How Bump Key Works

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A bump key is a specific key for picking pin-tumbler locks.  It’s a bit like a master key in that it will work with every lock of the same type. However, it’s not picking in the true sense as bumping is the method used, hence the name bump key. Whenever you have a lockout and call a locksmith for help, a bump key is one of the tools they use to get you out of a lockout situation. Locksmith Menlo Park provides a number of automotive, residential and commercial services all over the area.

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To fully understand how bump keys work you need to have a little knowledge of how pin-tumbler locks work. Pin-tumbler locks have a series of spring-loaded pins of varying heights.  So, to open, the pins need to be above the shearing line to enable the cylinder to rotate in the lock.  The correct key for a lock pushes the pins to the correct heights.

A bump key inserts into the lock almost to the shoulders of the key. Then struck, usually with a bump hammer. So, the action of the bump key is akin to seeing Newton’s cradle. In that the pins will bounce and hop above the shear line for a fraction of a second.  If a small rotational force is applied to the bump keys at the same time the lock can be opened.

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Bump Keys Work Principal

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Basically, what bump keys will do is move the pins to either side of the shear line for an instant. First, the bump key is placed in the lock. Put it all the way in, make sure it is touching all the pins. Pull it out one click. Then, if you cannot hear the click. Look for the beginning of the first groove closest to the bow of the key.

Strike the bow of the key with a hammer as you turn the key in the lock. Hence, what this process is doing, is striking all of the key pins with enough kinetic energy to send the pin stacks flying up into the bible. The hope is that when you turn the key you will be turning it when the drivers are above the shear line and the key pins are below. Because this method relies quite a bit on luck, it helps to try it several times.

So, whenever you need a any emergency lockout services, call Locksmith Menlo Park and we will be at your service right away.

Need Locksmith Services? Give Us a Call (650) 419-3433