Jun 30, 2017

Lock Picking Techniques and How to Protect Against Them

Your locks are one of the most important features of your home. Unfortunately, they are also often the most neglected. Most home builders only use minimum standard locks in their doors to cut costs, allowing the level of security to be determined by the people who purchase it. However, most homeowners don’t realize just how easy it can be to break into the normal pin tumbler locks that are found in many American homes. We live in a world where knowledge is only a click away, and criminals are now provided easy access to lock picking methods and affordable tools. For this reason, home invasions are becoming more prevalent. At Top Atlanta Locksmith, we have provided countless locksmith services for home and business owners in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Suwanee, College Park, Roswell and other surrounding metro area neighborhoods. As lock specialists, we have a deep knowledge about lock picking methods, and know the most common ways that burglars and vandals break into homes. Our team wants our local communities to stay safe. Understanding the ways that lock pickers manipulate pin tumblers can help you make better choices when upgrading your locks.  Locksmith Sandy Springs

Pin by Pin

This method is the most common and can be performed by with a professional lock picking tool, or even something as simple as a hair pin or paper clip. The lock picker presses the sharp hooked tool gently into the cylinder, listening and feeling for the pins. One by one, the pins are pushed up. Tension is applied to the lock opening, often using a tool called a torsion wrench, and as the pins create an even space for the cylinder to move the lock is released.


This technique is like the pin by pin method, except that it uses a more advanced tool. Raking picks have multiple ridges that can be used to zip, rake or move up and down to move the pins. These tools are usually faster, yet not always as effective as the pin by pin technique. Whereas pin by pin lock picking can take several minutes, an experienced picker can normally get the lock open in a matter of seconds with a raking tool. It is also necessary to use a torsion wrench as well when raking. 


This technique is different than the other methods. Rather than using a traditional lock picking tool, bumping requires a specialized “bump key”. These are keys where the ridges have been shaved down to the lowest segment with small uniform ridges. The key is inserted in the door, then pulled slightly out so they rest just below each pin. A slight amount of pressure is applied to the outside edge of the key, often with a hammer or screwdriver handle. This creates movement in the key and causes the springs on the pins to shift, making the pins jump. If timed correctly, the lock cylinder can be turned while a momentary shear line is created. Again, this method takes only a few seconds to break through almost any standard pin tumbler lock. 

How Can You Make Your Locks More Secure?

Lock manufacturers are becoming much more vigilant about creating better high security locks. Many well-known companies are creating their new pin tumbler locks with extra side pins or multiple ridges so that a normal lock picking tool or bump key won’t be enough to manipulate the cylinder to turn. Always keep in mind that just because a lock is expensive, or made from heavy duty materials that the cylinder itself can prevent lock picking. Double check to ensure that these kind of extra safety features are incorporated into the design of your new locks. Another option is to purchase high tech keyless entry locks. Such devices are becoming more affordable and are now widely available from a variety of manufacturers. There are smart locks that enable you to open and close your locks with your cell phone, even remotely when you aren’t at home. These kinds of locks allow you to provide temporary access to maintenance professionals, older children or friends and family without duplicating keys. Some styles have key pads for creating number codes, RFID cards and/or biometric fingerprint features as well. 

Ready to Upgrade Your Home’s Security? Call the Professionals at Top Atlanta Locksmith 

Have you decided it’s time to invest in the quality of your home’s locks? Then call the experienced technicians at Top Atlanta Locksmith today. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is available to answer all your questions and can schedule a convenient appointment. 

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    Atlanta, GA 30329

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