and Paul Souber, I was at the launch event of the new window and door opener kits. I was very pleased and extremely excited to have been invited to the first of three of these exclusive dates.

But as I drove over to Souber Tools HQ in Neston, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But, to be honest, I didn’t know who was going to be there; hosting or attending. Greeted by my old Lockex friend Paul Batty as I arrived; ‘What are you doing here?’ I said. ‘I’m here to present,’ he replied and that’s when all was revealed…

When Paul Batty and Paul Souber met, they realised they had a true connection – with more than 80 years’ combined experience and a shared desire to provide innovative tools that make every day easier for door and window repairers, locksmiths, and other trade professionals.

This perfect fit led to some perfect kit… It began with Paul Batty’s idea for a deglazing tool; born 35 years ago but with no one willing or able to make it. He had more ideas too, plus more tools he’d made himself over the years to help him do his job. Cue Paul and Paul meeting up at the golf club at Cleckheaton for coffees, lunch and to ‘thrash out ideas’.

Now, these ideas had led 11 specially-selected guests from door and window training centres and security hardware distributors (plus me) to set our sights and get our hands on the window and door opener kits. But what are they and why do we need them?

Just as he said he would, Paul Batty began his presentation – starting with the door opener. These new tools have been born out of his life’s work, so he surely is the best person to talk us through the need, after all – with necessity being the mother of invention, as we all know. The nature behind the ‘problem’ in itself is quite simple, as Paul Batty explains. The real problem with uPVC doors, that he sees time and time again, is the locks failing.

So, you have the key, but you can’t get in the door (or open the window) because the mechanism has failed. There’s lots of different reasons for this, substandard hardware, doors haven’t been serviced, hinge wear and tear, packers falling out, glass units slip and step. But in all cases, you need to open the mechanism. This process throws up all manner of challenges – mostly that ‘you need three hands’; but also damaging the scotia, adding too much tension to the door to spread it, and not having enough space on an outward opening door to get in or see what you’re doing.

Many have tried to make these door spreaders before – and a lot of locksmiths, and door and window repairers have their own version on their van – the result is a very heavy, long-handled device that could break your foot if you drop it while trying to spread the door and get the mushroom roller tool inside to strike. So, to see the case with the complete kit in and watch Paul Batty in action was impressive to say the least. The proof is in the pudding though, as they say, and who doesn’t love getting their hands on the equipment; this was our own chance to sample they goods?

I have to start with the caveat that this is the first time I have ever attempted to open a door with a failed locking mechanism, but I also hasten to add that, with the tool kit, I did it first time in about a minute, under the watchful eye of Liam from NR Windows (look out for Wendy’s interview with him in the next issue of The Locksmith Journal by the way!).

My friends from Keyprint, also in my group were equally impressed. We all commented that we’re lucky we’ve never had to do it the ‘hard way’ but for Liam, and plenty of others – some people in attendance that day for example – they assured us as to what a breath of fresh air this kit in when they’ve struggled in the past. In some cases, it can save them 45 minutes or even longer, trying to get a customer into their door, and for Liam who has been trialling the kit, it works ‘every time’!

Next up, the window opener kit; same problem and same method – but with tools designed for the smaller scale of opening a window from inside a property. I have to say the same result for me, when I tried my hand at getting in (or out) – worked first time.

Apparently, some locksmiths will refuse a job of this kind point blank if they know it’ll take them too long to get in, or to save them the embarrassment of not getting in at all. As Liam says, with these two kits, packed neatly into their cases and tucked away in your van (and at a more-than-affordable pricepoint), not only are you able to take on this work, you look professional turning up on the job; well-equipped, with a neat and tidy kit – and you know you’ve taken all the tools away with you when you leave (imperative for jobs when you are working in properties with vulnerable people too).

It would be difficult to say more about what is in these kits, or what they do because it’s as ‘simple’ as that. I say ‘simple’ because you know when an idea is so good, they’ve made it look almost too easy; well that’s what these are. That was exactly the intention of Paul Batty and Paul Souber, plus the Souber team in putting these launch events together. If the suppliers and distributors (and I) can get in with this piece of kit, then the locksmiths and door and window repairs will find it a piece of cake.

Also, knowing Paul Batty and Paul Souber, there is nothing ‘easy’ about what they do. Between them they’ve combined decades of experience and expertise, innovation and investment and all that hard work to make it easier every day for those that get to use them.

So, from the first time I met each of the Pauls, to the last time I saw them at these launches in Neston (and every time in between), I’ve always wanted to know what they were doing next. Now, I’m even more excited to see what that will be…