Archive for December, 2006

Slowly but surely …

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

US locksmiths are beginning to develop a clue. For a long time I only
found negative responses from locksmiths in regard to the bumping
problem. Just as when bumping became known in Europe and the
Netherlands: denial, shooting the messenger and spreading
disinformation were tactics deployed by locksmiths and the lock
industry. It took some TV appearances and a test by Dutch Consumer
reports to change all this. Consumers are educated now and often
request locks that can not be bumped. And we even hear stories of more
and more consumers asking specifically for drill and pull resistant
locks. People seem to learn fast, and internet is a great source to
find information. To do harm but also to protect yourself….

tnl logo

It is a good thing to see people in important places in the US lock
industry are beginning to see the light. Greg Mango, Editor of leading
locksmith magazine ‘The National Locksmith’ is one of them. He wrote a
very good column in TNL. I hope US locksmiths wipe the foam of their
mouth and read it carefully…

We want YOUR lock!

Friday, December 1st, 2006

That is right. We are looking for locks to pick. Preferably locks we
are not familiar with. Let me explain …


Every year we set up a competition. It is an ongoing game, that will
last approximately one year. For this game we use a collection of 26
locks. Some of them are easy, most of them can be opened with some
practise and a few can only be picked by skilled lockpickers. The
rules are relatively simple. During Toool club evenings people can
take one of the 26 locks and try to pick it. And use a stopwatch to
keep track on how much time they need to open it. You can pick the
lock as often as you like. The idea is to keep improving your time on
it. And every time you pick that lock you are going to train yourself
in finding the shortcut, the right order in which the pins need to be
set, or what is the best raking technique to open that lock. If you
think it will be difficult to improve your time on the lock you
proceed to the next one. Or instead of moving to the next lock you can
ask other toool members how it is possible they picked that lock in 15
seconds while you can not pick it in under one minute. Our experience
is that this type of game is a real motivation for people to learn
different techniques and pay attention how other people open locks. At
the end of the evening we collect the scores. Your best time on a lock
will be entered in a database, and if you scored the best time you
will receive 10 points for that. Are you second best you will receive
9 point, third place 8 etc etc. The person who scored the most points
on all locks after one year is the winner. The rules are that simple….


(images of locks by Paul Boven)

Back to your locks …

This will be the third year we will play this game. Previously we used
mainly Dutch and European locks (Medeco being an exception). But this
year we would like to have a more international collection of locks.
So we are not only going for the euro-profile cylinders, but also
would like to see some unknown types and shapes of locks. We know
shapes are completely different in places as the US, Australia,
Scandinavia, India etc. And we would really like to see what is out
there worldwide, and if we can pick it. This is where you come in. We
want YOUR lock(s), especially if it is of a brand unknown in The

Don’t get us wrong, we are not looking for impossible to pick locks,
or extreme difficult ones with magnets and transponders. We are
looking for locks that are ordinary to you and your country but are
special to us. Of course we will add some real challenges in this
competition, but the basic idea is that a novice lockpicker should
stand a chance. So we are asking you for your lock, but only if you
can pick it in under 15 minutes yourself. If you are not a lockpicker
but would like to add a lock to this competition we will gladly
consider it.

Now we know locks cost money, and so does sending metal objects trough
international mail. Unfortunately we can not offer financial
compensation to all of you. We do not have a clue how many people will
take the effort to send us a lock to begin with. To compensate you we
will honestly draw four names from the people that send us locks and
reward these lucky four them with a fabulous prize.

So I hear you think, what are these prizes?

1) A rare high security cut away lock, model Ge-Ge P-eXtra
2) an original Hope Numeber Six pickset
3) a Toool T-Shirt (size s/m/l/xl/xxl/xxl or ‘spicy babe shirt’
4) The original Tomahawk bump hammer

If these prizes do not persuade you to send in your old unused lock I
don’t know. Needless to say we will write your name and country on the
hall of fame if your lock makes it to the 26 lucky ones.

Some more details about what type of locks we are looking for: We are
looking for pin tumbler locks. So no need to send in lever locks with
‘keys with a beard’. Preferably the locks are of a size we can transport
in a box. So there is no need to send in huge ‘lock in door knob’ type
of lock. And no padlocks. It should preferably be door locks.

lock 03

And it does not matter where you are from. If a Dutch or German person
has a nice lock to share we will gladly accept it and use it.
Unfortunately we will not be able to send locks back. We do not want
to be unfriendly but we simply do not have the time, organizational
structure and money to keep a close administration of all this. So see
it as a gift to Toool. And a nice chance to win some of the prizes
that are otherwise hard to come by. And if your lock makes it you can
visit the Toool competition webpage and see how well your lock is
holding up against the Dutch lockpickers. We might even shoot some video.

To give you an idea of what brands are used in the Netherlands visit
the overview of the 2005 or 2006 competition or look at the list of
popular Dutch locks in the 2006 consumer reports bump-key test.

Just send us a mail ( to ask if we are interested in your lock
or send it to: Toool, Linnaeusparkweg 98, 1098 EJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

December 31 we will make the final selection of locks….

Thanks in advance!!