Everyone who learns to use a bump key has their reasons.
While some learn for selfish reasons like breaking into houses, others do so as a precautionary measure.
Well, I have kids and I believe in advance preparation, so I had to learn how to use a bump key as one of my survival techniques.
In fact, I have been teaching my family how to do it just in case they need to.
You never know; such a skill may save you a cold night or keep you safe in the middle of nowhere.
That’s why I thought of writing this article to guide you on how to use a bump key and the necessary details.
What is a bump key?
A bump key is a specially designed key used to bypass the security mechanisms in tumbler locks and traditional pin locks.
They are sometimes called 999 keys since their ridges are cut to a maximum depth of 999 in the key-making machine.
Such keys are easily made as an expert will take less than five minutes to make one.
In the same way, you can easily get one and learn how to use it.
How a bump key works
A bump key exploits the vulnerability in tumbler and pin locks that relate to pin stacks which are spring-loaded pins that protect the cylinder from being turned with other keys.
The two sets of pins are key pins and driver pins in a normal tumbler and pin lock.
Every pin stack in the lock has one key pin and one driver pin, both tightly pressed against each other in the way of a tiny spring pegged to the driver pin.
Each set of pins meets in a different point and that’s why a key is cut in different depths to accompany the intentional misalignment.
When you insert the correct key, all meeting points come into alignment, creating a shear line that allows the key to rotate freely and open the door.
Bump keys don’t align properly with the pins but instead disrupt them when struck by an object.
The energy produced is transferred to the pins making them jump, creating a temporary shear line that allows the intruder to turn and open the door.
A guide on how to use a bump key
People believe that keeping their doors locked protects them against theft.
The sad truth is, anyone who dedicates their time to practice using bump keys will take few minutes to pick a door lock.
A lot of door locks today are pin tumbler locks which can be picked effortlessly with bump keys.
Learning the use of bump keys is the same regardless of the intentions or reasons behind it.
Here is a simple guideline.
- Step 1: Push your bump key in the lock just like you do with a normal key
- Step 2: Once it’s in, pull back slowly until you hear or feel it click twice
- Step 3: With a blunt object, hit your bump key with a little force while applying some pressure so you can turn the key in the direction you need so it can open the lock.
The teeth of your bump key produce a small impact against the lower pins, which transfer energy to the upper pins making them rise above the cylinder as well as the shear line.
This separation of the bottom and top pins is very brief, though, at this moment, your lock cylinder is easily turned.
Using A Bump Key
Anyone who dedicates time to learning how to use a bump key can easily do so in a short time.
The above guidelines will direct you, especially since I explained the principle behind their functionality.
Take your time to learn and get one as it may come in handy when you list expect.
I am an independent safety and survival expert and consultant. I have over 15+ years of experience working with corporations and individuals to help identify, remediate and prepare for threats and and disasters. I help clients understand risks and blog about my thoughts and techniques at DisasterShelters.net