• United States



Senior Staff Writer

Skip the picks, expert uses hammer to open a Master Lock

Dec 01, 20153 mins
Physical Security

Lock neutralized in less than 90 seconds

In the video below, locksport enthusiast Bosnian Bill demonstrates how to open a new #3 Master Lock with nothing more than a small brass hammer. If a hammer isn’t an option, a screwdriver handle works just as well.

This video is just one of several videos he’s produced focused on defeating the security of Master Locks, which might surprise some viewers, considering that Bosnian Bill states the company has threatened to sue him several times.

The process isn’t bumping exactly, but it looks as if the locking dogs are bounced or vibrated out of the way so the shackle can come out. Either way, in seconds the lock is opened, leading Bosnian Bill to declare:

“How easy is that? What a wonderful piece of American lock engineering huh?” He ends the video with a warning to viewers to “stay away from Master Lock.”

Salted Hash reached out to Master Lock for comment, and we’ll update this story with their comments should they respond.

Master Lock shared the following statement earlier this evening:

We recognize that there are those who attempt to challenge the integrity of security products for sport. With the proper time, knowledge and tools nearly any security device can be manipulated – especially in a controlled environment by a dedicated locksmith or security expert.

The most important function of any locking mechanism is deterrence. No one takes security more seriously than Master Lock and we offer a complete line of lock products that offer escalating levels of security and cost.

Consumers should choose a level of security based on their needs and budget. Consistent with our industry leadership and commitment to product excellence, Master Lock is always innovating to further enhance the security our products provide.

Adrian Crenshaw (Irongeek_adc), another locksport enthusiast, was also asked for his opinion on the video. He said that while the #3 Master Lock are known to many lock experts to be weak and prone to picking, some Master Locks are fine, but consumers should look for ball bearings on the shackle system and security pins.

“Master Lock No. 3s and related locks (#5, # 6, #7 etc.) have long been know by the lock sport community to be easy (in general) to rake open, shim, shiv or do a number of attacks against,” Crenshaw said.

So consumers are better off making the investment if they need a solid lock, he added.

“Spend a little more on an American padlock (also owned by Master, but made better), Abus or a Master Lock made with security pins and ball bearings.”

Bosnian Bill seems to agree, in comments on his videos he commonly recommends anything made by Abloy, Medeco, or Mul-T-Lock.

In another video, where Bosnian Bill mentions legal threats, he is seen picking a Master Lock with a zip tie.