History of Lock Bumping
How did the fascinating technique of lock bumping get its start? When did this lock bypass system begin to come to the attention of the public? What’s that, anyway? Let’s explore the interesting history of lock bumping and look at a few important details pertaining to it.
Lock bumping has been around for a long time. Some estimates place the beginnings of lock bumping to about 50 years ago. This special technique allows a special type of key to be used in any lock of the same type. Most of the locks that are currently being manufactured are susceptible to the skilled use of a bump key.
Tumbler locks are the most widespread style of lock in use today. The system of pins is quite simple. A series of pins are spring-stacked to hold the rotating bolt of the lock mechanism in place. Because the pins are all different lengths, one usually uses a custom cut key to open the lock. The grooves on the key “tickle” the pins and lift them out of the way enough to let the bolt slide away, resulting in an unlocked door. However, a bump key can do the same job even though all its grooves are the same depth.
Public knowledge of lock bumping really began in the 1970’s, when Danish locksmiths distributed a method for bypassing the tumbler lock mechanism. They would tap on the side of the cylinder and simultaneously press the lock plug (in our case, one would press the back of the bump key). The vibration would cause the pins to become loose; once this happened, the lock plug could be removed easily.
The advent of bump keys came much later. Surprisingly, they were not even considered a security problem until 2002 or 2003. The German media was the first to pick up on the possible hazards of lock bumping keys. Other organizations published carefully considered reports on the uses, techniques, and hazards of lock bumping. Papers have also been written about the possible legal problems connected with bump key usage. Although in many States a bump key is considered by law to be a “burglary tool”, this is no reason to avoid them. This law is not going to harm you as long as you use the bump key for legitimate purposes. Currently, there must be proof that there was intent to use the bump key in a burglary before you can be charged with anything.
Lock bumping can be a beneficial skill. It is an easy way to get back in if you are locked out of your home or office. You can make a bump key for free with a simple file, and it takes minimal training to learn how to use it. Don’t ever go through the frustration of being locked out of your own home (or your own personal safe) again. Learn how to use a bump key and practice until you know you can get past the tumbler locks in your home. One day, you’ll be glad you did.
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