Video: The Danger of Bump Keys

A large percentage of residential locks are susceptible to a technique known as “lock bumping.” This is a trick that can quickly and easily unlock residential door locks. The mysterious disappearances of belongings from peoples’ homes is sometimes explained by this, since lock bumping gets a thief inside a home with no sign of a forced entry.

How it’s Done

Lock bumping is done using a specially cut key called a “bump key”.

The technique of using bump keys to open pin-and-tumbler locks that have been in use for over 80 years, the criminal use of bump keys has become popular within the past two or three years.

Clicking the video on this page can show you how easily this trick can be accomplished.

Unfortunately, entire sets of bump keys that fit the majorioty of residences can be easily purchased from online sources, many of whom are willing to sell to people who are not locksmiths. Even how-to videos are becoming readily available.

Legal Hole

One of the problems with bump keys is that they are not illegal. It is possible for just about anyone to purchase bump keys. Proving a crime has been committed can be a problem if there is no sign of forced entry. “Traditional” signs of burglary are pretty common: broken windows, broken locks or door frames. But with “bump key” entry, the only sign may be missing contents.


A host of methods are available as countermeasures for bump keys. If you are concerned about the possibility that someone may break into your residence this way, contact a competent locksmith to determine the best solution for you and your budget.

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What to do if you're locked out...

  • Call our 24/7 Emergency line, 888.595.KEYS (5397).
  • Remain in your car or somewhere you feel safe, such as a neighbor's house until we arrive.
  • Relax, we'll take care of the problem.