An interesting new lockpicking technique has been making its way
around the internet. This technique uses 'bump keys' to open locks in
a similar fashion to lockpicking guns but without requiring specialized
hardware. You can read about bump keys in this
document, and see a news report about them here.
--- Presenting ---
The Document Which Used To Be Called The MIT Lockpicking Guide
I am told that the university which has its' name associated with this
document would prefer not to. Fine. I will now no longer refer to it as
The MIT Guide To Lockpicking or The MIT Lockpicking Guide.
Truth be told, I am a member of the Bavarian Illuminati and I wrote it myself
shortly after I instigated Watergate and the Cuban Missile Crisis. I hereby
absolve a certain highly respectable university in Massachusets from any
and all responsibility for this document.
Which is too bad in a way. I thought it was a cool piece of urban folklore
no matter where it came from, and it contributed to giving college students
everywhere a reputation for healthy rebeliousness.
My original copy of this file was a text file zipped up with several GIF's.
I have tried as much as possible to lay out this HTML version in such a way
that it makes sense, but the GIF's that came with it were of poor quality
at best. Where captions are cropped off, that is the way that they came to me.
If you notice any errors, and I'm sure that they are there, please send me some
e-mail so I can correct them.
If you prefer, the entire thing is available as a
PDF file or the original
zipped postscript that the PDF was generated from.
The postscript is formatted for a4 paper, so some printers may have trouble
printing it on letter.
I have to appologize for the PDF -- all the fonts are rendered as 72 dpi
bitmaps. They print great, but they don't look so hot on screen. They also
make it impossible to search the document. If you don't understand what all
that means, just get the PDF file and print it. I promise you'll be
Nearly half of all the illustrations appear in chapter nine, so if that
one takes a little while for your browser to fetch try to be patient.
Otherwise, enjoy the file. Oh, and good luck. :-)
This is how the Guide looked to me (as best I can recreate it) when it was
given to me. You'll note the missing 'Legal Issues' section which whether
intentional or not, was not part of the guide as given to me.
- Dave Ferret
MIT Guide to Lock Picking
Ted the Tool
February 14, 1992
Copyright 1987, 1991 Theodore T. Tool. All right reserved.
Permission to reproduce this document on a non-profit basis
is granted provided that this copyright and distribution
notice is included in full. The information in this booklet is
provided for educational purposes only.
August 1991 revision.
1 It's Easy
2 How a Key Opens a Lock
3 The Flatland Model
4 Basic Picking & The Binding Defect
5 The Pin Column Model
6 Basic Scrubbing
7 Advanced Lock Picking
7.1 Mechanical Skills
7.2 Zen and the Art of Lock Picking
7.3 Analytic Thinking
8.1 Exercise 1: Bouncing the pick
8.2 Exercise 2: Picking Pressure
8.3 Exercise 3: Picking Torque
8.4 Exercise 4: Identifying Set Pins
8.5 Exercise 5: Projections
9 Recognizing and Exploiting Personality Traits
9.1 Which Way To Turn
9.2 How Far to Turn
9.4 Pins Not Setting
9.5 Elastic Deformation
9.6 Loose Plug
9.7 Pin Diameter
9.8 Beveled Holes and Rounded pins
9.9 Mushroom Driver Pins
9.10 Which Way To Turn
9.11 Which Way To Turn
9.12 Which Way To Turn
9.13 Disk Tumblers
10 Final Remarks
A.1 Pick Shapes
A.2 Street cleaner bristles
A.3 Bicycle spokes
A.4 Brick Strap
B Legal Issues
[ Next ] -
[ Home ]