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Locksmith Blog | Locksmiths Blog | Blog
Thursday, 27 December 2012
Testing the Yale Anti-Snap | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Reviews

The latest Yale BS cylinder has been giving me grief for a while now.


Despite the unusually wide keyway of the new Yale BS, picking this lock cylinder is very tricky! As well as the usual spooled driver pins you will now find serrated key pins making it a formidable opponent. Long gone are the days a locksmith can quickly zap away with his EPG as this lock incorporates high tollerance security pins.

yales anti snap lock cylinders

The serrated key pins will bind when a pinstack is lifted past the sheer line and into the milled groove on the pin. Unlike a spooled driver pin these cannot be 'undone' without releasing tension and allowing the pinstack to respring.

Bad news for me as my cylinder picking skills have gone completely out of the window as of late.


Snapping a correctly fitted Yale cylinder outright is going to be no easy feat and well beyond the capabilities of the common burglar and his grips.

The joint inbetween the lock body and sacrificial section is a lot stronger than i expected, its not a case of using a flat blade screwdriver down the keyway, it is pretty resistant and still requires a good grip to remove this portion.

Removing the sacrificial section eliminates the first three pins of the lock cylinder and also the anti drill pin at the front of the cylinder, leaving you with three pinstacks.

snapped yale bs lock cylinder

The sheerline of the frontmost pinstack will be visible leaving you two to pick blind. You may find these surprisingly tricky since the plug now moves back and forth as well as rotating and may also contain a serrated key pin. You will also have the problem of getting tension on a lock set back behind the handle face and will probably need to make a custom tension wrench for this.

The remaining section of the lock incorporates the grip deflecting bumps that look like ball bearings. These work very well and make gripping anything other than the first few millimeters of the lock particulaly tricky, however several attempts sees them deform quickly, they are not the same strength as bearing steel.

The hardened spine of the lock is tough yet flexible and I failed to snap this section in a satisfactory way.


The new Yale BS cylinder is no more drill resistant than the last BS rated lock cylinder.

It contains an antidrill pin pressed into the front of the lock however i found this to jump out of the bottom of the lock on several occasions when drilled in the 'sweet spot'. The plug contains two antidrill pins side by side in the front of the plug face.

There are several pinstacks containing stainless pins which can take some drilling even with a carbide drill bit should you be aiming for the traditional sheer line area.


Shimming the lock by piercing the plug face is far trickier than if you remove the sacrifical section.

Snapping the front section of the lock gives you access to the sheer line of the lock and eliminates 3 pins from the equation. It will also save you wrecking a drill bit when you meet the two antidrill pins in the front of the plug.

shimming open a lock

The shim slides in nicely since you can see the first sheer line.

Remember my original lock shimming post? If you feel the shim slide in but jam the pinstack you are more than likely in a pin serration or catching a spool. Pulling the shim back a fraction so the pinstack resets will sort this but may have damaged the end of the shim.

shimming a yale lock open

So overall, what do i make of the new yale BS lock cylinder?

I think its a great lock for the money and the best from Yale so far, possibly the best anti-snap lock available on the UK market since it avoids the gimmicky keys like the ABS or Magnum that I find put off a lot of my customers off the idea.

These are readily available to the public at a reasonable price and a lock that I think may separate the handymen from the real locksmiths in the future.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 5:42 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2013 7:48 AM GMT
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