Anti-pick, anti-bump, anti-drill – what does it all mean?


If you are in the market for a new front door, you may well have heard all about locks that are anti-bump, anti-drill or anti-pick, but what do all of these things mean? Do your locks need to have these abilities?

Well, I thought I would try to clarify what each of these terminologies means so you can make a concise, informed decision when purchasing a new door. This is in no way intended as a ‘how to guide for breaking into a door’, but if you are interested in such an article, why not send us your details to [email protected] and we’ll hand them straight to your nearest Police station?


This is the most self explanatory. We are all aware that locks can be picked and will no doubt seen lock picking being carried out on TV and in films. The picking of a lock is quite simple. Using a couple of small items such as a hair pin or paper clip a lock can be picked. These instruments are used to create torsion (to turn the lock) and to pick the pin stack, which simply means pushing them up into opening position (where the top half of the pin stack is above the shear line) in the cylinder. Once the top half of the pins are aligned above the shear line, a lock can be opened; a well trained hand can do this in seconds, delicately placing each pin perfectly to gain access.

Lock picking

Anti-pick locks are made in such a way that it is  almost impossible to pick. Methods include the top half of the pin stack having a mushroom shape or an indent so it catches when it is being picked, giving the impression it is in place. Alternatively, the top half of the pins stack can be ridged, making it near impossible to guess when it is at the correct height.


Drilling a lock is a destructive, unsubtle way to gain entry into a home. It is done by knocking in a drill bit just below the shear line in the key hole to create a guidance point. Then attach a drill bit to fit the gap and drill. Repeat with a slightly larger drill bit. Then all you have to do is use a flat headed screwdriver to turn the lock like you would with a key.

This will destroy the lock, but only takes a couple of minutes. Anti-drill locks prevent the internal mechanisms from snapping by having ceramic plates inside or steel pins and a steel cylinder to defend against drilling.


Bumping is a process of making the pins jump above the shear line to gain access. A special key is made with many ridges all of the same short length. When these are whacked into the cylinder and turned almost instantly after, the lock quite often opens. There is no damage, no sign of a break-in and can be done in seconds.

Anti-bump locks work by having more pins and specially made keys, having shallow pin stacks to prevent them ‘jumping’ up or locks that have programmable side bars and no top pins. Locks that use rotating disks also protect against bumping, keeping your door securely shut.

Anti-bump door

Is it worth having a lock with these protections?

If you are concerned with the safety of your family and belongings, then yes of course this kind of protection is essential! Not to be a scaremonger, but there are hundreds of videos showing you how to pick, bump and drill locks, so knowing that your door is not vulnerable from such attack will definitely help you sleep easy.

Needless to say that Anglian’s doors are fitted with Yale’s anti-bump, anti-pick and anti-drill locks.