| Wednesday July 30th 2014

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Foil impressioning: lock-picking technique that uses the lock to form a new key


Here’s a fascinating post on “foil impressioning” — a simple lockpicking technique that uses the lock itself to fashion a working key out of soft aluminium tape. You just stick a key loaded with this stuff into a lock and wiggle it around in a special way and the lock opens itself.

Just brand new on the market is a kit that uses a clever technique to also open dimple locks that have a serious profile (and are not one solid square piece of metal). The kit was brought to my attention when visiting Israel with Jord Knaap and Han Fey last week. A local locksmith called Raf (well known from the UK bumpkey forum) invited us to his shop and proudly showed me this tool and technique. The way the tool works is that you first take some aluminum foil and make a ‘U shaped’ form (using the special tool to do so) and make small incisions on pre-determined positions. Next thing you do is put the foil over a special blank that already has the profile of your target lock. The clever thing about this tool is that the ‘U shaped foil tube’ is wrapped around some sort of needle, and the foil can not be pushed in when entering the lock! Once the key is inserted, the needle is taken out from the back of the tool, and the pins are now resting on the foil. Because of the cuts in the foil, each pin will stand on it’s own ‘island’ of foil, and when it is pushed in will not disturb the neighboring pin! I have played around with it a little, and the design is really very clever and works fast and reliable!

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