who are you gonna call?!? Pickbuster ?!?

Over the years Han Fey and myself have seen many solutions to the
bumping problem. Sometimes the lock companies engineers came up with a
good solution, sometimes they failed miserably.

pickbusters 'shots'

I am not sure in what category ‘pickbuster’ belongs. Looking online
and on their website, their solution sounds a little bit too good to be true :

Lock Bumping – The Solution

Almore Ltd has developed a radical solution to this threat, which
renders any existing cylinder far less susceptible to this Method Of
Entry. This is done without replacement, leaving the existing cylinder
and keys in place whilst acting to greatly increase the effort
required to access the cylinder.

Applied in a solvent carrier, PICKBUSTER is non–toxic and provides
excellent long term corrosion resistance. A single application will
provide protection for the life of the cylinder.

Today I have received two ‘shot’ of pickbuster and will give it a try
over the weekend. Needless to say I will shoot some video of the test…

18 Responses to “who are you gonna call?!? Pickbuster ?!?”

  1. PickPick says:

    There has been some discussion about this on LP101. It’s assumed that you wash it out with cleaning fluid to make the lock bumpable again, maybe you want to try that out.

  2. rukwind says:

    http://www.almoreltd.com/pickbust1.php :
    “Follow this link to view a dramatic and disturbing video of the technique in action.”??
    How much traffic is that link generating on “our” server?

    I think some thick (vegetable?) oil will do the trick also; pins will turn sticky. I tend to believe this stuff might actually work but i think it will have implications on the normal key operation as well.

    Barry joins the mythbusters; tune in next Monday for an update.

  3. Michael M. says:

    I have a really easy solution against bumping and picking, just apply a bit of superglue (Cyanoacrylat-Glue) to the lock. You cant wash it out. And you will never have a chance to bump or pick this lock again.

  4. rukwind says:

    Pickbuster is actually the wrong name. Picking is still possible. As http://www.bumpbuster.co.uk is taken, they had to compromise.

  5. PickPick says:

    Superglue is not such a good idea, since it can be defeated with heat and later washing with acetone. Try epoxy.

  6. Joemama says:

    As a Locksmith, I can assure you that a good squirt of solvent and lube will eliminate this cheeze idea…

  7. Jamie says:


    How about redirecting requests from thier website to a photo from goatse/tubgirl/etc…. Sure its overkill, but hotlinking is incredibly bad form! 😀

  8. JackNco says:

    I have to agree with PickPick and Joemama. my first thought on it was a squeeze bottle of lighter fluid, not really a conventional cleaner but it cleans locks up like you wouldn’t believe and evaporates off.

    Although i would never recommend this on a lock that is in use. probaly as bad as WD40

    All the best

  9. Jon D says:

    If there’s any effectiveness as an anti-bump measure I suppose for the sake of science you should compare with some generic thick lubricant, 20W50 car engine oil?

  10. DMUX says:

    sounds just like grease that cloggs the lock so the pins cannot jump when hit with a bumpkey

  11. chris says:

    OK then – what do people think of pickbuster? Barry, what have you used to overcome it?
    I think it’s an issue as – maybe it works and maybe there’s no quick remedy – but it won’t protect people from being robbed, and it’s the fear of that that sells such products. Have you got the remedy?

  12. Ron Heywood says:

    Hello All

    I have just been appointed as the marketing consultant for the pickbuster product and I would like a chance to answer some of your excellent questions:

    1: Can Pickbuster be washed out of the lock.

    We submitted this product to a company called “ERA Technology” who provide engineering consultancy testing. Their tests indicated that Pickbuster affords protection from cylinder bumping for over 50,000 cycles of the lock.

    ERA also considered the possibility of driving the solution from the lock using a cleansing liquid – (WD40 was indeed the tool of choice.) They had some success in this respect. It took 20 minutes and 350 ml of WD40. The tester reported that the WD40 was all over his clothes, and all over the floor of the testing lab.

    2: Comparisons with a generic thick lubricant

    Pickbuster was developed over a considerable period of time to meet clearly defined parameters. Too thin and it washes or drains away, too thick and it impares the performance of the lock. I think someone mentioned making the pins sticky? This is not how Pickbuster works, the fluid serves to absorb the kinetic energy of the bump technique, rather than allowing the key pins to absorb the impact and thus separate from the driver pins.

    Pickbuster is non toxic, hypo-allergenic, not staining, non irritant. The concept is simple but the solution is actually quite complex.

    I hope this answers some of your questions.

    I would also like to mention that we are now hosting our own video on our soon to be launched website pickbuster.co.uk. In addition we have moved on from the sachet packaging and are now launching the consumer product in a more user-friendly pump with nozzle attachment. In addition you may be interested in the trade pack containing details of a guarantee and registration scheme, marketing material, window stickers, and sufficient formula to treat 80 locks.

    Thank you all for your interest in our product. I hope you will be hearing much more from us in the coming months, and I look forward to hearing and reading your comments on this subject.

    Kind Regards
    Ron Heywood

    For Pickbuster.co.uk

  13. DC says:

    Will Pickbuster work when the cylinder chambers are ABOVE the key? Seems like gravity would prevent the fluid from being worthwhile when a lock is installed in such a way that the chambers reside above the cylinder, rather than beneath it. Depending on which side of a door the jam is on, the cylinder may be installed so the chambers are above or beneath it.

  14. ducks07 says:

    I have installed it on my locks at home with the cylinders on top and those locks cannot be bumped (at least by me). I bought it from the US distributor and they sent a sachet pack which I jammed into the lock and just squeezed. It must have gotten a sufficient coverage. You have to clean it up for a day or so though but then the lock is bump proof!

  15. Spence says:

    I think the whole idea is terrible. The fact we are squeezing a product into a lock which hasn’t had any ‘real world’ testing. I also think that these companies (not singling out pickbuster here either) rely on the media to scaremonger and make people think it is a bigger risk than it actually is.

    The simplest and most affordable scenario in the long run is to get the right lock in the first place especially concidering how much it would cost to get pickbuster/bumpbuster for all locks in a household for a period of 5-10 years say…. you could easily kit your house out with abloys for that money and still have change left over (with the added benefit of tight key control). There are plenty of locks on the market that are anti bump (I am reffering to sidebar locks like EVVA 3KS, Abloys, etc) without having to buy a product which we are not sure prevents anything at all, plus they are either extremely difficult/impossible/uneconomical to pick.

    It is a shabby marketing operation which plays on the fears of the public to generate revenue, and I still can’t believe the claims that ‘lots of time & money was spent to develop it’. It is purely a gimmick, and as far as I am concearned is comparable to those ‘anti snap’ euro cylinders which IMO is an absolutely shocking design (to go from a 5 pin lock to a 3 pin after it is snapped).

    I’ve also seen these ‘pickbusted’ locks bumped anyway. Granted, it takes longer, but there is no proof that this product is totally bump proof. Further more, as has already been mentioned, ‘pickbuster’ is a very misleading name to be using, which further prooves my theory that these companies are only in it for the money and have no passion for design (never seen any reps from either companies on any of the locksport sites until now) so they are obviously not interested in the testing we ourselves have done, and when confronted with the evidence they simply deny it & say the lock has been tampered with or does not contain their product.

    If I am asked about preventative measures that can be taken against bumping and picking, I would most certainly not even concider suggesting these products!

  16. NKT says:


    I’d be careful with those trivially disproved claims! Pickbuster has been tested, and it makes a lock that bumps pass the “bump resistance” test that is mandated. Also, you can’t have been looking all that carefully for Pickbuster reps on here or elsewhere, when you only noticed now that they posted a reply slightly over two years ago.

    Also, your maths is a bit out – for 10 years worth of Pickbuster, you couldn’t buy a single Protec.

  17. John says:

    How about a non-newtonian fluid, tapioca comes to mind. Of course lock bumping a lock filled with non-newtonian fluid might just overlift the spring cover but something like pickbuster should be comparatively tested versus some good old cornstarch solution. Wouldn’t these lubricant based solutions just attract dirt and gum up the locks over time? Has anyone tried a rubber pin? How about a glass pin pressure filled with a UV marking dye? I have a couple more ideas but I think they may be patentable.

  18. Just a Consumer says:

    Why not simply make a lock in which each of the pins halves are magnatized to each other (and, no, I don’t know what the two pieces of each pin are called, so that’ll have to do). They would easily slide apart when the lock’s key set them into position then magnetically grab each other when the cylinder was returned to the locked position. But, they should behave differently under the concussion of a bumping impact, moving yes, but moving as single units. Bump it all day, but they shouldn’t fly apart to allow the simultaneous across-the-board “gap” that frees the cylinder to turn — that would take one really, really lucky bump to line up all the pins perfectly at the same exact split second. Bumping wouldn’t be impossible, but it seems to me it ought to be pretty darned improbable. Am I wrong? Has this been tried? Does it even make any sense to anybody besides me?
    -Just a Consumer (looking for a better mousetrap)