It is true that we are far from Halloween and this is a total horror story. You don’t need to be a key expert to know that tumbler locks can be picked with little skill and a few tools. Locksmith in Miami knows that this frightening truth has been around for years, and most people are realizing now that the tumbler lock variety can be easily opened just by using a copied key.
This method is called key bumping or bump keying. Our Miami locksmith knows this method has to do with the technique of cutting the edges of a key in different dented and sharped shapes. These keys allow any burglar even on amateur to break into any home. They do it in less time that it takes to download any security app.
Pin tumbler locks
Now, to understand key bumping works, we need to know how the pin tumbler locks work. The mechanism for these bolts is fairly simple. These contain in the inside of the cylinder two kinds of pins, the key pins, and the driver pins.
When the bolt is in a locked position, both sets of pins occupy the same pinhole and are pushed together by a spring, which prevents the rotation of the core.
When these pins are aligned, the separation between the set of pins and between the core and the housing creates a shear line, allowing the plug to rotate inside the lock cylinder.
When the correct key is inserted in the keyhole, it pushes the pins to align along the shear line (this means that the gaps between the pins are aligned with the edge of the lock) which allows the latch to rotate the core and unlock the bolt, ultimately giving you access to the door
A bump key, on the other hand, works a little bit differently, since its cut with unique sharped picks and wide valleys, a bump key is not designed to align the pins, but to impact the pins under force.
When a bump key is inserted into the tumbler lock, it relies on the spring tension of the pins to align it. The lock bumpers apply the impact force or as we call it “bump” to force the key deeper into the lock causing the pins to jar and the driver pins to “jump” just for a second or less. Once these are forcedly aligned, the shear line is created to turn the core and open the lock.
Researchers estimate that nearly 2/3 of all break-ins occur with no sign of forced entry, and although we cannot determine how many of these are due to key bumping, we can rest assure that there is a significant number attributed to it as we now know that Pin tumbler locks are vulnerable to key bumping.
How to make a bump key?
For many years, professional locksmiths have used different methods and tools to bypass pin and tumbler locks, mostly for legal purposes. Creating a bump key requires different tools to achieve the particular key cuts required. For most amateur locksmith or lock bumpers, these keys can be made at home, although it can be quite challenging to make a bump key correctly with just a file and they must be made form a key that already fits a particular lock. Still, key bumping is a standard technique used by thieves, and we highly recommend that are careful when choosing your entry lock security.