Every residential locksmith you talk to would tell you that there are some locks that are simply not as secure as advertised by the manufacturers.
They just fail to live up to the claim. Many lock brands make the claim that they are bump proof or provide an extra layer of protection against picking, but that is not really true.
As residential locksmiths, it’s easy for us to identify lock brands that are vulnerable to picking, or have other vulnerabilities. Here are some of the lock brands that we feel provide inadequate protection.
U-Change is not our favorite lock; it is in fact one of the easiest locks to pick. This lock has only five pins, which is a definite weakness. All you need to do is to use a small bypass key and a key blank that fits into the keyway. There’s a U-Change By-pass kit that’s available online as well. There’s no reason why a burglar couldn’t buy one of these bypass kits. Certainly, this is one lock that most residential locksmiths would advise you to avoid.
Master Lock 175
The Master Lock 175 is a four-wheel padlock that is opened by rotating 4 wheels than by a key. The problem with such locks is that they can be easily decoded. All that a burglar has to do is to insert a small knife like object on the sides of the wheels, to find a small gap between them. Once this is done for all the wheels, they can be moved together until you get the right combination. This is not really that difficult for an experienced burglar. In fact, these locks are even easier to pick with a regular lock pick. It requires no real skill or practice, and really, even a first time thief could conceivably pick these locks.
Mul-T-Lock MT5 Thumbturn
There’s no question that Mul-T-Lock is one of the best lock brands out there. The Mul-T-Lock MT5 is a decent lock which is reasonably secure. But the only issue is with the thumb turn version of the lock. The thumb turn makes the lock vulnerable. All the burglar has to do is to work on the actuator. There are many specialty tools available online which can be used to open such Euro-cylinders. What this goes to show is that even the most secure locks and the best lock brands can be picked by an experienced burglar.
Abus ZB is another four-wheel combination padlock, the same as Master Lock 175. It can be opened easily with any hook lock pick, or with a small knife like object inserted between the wheels. The Abus locks come with an anti-shim barrier, so they cannot be shimmed, which is a relief. However, they still have a serious weakness. To pick the lock, it has to be adjusted so that the tip is placed in the gap between the wheels and pressed towards the locks till you get the right shape.