Lockpick set by Moki

November 13th, 2022

Hi everyone, this is a quick blog post to show off a lockpick set by Lockpick maker Moki who also makes wonderful pick cases, as seen below. These cases are made in part from bicycle inner tube, which appealed to us.

Moki pickcase with a Explorer Set lockpicks and 3D printed PETG handles
Bicycle inner tube lockpicking pouch

The Moki set contains three hook sets; small, medium, and deep hook of pointy, flat and round hooks similar style to the Sparrows SSDeV and Law Lock Tools Tipene set. All the lockpick shapes work very well. There is often debate on which is best, but we are open to all lockpick shapes, each has their function.

While we don’t expect to break these lockpicks, it’s an interesting design choice to have a replacement tip in the handle. All lockpicks came heavily polished, more so than any commercial lockpick we have seen.

The set of flat hooks and a triple peak rake. (Don’t look too closely at the reflections).

The lockpicks are longer and wider than standard lockpicks, think Law Lock Tools Pro, or Sparrows Sandman. Due to the size, the picks are quite flexible and are thus heavily improved with handles. Moki sells 3D printed handles from PETG, and has sold thick metal handles in the past. But it wouldn’t take much to make your own.

Experimenting a bit with the size and shape shows 2mm at each side works best. The screws in the set require countersunk holes, and are a bit fiddly to put together.

Moki PETG, POM 2mm natural, POM 2mm BLK, POM 1mm natural, 4mm plywood.

It is quite interesting working with these different handle materials. The 4mm thick wood is superb in feedback, but is thicker than any usual lockpick.

All plastic handles are an improvement over the handleless lockpicks, but none have the same feedback as glued/welded metal handles. The search for the best handle continues…

Closeup of the handle thickness.
The sky is the limit, except for the flex in wood.

Czech Lockpicking Championships

October 31st, 2022

The Association of Czech Lockpickers held their yearly competition last weekend. Starting up after COVID, they offered a limited program without impressioning championships, but still included a padlock competition, blitz, cylinders and freestyle.

I (Walter) went over to participate. There were competitors from Czechia, Germany, Austria, Hungary and I was the representative for the Netherlands. The championships were held at a nice and cosy facility, giving ample room for socialising and catching up with old friends.

Some of the ‘usual suspects’ were absent due to work or for other reasons, but still there were plenty of people participating

Padlocks

First up was the padlock competition. The padlocks were provided and differed quite a lot in difficulty. You are allowed to test your tension wrench before the clock starts. For one particular lock, it was hard to test the tension wrench without accidentially already opening the lock.. on the other side of the spectrum, some of the Tokoz padlocks proven impossible to open in the allotted time.

I had a tool stuck in a lock which I why I didn’t make the A-finals. But all for the best, because in the B-final I then became second. There were 7 people in the A-final, 9 in the B-final.

Blitz

The blitz competition requires opening locks within a minute. Each participant brings their own lock. I was a bit confused here.. I’ve done such competitions before. I fondly remember the one held by SSDeV in 2003. People would give me the lock and tell me exactly how to open, because the goal here is not to bring a difficult lock, but to encourage beginning lockpickers to have success. It is a competition that should also show the audience that lockpicking is a sport that can be done by anyone. However, at this competition, there were very difficult locks, I even saw a Mul-T-Lock with the pin-in-pin system. It was no surprise that it take not long for most of the people to be out of the game, me included.

Cylinders

For me, the cylinder opening is the most interesting competition and I was looking forward to it, after the Blitz. For this competition, people take their own locks that they need to open within 5 minutes or they cannot participate. I took an Ivana Necoloc (rebranded Anker Infinity) that was used in the Toool championship finals (nobody opened it there in 15 minutes). For the first time, I prepared for a competition, because I practiced opening this lock within 5 minutes. I managed to do so here under stress as well (about 1’20) and could participate. The competition saw some very difficult locks, such as the EVVA ICS.

I made it to the A finals, even though I did not open the FAB lock. Later, I learned it has a very deep pin because of bump protection, which I somehow missed in the stress.

In the final, I openend a cheap lock (Legallais) and a Winkhaus, but left the EVVA ICS and Cisa SB (similar to Abus XP1) closed. The Cisa was almost completely picked until I made a mistake and had to start over. Jascha had the same happening to him. The last round I got Jascha’s Yale dimple lock which had dimples and sliders. I destroyed my lockpick on it, but opened it in 14’58! That, in the end, was enough for fourth place overall. I though my Ivana lock would be difficult enough to give me an advantage, but it turned out everybody in the A-finals opened it within the 15 minutes.

Freestyle

For the freestyle competition, the locks were once more provided. They needed to be opened within 5 minutes. I did not bring any electropicks or other ‘freestyle’ tools, so reverted to normal picking. I again made it to the A-finals. There, I opened 3 EVVA locks and 2 Euro Plus locks. Once I figured using the Bogoto was the way to go, I opened these in seconds, but unfortunately the first EVVA and Euro Plus took me 1’49 and 2’14. THere were 2 Mul-T-Lock interactive cylinders that “talked” to me but wouldn’ open in the end, a FAB 400 I had opened in the first round but wouldn’t open in the final and a Kaba Gemini that was only opened by the winner using an electropick (and a bit of luck). I think it was due to my time that I only became 7th here.

Overall it was a very nice competition with a good atmosphere. Thanks to the organisers!

Photos CCBY4.0 Walter @ Toool Blackbag

Continued work on MIWA/Anker 3800

October 3rd, 2022

I had spent quite some time on the Anker 3800 cylinder. This system was originally patented by the Japanese firm MIWA. It contains just 4 pins, each of them having 4 possible depths. But, there’s also 4 sliders that are magnetically operated by magnets in the key.

An Anker 3800 Eurocylinder
The keys

This system was sold in the Netherlands by Dutch firm Ankerslot and is still used in many large, high security setups.

I made a magnetometer to decode the magnets in a key or in a cylinder, made a 3D model of the key to be able to print it and figured out how to get the master key of a system. My talk at MCH’2022 is available online.

At LockCon, Han provided me with a set of five cylinders, all keyed differently but all part of the same masterkey system. No keys were provided.

I started by reading out all the magnets in the sliders. Each slider can have one or two magnets. If there are two, one is for the user key, one for the master key (we’ll ignore submasters for the moment). By knowing the magnets in the cylinder, it is possible to figure out which magnet should be in the key. For master keyed systems, there might be two possible magnets to operate the slider, where one will be in the master key, the other in the user key. With this information, I could determine the magnets in the master key and in the individual user keys (for each slider, there was only one possible magnet that would open all cylinders, so it was clear that that particular magnet should be present in the master key).

The correct bitting is another story. I had no key to start with. It is possible to create 256 keys and try them all to find all possible bittings. I was lucky however to have gotten one half cylinder.

What I did is create a bump key (so four times the deepest cut, which I will call a ‘4’), containing the correct magnets. With the bump key, I could open a cylinder and disassemble it. The half cylinder was my luck, as that can also be re-assembled. For this task, I used a 3D-printed plug follower.

This gave me all the correct bitting positions for this one cylinder (pin 1: 3 or 4, pin 2: 1 or 3, pin 3: 2 or 3, pin 4: 4). Since I did not have the original key, I did not know which depth belongs to the user key and which to the master key. The configuration allows for 2^3=8 possibilities. By creating 8 keys and trying them on the other cylinders, I could find out the master key bitting. With 3D printed keys, it is possible to print, say, a 3/1/2/4 key and if it doesn’t work, file a bit away to get a 4/1/2/4 key. That is exactly what I did and 4/1/2/4 worked on all cylinders, giving me the correct master key.

Next, I wanted to create the user keys. I could have created user keys by only using different magnets and keeping the bitting the same, but that would not give me the keys as they would originally be made for these cylinders. Since I now had a working master key, I could easily probe each pin position for all depths in sequence. I started with a 1/1/2/4 key, trying that on the 4 remaining cylinders and writing down the results, then filing it to a 2/1/2/4, trying again and then 3/1/2/4. With four keys to start with and 4*3=12 filing actions I was able to decode all the bittings.

Decoded cylinders, ‘G’ and ‘R’ are north/south poles (my magnetometer uses green/red light as an indicator)

Here, I have put squares around the magnets and bittings of the master key. If there are other bittings or magnets, they must be in the user key. The first pin of cylinder 2 for instance has possibile depths 3 and 4, and the master key has depth 4, so the user key must have depth 3. Note that in this system (and in this instance), user keys can have a bitting that can be filed down to the master key, as long as the magnets are different. Cylinder 2 shares the middle two magnets with the master key, the outer two are different.

With that information, I knew all the individual keys and printed them.

The user keys only open one cylinder each

And I have the master key.

The master key is golden of course

In fact, with this collection of cylinders, it is now also possible to make submaster keys for certain subsets of cylinders, even if that was not intended originally.

Thanks for reading! -Walter.

Photos CCBY4.0 Walter @ Toool Blackbag

LockCon 2022 – Car Lockpicking Competition

September 3rd, 2022

Our friends from Italy organized the Car lockpicking competition this year. Many car door locks, provided by ParmaKey, were picked during the competition.

First place in the competition won a Multipick ELITE pickset, an Italian bag, and a bottle of wine. Second and third place won a Multipick ELITE pickset. All winners got a trophy, and a custom engraved PACLOCK, a book on lock history, and a lock comic book.

Congrats to the winners!

Lasse got 1st place
Tom C got 2nd place
Nitiflor got 3rd place

LockCon 2022 – Lockpicking Competition

September 3rd, 2022

During the Saturday, we ran the Lockpicking competition. For the first round, we had eight tables with eight participants each. Which all attempt to pick locks in 5 minute rounds, where everyone at the table gets to try all locks. The first and second best of the table get to the next round, which was four tables of four. The best of each table got to compete in the finals.

This year the competition had a wide selection of locks, from Abus, Corbin, Kibb, Iseo, Kale, Nemef, DMS, Winkhaus, DOM, S2, ERA, and Zeiss-Ikon, just to name a few.

First place in the competition won a custom engraved Abloy Classic lockpick by Jaakko and a Sparrows voucher of €100. Second place won a mh electronic lock bumping kit and a Sparrows voucher of €200. The third place won a set of Multipick LockNoob essentials lockpick kit. All winners got a trophy, and a custom engraved PACLOCK.

Congrats to the winners!

Oli got 1st place
Torsten got 2nd place
ImSchatten360 got 3rd place


LockCon 2022 – Impressioning Competition

September 3rd, 2022

At LockCon we ran the Impressioning competition on the usual C83 locks. (Abus, Thanks for sponsoring!) For the first round everyone has 1h to attempt the keyed a like locks. 12 people opened the locks in 20 minutes, this time. The best six went to the A Final, the subsequent six to the B Final.

In due time, we expect to publish a report on the key bittings, pins, and the times for each lock.

First place in the competition won a custom engraved Abloy Classic lockpick by Jaakko, and a Sparrows voucher of €100. Second place won a Multipick Artimis electropick. The third place won a set of Multipick Elite 27 lockpickset. All winners got a trophy, and a custom engraved PACLOCK, and an M&C pinning mat.

Congrats to the winners!

Jos opened 4 locks and got 1st place
Torsten opened 3 locks and got 2nd place
Lasse opened one lock and got 3rd place
Results A Final
Results B Final

LockCon 2022 – Toool Competition

September 3rd, 2022

Toool NL has a competition with ~25 locks, which can be picked during Toool meetings. Each member times his opening attempts and points are awarded according to opening times. The competition ran from LockCon to LockCon, which was a bit longer than a year, this time.

Competition archive from 2004: https://toool.nl/competitie/

Competition from 2020: https://toool.nl/competitie2020/

First place in the competition won a custom engraved Abloy Classic lockpick by Jaakko. Second place won a Multipick Kronos electropick. The third place won a set of Multipick dimple lockpicks. All winners got a trophy, and a custom engraved PACLOCK.

Congrats to the winners!

Walter got 1st place with 250 points
Tom got 2nd place with 176 points
Jos got 3rd price with 160 points

LockCon 2022 recap

September 3rd, 2022

Last weekend was LockCon 2022, our annual conference about locksport. Throughout the conference we hosted talks about the hobby, in-depth analysis of Anker 3800, Zeiss Ikon WSW, Kromer Protector, just to name a few. We also hosted the DutchOpen competition on Impressioning, Lockpicking, and Car lock picking.


This year, we had attendees from Europe, Great Britain, USA, and Australia. It was great seeing many familiar faces, and meet new attendees. In between the program, we traded locks, and shared the information we have gathered over the years. Thanks Everyone for making LockCon a success.


We would also like to thank our sponsors. Abus has been sponsoring the impressioning competition for a long time. They helped us with Abus C83 locks and blanks for the impressioning competition.

We received vouchers for the price pool and pinning mats from Sparrows. A wide range of lockpicking tools are sponsored by Multipick, from Multipick essentials up to Artimis electropick. For the first prices, Jaakko made custom engraved Abloy classic lockpicks available. PACLOCK sponsored Paclock padlocks with the competition name. Parmakey organized the car picking competition, and sponsored the price pool for the competition with books and wine. mh made a set of his electronic lock bumping tools available (See talk: Electronic Locks: Bumping and Other Mischief). Henk sponsored an old padlock for nr. 10 of Impressioning. M&C sponsored pinning mats. Last but not least, NoStarchPress sponsored digital copies of the soon-to-be released Locksport book by Jos, Matt, Walter, BandEAtoZ, and Nigel.

Thanks to all the sponsors for making this event possible.

Showing off the Multipick Artimis, their newest electropick. It was handed to Torsten as the price for the 2nd place of Lockpicking.

The one-pin lock

September 2nd, 2022

Eurocylinders have a standard form factor, but they come in different sizes. In the middle is the cam and the screw to attach the cylinder to the door. Measuring the lengths from the center of the cam to both ends gives you the length, for instance, 30/30 is a popular size. This means both ends are 30mm or 3cm for a total length of 6cm.

Although sizes of 30mm and 35mm (or combinations with 10mm for half cylinders) are pretty normal, there’s quite a variation in lengths, especially if you go to Belgium for instance.

A 45/55 cylinder

Very long ones such as the 45/55 above, are quite rare. Ones shorter than 30 are also rare. I had come across a 25/25 once, but a while ago, my favourite locksmith from Oostende (Birger) gave me a 20/20 cylinder.

A 20/20 cylinder

It did not come with a key. The cylinder only has one pin! This means that any key that fits the keyway can be used to open it: just insert the slope of the key just far enough to push the pin to the shear line.

By not inserting the key fully, we can pick the one pin

The cylinder did not come with a key, so I used impressioning to make one.

The impressioned key

Photos CCBY4.0 Walter @ Toool Blackbag

Castle De Berckt

August 20th, 2022

This blog is a short photo tour of the venue for LockCon 2022.

Map of the Berckt estate. Please park at P2 and walk back around the Manor house to the Legion Hall.

Click the map to enlarge, or follow the link: https://blackbag.toool.nl/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/The-Berckt-estate.png

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The first sign you will see from the road.
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Enter through the side guard gate. If you are by foot and the gate is closed, enter through the main entrance.
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Drive straight through to the end, then right turn into the parking area two (P2).

After parking, walk back the way you came and head over to the conference hall (Legion Hall).

Please, do not walk through the Manor House from the parking area, as another group has rented that hall and terrace, and we don’t want to disturb them.

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This is the Legion Hall and The Tower. We have this whole building!
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Alternative view from behind the main castle buildings, on the other side of the moat.
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1006820270847295578/1009751998494670848/castle_stage-Holly.png
Here’s a photo of our presentation hall. We will also run our competitions here.
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Here’s the dining hall.

In case of doubt, please call the organisation or use street view.