When I was first introduced to locksmithing as a very young man many moons ago I was told
“to be a locksmith you must be able to view a problem and find a solution but don’t stop there keep trying to find solutions, a faster solution or maybe make or adapt tools to make a simpler solution but always keep searching for solutions”
Opening locks is a problem, lock makers have designed there product so that people cannot open them without the correct key being used but the solution to this is to make a key or to manipulate the lock so that it behaves like the correct key has been used to open… that went a little deep but to open a lock a locksmith uses the same parts that are designed to stop you gaining entry to be able to gain entry.
Depending on the type of lock either levers or pins are used to stop the lock from being opened without the correct key, the levers or pins are set based on the cuts on the key to correctly line up so that the bolt or core can be moved without a key the locksmith must move or manipulate each individual pin or lever in the correct sequence into position to be able to open the lock which is no easy task but is very much possible, and once the locksmith finds the solution then the work begins to find a quicker or create tools to assist the solution.
Different types of lock opening done by locksmiths
As the name states to gain entry or open a lock using a bypass technique – bypass the locks security. The most simple to describe and most common lock bypass is using a mica sheet to open a night latch. Mica is a strong but flexible sheet of plastic that can be slipped between door and the frame to press the latch into its lock body and open the door. More bypass techniques can be used on thumb turn locks, Adams rite locks and BS standard night latches that have a letterbox present all of these require speciality tools to enable bypass like a letterbox tool.
Cylinder lock picking
Cylinder locks are a very popular lock found on almost all Upvc, composite doors and also common on wooden doors as well. To pick a cylinder lock, you have need to lift or depress all the pins to the shearline A key is designed to do this all at once, and to turn the plug (thats bit you put the key in). To pick the cylinder lock we have to apply very light tension (turn the core) while we lift or depress each pin into the correct position one by one. Tools have been designed to speed up this task like a pick gun, electric pick gun but still require skill and always the correct amount of tension per lock.
Lever lock picking
Lever locks are becoming less popular as each year passes but can be found in wooden doors old and new and as long as they are a quality brand and passed British Standard testing offer excellent levels of security. Lever lock picking on a quality BS lever lock will the correct tools and a very high level of skill and knowledge that takes lots of practice and patience to overcome the extra security features found inside but simple put just like in a cylinder the lock using a tension tool and a lever pick to lift each lever one by one emulating the action of what a key does at the same time while avoiding anti pick measures and the dreaded false gates/notches.
There’s a strong debate going on in the locksmith world and one I strongly hold my stance on, I’m a big advocate of bump keys and have been for a very long time they are a great tool in the locksmith world where gain entry quickly is required but there availability to non locksmiths is a major concern to me. Bump keys are not a magic wand you still need the correct type of key for many different locks and also the correct technique but this is much easier to achieve then lock picking so in the wrong hands could really be bad. We have all seen how lock snapping has become a quick simple method to gain entry used by criminals but lock bumping could be 10x worse because no damage is caused to the lock so no visible sign of entry which could invalidate home insurance.
Bump keys are keys that have been cut to either 5 or 6 pin all at the lowest pin height then inserted into a lock the key is then hit with a tool making the pins bounce or bump, a small amount of tension is applied to the key during the hit and done correctly the lock can be “bumped” open. Like I wrote this is not a magic wand but unfortunately there are many locks out there that will open very very quickly using this method which is very scary and which is why I believe they should only be available to trading locksmiths and not to the general public.
Can you protect against lock bumping?
If a bump key existed for a lock it can be bumped and if you trawl through the websites selling bump keys you’ll find it’s one hell of a lot but not all locks are equal and just because a key exists in unskilled hands it may not work. More recently produced locks have added anti bump measures and some are even un bump able – we can offer advice and information call 0115 8320195
Do only locksmiths pick locks?
Being able to pick locks takes a lot of time and practice to master and is a skill that has to adapt to new innovations in lock security constantly so locksmiths are able to provide the service that they do as professional tradespeople but there is a very large non locksmith community that find the challenge of lock picking, this community is called locksport.
Many videos of non locksmiths post videos and share tips on lock picking from all levels and is a community that grows year on year. If your ingested in getting into lock picking I strongly suggest you take a look on YouTube as the advice and tutorials are very interesting and informative.
LS Locksmiths is local family run locksmiths based in the heart of Nottingham we offer a incredibly fast same day service, thats affordable while only using high quality branded products. Our business counts numerous letting agencies, landlords and returning customers who use and recommend our low cost fast service. Call 0115 8320195
72 Noel Street