Why Can’t The Locksmith Pick My Lock?

Unable To Pick Lock

There are many valid reasons as to why your lock can not be picked. Perhaps the door lock is a high security type. These are usually much more difficult to get around and pretty much impossible to pick open. Most high security lock cylinders have more than one locking point within the cylinder. A sidebar makes these locks virtually unpickable.

Perhaps the lock on your door is a Schlage residential grade 2 deadbolt. When Schlage manufactures the B-520 deadbolts they use what are known as mushroom or I Pins. A brief description of how to pick a lock is in order here so that you understand why these Mushroom or I Pins make a lock cylinder impossible to pick. Anyone with lock picking experience will tell you that the top pins need to be trapped in order to pick a lock. You can usually tell when a top pin in any of the lock chambers is picked. The bottom pin will move freely up and down when being pushed on by a lock pick. There will be no resistance exerted by the spring when moving the pin up and down. This usually indicates that the lock pin has been picked. With a Mushroom or I Type pin, the pin is beveled in the center. When you trap this type of pin is is usually nowhere near the “Shear Line”. The Shear Line is the line that occurs when all the bottom pins are raised to their correct levels and the plug is able to turn. The plug is the portion of the lock that has the keyway or keyhole. That is where the key is inserted into the lock. A Schlage B-520 uses these Mushroom or I Pins in the second through fifth chambers of this lock.

If the lock will not pick then it is possible that the lock chambers have been drilled in too straight of a line. When manufacturers drill the lock housing and lock plug they do not drill all the lock chambers in a straight row. They tend to offset them so that the lock can be picked. If all the lock chambers were drilled in a straight line then it would be impossible to trap any more than one pin at a time. You would never be able to pick the lock.

At one point in time, Schlage was manufacturing a smart rekey type lock cylinder similar to the SmartKey brand manufactured by Kwikset and Weiser. With Schlage brand, you can determine if it is indeed a smart rekey type lock cylinder by looking at the plug on the face of the lock. If there is a plus sign directly above the keyway or keyhole then it definitely is this type of lock. With this lock cylinder, if the key turns in a clockwise direction in order to unlock the door then you are in luck. After unlocking the door the plug needs to be returned to it’s 12 o’clock position. When this lock cylinder is picked in the counter clockwise direction, this is the direction that will effect a key change for the cylinder. If it picks to the left and you can get it picked over to the 11 o’clock position for the key turn, then if you had a combination change key you would simply insert that key and the lock combination would be changed. You would of course have to move the plug in the clockwise direction to have the lock set to the new key.

We will discuss more in depth in a future blog article about Weiser or Kwikset SmartKey Type locks.

Security Article Written by: Toronto Locksmith



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