All you need to know about locks and picking them


Impressioning is the art of making a working key for a lock without having to dismantle any part of it.

In my opinion, it is a “must have” skill to any working locksmith, and also a great fun for the hobbyist.

I was first introduced to this method by Barry Wels from Toool Holland. It was in his hotel room at 2 am when he made a working key to a Corbin within 3 minutes or so. I then got a nice kit from UKBK and started practicing by myself. My first key took almost an hour, so I decided to practice at least 3 locks a day and the results came – I was finally able to impression a key in a few minutes.

In order to use this method, all you need is a blank key and a good hand file.

Here is an example of how it works:

This set was bought from ukbk and it is very good one:

After some practicing I moved on to more high-security locks

Mul-T-Lock Garrison

Kaba 12 pins lock

A Tubular key

I then moved to vehicle locks. Car locks are a different game, as you will need to get 8 different wafer but only 4 at each side. This means that you can only use the key in one direction. Most of  the car locks will have 8 wafers with only 4 heights, the exception were Fiat lock with 9 wafers and a Hyundai lock with 5 heights

This is a Mazda key

After the key opens the lock, you will need to cut a new one on a cutting machine, cutting both sides on each side of the key to make it work in both direction

This is a good impression aid I got from Hong-Kong lock picking site

This is a plug I made for marking the pins positions

And finally, a short video with a different approach to impressioning


10 responses

  1. Satan

    Fantastic to watch mate, and a lot of ideas and information there !! Very well done on a great site !

    May 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm

  2. Lock-Ed

    Great job! On your whole site!
    I have done a bit of impressioning lever- and cylinder-locks, but I am now looking at car-locks. Could you please give us the address for your Hong kong supplier? I have already ordered a fair amount of car-tools from keymam, apollo and lockpick-me.


    May 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

    • raf

      Hello there Ed from Norway and thank you for your comments.

      I got the car roller from HKLOCK Which is the best lock tools distributor in HK

      Here is a direct link to the tool

      I find lever locks impressioning to be quite difficult as the key tends to brake.



      May 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      • Lock-Ed

        Thank you, for the information!

        I have looked on their website previously, but missed this one c;) Will maybe send you an email later on, with some other questions and info.

        So long,

        May 25, 2011 at 10:24 am

      • raf

        You’re welcome! and speaking of which. I’ve just meet 2 of your locksmiths association members in the ELF convention and next year it will be in Norway so maybe I could see you there



        May 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm

  3. Lock-Ed

    Yes, I am planning to go to Lillehammer! This year I was away on vacation.

    I was looking for your email address, but maybe you can see mine? If you send me a line, I will send you some pictures of my recent car-opening tools and impressioning aid.

    So long,

    May 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

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