Rule #2

Never pick a lock that you rely upon.

On the security of locks

We go to various events throughout the year teaching people how to pick locks. There’s a handful of questions that always come up. As I’m reading some of Chubb’s writings, this strikes me as relevant. This comes after the robbing of a jewelers in 1865. We’re often asked, “what lock should I buy?”

Allow us in reply to state that as manufacturers of many thousand safes of various strengths during the last 30 years, we have never known or heard in any instance of our make having been opened by the violence of thieves, although they have been subjected to attacks of every conceivable sort. We have met and baffled every successive phase of safe-breaking as it has arisen. Nor are we alone in this; it is only fair to our competitor, Mr John Tann, of Walbrook, to say that it was one of his excellent safes which preserved the bulk of Mr Johnson’s property.

It stands to common sense that the strength and security of safes and strongrooms should be proportioned to the value of their contents and their liability to attack. What would be quite sufficient as a secure safe for a dwelling house, with people nearly always about, would be absurd for a jeweler’s shop or a bank: and in these latter cases, safe within safe, of the strongest and best make, should always be adopted. Cheap safes are about the dearest things people can buy, notwithstanding the pretentions of their makers.

Without making any absurd claims of perfection, safemakers who understand their business will not be beaten by the thieves, but will make such practical improvements as may become necessary; still, the custodians of valuable property peculiarly liable to the attacks of burglars must remember that extra strength involves additional costs, and that reasonable care and watchfulness should not be dispensed with.

And a short excerpt from another piece.

…it must be understood that the thief seldom attacks the front of the house, particularly if it be on a street, except under peculiar circumstances.

In essence, the answer is: buy the lock that you will lock. For most of us, a thief will either find another way in (e.g. a brick through the window), or they’ll move on. If you have more valuable things to lock up, then spend more money on a nicer lock (I leave the debate of the quality of various locks to the reader).

Some cool old locks

I just wanted to post about some of these cool locks that showed up to our meeting this week. A newbie showed up with a box full of fun things. Pictured below are an Egyptian lock that he says is some 300-400 years old, and the top-inside of a cash box. The Egyptian lock has pins in the top of the large piece that drop into the bar that slides back and forth. The wooden toothbrush-looking key is used to push up on those pins and pull the bar back.

Not pictured are a couple of Bramah locks that he brought in. You may have read about these locks.

Lock teardown

Great video of a tear down of a great lock.

This is why I don’t put my locks online

Not everything needs to be connected to the Internet.

Locksport References

Elvencraft compiled a handy list of locksport references; books, videos, groups, anything you might be searching for.

Lockpick earrings

Just in time for, um, I don’t know. Some holiday.

Open a Master lock with a zip tie

I’m going to have to try a few things around the house.

TSA Master Keys

Oops. Washington post published a picture of the TSA master keys. Now you can 3D print your own.

Maker Faire 2015

We’re setting up a lock pick village at Maker Faire again this year. Come on by, pick locks and check out all the makers. We’ll have a 15 presentation every hour, followed by time for you to practice on our locks.

The Faire is on July 25 and 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm.