All you need to know about locks and picking them

Archive for February, 2011


Medeco is one of the best locks in the world for its price and let me tell you, that picking this lock is a great challenge and a very rewarding one.

I’m not a world leading expert with Medeco’s locks but I do have re pinning kits and a cutting machine.

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Medeco locks usually come with 5 or 6 pins. The lock has a side bar that is operated with the end of the pins.

On the key itself you would find 3 different angles Right, Centre and Left

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When cutting a key or picking the lock you must find what angle the pin is.
Here are few photos of the side bar and how the pins are set in:

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Jon King (  made a tool that can measure the angles and set them in place and after you set the side bar you can pick Medeco like any other pin tumblers lock.

However, you can build you own tool to do that and if you are patient enough you can pick the lock.

That’s an example of a wire (I used a different one) which can rotate the pins

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The side bar has a lane in the lock’s body:

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Marc Tobias is one of Medeco’s worst nightmares…. When bumping hit the news in America, Medeco quickly jumped on the train and showed how to bump locks just to sell more of their locks. Tobias made videos of him and his partner bumping and picking locks and even wrote a book about it

Anyway I will write more about this lock soon as there are many more sides to those lovely locks

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Here is Marc and myself in a meeting we had earlier this year

Kaba Lockpicking

In my book, the most important thing about lock picking is finding the pattern, because without it, it would be about hit and miss with locks, some times they will open in minutes and some times – won’t.

In the last few months I took a close look on some of Kaba’s locks and basically tried any trick with them, bumping, picking, Impressioning etc. I did have some success but couldn’t find a pattern for them so I was quite unhappy, as anyone would be when you pick a lock and can’t pick it again Sad

Kaba is a well known lock company from Austria and still one of the few that wasn’t bought by Assa-Abloy. Their dimple locks runs from an 8 pins to 16 with a 45 degree pins Shocked The big problem is that you get a 3 rows of pins that are very close to each other, so even if you set one side by picking the other side, you will reset what you’ve already picked.

However, after a lot of testing I saw that I need to modify picks/tension wrench as all the regular tools failed.

The tension wrench is made from an Ellen key and I had to twist my pick so it will hit the pins.

The picking sequence was left, right, up and then OVER LIFTING. The over lifting is basically to reset the pins that you’ve over set when picking the other row.

After several times the lock will have a small rotation and then it will open cheers

And finally  – here is a video, not the best of all times as Kaba picking is very much time consuming.


This is an IMilock that was made in Israel by a guy named Anatoly about 20 years ago.

The lock contains 9 pins and a side bar.

As you can see, the plug is cut through and you got 2 “trays” to fill the pins in.

The 2 dimple rows are very close to each other and unlike the BioLock for example, you can’t pick only one side.

Also the keyway is very tight.

Anatoly is a brilliant engineer that came from the USSR, but unfortunately he was a very bad businessman .

Coca Cola wanted to buy his patent from him but he thought he could do it on his own. He managed to get a big deal with the Israeli Mail Company, but the deal was called off  in the last minute, leaving him skint. For years to follow, he wasted his time in court, fighting them.

(Apparently, the deal was withdrawn because another company blackmailed the Israeli Mail Company into choosing her locks instead).

The IMilock was famous for its padlocks, which were very good, unfortunately the blanks was very expensive and most of the time out of stock, so locksmiths stopped selling this lock.

Here are some more pics Smile

Mul-T-Lock 3 in 1

Just a quick look on how this neat system works. The purpose of this lock is to give a free change key without changing the lock itself . I haven’t looked into other systems yet, but I reckon they all have the same principle more or less.

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The lock comes with 3 keys (usually green, yellow and red). The outer pins are all the same but the inner pins have a different end to them.

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The inner pins come with an extra ball that will break into the plug which has special holes for that.

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Here you can see the first key shear line. This key will work as long as you will put the next key in.

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The next key is inserted, but the key combination is different. The inner pin is lower in one step, and the little ball will now arise and break when the plug is turned, leaving the first key useless.

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And again now on pin number 5 . Lower combination key is inserted into the lock, leaving the second key useless.

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So this is the basic change key system. It can also be 5 in 1 system and as you can see, bumping this lock with the old key is very very easy.

Why pick a lock?

Lock picking is a great hobby and also could be a great way to make a living, though I know some very experienced locksmiths that never picked a lock in their life. The internet is a great factor in spreading this hobby – there are many great LP forums that usually support a LP shop. Most of the lock pickers are not even locksmiths but have a different day job, however when you get hooked you will find it to be a very satisfying sport.

Actually, it is very easy to get started and it is not very expensive either, but once you get better at it, you would basically want to put your hands on any locks you can get and increase your lock picking tools.

I still read sad comments about how noneducational hobby it is, but I doubt it if robbers are using bumping and LP methods. For a start, I would say that I never heard of any tool that can guarantee you a 100% success on a lock and since time is a factor I don’t think lock picking suits any given thief. However, lock picking takes a skill (and I’m not suggesting that thieves don’t have skills) but it’s not very likely that NDE methods are used.

Lock companies don’t like lock pickers! And a good reason might be that the video clips and demonstrations one can find on YouTube might damage the companies’ reputation. If a lock has many videos on YouTube,  it means that the company needs to come up with a better lock and a better lock means that some more LP would want to pick it, and probably some will do, so this circle  is not likely to stop.

Some more cynical people would say that posting blogs like this one and making videos on You Tube are all about ego.

Well, I personally think it’s more about taking a pride of your LP skills (as well as maybe some ego), but I do not think that there is something wrong with that.

So whether you are a beginner or an experienced LP, we need to take pride and joy of our sport!

Locks Bumping

Bumping is a method that existed for years, but only in the last few years it was been exposed to the public’s eye, mainly through the internet.

A bump key is actually a key that is cut to the highest position, when you hit that key some pins will jump and with the perfect timing it would be possible to turn the plug. Some very high security locks surrender to this method.

Here is how it works..

This is a Linca lock from Spain, this lock has 5 pins and a side bar

A Fab lock that is almost impossible to pick

A Yardeny lock from Israel with 10 pins

Kaba 12 pins lock

A 7 pins Herman dimple lock

Magnum 7 pins dimple lock from China

The world’s smallest bum key? Only 3 pins

A Dom lock

Gooood Morning Raf!

So, what do you say?

This will be my site, writing about something I am passionate about.. lock picking!