Unpickable lock? Is it really not possible?

Unpickable Lock do not exists, this is the most common opinion among many professional sport lock picking experts. Do you agree with this? I will show you my point of view for this subject.

Let’s stop and think about it for a moment. Let’s define what it means that the lock is unpickable. This will be my personal point of view after many years of watching all major picking experts.

First of all the picking of any lock is based on some kind of manipulation with any special tools called picks. There are many different options of this equipment, you can find many ready to use sets of picking equipment on internet.

You can check examples of picking equipment i.e. here.

Despite this huge diversity of all available tools, there is one common feature for all methods of opening locks. It is the principle of “following the key” or imitating the behavior of the original key and thus opening the lock. There are various approaches depending on the construction of the lock as well as the skills of the person opening the lock using these picking tools.

Today, we can say that most of the series-produced locks are susceptible to opening with these tools. There are many examples on the Internet that support this thesis. You can watch many lockpicking experts showing it on internet.

It follows from the above that locks with a key can in most cases be opened very quickly using these tools. Can you get rid of this inconvenience and build a lock that will resist such an attempt? In my opinion, the answer is brought by combination locks, deprived of a key and consequently, resistant to attempts to manipulate the picking tools I mentioned above. Are those locks unpickable?

Well In this case instead of picking we use the decoding terminology.

Is each combination lock resistant to the decoding attempt? Of course not. We can watch many examples of cheap simple mechanisms that can be decoded very fast. This is true, the construction of the mechanism in most combinations locks allow attacker to decode it using various tricks and methods. There are attacks based on tensioning the mechanism and to “feel” the internal parts indicate which combination is correct. There plenty of approaches and most of them are effective because of the design weakness of most combo locks.

You can watch Jeff Sitar (R.I.P.) who was able to open almost every safe in just few minutes. He used only his fingers and “feel” any imperfections in the mechanism. There is video showing his talent in action, you can watch it here.

Jeff Sitar inspired me to think about possible unpickable lock mechanism and based on my research I didn’t find such one.

There are some very good locks and new ideas which I like very much. Very good example is Bowley Lock which seems to be very innovative construction.

I thought that it is really unpickable lock until someone picked it in front of camera using special tool. This proofed my thoughts that every lock with key could be picked and this is just matter of time and creation the special tools.

So I started to consider combination lock as the only one which could really protect. Unfortunately current constructions are based on very old mechanism. Almost all combination locks work the same way and Jeff Sitar proofed that they are not so secure.

Almost all todays mechanical combination locks are working under constant tension. They have springs and the actuator all time has contact with the combination wheels. This imperfection allow experts to relatively quickly find proper code.

The same problem is in padlocks where under tension you can guess correct code. There are many video on this subject on internet.

Maybe you do not know that there are world tournaments where experts open safes in just a minutes without any tools. There are robots opening safes locks etc.

So what if there will be lock that will be unpickable or rather not decodable in the way current locks are cracked?

I started to think what should be the working principia of such a new unique mechanism resistant to simple decoding. After several months of designing and probing many setups I found basic two rules.

The lock must only allow probing one combination at the time

The mechanism cannot work under any tension, it should be blocked

Those two rules guided me in creation of the Polish Combination Lock.

Combination Lock
Combination Lock as padlock -front view
Combination Lock – back view

I feel this mechanism will be very popular soon. It has a lot of unique features you can read on this page.

I claim that this mechanism could be open only by checking combinations one by one until you find correct one. It cannot be decoded by popular methods you can watch on internet.

I am looking now for partners for production this wonderful lock. Polish Combination Lock will be available soon. I like to offer this lock in my e-shop which will be available soon.

Many people from sport lockpicking community helping me to improve my mechanism so it will be even more secure. Therefore I am gathering all feedbacks before real production. The first impression could be done only once and I like to enter the market with perfect mechanism.

Thank you very much and I hope that the most recognised experts like LockPickingLawyer , BosnianBill or Lock Noob will help me too. I would like to send them the metal version, almost commercial for final review and last feedback. Hopefully they will agree to contribute his knowledge and experience in fine tuning if needed.

I am only engineer but not lock professional expert so I can miss some important factors therefore please share this widely and provide any feedback now before it will be available on the market.

Here it is important to stress that I received many feedbacks already from many people visiting my web page. Special thanks I like to send to:

  • Potti314 who was first person reviewing my locking mechanism.
  • LockTube from Poland
  • Priyer from Canada

You can find more information in Worldwide decoding challenge section.

I will write here from time to time some my thoughts so stay in touch.

Thank you ,