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When you are locked out of your office there is no reason to break a window or cancel a day’s work. The best option is to contact an experienced commercial locksmith and solve the problem with ease and efficiency. There is no reason to weaken the security of your business unnecessarily. It doesn’t matter if your business is in an industrial building or an office, Carl's Lock Shop uses several different methods to make sure we take the path of least resistance and be certain your office is unharmed in the process.
Most locks work of a pin and tumbler system, and can usually be picked by and experienced locksmith. The pin and tumbler lock is a common type of lock consisting of a bible (which houses springs and the driver pins), the plug (the part of the lock that will turn with the key), and the key pins (the pins that are touched by the key). The driver pins rest between the bible and the plug of the lock.
The driver pins and springs will be a uniform height whereas the keys pins will all be unique in this regard. The key pins have heights that correspond with the grooves of the key, instead of with each other. By placing the key inside the plug, the key pins evenly elevate the driver pins and compress the springs. The driver pins now are set on the shear line, which is the line that separates the plug from the bible. Once the driver pins all reach the shear line the key can turn and the lock is opened.
The process of picking such a lock can be quite difficult, but relies on the basic knowledge that the driver pins must be artificially moved to the shear line. This is most often handled with a professional locksmith picking set, with the main tools being a tension wrench and one or two American standard size picks.
The tension wrench is placed on the opposite end of where the key’s teeth (grooves that move the key pins) would go. Knowing what way the key turns is not necessary for our trained professionals because the tension wrench can be used to determine what rotation has more give, therefore determining the way to twist. Once the tension wrench is being twisted the correct way, the keyhole is raked a few times (a process of pulling the pick in and out).
By raking the lock, some driver pins will be moved properly. Then, starting from the back pin, the commercial locksmith will work their way through all of the pins (most locks having five pins). When the process is complete the tension wrench can turn the plug as if it was the key, and by acting as a key would in slow motion, no harm is done to the lock.
Another method of opening a pin and tumbler lock is with the use of a bump key. A bump key works on the similar task of moving the key pins so that the driver pins meet the shear line. Grooves are made in a key blank so that when turned as the key is struck (or bumped) it will temporarily allow the plug to be turned. Again, this method has the tool act as if it were a key and does not harm the lock.
If the lock is not simply pin and tumbler (such as a smart key) or is unresponsive to picking and bumping for some other reason, the lock will need to be drilled. The drill is set to the location of the pins and a hole is punctured in the device. The drill will break the pins that hold the lock in place and allow the locksmith open the door with the turn of a screwdriver. It is important not to drill your own locks because novice drilling may result in damage that renders the device unworkable.
Examples of these problems are things like drilling past the pins and breaking the bolt of the lock so it does not retract; an accumulation of metal particulates may lock and jam the pins so that they cannot reach the shear line; etc. It is safer for your building to have these methods used by an experienced commercial locksmith.