Bump Keys Can Unlock Most Doors

on Mar 8, 2016

Bump Key

Typical Bump Key

Criminals intent on breaking into your home can use a bump key to get past 90-95% of the most common front door locks.

Lock bumping is a form of lock-picking that uses specially created bump keys that are designed to literally “bump” the lock pins one by one.  The criminal uses the laws of physics and a specially crafted lock-cracking device to defeat door locks.   If a thief gets to your deadbolt with one of these keys and a bit of know-how he can easily defeat the lock and get into the front door.  While key bumping can be noisy, it’s not always detected – and it is certainly not as noisy as someone breaking down a door or cracking a window.

LOKmate prevents entry through a door even if its deadbolt is attacked with a bump key.

Here’s a news story explaining the issue:

Think of bump keys as special keys that can be used like universal keys. Using a quick tap with a hammer on the key compromises the lock. Bump keys are widely available on eBay, Amazon and through a range of other sellers.  Using a bump key is a very fast form of entry for locksmiths, law enforcement, repo men or armed forces. In recent years this method has become widely available to criminals intent on getting into homes.

Bump keys must be made to fit particular brands of locks, these keys are widely available and inexpensive, even where they are illegal.   They can also be created by hand with the right tools by modifying another key that works with the same lock. These similar locks have the same “keyway.” A keyway is the path that allows a key to enter into a lock even if it is not cut to fit that lock. Normally different keys from Kwikset locks can enter any Kwikset lock, but only a key that is properly cut for that lock can open it.  That is unless someone uses a bump key that is cut for the same keyway.

There are only three keyways that fit most deadbolt locks in the United States. The Kwikset KW1, the Schlage SC1, and the Schlage SC4 are the three most common keyways.  If you have a key from the same keyway as the target lock, even if it does not fit that lock, the key can be modified to become a bump key for that target lock. Bump keys are also known as a bumping key, a rapping key or a 999 key.

One of the many benefits of LOKmate is that it can prevent entry through a door, even when a thief is using a bump key.