Lock Bumping & Bump Proof Locks

General Stuff / Know-How / News / Residential locksmith

A New Method of Bypassing a Lock has Local Boston Residents Concerned about Security


What is “Lock Bumping” and how does it work? To completely understand, what and how, this new method of gaining access through a locked door is, it is necessary to understand how the lock itself works. The internal part of the lock is not very complicated. It consists of five or six chambers, each containing a spring and two small brass pins. When the correct key is inserted the “hills” and “valleys” on that particular key, correspond to certain size pins creating what is known as a “sheer line.” This line is basically the line created when all those small brass pins are even at the top, enabling the user to turn his or her key and unlock the lock. It might sound a little confusing, but take a look at this 6 second video which shows the internal parts of a lock cylinder at work:


“Lock Bumping”, is essentially a way of making those pins move up and down fast enough to catch the sheer line and turn the cylinder, thus gaining unauthorized access. By inserting the key partway into the cylinder and giving it a hard tap, the top pins in the lock are being push to the top and the key is being turned before they fall back down. It sounds easy in theory, but requires a bit of practice, a special key and makes a decent amount of noise. If a thief or criminal was trying to lock bump your locks in the middle of the night, you would certainly hear it, so rest easy.

So how does this affect our local Boston MA community? For one, all Bostonians should be aware that most locks CAN be bypassed. Of course, it takes knowledge and skill to do so, but it is quite possible. There ARE systems designed to prevent bumping and picking, but those keys and cylinders are more expensive than standard locks and require a trained professional to install.

Here at the Flying Locksmiths, we use high security keys and cylinders called “Primus” which is manufactured by Schlage. These keys are tied in with a high security cylinder and are virtually impossible to pick and bump because of a special sidebar on the key and cylinder. Without the correctly milled key, the sidebar will not move, so even if the locks normal pins are bumped, the sidebar is still engaged and the key will not turn.

Massachusetts residents should be aware that although bumping is new, picking has been around for a long time and they are just two different ways of doing the same exact thing. So in conclusion, I urge people to be aware of the facts. Lock technology changes constantly and Boston locksmiths are always finding creative ways to get men and women in there homes when they are locked out. High security keys and cylinders are always an option, just make sure to do it right and call the experts!

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