The impressioning rush …

I am in pure ecstasy at the moment! It is a rush I only had a few
times before. Bumping a wide variety of locks for the first time was
one of them. The other rushed I can not disclose on this public forum …

But seriously, I am still a little in shock too.

This weekend I did my first serious attempt to impression an Abus lock.
Looking at the book and the marks on the key I knew I was on the right track.
But I did not open the lock…

Monday Paul Crouwel and myself went to Hamburg to meet with Oliver Diederichsen.
We had a nice meeting with him and besides a private impression workshop he did
show us lots of nice things. I shot quite some video, so make sure to check
blackbag regularly these days to come. You will enjoy it … that is a promise!

When I came home from work today I stopped at a shop and bought a nice
magnifying lamp. It is a valuable tool when impressioning locks.

impression tools on table

Right after dinner I started… my goal was to open at least one lock!

My first try was immediately successful! Within ten minutes the first
Abus opened! The marks were so clear and obvious, I could not believe it.
And still I can not believe it 😉

Second was another Abus, one I did know what the key looked like a
bit. I vaguely remembered it had some ‘high low high’ combination but
I tried not to think about that too much. I focused on the marks and
when I got somewhere the key broke ‘half way’. Filing the remaining
marks on the key did not open the lock.

Because the key was very fragile I had to try something else. So instead of
moving the key up and down, I moved the key in and out, making horizontal marks
instead of pointed marks. I could clearly see the long-marks and filed two more
rounds. The next time I pulled the key in and out, the lock opened!

So I had a score of two out of two! It was time to put the kids to bed.

my first successful impressioned key ever!

When I finished that ‘job’ I optimisticly started digging trough my collection for
other locks with the correct blank. I could only find a Corbin … brrr …

Unfortunately the depths of Corbin are not in the book so I had to file in
much smaller steps. The first key I tried I went too deep to fast. But the
second key I remained my focus and … succeeded in opening the lock!
This was the ultimate rush. Unknown depth steps and still success.

Last but not least I found a CES lock and blank. Again I used the book
for depth measurements. It also opened the first try.

In two hours time I opened four locks using only five blanks, and put
the kids to bed too. Now siting at my couch thinking it all over.

I only hope it is not a dream … it feels a little like it!

Tomorrow is the Toool Amsterdam meeting. I will bring some impressioning
materials so members can try it themselves.

the score ....

Update 01:25 am : Back to earth. Tired and off to bed. Tried to open a DOM lock without success ….

11 Responses to “The impressioning rush …”

  1. DMUX says:

    wow barry, your quite the locksmith, you even put most to shame, it amazing that you could be soo good at something that is not your profession

  2. Barry says:

    DMUX: it is not at all my intention to put anyone to shame. It just
    happened and the locks opened. Much to my own surprise I must add. But
    please do not underestimate how much time, energy and money I invest
    in this weird ‘hobby’. If you take that into account I consider myself
    not to be an ‘amateur’. And I have been infected with the lockpick
    virus for over twenty years now.

    What is most important with these kind of techniques is to have faith.
    Faith you can do it, faith it can be done if you stick to the rules.
    Thanks to the book and private teaching session I got this faith last
    evening and knew what to pay attention for. Hope I still have it today
    for the Toool meeting 😉

  3. DMUX says:

    yea that is true, you have years invested into that hobby, I didn’t take that into consideration

    I have spent quite a bit of money myself and I don’t even own any cool decoding tools, just a variety of picks and things. It also helps to know locksmiths and have TOOOL meetings, that is where you can really share knowledge, we need more lockpickers in the U.S, but lately there has been a lot of negative media about lockpick tools and all the videos that can be found easily by anyone on the internet. Of course the media blows up everything and makes it sound like half the population knows how to pick locks and all they do is break into houses. At least in Europe they are more understanding and take security more serious.

  4. Mikeymike says:

    Hi Barry,

    Great demo last night it really got me as we speak iam making a list
    of cut depts of diffirent key brands. I have got almost everything iam only looking for the impression handpiece because the grip pliers will slip from time to time. Ohh and where did you get you’re file’s ?

  5. novicelockpicker says:

    Hey Barry,

    Wow, thats amazing your first try! My question is, will that book 1 be in an english version ( I can’t read German) and 2 will it be for sale in north america or the on the internet such as amazon for sale soon? And also its true when you said that you need faith when you pick locks, great tip Barry!

    P.S if anyone wants to buy an Abloy PL362 lock go to I contacted the owner and he will add the lock soon around 200 something instead of $413.00! if anyone else has some sources to buy good locks tell me

  6. Barry says:

    Mikeymike: Even though I followed the protocol described in the book
    it still surprised me how (relatively) easy the demonstration lock
    opened on the Toool evening. I am glad you are getting interested in
    the technique too. It is truly the most rewarding way of opening a
    lock I have ever mastered.

    I think the best place to buy a professional handle/grip might be
    Wendt, or google online for it. The file I bought in Sneek from
    Steffan and was dirt cheap. It is stamped: grobet vallorbe 2,
    made in swiss

    novicelockpicker: I think Oliver understands an English version is
    inevitable. Not sure how long it will take him to make it. These
    things always take more time then you might think.

    And about having to need confidence to open locks: I should have
    listened better to my own advice. Ever since Oli’s personal
    instructions I am confident it can be done and I can do it.
    Just follow the protocol and use the file properly.

  7. Lockurious says:

    Since I read about that rush you had which you cannot disclosure I feel really bad. Will I ever get to know?

  8. Barry says:

    Lockurious: The other rushes are non lock related. There are other things that can make you feel good besides locks you know 😉

  9. Nick Zakowski says:


    Do not overlook the framon impressioning handle tool. I have used one and it was fantastic. It will also clamp any key bow regardless of holes in the bow etc.

  10. Brian says:

    Does his book come in Enlgish

  11. Colin says:

    After meeting Oliver Diederichsen at a recent impressioning workshop in london 25/4/10 (ukbumpkeys workshop)i also picked up a few tips from the Oli and Jos Weyers and realised where i was going wrong in my attempts, i must have impressioned over 30 locks in the last 2 weeks and my rate of cracking/snapping keys has become virtually nil.
    I never thought i would have a use for impressioning but learning this art makes spending the money on the tools worthwhile, the framon key grip is a very good tool to use and as already mentioned, it will grip any key, i’ve opened yale, union, ces, GE-GE, evva and a couple of birds (LOL) Olivers book is also a mine of great information and does come in English, Barry is correct in his posts saying “what a rush” when you open your first lock.
    I would recommend anyone to give this art a try, it can be frustrating to begin with, but boy it soon gets addictive.