Friday, January 23, 2015

How to use curved shims on a lock cylinder.

Every locksmith should know what curved shims are and how to use them. The shims are used on lock cylinders when you don't have a working key and the lock needs to be re-keyed, Shims are very thin pieces of curved stainless steel, formed to fit the curve of a lock plug and are used to separate the top pins from the bottom pins. I use shims all the time they are great for when you have the cylinder in hand and you don't want to take the time to pick the lock.


  1.  Start by removing any C-clips or caps on the back end of the cylinder ( how you would when your about to start re-keying any cylinder lock)
  2. Fully insert a key blank into the cylinder. 
  3. Insert the shim in between the plug and the housing until it barely touches the last pin. 
  4. While adding light pressure on the shim inward( toward the front of the cylinder) slowly pull the key out. If this is done right you will feel the shim move a small amount inward. 
  5. Continue until all the top and bottom pins are separated.
  6. Turn the cylinder 90 degrees either way. The lock is now "picked" and you are now able to re-key this lock or make a key for the cylinder.  



2 comments:

  1. Always wanted to know how to use a curved shim to open a lock. I want to know just in case I ever have to use one in order to get back inside my house. It is a great skill to have, so I'm going to start practicing opening locks with my curved shim right away. http://www.lockshopnm.com/About-Us/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Always wanted to know how to use a curved shim to open a lock. I want to know just in case I ever have to use one in order to get back inside my house. It is a great skill to have, so I'm going to start practicing opening locks with my curved shim right away. http://www.lockshopnm.com/About-Us/

    ReplyDelete