What are Bump Keys – How Do They Work?

Posted on October 28, 2010 by Jaece Hogue

Lock bumping, which is commonly known as ‘rapping’ or ‘key bumping’ is a technique that is supposed to be known only to locksmiths; however, burglars know this technique as well. This puts an individual, their family, AND their possessions in danger of robbery. Lock bumping works well in the homes with older locks (the ones with the internal tumblers). Take a look at this video on how to make and use a bump key and see what you think.

Pretty unsettling, isn’t it?

And what is even MORE unsettling is the fact that there are MANY videos out there, similar to this one, on how to do this exact thing; many of those ‘bad guys’ are out there, watching and learning from videos just like this one.

To explain further, a bump key is made by taking a key that already fits into a particular brand of lock and filing it down; then when using the newly filed down key in a lock along with using a tool or some sort to hit the key, or bump it, until the pins bounce and open the lock. The action being similar to the motion of the parts of this popular desktop toy.

Newton’s Cradle

This sort of burglary accounted for more than two thirds of the United States burglaries in 2006 according to Consumer Reports.

Thankfully, there are ways to help to prevent the damages that could result from this happening; homeowners can take steps to help to protect their family AND their property.

  • Buy a premium, high-end lock. Cheap locks do not offer the same advantages as the more expensive; remember that old expression, “You get what you pay for.” The more expensive locks, such as those offered by A-1 Locksmith, have more compound mechanisms, making them less susceptible to bumping.
  • Buy and install a slide-bolt lock. Bump keys do not work as well to open a slide bolt.
  • Use different types of locks such as magnetic and rotating disc locks, electronic and combination locks. These types of locks are not at risk of bumping.
  • Install a security system. Adding a security system can deter a burglar from entering the home.
  • Invest in a dog. A loud and noisy dog is known to help discourage burglars from entering a home.

For all of your locksmithing needs, call A-1 Locksmith at (972) 284-7500 for the call center or for Emergency service, call (972) 284-7516. A-1 Locksmith offers competitive pricing and years of experience and is a name you CAN trust.

Back to Blog

Send Us a Message