This High Security Lock Is Almost Impossible to Pick

Kickstarter / Kickstarter

Today, discussions about home security focus on surveillance technology and ways to stay connected to your property—but what about the actual hardware? Brothers Ryan and Tyler Bowley of the Bowley Lock Company launched a Kickstarter project to fund the production of a new door lock that will thwart all robbers with conventional lock picks, no matter how skilled they are.

In standard locks, the pin tumbler is located just inside the keyhole, so when the grooves of your key come in contact with them, the tumbler turns and unlocks the door. Unfortunately, that means that burglars can use lock picks to mimic the grooves of a key and turn the pin tumbler. The Bowley Lock is designed with a unique shape that shields the pins so that lock picks can't reach them, and only the specially designed key can angle its way to the shielded pin system inside.

Screenshot, Kickstarter


"In order for a tool to reach the pins in the Bowley Lock, it must be shaped like a reverse fork, similar to the key," the Bowley brothers write in the "How It Works" section of their website. "The key can only translate about one-sixteenth of an inch and that applies to the pick as well. Because of this limited stroke, you cannot reach more than one pin with any single pick. That means you would need five individual picks in the lock at once."

The lock has also been designed to prevents what is called bumping, where torque is applied to a "bump key" with a hammer. The Bowley brothers have decided not to share the secret of their anti-bumping mechanisms online, but they do demonstrate the security of the key in the Kickstarter introduction video (below).