So I just got a new 7 string for the cheap price of 200$. It's by a brand called Douglass, and I know for sure that it's not the best guitar I've ever owned, but I like it for what I payed.
So it's got that "Floyd Tremolo" locking thing where you take off the ball of the string to put it in. I didn't know how to string it at first and I finally learned and I guess it's pretty cool.
But what I've learned to really dislike is the tuning locks right before the first fret. It has been such a pain using the little wrench to unlock it and lock it when changing strings, switching tunings, or more commonly, getting out of tune by the string eventually slipping. (Especially because of the new strings, but yes I've stretched them.)
Also, I already stripped the wrench by locking and unlocking so many times, ugh. I guess I'll just get a new one.

So my question: Can I just take off the locks before the first fret completely and do without them like a normal guitar? Sorry for being ignorant, to be honest I just heard about this tremolo thing recently. It's just my guitar came with them and I'm wondering if you have to keep them on.

Reply with an answer to the question or ways to help keep it in tune and that'd be very much appreciated.
The problem is it doesn't have conventional nut on there so the strings vibrate in the little metal lock tray and give off a tinny sound I find.
Just block the thing so it's like a fixed bridge and snug the locks down. There is no need to wrench them to the point of stripping ever.
Without seeing the condition of the nut all I can suggest is that you buy a new nut - a QUALITY nut. Something licensed by Floyd Rose. Those locking pads wear out and get grooves cut into them that let the string slip. Chances are that the nut part is also worn out. You could replace it with a standard non-locking nut and still use the tremolo - you'd be surprised at how many people do this CRAZY idea. Blocking the trem is what I would do.
I never understood people buying guitars with trems and then just blocking them.