Do Bump Keys Damage The Lock? 5 Tips To Prevent Bumping Attacks

Bump keys are specific tools designed to help locksmiths and government agencies to bypass almost all types of locks. But if they get into the wrong hands, they could use it maliciously to break into locked houses.

So, do bump keys damage the lock? How to prevent bumping attacks?

Most of the time, lock bumping will not harm locks unless the keys break off in the keyhole. That’s also why most bumping attempts go undiscovered because the lock continues to work normally afterward.

Let’s dive into this post to learn more about these special keys!

What Is A Bump Key?

Do Bump Keys Damage The Lock

A full set 

Bump keys, or 999 keys, are keys with a special design that allows users to pick pin-tumbler locks – the most used in the world. The process of gaining entry with a bump key is known as “bumping”.

These keys are unique to each manufacturer. For example, a 999 key created from a Kwikset key will match a Kwikset lock. So, a full set of bump keys will include keys from all major lockset manufacturers.

We can do the cut to the maximum depth, which means any key blank can also become a bump key.

Do Bump Keys Damage The Lock?

Do Bump Keys Damage The Lock

It doesn’t cause any damage.

The answer “No” is related to the operation of them. This section will explain why these keys don’t damage anything.

These keys function by aligning tiny spring-loaded pins within the locks. When the pins are properly aligned, the cylinder will rotate, and the lock will be activated.

We can use the “pull-back” method to activate a bump key. Insert the key all the way in and pull back out one notch. When maintaining rotational pressure, the key is then bumped into the keyway with the heel of the hand.

The “bumper” must strike the key strongly enough to shake the pins but not that hard to damage your locks. When you press the key, the pins just jump slightly.

Even that small movement allows the bump key to turn the cylinder, releasing the locks. The “minimum movement” method, which is slightly more complex than the pull-back method, is also a good way to use a 999 key.

Bumpers can file away an extra 0.25-0.5 mm from the key tip and shoulder to enhance the bump-key performance. It allows the key to be placed somewhat deeper inside.

Whatever methods the bumper uses, it does not cause any damage unless the key breaks off in the keyhole.

How To Avoid Bumping Attacks?

Even if lock bumping doesn’t harm anything, you don’t want this to happen. That’s why we’ll suggest some ways to prevent these unexpected circumstances.

Do Bump Keys Damage The Lock

How to prevent your door? 

Use Bump-proof Locks

Though 999 keys can open all locks they match, and some brands have manufactured bump-proof door locks that can prevent them from doing so. In case your existing ones aren’t bump-resistant, it’s best to replace them.

You may find it hard to purchase bump-proof ones, but there are some certain products with features like SmartKey Security that can withstand lock bumping. People also consider them bump-proof because they can resist these bumping attacks.

It’s also worth noting that door locks designated BHMA/ANSI G1 or G2 are especially high-security. They can withstand bumping attacks as well as forced entry methods like drilling and picking.

Install Chain Latches For The Doors

This method may not prevent lock bumping directly, but it does increase the security level for your home. A burglar has to deal with it as well. Regardless of which forced entry method he uses, it takes more time and effort!

Install More Pins For The Lock

If you’ve replaced your old one with a bump-resistant product, you might not need this. If not, having a locksmith install more pins will increase the security because picking or bumping with additional pins is usually more difficult.

Installing more pins doesn’t make it bump-proof, just like adding chain latches to your door, but it can make the thieves give up. You won’t have to pay nearly as much when only adding pins.

Consider A Home Security System

A modern home security system provides real-time monitoring and alerts you if someone attacks your door. There’s no way a thief can bump your door when they hear the warning bell.

Use Keyless Locks

Keyless locks will protect your home against bumping attacks. Lock bumping works on those with keyholes, implying that keyless ones have no association with lock bumping.

Do Bump Keys Damage The Lock
inputing passwords on an electronic door lock

A good way to prevent bumping attacks 

If you don’t know what to choose, check out this review video:


Do Bump Keys Work On All Locks?

999 keys are compatible with any locks that have keyholes, with the exception of bump-proof locks. If done correctly, lock bumping is successful in over 90% of all cylinder-type locks manufactured today.

How Do I Know If My Lock Is Bump-Proof?

If your lock is certified by BHMA/ANSI as Grade 1 or 2 or has the SmartKey security feature, it may be resistant to bumping attacks.

Nonetheless, the most effective way to determine whether your lock is bump-proof is to try it with a bump key.

Can You Lock A Door With A Bump Key?

If a bump key can unlock a door lock, it can also lock it. Usually, burglars will unlock a door with the bump key and close it carefully, leaving no traces of a forced entry.


Now that your confusion has cleared up. Though most keys do not damage the locks, homeowners should also equip their front door lock with some security measures or even replace it with a bump-proof lock.

Hopefully, the article has met your information needs. Thank you for reading!

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