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Friday, December 3, 2010

Big-box store rekeyable locks

More and more locks available at the local and chain hardware stores are advertised as being rekeyable by the customer. Judging by the complaints found on Danny Lipford's DIY site, they are not working so well. Too early for us to pronounce judgment, but Altic Lock Service does not stock or recommend the use of these locks, and cannot provide a warranty on any work performed on them.

These locks were designed in response to concerns over the use of "bump keys". While they are at least relatively bump-proof as well as pick-proof, what good are they if they fail to work? Meanwhile, we have been informed recently that the Prosecutor's Office is not aware of a single criminal use of bump keys in Marion County. That is not to say that bump keys have not or will not be used to break into a home or business, but it would seem to mean that it is not worth switching to bump-proof locks if it means the lock may fail to function at all.

There are other ways to deal with the threat of bump keys - special pins and springs in standard pin-tumbler locks, using a less common keyway, using non-standard depths of cut on the key, etc. It does not mean that  you need to use a "high-security" lock with a restricted keyway. It does mean that you might want to consider a different brand of lock than what you will find at the big-box stores.

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