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OFFICIAL THREAD: can't get bump keys to work


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#61 ropeadope

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:44 AM

Well, if you can't figure out anything from these pictures I took earlier (which probably won't show you anything too interesting) then I'll PM you with my address and such. I was hoping I can do it on my own, but I don't feel like I've gotten too close after 1000+ attempts. I can bump a masterlock like 8 out of 10 times now, so I'm glad I got something working well, or else I wouldn't of wanted to continue this en devour. That definitely gave me confidence, but I haven't had any luck with kwikset locks still.

Anyhow, I've been filing the key how you suggested, filing down all the grooves to (or very close to) the 'solid blade' of the key...or so I think. I noticed even as much as i've took of the tip of the key, it's still not too much different from my house key. Not sure why that is, I've shaved a lot off of the tip of the key, surely more than the standard amount people are recommended to file off. The peaks look perfect now, I only modified the last peak. It looks very similar to the photo where you colored in (the key on the right side in the photos posted earlier).

Pics came out crappy again, not sure how I got such good pics that one time. I placed my bump key closest to working directly on top of my house key in the pics. Thought that might help a bit, but dunno.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Oof, blurtastic. Ah well, better than nothing I suppose. I tried to color in the edges more so they're easier to see kinda.

Thanks again.

#62 Npimpfellow

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:08 PM

I ordered a set of keys from ebay and have still been unable to successfully bump any lock I've tried. I can feel some of the pins fall back in place when I loosen my finger on the key so I know that I'm doing somthing right but I just can't seem to get them all to bump at the same time. Anyway I'm waiting for my keys to come from bumpkey.us and I will try my luck with those. Luckily I have a key machine at work I can use anytime to copy keys. Also I was planning on buying a set of locks from the hardware store to use for practice.
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#63 theopratr

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:18 PM

I ordered a set of keys from fleabay and have still been unable to successfully bump any lock I've tried. I can feel some of the pins fall back in place when I loosen my finger on the key so I know that I'm doing somthing right but I just can't seem to get them all to bump at the same time. Anyway I'm waiting for my keys to come from bumpkey.us and I will try my luck with those. Luckily I have a key machine at work I can use anytime to copy keys. Also I was planning on buying a set of locks from the hardware store to use for practice.


Fleabay keys are generally pretty horrible. If you would like input as to how to possibly make them work, post pictures on the forums. If you are getting falling pins, it sounds as though some of your grooves are perhaps not cut as deep as they need to be. I'd recommend filing down the grooves a tad to start off with.

#64 Npimpfellow

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:38 PM

[quote name='theopratr][quote=Npimpfellow']I ordered a set of keys from fleabay and have still been unable to successfully bump any lock I've tried. I can feel some of the pins fall back in place when I loosen my finger on the key so I know that I'm doing somthing right but I just can't seem to get them all to bump at the same time. Anyway I'm waiting for my keys to come from bumpkey.us and I will try my luck with those. Luckily I have a key machine at work I can use anytime to copy keys. Also I was planning on buying a set of locks from the hardware store to use for practice.[/quote]

Fleabay keys are generally pretty horrible. If you would like input as to how to possibly make them work, post pictures on the forums. If you are getting falling pins, it sounds as though some of your grooves are perhaps not cut as deep as they need to be. I'd recommend filing down the grooves a tad to start off with.[/quote]
I used the key cutter to go as low as I dared and I sharpened the slope also. I think I'm going to just wait for my keys from bumpkey.us to come in and copy those to use, these ebay keys are about worthless I think!
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#65 diggnation

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 11:12 AM

I've got a Corbin 59 series key and locks. I got this bump key made at a locksmith, so I think it's cut correctly. I filed down the tip and shoulder, but I cant get it to work. I've successfully bumped into my house with a kwikset key I filed myself, so i think i have a basic understanding of the bumping process. What do you guys think?

Picture of a blank, and the cut key (modified tip and shoulder)
Posted Image

#66 aquateam

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 10:25 PM

Hey guys, new user here. I have obtained a few spare BEST cores from a friend of mine who is head janitor (and in charge of security) at a local elementary school. I thought it would be a fun project, ordered some blanks, and made a bump key for one of them. I saw a few other posts here (the recent one in which the user was trying to break into his university or something) about this, but I'm not sure exactly what I can do to improve it. I don't have any pictures (my camera is on the fritz), but it looked similar to this, minus the crack, and with a little more edge on the keys. Also, I did not file the entire end the way that person did, I think that might have caused his/her problem with their key.

Are BEST cores especially hard to bump, or am I just doing something wrong? In another forum someone said they could be bumped, but I have never seen nor heard of anyone bumping one. Given their popularity here in America, I wanted to see if I could use this common technique to undo them, but perhaps BEST is more ahead of the game than other manufacturers. They are very secure locks from what I hear. In that above linked post users here had some good suggestions, one of them being about the spacing, which I just kind of guessed at based on the keys he gave me with the set, which might be the problem. But I am beginning to wonder if they simply cannot be bumped at all. My previous (and first) bump project was on a Kwikset on my house and that went easy enough, but perhaps the fact that it was in a door helped somewhat.

Anyway, suggestions are greatly appreciated. I still can't believe how well this technique works and why more companies don't address it. I had never even heard of it until recently when a musician friend of mine (who happens to be a locksmith) told me about it.

#67 ropeadope

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 11:28 PM

Good news!...sorta. I finally decided to stop being a cheap bastard and bought a kwikset lock from Lowes. So I got it out, set it up, and bumped it...no problem. It's so easy to bump, I can do it pretty much every time. Theopratr was nice enough to send me a kwikset bump key he made himself. I didn't need to use it on this lock though I just used bump keys I already had before that never seemed to work. It didn't surprise me much that it was so easy to bump, even though I've tried a thousand times on my home kwikset locks with no success. I knew something was up. And I still can't bump my home kwikset locks, doesn't even feel like I'm close to doing it. Yet the one I just bought from the store I have no problem bumping at all.

So I don't know what's so different about my home kwikset locks, they look the same. I think maybe because my original house key has no pointy peaks, it's impossible to bump maybe. My house key has bumps (it's not a blank in otherwords), but not any triangular peaks. Weird stuff. I have a feeling I could bump many other kwikset locks now if I wanted to, just not the ones to my house for some reason...I guess that's a good thing security wise :P

#68 theopratr

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 11:35 PM

I certainly don't want you posting pictures of your house key online... but are you sure that your Kwikset house keys at home are KW1s and not KW10s? If you were trying to defeat a six pin lock, that would explain your Kwikset issues in one fell swoop. I know that you probably know the difference, but if your locks were to simply be marked "KWIKSET", it's something that's easily overlooked just due to the fact that the KW1 is so common.

Also, this brings up another possibility. You know your bump keys work now, just not on these locks...

How old are they? Some locks that were installed ages ago can get rather messy inside, due to simple wear and tear and weathering and the like. Corrosion or mechanical imperfection can result, making the lock difficult to bump. If you purchase some graphite lubricant, you can't go wrong. It's just a dry powder that you blow into the lock, and it's complete non-corrosive. It essentially makes anything very slippery, so the components move over each other easily. It will make the internals of the lock run like clockwork. It's easy to tell if a lock is fouled up if you're picking it, not so easy if you're bumping, so there's no harm in trying it. You can get it anywhere from a hardware store to Walmart, just look around their key-copying stations or hardware sections, a decent sized tube shouldn't run you more than two bucks.

And the last possibility is that you have a nasty, very low-keyed lock on your house which is one of those few and far between locks that are nearly impossible to bump.

#69 ropeadope

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 03:21 PM

Well, I already posted a pic of my housekey earlier, so you can still check it out if you want.

The locks are fairly old, but I wouldn't say they are any older than most locks people have. I think one of my kwikset locks was replaced about a year ago.

I'm still kinda baffled. I have no problem bumping my masterlock, and no problem bumping the kwikset lock I just bought from the store. I can do the pull out method, minimal movement, no prob. Though again, with my house locks, can't bump them at all, after over 1000 tries with all different kinds of bump keys and different methods and such. I really can't figure it out.

I'm actually not sure what type my kwikset locks are. My house key has a '66' on it, and other housekeys have KW1 on them, so I've always figured they were 5 pin locks. But, the 6 pin key you sent me is the same length as my house key, but so is my 5 pin bump key. And also, I have another 6 pin kwikset key that I got one of the sets I bought off fleabay, and it's a good deal longer than my house key. So I don't know what to think, I'm just real confused on why I can't bump my house locks. Even though it's not necessary that I do so, I'm curious as to why they seem so bump-resistant.

#70 Customer Support

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 03:30 PM

I'm curious as to why they seem so bump-resistant.


Something that's been working wonders around here is using some lubricant inside of the lock. Just a quick dad inside seems to make a world of difference.

Have you tried using any type of lub ?

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#71 theopratr

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 10:28 PM

Thank you, slick. You have summed up what I was about to say in a much tidier fashion.

It should be noted that the key I sent to you, ropeadope, was a five pin key with extra cuts, and would need special modification of the shoulder to have a prayer of working on a six pin. Thus, it is, in fact, a five pin key, as it seems is your house key.

So, go get yourself some graphite and see if that helps. Some locks that have several very deep cuts are very, very difficult to bump, which might be what it boils down to in the end.

#72 Customer Support

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 11:35 PM

I've read something very interesting online:

[quote name='http://www.wesh.com/iteam/10224422/detail.html']An even easier and cheaper option -- and probably the best one for apartment renters -- is to spray some WD-40 into the lock. This lubricates the pins, and while it doesn't make the lock bump-proof, it does enable the pins to move more freely and make it more difficult for a thief to actually bump the lock.[/quote]
I'm not quite sure what their talking about... but we've found it DEFINITELY helps to have a lubricated lock. Anyone else wanna weigh in on this?

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#73 theopratr

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:20 AM

The person who wrote that article is clearly ignorant as can be. Although they spoke with a "forensic locksmith", he obviously didn't tell the author much about bumping. In my experience, a little lubrication makes bumping many locks, especially high security locks, much easier.

The downside is that although WD-40 is not water based (being almost completely petroleum distillate), it can be mildly corrosive over time and/or leave a nasty residue in a closed area such as a lock. No respectable lock manufacturer will ever recommend using a liquid lube in a lock. Always use a dry lube, such as graphite, as it is completely inert and longer lasting.

The idiot that wrote it probably thought that the springs don't push back hard enough in an unlubricated lock or something... but hey, if I get a call to open a door, it might as well be lubricated to prevent bumping when I bump it open.

#74 BLK

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 06:07 AM

Slickj: Obviously, the writer of that stuff did not know what they were talking about. There is not enough surface tension in the small amount of WD-40 that would actually get to the pins and springs to prevent a good, solid thwack on a bump key from being effective. They seem to have gotten their info from the bull's side of the cow pasture, if you catch my meaning.

Theopratr: Lube does make bumping easier. If someone has already put WD-40 in a lock, adding that nasty graphite will really make a gummy mess. In fact, I have had to take quite a few locks apart and clean out the graphite based sludge from where someone had sprayed a liquid lube into a graphite lubed lock. And such a mess it is. I personally use Tri-Flow. The stuff really makes locks function easily and it smells good to me. A 4 oz. can has lasted 2 years. I lube every lock I work on with it. If the lock has signs of graphite, I clean it out with a little extra Tri-Flow, no sludge, very little mess. It is silicone based, so it is not corrosive.

Ka Ching....my 2 cents worth.
Bump it to the next level.

#75 ropeadope

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 03:11 AM

Thanks again folks, this thread has been really helpful to me, and I'm sure it will be for many others in the future.

So I'll be able to find graphite lubricant pretty easily in a hardware store I imagine...not exactly sure where in the store it would be though.

#76 theopratr

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 03:47 PM

Most major retailers keep it near the locks and keys... with the emphasis on the keys. If they cut keys, the graphite will be found amongst the keychains and specialty key-related accessories.

Otherwise you will definitely be able to find some near the normal lubricants (WD-40, etc.) in any hardware store.

#77 ropeadope

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 05:21 PM

More thanks.

I wonder if it will really help much though because my house key has no problems sliding in/out or twisting, but I can tell when I put my bumpkey in there it doesn't feel right. I'll give it a shot though and post about it later.

#78 hughes8049

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 08:40 PM

OK, I'm probably going to sound just like everyone else complaining that they can't get their keys to work. The first day I got my keys (the 11 key set) I tried to bump a kwickset lock on my shed. I tried about 100-110 times and somehow got lucky once. When I realized I was really going to need a lot of practice I decided to start with the M1 key in a standard Master Lock. I haven't even been able to bump it one time in a week and a half. I have tried barely touching the key to pushing fairly hard. I have also tried barely tapping the key to hitting it hard enough to break the skin on my fingertips when I missed. All the videos make it look so easy and I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. The reason I wanted to learn this skill is my job. I am a firefighter and sometimes we have to make entry into peoples homes. When this happens we break their window when all else fails. I thought it would be nice to be able to enter w/o causing property damage. For this reason I would prefer to learn the pull out method, so I don't have to carry around illegal keys. Does anyone have any advice not already listed in the forum??

#79 BLK

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 08:59 PM

[quote name='hughes8049']OK, I'm probably going to sound just like everyone else complaining that they can't get their keys to work. The first day I got my keys (the 11 key set) I tried to bump a kwickset lock on my shed. I tried about 100-110 times and somehow got lucky once.[/quote]

You might not want to bump locks that you depend on as it is possible to damage the lock or break a key off in it making it not usable.

[quote] When I realized I was really going to need a lot of practice I decided to start with the M1 key in a standard Master Lock. I haven't even been able to bump it one time in a week and a half. I have tried barely touching the key to pushing fairly hard. I have also tried barely tapping the key to hitting it hard enough to break the skin on my fingertips when I missed.[/quote]

The keyword is PRACTICE, and lots of it. Every lock is different and no 2 locks made by the same manufacturer will work exactly the same. Practice.

[quote] All the videos make it look so easy and I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. [/quote]

Ever heard the expression, "believe only half of what you see"? I can repin a lock so it is very easy to bump and then video it to make it look easy...or just get lucky and find one that is easy in the first place.

[quote]The reason I wanted to learn this skill is my job. I am a firefighter and sometimes we have to make entry into peoples homes. When this happens we break their window when all else fails. I thought it would be nice to be able to enter w/o causing property damage. [/quote]

People have insurance. Go ahead and break the window. It's paid for. You are a firefighter, you need to get in quickly, just break the glass or the door frame or whatever it takes to get in and do your job.


[quote]For this reason I would prefer to learn the pull out method, so I don't have to carry around illegal keys.[/quote]

You are a firefighter, you can legally carry any kind of entry tools including modified keys. [/quote]

[quote]Does anyone have any advice not already listed in the forum??[/quote]

Just the standard advise: don't bump locks you depend on, practice a lot, use the search feature of this and other forums before asking a question, read everything you can about locks and how they work, make extra copies of your bump keys before you start banging on them (hint: save the originals to make more copies of when you have messed up all of the copies).
Bump it to the next level.

#80 Customer Support

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 09:09 PM

Hughes,

Sorry to lock your other thread. We've been trying to keep everything as streamlined and combined as possible.

I've found the M1 requires more tension than, for example, a KW1 lock.
When striking the key (any key) try to strike the bottom of the key with a slight upward motion ( make sense?).

For the KW1 key you BARELY want to apply pressure... Barely any at all. Keep in mind that you CAN use a KW10 key on a KW1 key way. If you want to try using a KW10 on a KW1 key way... try pulling the KW10 out pretty much all the way. While using your thumb to apply pressure, strike the key repeatedly until it opens. This works when you don't know if it's a KW1 or a KW10...

Anyone else had success with this method ?

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