To anyone who hasn't heard of lock bumping it is the technique of opening a lock by "bumping" a key with each peak ground to the lowest setting in order to open a lock. Bumping means tapping the key end with a hammer to pop the lock pins up and allow the lock to turn, thus picking a lock that you don't own a key for. Scary how well it works!!!

I've never tried it, and was always a bit skeptical of how well it worked but tonight I got a bit of practice. The door to my office has a lock that's seen better days. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of work to get it to turn. Tonight I was here late finishing an important assignment and left for the bathroom. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to get back in. With the motivation of an important assignment that needed doing I finally remembered "Bumping". So, I put the key in almost to the last pin, struck it with the back of my pocket knife, and Wham-O! The lock opened the first time.

Now, my key was fit to the lock, so it's sort-of cheating, but it gives you a feel for what is possible. Here's a video that shows just how easy the technique is even on tough locks.

There are a thousand how-to's and demos on YouTube if you get interested. Just don't go using it on anyone's house, you're libel to meet the business end of a shotgun, or the inside of a jail cell. But it is academically interesting trivia to know and there are even lock bumping competitions out there for those with a competitive bent.