There are a couple tricks that have been employed by some manufacturers in standard, non-high-security pin tumbler locks that can foil the use of electric picks and pick guns. Though far from universal, these slight modifications are gaining ground in the lock manufacturing industry, much as the introduction of security pins to low quality locks has increased dramatically over the last several years.

The first thing that can be done to frustrate mechanical and electric picks is to introduce springs with varied tension. This is such a simple and inexpensive fix that it is a wonder why all lock manufacturers have not adopted this practice. With varied tension on the springs, the driver pins will fall back down at different rates, decreasing the likelihood that all driver pins will be above the shear line at any one time. This serves to narrow, if not eliminate, the window of time one has to apply tension and successfully turn the plug. This fix will also disrupt both the conventional impressioning and foil impressioning methods that we will discuss later in the manual.

A second simple countermeasure is the introduction of balanced driver pins. Balance driver pins are pins that are specifically sized to correspond with the height of the key pin in the pin stack; the longer the key pin, the shorter the driver pin. Having balanced driver pins installed in a lock means that the combined height of all the pins stacks are the same. This can aid to foil attempts to use mechanical and electric picks because the driver pins will be of varying lengths. This fix can also prevent the use of the comb attack that will be discussed later. You can see an example of pins stacks with balanced drivers in illus. (needed).

It is my opinion that a combination of both balanced pin stacks and tension-varied springs would suffice to defeat all but the most determines practitioner of mechanical or electric picking. Sadly, this practice is rarely employed in the manufacturing process.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.