Slowly but surely …

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…

10 Responses to “Slowly but surely …”

  1. Nick Zakowski says:


    It is nice to see an article from someone with some common sense. Thank you for posting that.


  2. Eric Michaud says:

    I feel a little warmer in my tummy. 😉

  3. Krypos says:

    hey, i’m an experienced member over at, and it is a pretty agreed upon thing that bumping and picking are less than 1% of all burglary and theft cases. We, on the forums have gone around about it and came to this conclusion. Our arguements? theives are stupid, they are looking for fast scores. A brick is much better, or a crowbar.

    so to hear more about people “warning” the public about bumping and picking is just stupid. there wouldn’t be this fascination with bumping if it wasn’t put all over the place and people weren’t going around scaring the general public.

    so personally, i wish people would stop making such a big deal about it, or if they are, the TRUTH about bumping should be told. yes its possible to do, yes its easy, yes an eleven year old can do it, no not all locks will bump, no there is no such thing as a bump proof lock, no the finer manufactured locks aren’t any safer, yes the finer manufactured locks are more likely to be bumped well, no you dont have to worry and get a $300 lock for your two bedroom apartment, yes it can damage locks, no its not illegal (yet).

    the TRUTH should be spread, and emphasis on the fact that thieves dont bother with covert methods. only the government does that.

    nuff said.

  4. Barry says:


    Let me get this straight: there is a vulnerability that effects almost
    all locks and allows an 11 year old to open a wide range of them
    without a trace. The technique is easy to learn, requires no special
    skills, no expensive tools and is highly reproducible.

    For you this is no problem because you think this only happens in 1%
    of the burglaries. That is it? That is the basis for your argument?

    Can you tell me when it does become a problem? at 5%? 10%? 50%?

    I can tell you sources inside the German police mention figures up to
    as high as 10% were they suspect bumpkeys or lockpicking is used to
    gain entry.

    If you are into statistics you might as well remove the airbag from
    your car and sell it on E-Bay. After all, the chance you will ever
    need it is very slim….

    The only thing that motivated the lock industry here so far to do
    anything against bumping was the consumer reports test and media
    exposure. If you leave it up to them locks will never be improved.
    There are only a few companies that seem to take pride in offering
    real security and keeping up to date with the latest in lock opening
    technology. That is a sad conclusion if you would ask me. And a
    motivation for me to keep them sharp.

    And some of the things you mention in your reply are not what I
    consider to be ‘true’:

    >no there is no such thing as a bump proof lock

    There are many locks on the market that are bump proof. What kind of
    information is this? You know what types are bump proof…. I hope …
    If not you might want to read your own beloved forum. Plenty of hints
    can be found there as it is a great source of information.

    >no you dont have to worry and get a $300 lock for your two bedroom apartment

    I would like to leave that up to the people to decide. Who are you to
    decide that for them? And for your information: in the Dutch consumer
    reports test a US $ 25 lock proved to be bumpproof and was advised to
    people who wanted to protect themselves against this threat. It even comes
    with a keycard that makes unauthorized duplication of keys more
    difficult. Noting wrong with giving that kind of advise. It keeps the
    lock industry sharp and the consumers educated.

    > so personally, i wish people would stop making such a big deal about
    > it, or if they are, the TRUTH about bumping should be told.

    As far as I see it people are making a big deal about it because it is
    a big deal. And I feel the public has a right to know what is out
    there. Don’t get me wrong, it is not my holy mission in life to keep
    hammering on this problem. But when people in TNL finally see the
    light and have the courage to speak up against their own crowd I can
    only show great respect and blog about it.

    And the same goes for your reply. Glad to see someone who is trying to
    come up with counter arguments. So far I am not convinced, but thanks
    for sharing them.

    Kind regards,


  5. Nick Zakowski says:


    How can anyone determine the percentage unless forensics are used on every break-in or theft??

    I think you are looking into statistics that do not offer a real insight to the problem since statistics have never taken into account a problem this widespread.

  6. Kodierer says:

    I agree with both Krypos, and Barry. Bumping is a much better attack in my opinion for committing burglary than a crowbar. Maybe not on a residence, but in commercial enterprises where steel doors are used. I am also a lockpicking101 participant, and I am surprised krypos didn’t see the numerous threads that state that a medeco biaxial is practically unbumpable. Unless of course you know the sidebar combination, and if you know that, then you probably know the complete bitting of the key, and don’t need a bump key, cause you can make a real key.
    However krypos is correct in that bumping was less of a problem than even picking before the media got ahold of it. Now it could possibly turn into an epedemic before our very eyes if the security industry doesn’t work hard to fix the problem. This is more of a problem in the US where knowledge of ones own safety, and taking responsibility for it almost seems tabboo.
    I do believe however that knowledge belongs to the world, and for that I am glad bumping and other security threats are brought straight to the door steps of the people whom were previosly ignorant of it. It is only this way that we can progress as a society, and become more technologically developed. Why should our blenders be more sophisticated technology than the locks that prevent them from being stolen?
    –Kodierer(advocate for an open source world)

  7. Jamie says:

    Abloy! Abloy! Abloy!
    Unbumpable, key control and quality construction…

    I almost never see them installed up here (Canada).. Suprising too, as it is my understanding that since there are no pins or springs (and its from Finland) that winter is not a challenge.

  8. Krypos says:

    ok, true, i am not a statician, and you are right in asking when it does become a problem. but i believe announcing it to the public the way the media does is outrageous.

    german police suspect? american police suspect all sorts of things, but that doesnt mean squat to me, nor a million other people. some people suspect that OJ is innocent, others suspect tupac is still alive. suspect means very little now a days.

    as for companies staying up to date and truly secure, that is right, there are a few companies that stay secure, and many who fake it. so we, as the hobbyist and watchdogs, need to be the factor that changes the industry and alerts them of security flaws. many of our own locksport enthusiasts have reported such flaws to companies and most of them throw it over their shoulder and dont care. but i dont think media hype and scare tactics are the way to go.

    adn im not deciding that people dont need a $300 lock, im suggesting it. the general public doesnt know what things work and dont. they hear ‘high security’ or ‘increased pins for picking protection’ or ‘pick proof’ do you know how many ‘pick proof’ locks i have picked since i started locksport? too many.

    and was it the dutch consumer reports that tried to bump this $25 lock? or was it the locksport group that exists? because id bet my last dollar that a group of five locksport enthusiasts could bump a $25 lock in an hour and dutch consumer reports couldnt.

    lastly, people are making a big deal about it because certain people dont know how to change the industry without causing panic.

    im off to school.

  9. Nick Zakowski says:

    The media will always spin things to the extreme. Right or wrong, that is what sells. No one buys a Newsweek because they have a report about last Thursday being slightly overcast and cold.

    As far as pick proof locks go, I have not seen any advertised that I recall. I do recall many stating a “pick resistant x pin mechanism”.

    As far as a cheaper bump resistant (dare I say bump proof?) lock goes, check out Pfaffenhain. They took a remarkably simple approach to tackling the problem and their solution works very very well.

  10. Chuck says:

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