All you need to know about locks and picking them

Archive for March, 2011

Miwa lock

Locks from different parts of the world always makes me very curious,it’s nice to see different designs of locks  and  usually they do offer some different  protection of the lock.

This is a Miwa lock I got from a friend who had visited Japan about a year ago.At first glance the key looks normal with a double-bitted cuts but when I had a closer look I was amazed by how  this lock is designed (I would like to apologise for the quality of my pictures,but even a better photographer would have troubles showing this how beautiful this lock is)

The lock is operated by one side bar and seven sliders that moves inside the plug which is build like a tree house

Hope you can see the sliders -3 them are up to the left ,the other 4 are down

The key is very tight ,I did see a picking tool for this lock but I don’t think it will be very easy,impreesioning might be the best way

Here  is the side bar

All in all this is a very interesting lock and I do hope I will get more of them in the future!

EPG-Faster than A Key?


As a locksmith and a lock picker I have an enormous  amount of locksmith tools, I like buying tools and always willing to try something new ,but the real fact that on a real job my tool bag is not that full ,I will only use 4-5 different picks that would be the most likely to work.

The EPG (electric pick gun) is defiantly my first choose as it will save time and has a very high chances of success.

The first EPG I got cost me hundreds of Pounds ,it was an EPG from Wendt , a very powerful tool ,very heavy and uncomfortable as you have to carry the charger with you and basically would always fail on a real job..  (but will work great on the vice) . Back then I wasn’t that experienced and was still at the stage of thinking that the tool is doing the job for you which is ridiculous and there is not a single lock pick in the world that will pick a lock by itself.

EPG  however is  a time saver as it will require less skill but a good tension and a feel inside the lock is a must . non of my friends who never picked a lock in their life manged to pick a lock with the EPG .

So I sold the German tool to more appropriate  locksmith and got myself a Klom EPG which is a great tool with some great results,only trouble that I had to buy 2 more guns as they all died on me in less than 10 mounts each.

Last month my 3rd Klom stopped working so I decided to got a different EPG ,I have tried the HPC and didn’t like it so I had to choose from a Dino or Trade Locks EPG .

The Dino got some very good reviews from my friends but I was told you have to hold it upside down in order for him to work ,TL EPG was tested by Martin Pink which is in my opinion one of the most knowledgable locksmith in the world and I must add a very nice and helpful person so I went for TL’s EPG.

The EPG came in on Monday after which was the fastest delivery ever from the UK to Israel, I read the instructions very carefully and had to wait almost 2 hours for the battery to recharge and let me tell that it wasn’t easy with all the locks that were waiting to be tested. Any way this was done and off I went to pick some locks.

My first try was a disaster as I couldn’t pick any thing, I misunderstood how powerful the EPG is and broke 2 picks so I had to change strategy if I wanted anything done.

After a some modifications to the pick blades and trying different tension – in versions places of the key hole something unbelievable had happened -locks started to surrender like flies!

The most important point with using  EPG is the  tension ,it must  be very gentle and used in a way that won’t block the pick blade. I use this tension wrench that is placed in the bottom of the key allowing the blade to move freely

I’ve also changed the gun’s push buttons as I found it easier to operate with an on/off switch buttons instead of a button I would have to push.

In general I  would highly rate this tool but I guess I will have to wait and give it more time but I did look inside the tool and looks of a good quality.

I’ve also made this little carry bag for the tool with a side pocket

 Here is the EPG in action

Yale 6210


It is not that often that I get excited by a pin tumbler lock but this Yale lock I got this week is exceptional for its good design and clever sidebar and anti drilling points.

I couldn’t find much info on this lock but it says 6210 on the side and has a security card,the key is very heavy which indicates of a good quality .The side bar reminds me however of Evva DPI but in closer look it’s a different design


The side bar has 4 little “rollers” that will slide down if the correct key is inserted

The side bar without the key

The lock is very hard to pick even without the side bar ,you get some nasty mushroom pins and the pins are very accurate.

The lock’s plug has 2 anti drilling points and under pin number 2 there is an anti drilling point which was very hard to cut to make this cut away.

Picking this lock is very very  hard even when I can see the pins and know the key,I suspect that on a real door it would be a real nightmare . How ever after testing the lock I find it best to pick the plug pins and then use a sort wire to touch the side bar.

I will try to get another lock to see that the side bar is different on each lock ,however I think  some of  lock pickers friends would love to test that lock.

Keso 2000 Foil Picking


About a year ago I had a great meeting with Toools members from Holland and we even made a video together .

In the video I demonstrate a very cool dimple foil pick :

Lately I’ve decided to try more dimple locks with the foil method and I’ve had some good results(and some bad..)

The big  problem with dimple foil is that  in some key ways  it will tear the foil and it will be very hard to introduce a key that the foil won’t bend at some positions,also a deep cut near a low-cut can cause a problem.

The first lock I tested was a Keso 2000 ,this lock can be impressioned and picked but it would be very hard on a real door ,a simple solution is needed in here.

I  first tried to use a Keso blank to try foil but that didn’t work as the foil failed to enter the key way.I then tried some different blanks and different cutting of the key and found out that I can use a smaller shape blank and use a few layers of foils on a key meaning that if the first foil layer isn’t working after a few seconds then a second or even a third layer will open the lock.

 Here is a video of the Keso foil picking

I have 6 other Keso locks which ALL of them were opened in a very short time ,this tells me that this method of using a smaller key is working .

Also I stand correct Keso are made in Switzerland and not in Italy.

This is  the key after the picking

I’m currently working on some other locks like Kaba etc. I will keep you posted.

Dom Dimple Locks


Here is a quick view on 2 Dom locks I got

The top lock is  a Dom ix 5 HT  (Hope I’m not wrong)

The lower one is Dom ix 10 ,those are very good locks made in Germany

The Dom ix 5 is very interesting  as it got a sort of a trap pin and since it’s a very old lock I guess this is where the idea came from

Also it has one of the most nastiest  bottom pins I’ve ever seen!

Those pins have 2 rounds that can move inside of  them (like a brasless)

The ix 5 lock contains 5 pins and 5 side pins

 Here is the back of the plug with the other side pins,those pins will not effect picking but  they are great for master keying .

I did managed to bump this lock a while back though

The other Dom lock is the ix 10 which looks very hard to pick.

The  ix 10 contains 10 pins which are divided into 2 very close rows

The pins are rounded to the shape of the plug

Also there is plate cover on the other side of the plug which I belive is there so the plug can rotate smoother

Here are 2 of the bottom pins

I can safely say that the best way to pick this lock is via foil picking ,only trouble I see is the extracting of the key after,also the low pins might get overset (they would look like pin number 5)

I will try to test a few different methods with those fantastic locks ,will  keep you posted

For much more information I would advise to read Han fey’s fantastic articles about Dom locks


This is the famous Evva 3ks cylinder which in my opinion is one of the most fascinating and Sophisticated locks ever to be made.

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This lock is made in Austria and comes with a security card . keyway is different from what we usually see

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Here are a factory cutaways of Evva and Sea lock (from Zwitserland ) . The Sea lock has the same principle but the Evva is much more progressed.
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Evva 3ks has 12 different sliders, 6 on each side all of them have false notches. The are no springs but there is a  small sidebar at the bottom of lock which is operated from the side of the key.

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The lock is set by rows of pins that will go – – – – – –

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And a false set.
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Here is an example of how the pin is set on the key.You need to get 12 of this set in their right place,since there are no springs it must be picked simultaneously ,other problem is when you pick one side moving to the next side will overset the first side.

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To make things worse (for a lock picker not for the lock) the down side of the plug has another sort of side bar which reacts to the other bow of the key.

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Here is a look inside the plug and the rest of the lock(it has an anti brake secure steel)

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Riders on the Storm

New lock picking tools are creating quite a buzz in the various lock picking forums, I haven’t tried them myself yet but the general impression  so far is  very good.

These picking tools are made in the UK by Storm And I think they can be an answer for our humble requests –  flexible lock picks, which are thin enough with a good grip and for the right price…

There is still no price for these picks yet but I think it would be possible to buy each pick individually which is  a good  thing since each LP has his own 2-3 favorite picks.

Also Strom did a very good move by sending out free samples to various forum members so  a reliable and honest comments may help any potential buyer  to decide


I really wish that Storm will make it as it is important  for us LP to have a good lock picking manufacture designer which we can work together  as locks are getting more more complex now with trap pins and sidebars and a good relationship between us and the manufactures can help us help them.Also those picks are made in Great Britain which I’m sure  are made of  good Quality


I will  keep an update of those lovely picks prices and info

Here is Strom’s website


Mila Evolution


This is a Mila Evolution lock I got from Mikey from England. It’s a pretty good design I think and very interesting  as it is possible to pick or bump this lock but a nasty surprise then waits as the plug  starts to turn -the trap pins.

I’ve already seen trap pins on a Kale lock before and thought it was very clever as it will eliminate most picking possibilities except imprisoning.

This Mila Evo lock contains 6 pins but the trap pins will only effects  pins 2-4.

The plug is trapped in this position by the trap pins that are pushed into the pins holes which are not “full” with the pin (as they should have been with the key inside)

However it is possible at least with the lock I have to SPP the pins again so the  trap pins will be pushed down again.I also managed to find another way of using 5 different blanks that are cut into different heights while using a very thin wire to push the high pins you can turn the plug.

I will need to test a plug spinner on this lock as I think it might be able to turn it very fast .

BTW re pinning this lock was a complete nightmare as I had to build (or cut) a plug for those trap pins,also it took me 2 hours to find one trap pin that jumped out of the plug -so beware 😀