It’s rare for a lock to be so challenging to pick that it leaves the locksport community stumped.
You may have heard whispers of certain brands and models of locks that are challenging to pick; names like Banham, Abloy, Evva.
You may also understand that all locks have weaknesses, and these weaknesses can be exploited.
- It’s true that all locks have weak points
- Some weaknesses are less exploitable than others
No matter how clever the locksport community might be, a few ultra-challenging locks do exist that have continued to frustrate and fascinate lock pickers. In fact, these locks are so challenging to pick that some successful pickings were found to be potentially faked.
In no particular order, here is our list of 5 Most Challenging Locks to Pick.
1. Master Lock Speed Dial 1500iD
Seasoned Lock Picker Bosnian Bill goes over the components of the Master Lock Speed Dial 1500iD on his YouTube channel.
It can be hard to imagine a Master Lock that’s impossible to pick. The Speed Dial is a combination lock that challenges those assumptions.
As Redditor Derpserf said, “To the best of my knowledge, nobody has figured out how to crack these yet. The mechanism is completely mind-boggling.”
The Speed Dial lock cannot be shimmed. And if you want to guess the combination, you’ll want to start with the frequently used Konami code (Up Up, Down Down, Left Right, Left Right). If that doesn’t work, there are hundreds of possible combinations left to try. But nobody has time for that.
So, what methods can you use to crack the code?
We recommend watching Bosnian Bill’s YouTube video for hints. https://locklab.com/high-security-and-challenge-locks/1359-review-master-lock-speed-dial-1500id/
2. The ASSA Abloy Protec2
The Abloy Protec2 is a disk detainer lock. The fact that it’s not a pin tumbler lock will already throw off some pickers since disk detainer locks work differently from pin tumbler locks. Namely, disk detainer locks don’t use springs.
But the fact that it’s a disk detainer lock isn’t what makes the Abloy Protec2 so challenging to pick. The lock uses a special disk blocking system that locks the disks together to prevent the manipulation of individual disks.
That said, it is possible to open.
See reddit user Tarehjerne pick this lock using a dual-edge serration rake:
3. Evva MCS Gen 2
YouTuber Geo proves the Evva MCS Gen 2 can be picked.
“There it is, the mighty EVVA MCS, a fantastic magnetic lock with 8 rotors operated by magnets on the key.” So this lock is described by YouTube creator Geo before the lock is ultimately picked and gutted.
The MCS Gen 2 features two mechanical encoding features plus a magnetic encoding feature for triple security.
The magnetic encoding feature is particularly impressive: Each side of the keyway has 4 magnetic rotors, which are diametrically charged. A plate is glued to each magnet. The inner sidebar has three pins, and the outer sidebar has an additional pin, all of which interact with the magnet. Both sidebars must slide forward for rotation.
Watch Geo pick this beast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c32UiKv042I
4. HYT Chain Key Lock
GreenGrowLocks uses a homemade pick to access the pins of the HYT Chain Key Lock .
What makes the HYT Chain Key Lock unique is that the key is made of a flexible chain, and the keyway itself is also curved. These locks have been discontinued, but if you can get your hands on one and enjoy feeling frustrated, it might be worth taking on the challenge.
Once deemed unpickable, this lock was eventually picked by GreenGrowLocks.
You can watch GreenGrowLocks pick this lock using a homemade pick .012” thick that flexes to provide access to the pins here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdK0MNi6p7A
5. Banham M2002
YouTuber Tumbl3r manages to pick the Banham M2002.
I tried to write a description that would accurately convey the terror of the Banham M2002. But I found myself returning to the same intimidating words of YouTuber Tumbl3r:
“This lock has twelve pins which are directly opposed and penetrate entirely through the key to touch in the middle. At any time six pins extend into the shear line, keeping the lock closed. I had to develop a "reverse picking" technique to finally get it opened.”
There you have it. This lock is so challenging that it required a new picking technique.
Watch Tumbl3r pick and gut the Banham M2002: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxJWKZKht4w
Certainly, there are a lot of locks out there that fit the bill of challenging, many of which might be just as difficult to find as they are to open.
We left out some of these more obscure locks, like the bizarrely designed Shi-He Chi-Me U-Lock.
That said, we know that locks are being designed and discovered that can sometimes stump even the most seasoned pickers. What is the most challenging lock you've ever tried to open?