The Unpickable Lock – Is It a Myth Or a Reality?

unpickable lock

Lockpicking has been around since the first locks were invented, which was thousands of years ago. Since then, people have been searching and inventing door locks immune to lockpicking that would keep their homes secure against intruders.

In the history of locks, there was a period of approximately 70 years when the unpickable lock truly existed.

We’re going to talk about that period and also about some interesting security facts you should know about door locks while trying to give a definite answer to the question from the title.

Let’s start by going back to the 1850s.

How Perfect Security Was Lost in 1851

Joseph Bramah was an English inventor and a locksmith. Even though he’s best known for inventing the hydraulic press, Bramah also designed a lock that was vastly superior to all others in the world at that time.

He received a patent for it in 1784 and during the same year, he also started his own company called Bramah Locks.

Joseph Bramah was so confident that the lock he designed was resistant to lockpicking and tempering with that he started a challenge.

The description of the challenge was displayed onto the window of his London shopfront and here’s what it said:

The artist who can make an instrument that will pick or open this lock shall receive 200 guineas the moment it is produced.

200 Guineas would be the equivalent to £20,000 today. 

Many people tried to temper with Bramah’s unpickable lock but nobody succeeded until 1851.

In 1851, London hosted the first international exhibition of manufactured products which was called The Great Exhibition.

During the exhibition, Alfred Charles Hobbs, an American locksmith, managed to open the lock designed by Joseph Bramah.

Hobbs worked on the lock for approximately 51 hours over the course of 14 days.

In a way, this was the end of an era where unpickable locks truly existed.

In The Search for The Unpickable Lock

The conclusion is that there aren’t locks that can’t be picked, only locks that haven’t been picked yet.

These are usually unique and rare. Rarity is one of those features that makes a lock harder – if not impossible – to be picked.

Burglars don’t usually try picking door locks that are unique because they don’t have access to them and so they don’t have the necessary knowledge to temper with them.

unpickable lock

Our advice is to pick a door lock designed by a trusted company, such as Yale. We’ve partnered with them to bring you the best security products you can use for your home.

The door lock is one of the main ways to protect your home but you shouldn’t rely exclusively on it. You could pair a smart lock for example with a trusted alarm security system.

We’re all looking for perfection when it comes to door locks but the reality is that we should all focus on improving our home security on all areas. That way, we will minimise the risk of becoming a target for burglars.

We hope this article helped you understand some more facts about locks.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 0800 0612 677 if you ever need our help or advice. We’re available 24/7, Monday to Sunday.