Changing the guard

Not my door key
Thanks to the guys at Lock & Key for their help on this. They are being especially helpful given that I seem unable to measure my locks correctly.

I have upgraded from my new Yale Superior locks to ABS locks.


Well the Yale locks are a massive step up from my old euro profile locks. There is a really scary video on ABSs web site. It shows how the old locks could be broken within a few seconds using no more than a pair of grips. The Yale locks are way better, pretty much impossible to pick, and they have the snap off bits to make it hard to snap the lock.

BS and 3 star rating
5mm shallow
What is surprising is that the Yale locks can be defeated by using a screw (see that ABS video). You use a screw to pull the whole front of the lock out in a few seconds more, including the snap off part.

So, on the advice of Mat from Lock & Key, I have gone for the ABS locks instead. They have some clever locking cam to jam the lock if snapped off.

An important step, though, is getting the measurements right. And I was out by 5mm. D'Oh.

So, more postage costs, and more messing them about, but they are really very good about it all. Definitely to be recommended.

Apart from meeting a somewhat dated British Standard (BS/kite mark), locks also have a star rating. The ABS locks being 3 star rated. It's related to how long it takes to break the lock. This all means a potential burglar knows not to even bother!

The ABS keys are also almost impossible to pick, and even include a magnet, but importantly they are considered to be more security keys so ordering replacements is a lot harder. Looking at the keys, one of the 5 positions is a magnet and the other 4 have multiple levels and a separate inner and outer level which are not always the same (I have the advantage of looking at two different keys here). All clever stuff.


  1. I can't believe, given the key, that the previous locks were not snap-proof. If you have a conservatory (If you think laminate helps, think again) please look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Maph1a2qFf4.

    1. Forgot to add - Mul-T-lock have launched two new euro lock cylinders at £70+ each, they have massive key control & key security however both of them are not TS007 rated.... they can be snapped with moll grips. What's the point unless they are used inside an already secure building?? The keys cost £13 each also!
      ABS keys need a security code card just like Mul-T-Lock, and if you lose that card we will only decode the keys via photo if you supply photo ID, utility bills and preferably the receipt for the locks.
      I don't want to slag off Mul-T-Lock as they do make some of the best padlocks and key systems available to mankind - but I can't endorse a 'New design' £70 euro lock that can be snapped with basic tools found in the boot of most cars.

  2. 99% of burglaries are opportunist / easy entry & exit. Lock snapping is a real problem now and it's spreading south. No opportunist burglar wants to smash a 5ft double glazed unit as it will take force and create a lot of noise.
    It's simply making your home more secure by having good locks that can't be snapped or drilled/bumped/picked in seconds. Bottom line is if they are serious, then they will probably get in your property no matter how you protect it.
    The key bumpers we use (as master locksmiths) can open a normal euro lock in 5 seconds, these machines are for sale on Amazon.... This is a growing problem as the opportunist thief can now read and write + use the internet. Lock snapping is even easier if you browse youtube!

    1. As I've been burgled twice via the 'brick through window' in two previous properties I would naturally disagree (south manchester). From my POV the lock should not be considered to be the only factor. Is the beading internal? Can the multi-point locking cope against a shovel? Are the windows filmed?

    2. Definitely the lock is not the only factor. Security is often confused by people, both for buildings and computing. If the lock is good, and importantly looks like it is good (hence kite mark and stars and so on) then that removes one approach. Ultimately you want to make your house the one that is not worth the hassle. In my case the house is rarely empty, has 24 hour surveillance video remotely recorded and 24 hour monitoring on that link, a high quality alarm system with remote reporting, and various other things. One factor is some good neighbours as well. That said, we have had thefts (bikes taken off the drive).

    3. Agreed - physical locks are just part of the mix, in my opinion it's about making your property look like a challenge to your average opportunist thief. I installed a 4 camera cctv system in 3 hours, IP monitoring and DV recorder - cost less than £300 for the kit, big sign with CCTV in Operation on the gate... good locks, and a Yorkie Terrier with a dog flap!
      If they are prepared to take all that on - then I just hope my family or myself are not at home when it happens (they'll never catch the Yorkie, he is way too quick lol)

  3. That ABS video is a little economical with the truth - a decent lock guard would be bolted through the door above and below the cylinder and a decent Euro-profile cylinder can't be withdrawn in the locked (or indeed unlocked) position.

  4. JJ I guess are talking about security escutcheons? They are not used on the c 15 million uPVC domestic doors fitted in the UK already, security escutcheons are fitted to doors with euro sash locks and euro deadlocks (mainly solid wood or industrial steel doors)
    The uPVC market uses the multipoint locking which is very strong, standard handles and the euro cylinder keeps it all locked - this is the weak point as the old cylinders, approx 98% of all uPVC doors can be snapped in half with basic tools in 13 seconds and the door is unlocked/open. No noise and no broken glass. Basic design flaw is the fixing screw hole is under the cam leaving a tiny amount of cross sectional metal to keep both halves together if any pressure is applied.

    Also once the lock is snapped the cam is free to rotate, if you can't be bothered to flick it with a screwdriver to make it flush then you can just fire a self tapping screw into it and rip it through the gearbox with a claw hammer - the gearbox is just c 2mm mild steel, so not much resistance.


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