How to Use Bump Keys

A bump key is a specially crafted key that is commonly used to open any lock the blank key will fit in.

For decades, criminals have been using bump keys to quickly open key-based locks that utilize a cylinder and tumbler design without causing damage or leaving any other indication that the lock was tampered with.

Lock owners, however, have been in the dark about how easy it is to defeat their home lock system for a very long time.

You will need

  • Properly cut bump key
  • Lock to be opened


  1. Insert the bump key into the lock you want to open.
  2. Pull the key back with one click. Then place a slight amount of pressure on the key by turning it slightly, or pressing against it so that when the tumblers are aligned they are not permitted to fall back to their original position.
  3. Strike the key with a screwdriver handle or some other small object while you keep pressure on the key.
  4. If the bump key is properly cut, the lock should open easily. If it takes more than a few tries to open the lock, something is being done incorrectly or the key is not cut properly.


  • Test a bump key on an open door or a similar lock that cannot easily be observed from the outside. This way, if the bump key does happen to get stuck in the lock, you can dismantle the lock and remove it.


  • Carry around a bump key with you unless you have specific intent to use it. Also bump keys are usually considered to be a lock pick, so if lock picks are illegal in your geographical location, bump keys are probably also illegal.