What is a Wafer Lock?

Most locksmiths know what a wafer lock is but many do not. We mention wafer locks in many of our blogs pages. What is a wafer lock?

A wafer tumbler lock is a type of lock that uses a set of flat wafers to prevent the lock from opening unless the correct key is inserted. This type of lock is similar to the pin tumbler lock and works on a similar principle. A common type of wafer tumbler lock, usually found on desk drawers, office cabinets, lockers and electrical panels.


Some wafer locks are double sided (called double wafer locks), like the double sided pin tumbler locks I described on cars. These are a tiny bit harder to pick than single sided ones.

Picking a Wafer Lock – They operate pretty much the same way as a pin tumbler lock, as in the correct key pushes the pins (wafers in this case) up to a shear point allowing the plug to rotate (Lock Spin Open). The difference is that there is only one pin, no separate driving or key pins. This makes it pretty easy to pick, since you just apply tension (usually more than you think you need) and push the wafers up with a hook pick until you hear them click one at a time – you can’t really push these too far up like you can with pin tumblers. Then the lock will turn. It’s easy. 




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