Picked It!

I’m feeling pleased with myself, having picked open a Chubb 110 deadlock. I’ve mentioned before the big divide amongst locksmiths: those who drill (or smash) open everything they come across; and those who pick most locks open and for whom the drill is the last resort.

Getting older doesn’t seem to help picking skills and I don’t quite know why. It’s not as if you need to see well. It’s mostly done by feel, but there is a bit of listening involved; maybe that’s it. On the other hand, the 110 is one of the most difficult locks to pick open. If you have one on your door, you have an excellent lock. You can recognise it by its particularly tall case, with the bolt towards the top; and if the decorative faceplace is still there, by the words, ‘5 Detainers’ (5 levers to you and I). It will also say Chubb if it’s more that a year or two old. (Recent ones will be labelled Union, even thought it’s still exactly the same lock.) You can also recognize it – at least if you’re a locksmith or a key collector – by a brass key with a slightly thicker, longer and shallower blade than most other Chubbs.

It’s indicative of the stupidity of the BS rating system and of insurers that this venerable and excellent lock has rarely had a British Standard during its life.

If you have one of these and want to be super careful, and your insurance specifies a 5-lever lock, then you should ask for agreement in writing that a 110 5-detainer lock is acceptable.

Anyway after a fair old number of minutes, and after managing to get the radio switched off, I opened the thing.

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