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What is a bump key?


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#1 Customer Support

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Posted 20 October 2000 - 06:01 PM

Bump keys are keys with all the cuts at or slightly below the deepest level for a key made by the manufacturer, and a small amount of material removed at the tip, and, where applicable, at the shoulder - the part of the key that prevents the key from entering the lock too deeply. By sharply hitting the bump key, it is possible to apply an even impact to each pin column, which then separates as if struck using a pick gun. Bump keys will work in many locks that pick gun needles will not fit into.
Since these keys are cut to the deepest level they are often reffered to as '999 keys'.

Bump keys can be made by hand. One problem that many have while making bump keys is that there is a lot of inconsistency between each key that is made. The best, and most effective way to obtain a bump key is to order one online.

You would think a locksmith would cut a key for you... guess again! Most probably won't cut you a bump key if you ask for it by name, and if you give him the "code" for a bump key (debatably, "10,10,10,10,10" for most key types or "7,7,7,7,7" for a Kwikset, though some would say 9s or 6s), you're definitely going to raise his eyebrows. Not only that, but locksmiths are now aware what people are doing with these "999" keys.

A bump key is a key in which all the cuts are at maximum depth. Bump keys are sometimes called '999' keys because all cuts are at maximum depth. (Dimple locks are 777 keys).

By The Way... the reason why they say a 10-10-10 key is better is because if you have a pin that requires a 9 cut depth then when you pump it you are more likely to knock the bottom pin past the sheer line. So, the easy solution is to just go a little bit deeper.

The reason you have heard so much more about the depth cuts is because the pins rest in those depths and if one of the pins being bumped has to stay low so that it doesnt shoot up and block the shear line, the maximum depth cut would allow the longest pin to rest all the way down so that wouldnt happen.

As a bump key is made, there is a relationship with the peaks and valleys. As you cut deeper into the key, let's say depth 9 on a Schlage SC1 key, a peak which is surrounded by two 9 cut valleys shaped like this \_/ will automatically be a certain height.

When you actually 'bump' the key here's what's going on: think of the row of metal balls that when you swing the right most ball at the row of balls, the balls transfer the energy to the left most ball and since it has an equal mass as the right most ball, only it swings up.

Basically all the sides of the cuts touch the buttom of all the pins and when the key is struck, energy is transfered to the top pin causing it to bounce up - leaving the buttom pin in place.

#2 shadow

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 06:10 PM

.. so if i ask for a 999 key, they will give me a bumpkey? :roll:


what number is it for a regular house key?


I FRIKKIN asked for a bumpkey and the locksmith had no idea what it was.

#3 mrwhite

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 12:13 PM

the "regular" house key code here in the US would be a Kwikset cut to 77777. If you were to ask a guy operating a coded key machine, he would most likely just wonder why you're asking for that, and probably not put 2 and 2 together. BUT- if you DO run across someone who knows what is going on in the world around him(rare in hardware stores, unfortunately), you'll get either a guy who won't do it, or a guy who gives you 20 questions about WHY, and possibly asking you for ID or something to record your identity...

#4 Kristic

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:17 PM

the "regular" house key code here in the US would be a Kwikset cut to 77777. If you were to ask a guy operating a coded key machine, he would most likely just wonder why you're asking for that, and probably not put 2 and 2 together. BUT- if you DO run across someone who knows what is going on in the world around him(rare in hardware stores, unfortunately), you'll get either a guy who won't do it, or a guy who gives you 20 questions about WHY, and possibly asking you for ID or something to record your identity...


I have ran into the problem of places not having coded key machines. I have only ran into key duplication

#5 mrwhite

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 02:33 PM

You will have a jolly time finding a place with both a coded machine, and the operating character who would be willing to cut you such a key without the original.

#6 Travis

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 11:58 PM

I got a guy at a HW store to make me a Kwikset key, but I think I would be pushing my luck if I went back for 1 more of every popular lock brand :-P
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#7 warwagon

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 04:01 PM

So what depth are Bumpkey US Kwikset keys set to? 7 or 9

#8 BLK

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 04:53 AM

So what depth are Bumpkey US Kwikset keys set to? 7 or 9


KW1 (and KW10) are cut to 7.

999 is a misnomer. Or, better, an easy way to say 'the deepest cut on this particular key.'

SC1 is actually a 99999 cut at the deepest cut. PZ1 would be a 77777. etc.

Also, the spacing between cuts and the length of the cut are different for these 3 examples. Also, the difference between the depth of a 1 and 2 cut is different for each. Lots of keys, lots of variables.
Bump it to the next level.

#9 warwagon

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 04:45 PM

Thank you sir...

#10 LogiGoi

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 10:05 AM

Therefore it would be best to have a 999 key right? Or is it possible that there will be door locks that are designed not be bypassed by a 999 key but can be bypassed by a 777 key? Thanks in advance.



#11 redcity

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 01:16 PM

Therefore it would be best to have a 999 key right? Or is it possible that there will be door locks that are designed not be bypassed by a 999 key but can be bypassed by a 777 key? Thanks in advance.

Well generally 999 key works good with majority of door locks but nowadays we have different companies offering unique models so yes, there might be a chance that we need to think out of the box