FL 33069, USA
Welcome to our shop – LockPickWorld! We’re lock pickers who both love and are passionate about lock picking, but we’re also suppliers to the community and to commercial enterprises that use locksmith tools, and we realised very early on it’s possible to both love and be passionate about that too.
I picked my first lock aged 8. Mum had a telephone installed, one of the old types with the circular dial, and pretty soon I realised the potential for humour this new and exciting machine provided. You could pick up the receiver, dial a few numbers and mess around with people all day long. Until the bill arrived, whoops! Within hours mum fitted a lock on the dial, a clever little thing which prevented the dial completing a turn. Unless you had the key it was game over, no more fun and games with the phone. Until I realised the gunk scraper from a set of nail-clippers fitted nicely into the keyway, and with a little wobble and a jiggle – click! Game on! Days on end of ordering pizzas and mobile hair-dressers for the houses across the road began again.
Some years later an interest in Harry Houdini – whose life story I chose for my English oral exam – led me into central London to the conjuring shops, and whilst looking for Davenports under Charing Cross station I found a small shop under the arches which, although seemed to sell mainly antique military stuff and some crude spy equipment, to my amazement also had a set of lock picks. Weirdly, they never let me in, yet I would stand for hours looking through the window at them, imagining the potential, dreaming of some new freedom, obsessing basically, at the stark impossibility of being able to pick locks like Harry Houdini or James Bond! Sticking a gunk scraper into a telephone lock was one thing, but those beautiful 5 little picks, all shiny and delicate, strange and alluring; they were something else, and every week I would go back to Charing Cross, stand at the window, enthusing, buzzing, and dreaming.
Some 20 years later the internet landed and after looking at pictures of naked women for some time the dream finally came true and I ordered a set of picks. It wasn’t easy. A handful of shops offered a handful of picks, all hugely expensive, and all short on explanation ‘5pc lock pick set’ or ‘Lock Picks, to pick locks’ (really!). And after being sent a set of auto jigglers by accident and then a two month long exchange of emails and arguments I finally got my picks. And I was hooked.
A few years later and several hundred open locks I started playing around with bump keys. I bought various sets from equally problematic suppliers – all keen to charge me a fortune, but not so keen to fulfill their promises. The quality was terrible, the communication and service frankly insulting and it was quite upsetting that my passion was being tainted time and time again by lazy and unhelpful suppliers. I didn’t want this type of people in my dream.
Having failed to open a single lock with over $200 of various different bump keys I set to work on improving them. I removed the shoulder and introduced dampeners. At this point no one else was doing this – now everyone does. Well, they provide dampeners, but they rarely bother with the labour intensive and time consuming process of removing the shoulders. Strange really since with the shoulder still on, the logic of the dampener technique is compromised and rendered self defeating. No surprise really, I’d learnt a long time ago most online suppliers care about little more than getting their hands on your money.
The next thing was the development of the bump patterns. There are so many variations in pins that it made sense to be able to somehow account for this with the bump key. A brand new lock responds to a bump key differently to an old, well used lock. A tight lock responds differently to a lose one. Different shaped pins, age, variations in spring strength etc all complicate the relationship between key and lock. So after experimenting (still obsessively!) with hundreds of keys and locks I developed a selection of patterns. Again, something else people have since imitated. Unfortunately these things need care and passion, so subtle are these things, rushed production based on a lack of understanding, laziness and greed has created a plethora of vendors selling sub-standard bump keys which unsurprisingly have a very low success rate. Sadly, this doesn’t end with bump keys. Greed spreads like a disease, contaminating everything it touches.
I soon put a little online forum together to show off my keys, my dampeners, my springs (another innovation of ours) and a selection of handmade bump hammers. The next time I logged on I nearly fell from my seat. I had over 100 members with nearly all of them requesting keys. I was making them by hand; a blank, a file and a vice. It took some work but I did it and soon the forum grew and grew and we began building a reputation for quality bump keys, friendly service and a general air of respect and passion. I’m a lock picker too, I’ve bought elsewhere too, and I wanted to change things. Nearly 10 years later that passion is still alive and well and UK Bump Keys is known the world over for being something quite special in the lock picking world. Our mailing list of over 40,000 previous customers is testament to our continued dedication to the craft and respect and understanding of our customers’ requirements.
You may have already noticed our prices. Our (so-called) competitors have! I’m regularly contacted by them requesting I increase our prices, and that I’m killing the business. Business is going very well thanks! You see we don’t rely on large profit margins to stay in business, we rely on large turnover. Two units sold at 50% mark-up doesn’t make me smile. Forty units at 5% does! And guess what, our customers prefer it like that too.
Staying with those initial beliefs and a continued engagement in the skill of lock picking we always strive to introduce new products. Some we make ourselves, others we source from friends, other from all around the world. From interesting manufacturers who we’ve built amazingly good relationships with, right down to the man in a room slaving over some tiny bits of metal until ‘click’ a lock opens in a new way. If the tools work and offer something new, we’ll do our best to stock it and do so at an honest price – sure we’re making a profit, but one the customer understands rather than resents. One the customer is happy with, rather than one that leaves them feeling they’ve been had.
It’s a great relationship, our trade goes up and up and the prices go lower and lower. The more we sell the more we can discount, the more we discount the more we sell, and on and on. Then we can invest in innovation, in excitement, in curiosity. In short, the UK Bump Keys project continues to march ahead way out in front, a beacon of honesty and care that is increasingly rare and therefore increasingly refreshing.
I hope you enjoy browsing our new shop. It’s the 6th variation in our history and I think the best. What do you think? If you have any comments, questions, horse-racing tips or anything, let me know. I love the company, I love lock picking and I want you to feel the same. Anything I can do to increase your enjoyment of this curious craft is my job, so make me work, then we can both be happy, and happy lock pickers open more locks!
Dania Beach, FL
Service to Commercial and Residential Properties as well as lock out of cars and trucks. We cut and program High Security Keys as well as having the largest selection of key blanks in our shop.