Knowledge is a double-faced gift. In the rights hands, it could save the world instantly but think of it in the wrong hands. Catastrophic? Exactly my thoughts. Lock bumping is a traditional lock opening technique that can unlock almost any deadbolt that uses a pin and tumbler mechanism to function. A locksmith uses a specially crafted key with notches almost matching to those of the target lock to force open the lock.
The technique dates back to the 1970’s when Denmark-based locksmiths first shared a method similar to lock bumping. It involved applying pressure on the bolt’s plug while still knocking the cylinder. Resultantly, the pins would dance inside the cylinder enabling the plug to slide out spontaneously. The lock would then be easy to disassemble.
How different is lock bumping from this technique? A locksmith requires a unique key which he/she inserts in the keyway but stops just before the last notch reaches the last pin. This key has special teeth which are capable of conducting slight pressure to the lower pins of the lock (driver pins). Since pin movements are flexible, the driver pins will instantly move above the cylinder in a split second, before resuming to block the key notches from operating the lock. Continuous application of light pressure will cause the cylinder to turn instantly opening the lock.
This method causes less or no visible damage to your security device making it the cleanest unlocking technique. Various tools developed purposely for bumping are already flooding the market with less or no restriction regarding their purchase. They use calculated vibrations to create the necessary force for turning the cylinder.
Prevention of Key bumping
It doesn’t matter the quality of your security device. Almost 90% of these can be unlocked using key bumping. The only way you can safeguard your home from the unwanted entry is by learning to apply the right counter-attack measures.
- Avoid steel locks – they are the most vulnerable due to their resistance to damage. The resistant nature makes the lock hard to jam due to their lower mechanical tolerance.
- Use locks with security pins – Ensure that the lock that you buy has spool or mushroom pins. These kinds of locks are difficult to bump.
- Use firmer springs in your locks – This ensures pins rebound to their rest position quicker than conventional springs.
- Shallow drilling – This method involves placing a pin or two shallower than the rest so that the bump key is unable to engage them during bumping.
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