Here at Security Snobs we offer three full product lines, Abloy Protec(2), BiLock NG, and EVVA MCS. We offer these systems because these are two systems that are very secure products. For more details on why
we specifically offer these brands and what makes us different, please see the
Security Snobs Difference
Abloy Protec / Abloy Protec2
Abloy is one of the most reputable high security lock manufacturers in the world. Abloy is based out of Finland and their current top of the line lock system is the Abloy Protec/Protec2 system. The Abloy Protec system came out in 2001 and features a unique rotating disk based system with a disk blocking anti pick system that is unique to them. It is completely bump proof and extremely pick resistant. It is well respected as one of the top of the line high security locks in the world. It has one of the largest key spaces of any high security system with over 2 billion possible keys. Virtually all Abloy locks can be keyed to work with the same set of keys. The Abloy Protec2 was introduced in December of 2012 and it makes some refinements to the Abloy Protec system. The primary features include minor additional drill resistance, harder to copy keys with an interactive element and an extended patent through 2031. To order locks in the Protec2 system select "Protec 2 Elite" under key profile on the product options. For more details please see our Abloy Brand Information
BiLock is a high security brand that features a unique Quick Change Core (QCC) system and is based out of Australia. BiLock features a unique U shaped key that utilizes a pin and sidebar system that is extremely pick resistant and completely bump proof making it a popular choice by casinos and businesses around the world. The QCC system from BiLock works in all of their locks and allows for the instant removal of the core of the lock with a control key to allow a new core to be easily inserted. Virtually all of their locks can use the same key and interchangeable QC cores. BiLock has extensive retrofitting and compatibility features allowing it to be used in many existing locking systems. For more details please see our BiLock Brand Information
EVVA is one of the top high security manufacturers in the world with several different active high security systems and is based out of Austria. We carry their premium MCS (Magnetic Key System) product line featuring a nearly un-duplicable key and an extremely secure cylinder with both an advanced magnetic and mechanical slider security system. MCS locks are completely bump proof and extremely pick resistant (no known picking attacks have been successful). All EVVA locks and keys are factory assembled which is great for key control and security, but also means most EVVA products we carry have around a 3 week lead time. All MCS locks can be keyed to work with the same set of keys. For more details please see our EVVA Brand Information
Stanton Concepts is an innovative company that creates a wide array of products and concepts spanning a variety of physical security areas since 1987. They pride themselves on creative solutions to common problems and have created some very unique products. Their Robo Key System (RKS) lock is a next generation high security lock with reliability, pick resistance, and simplicity. The RKS features an open source dialer making it a great OEM solution for custom applications. For more details on the RKS see our
Robo Key System (RKS)
page. In addition to the RKS, we carry many of Stanton Concepts other products. For more details on all of their creations please see
Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G)
Sargent and Greenleaf makes a wide range of products from safe locks to padlocks. Not all of their products are high security products, some are meant for durability or just standard use. S&G has a very high level of craftsmanship and quality in the locks they produce. However, their products are not necessarily without faults. Products such as the S&G 951/833 padlock use an older style Medeco Biaxial cylinder which is not as secure as some other options. These particular products are optimized for extreme force resistance rather than manipulation resistance, so the tradeoff is made. S&G products can be found under the
Sargent & Greenleaf
manufacturer page or in the respective categories.
Other Brand Information
There are many other lock types available in the US including several other high security locks. When we evaluate what product lines would best serve our customers, we try to evaluate every possible system that is available. Listed below are some of the systems we have decided against as well as some reason for the decision. Please keep in mind that for a lot of uses, these high security locks are still very good at their job and offer a decent level of security. We will first talk about high security locks and then about standard door locks.
First and foremost is Medeco. The Medeco lock is used in at least 60% of the US high security market. However in the past decade years, this system has become extremely compromised. While new locks from the factory have had most of the problems fixed, older locks (or old stock) may still suffer from vulnerabilities. The primary concern with current Medeco locks from the factory only relates to key control. For more details on this please see the website
Kwikset Smartkey / Schlage SecureKey
The Smartkey system was a revolutionary new lock from a manufacturer who traditionally did not produce high security locks. It is a completely un-bumpable lock, and while it does use the same keys as their normal product line, it operates in a completely different way. It is very pick resistant and the latest generation includes some force resistant countermeasures that really make it a decent lock. Unfortunately, the lock is primarily a residential targeted lock. It does not support masterkeying and lacks the true attack resistance of a high grade commercial lock. It is still a good residential grade lock. If you are not looking to move to a high security system (for cost or other reasons) like BiLock or the Protec, we would certainly recommend it before others. The SecureKey system from Schlage was introduced after the Kwikset SmartKey and operates internally using a very similar system. In 2011 Kwikset was successful in defending its patents against Schlage, forcing them to halt production of SecureKey systems. SmartKey/SecureKey systems are more vulnerable than standard pin tumbler locks to force attacks. Standard pins found in tradional pin tumbler locks are very strong against physical attacks such as torque applied with a screw driver in order to force open the lock. The wafer systems used by the SmartKey/SecureKey are not as strong against this sort of attack. There have been some example attacks against these systems which demonstrate that, once forced, any key can work in the lock. However, without close examination, the fact the lock has been forced is not evident. It is worth noting that these locks may also be vulnerable to an attack that seems similar to bumping. While they are not pin tumbler locks and thus cannot be bumped, using a similar bump key and action they can be opened due to tolerance issues and a lack of proper false gates. While the locks do have a few issues, we do still recommend them over standard pin tumbler locks if a force attack is not your primary concern.
Schlage Everest Primus
The Primus system is actually a very secure system in theory. It involves a normal pin tumbler lock plus an additional secondary locking system (sidebar) on the side of the key that involves lifting and rotating of additional pins. Unfortunately, the sidebar cuts in the key are made by the manufacturer prior to being sent to the dealers. This means that if someone is able to get a key blank (or even possibly a key) from your dealer, they will have the proper sidebar combination to effectively reduce the lock to the security of a standard pin tumbler lock. Large masterkey systems can be left especially vulnerable.
Schlage Everest / Medeco BiLevel
These locks are not to be confused with high security locks. While they offer patented key control, they are most similar to standard pin tumblers. They are primarily offered as low cost cylinder for use on low-security doors in a high security system (they can take the high security keys for the brands other products). It is important to ensure you do not mistake one of these cylinders for a high security cylinder as they can look very similar (generally there is a logo or engraving on the surface to mark them, but it can be missed) to their counterparts and only the internal parts will differ.
The Mul-T-Lock system of locks is primarily based out of Israel and are good locks. Unfortunately, it is possible for the system to be picked using the proper tools. Additionally, some very simple bypasses do exist particularly for older locks. Finally, it is possible to bump open these locks with proper keys.
The MT5/MT5+ systems from Mul-T-Lock are the latest generation from this manufacturer. The MT5 is virtually identical to the Mul-T-Lock Interactive however it features a patented alpha spring that acts as an interactive element in the tip of the key. It is not an anti-pick feature but rather to restrict duplication of the keys. The vulnerabilities in the Mul-T-Lock interactive still exist in the MT5. The real security innovation is in the MT5+ which primarily started in the US in 2011. The Mul-T-Lock MT5+ is the same as the MT5 however adds the addition of a set of sliders in the lock and a slider track on the key. This additional layer of security sits on top of the old system and provides additional protection against picking and bumping. If the slider system is compromised the rest of the lock can be attacked just like the Interactive. As long as the slider system remains secure it is a secure high security lock. It is important to note that the slider track is similar to the sidebar system in some other high security locks, and does not change as much as the pin depths do. This means that someone who gets a key with the same slider track as another lock (IE from the same dealer) could reduce the security of the lock. In addition while the slider system is currently considered secure, it has been compromised twice since its release. If it is compromised again the security of the lock (and locks currently deployed) will once again be reduced.
ASSA Twin/ ASSA Combi / ASSA Pro / ASSA DP
This line of ASSA locks are very good locks. However, they have a
fault to that of the Primus. The sidebar code is cut at the factory, and
once one key in the system (or from the same dealer) can be obtained,
the lock can be essentially reduced to the security level of a standard pin tumbler lock. The ASSA DP was the first to implement a split based pin that doubled the sidebar pins but still has the same issue of manufacturer assigned sidebar combinations.
Scorpion / Marks Security Locks
This popular line of locks has gone by many names including Marks High Security, Scorpion CX-5, and several others. It is something of an intermediate high security lock implementing a slider system with sidebar groove and its generally sold through distributors rather than direct locksmith dealers. It has a similar vulnerability to the Primus and ASSA lines in that many locksmiths only have one or a select few sidebar (slider) combinations, in addition as it is distributed via large distributors all locksmiths who buy from that distributor is frequently limited to only a few select combinations.
Non-High Security Locks
Residential locks such as Kwikset (aside from the Smartkey), Schlage, Master Lock, or generic hardware store branded locks are almost always just standard pin tumbler locks. They can be bumped or picked with relative ease. In most situations with these systems, the less you pay, the more vulnerable you are to picking, bumping and other methods of bypass. We would always discourage users from using these systems no matter what they are protecting, and encourage you instead to look towards the Kwikset Smartkey system which can be purchased for as little as $28 per lock.
Best IC Cylinder / IC Cylinder Locks
Best Interchangeable Core locks and other IC cylinders are frequently found in commercial spaces. Most IC cylinders can be identified by the figure 8 look on the outside. IC Cylinders are generally not regarded as high security locks. Many feature a standard pin tumbler design and highly restricted key profiles. While restricted key profiles (something Best is most known for) provide some security simply by restricting availability of the keys, it is not a great idea to rely on this for security. Best locks and some (but not all) IC cylinders implement two shear lines for the ability to remove the core. This does make the lock harder to pick without the proper tools. Other locks utilize a control pin or similar which do not provide any enhanced security. Due to the fact that IC cylinders are generally still pin tumblers they are still vulnerable to most common attacks like bumping.
MIWA manufactures a range of locks including a large series of magnetic locks. These are some of the more economic magnetic locks available and are popular in Asia. While they provide resistance to traditional pick tools there have been some advanced tools made against the MIWA series. There are decoders for figuring out the magnets in the lock, and more worrisome, the magnets in the lock are not extremely strong. This could allow an outside magnet to reprogram the lock to lock someone out, or worse to reset the lock to a known key. This is in contrast to the EVVA MCS which does not features magnets in the lock but rather in the key itself.