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Locksmith Blog | Locksmiths Blog | Blog
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Shimming cylinders - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Bypassing

Just toying around with another idea today as i had a lock that i just couldnt open...

I have some blade shims that i use to remove plugs where you push it in the rear of the cylinder to hold top pins above the shear line.

Iv always wondered if i could do this from the front in a lock out situation.

Cylinder plugs have a slight lip on the front to hide the sheer line of the lock to prevent this.

I decided to go at it with a junior hacksaw and cut just deep enough to reveal the sheer line. Id imagine the same can be achieved with a large enough drill bit.

With a bit of wiggling and a splash of wd40 it is now possible to shim open the cylinder from the front.

Rick | Locksmiths Walsall

lock shimming

euro cylinder

lock open

Posted by Rick the Pick at 3:56 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 13 July 2013 7:27 AM BST
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Magnum Locks - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Reviews

I popped in my local lock supplier a few weeks back and was shown a new euro profile lock called the Magnum (*RIP see bottom of page) donning an additional millenco sticker.

magnum lock

Obviously a little money £££ exchanged hands and the lock was mine.

The cylinder itself, called the ''superior', consists of a 7 pin offset pinned plug with an additional 4 spring loaded wafer tumblers interacting with a sidebar.

The lock uses a machined steel spine to prevent snapping of the cylinder and is by far the best anti-snap design i have seen.

anti snap cylinder

Initially this lock was a struggle to pick! I sent it off to Femurat; a hobbiest in Italy, who gave me some good tips on picking the lock.

The lock suffers the same flaw as the pin in pin cylinders whereby  there is a small degree of plug rotation once one element of the lock has been picked, in this case the seven pins.

Once you have this initial rotation and the seven pins are set you need to set the sidebar. Picking the sidebar sliders individually is a nightmare and a little frustrating. However whilst experimenting i discovered a major flaw that renders the sidebar useless.

Using the handle of a tension wrench it is possible to overlift the sliders into place.

What was initially a ten to fifteen minute picking session suddenly became seconds (with the aid of the trusty klom gun) and another lock was conquered.

millenco lock

Although it seems the lock is easilly pickable it does however provide outstanding destructive resistance.

Setting up the lock in an in door scenario, i decide to have a go at snapping the cylinder off.

Initially i only used the end 5mm of lock cylinder which quickly rounded off and crushed the end of the plug.
Then using the entire depth of the snapper bar still failed to budge the lock.

lock snapping

A similar test on an Ingersoll London Line cylinder shows the difference in resistance.

london line lock

Magnum seem to make some interesting locks that i would love to get my hands on in particular the half moon cylinders.

It would be great if millenco started supplying these to all their new doors although i suspect obtaining new keys would be pretty pricey.

All in all not a bad lock to have in your door.

magnum lock range

*UPDATE Nov 2014

Since this post was made Magnum have vanished and the locks are now branded as Yale Superior instead of the Millenco Magnum.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 2:16 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:54 PM GMT
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Picking telescopic pins - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Lock picking

The telescopic pin system has been around a while and mainly used by the mul-t-lock brand although there are others such as the avocet abs that use the same design combined with a magnetic pin element.

They are generally considered high security locks and require special tools to open, however i have found that these locks with a little practice will open just as easilly with the correct half diamond pick.

My weapon of choice is the larger half diamond found in the southord pick set.

Resting the flat edge of the pick in the narrowest corner of the keyway should place the tip of your hook directly above the pinstacks and all thats needed to set them is a slight rotation of the pick ensuring the flat edge remains in that corner of the keyway.

Combined with featherlight tension you can open these locks in a few minutes.

Note: the avocet abs requires a small section of fridge magnet to lift the magnetic pin, although the same can be achieved by magnetising the pick blade itself.

Here a few i did earlier:



mul-t-lock padlock

avocet abs

london lock

 Rick - Walsall Locksmiths


Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:25 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:55 PM GMT
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Eurospec BS mortise locks - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Lock picking
Eurospec BS locks are becoming quite common and are a relatively easy pick.

eurospec sashlock

As you can see they use a different lever pack to most mortice locks and move on a semi pivoting/sliding type fulcrum.

Eurospec locks

The 20mm bolt throw is achieved using an interesting slider mechanism which extends/retracts the talon of the bolt as the key is turned. This allows the extra 4mm bolt throw for the BS rating. These tracks can cause a considerable headache if you have to drill this lock from the back side (ie:bolt facing right), as the drill will damage the tram line and cause the bolt to jam solid.

However this can be overcome by lining up the levers and then hammering the bolt across with a screwdriver. (Not easy with one pair of hands lol)

All being well you shouldnt really need to drill this lock though as they are relatively easy to pick due to the lack of anti-pick notches on the levers.

Iv seen a lot of eurospec locks and have only ever seen one anti-pick lever per lever pack. This is great news for picking, and even more so when i tell you that it can be easilly be lifted out of the false gate anyway.


The false gate is always above the real one (iv never seen one below anyway)

Before picking this lock id suggest that you make a pick a few mm longer than usual. This is because the newest version of this lock incorporates a new extra high and extra low lift lever to overcome the jiggler key attack that the older model suffered from whereby a flat jiggler key could be used to overlift all the levers and gently turned whilst lowering.

So, new longer pick in hand, pick as per usual nudging binding levers until something happens.
Now either you get lucky and lock opens, or the lock will fall into the false gate. Either way is a win situation although i find that sometimes this lock can take a while to get all the levers in place as the binding pattern shifts around quite a bit. Slow but steady...

When the lock is set in the false gate you will feel the bolt throw slightly.
Now apply more tension and feel each lever in the lock
Correctly set levers will have a tiny amount of movement.
The falsely set one will feel rock solid as is taking the entire force on the bolt.

So apply a bit of upwards pressure on the lever and slowly release tension. Get it right and the lever will lift into the correct gate and lock open. Release too much and the other levers reset. start again...

Not a difficult lock but certainly one worth mentioning in a bit of detail.
I recommend training on one if your unfamiliar with feeling for false setting levers.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 12:02 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2010 3:48 PM BST
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Getting with the times - Locksmith Blog
Topic: General Chatter
Its getting harder and harder these days to find any decent information on Locksmithing via the internet, as most forums and internet groups seem to withold information for themselves and rarely share the stuff we all want to know.

locksmith tools

Im a working locksmith and have LOTS of information to share and discuss with locksmiths and hobbiests alike.

I will be updating quite frequently to get the ball rolling.

Hope you enjoy reading and have fun.
we are in
all united kingdom

Posted by Rick the Pick at 11:40 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 12 June 2013 4:10 PM BST
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