FAQ  •  My feedback  •  Feedback
UKLockpickers.co.uk Lockpicking supplies such as Lockpicks, tools, and more! COMMANDOLOCK.COM Military grade padlock systems lockpickshop.com A source for lockpicking supplies such as lockpicks, locksmith tools, and more!

What Is Impressioning?

<<

Site Admin

Post Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:34 am

What Is Impressioning?

Impressioning is a method of fitting a key to a lock without taking the lock apart. Basically, here is how it works: A key blank is inserted into the lock, then turned to bind the pins. When the pins are binding, the key is wiggled or moved to produce marks on the blank. If a pin is at the shear line it will not bind, and no marking will occur. When marks are found, the places on the blank which have marks are then filed. The marking and filing process is repeated as necessary to produce a working key which raises all the pins to the shear line, thus opening the lock. Although impressioning is not hard to learn, it does take some practice to develop the skill. Of course, the more you practice, the easier it gets!

How long does it take to impression a key? With practice and by making use of shortcuts, it is not unusual to be able to make a key in about 10 minutes. Some locks will take longer. Sometimes as little as 5 minutes is possible if you are both lucky and skilled. If you try to pick a lock, you don't know in advance if it will take one minute or thirty. With impressioning, opening a lock is a more reliable and predictable process.
<<

Wozzlock

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 233

Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:43 am

Location: Liverpool UK

Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:28 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

That's pretty interesting! I have two Master 40 disk locks without keys (taken with permission from work)... are blanks available from a local key cutting shops? Maybe I should just take one in to see?
<<

m0ose

User avatar

Active Member

Posts: 702

Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 5:13 am

Location: Western New York

Post Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:47 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

Bender wrote:That's pretty interesting! I have two Master 40 disk locks without keys (taken with permission from work)... are blanks available from a local key cutting shops? Maybe I should just take one in to see?


The key blanks for a Master 40 are M1's. Some places like Home Depot have proprietary blanks that go by their own coding system, however it's not too hard to figure out.
<<

superlenny

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 49

Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:19 pm

Location: Germany/Bavaria

Post Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:44 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

eam i have a question:

when i get one of the pins on the sherline,
why he should not make a mark,
the springs pressing him on the kye ore not?
<<

ToolyMcgee

User avatar

Active Member

Posts: 576

Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:27 am

Location: Kokomo, Indiana

Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:50 am

Re: What Is Impressioning?

superlenny wrote:eam i have a question:

when i get one of the pins on the sherline,
why he should not make a mark,
the springs pressing him on the kye ore not?


Superlenny:
Impressioning a key is much like picking a lock. The pin that makes the best mark is the binding pin. When you get the pin to the shearline the mark should drastically decrease, and be transfered to another binding pin.

I think this is what you are asking. If so, then I believe you are the first person I have seen ask such a direct question. If not then you are a foreigner, or possibly too buzzed. Either way, CHEERS!

Mcgee
<<

superlenny

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 49

Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:19 pm

Location: Germany/Bavaria

Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:01 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

ToolyMcgee wrote:
superlenny wrote:eam i have a question:

when i get one of the pins on the sherline,
why he should not make a mark,
the springs pressing him on the kye ore not?


Superlenny:
Impressioning a key is much like picking a lock. The pin that makes the best mark is the binding pin. When you get the pin to the shearline the mark should drastically decrease, and be transfered to another binding pin.

I think this is what you are asking. If so, then I believe you are the first person I have seen ask such a direct question. If not then you are a foreigner, or possibly too buzzed. Either way, CHEERS!
Mcgee



At first big thank you for the answer.

ok now when i think about it it makes sence
i dosent lock it in that way that just the binding pin will make a mark.
Now i can search for reasons for this,
and i think its because the binding
Pin is more starched then the other ones.
Now i have a base to start with trying it out but two more things:
1. When i file it down, how get i the keye blank to see the next mark
on this spot again or is this not necessary.
2. Wath mean Lew with: "With practice and by making use of shortcuts,"
shourtcuts how? what he mean with that?

thy
lenny
<<

quaiboi

User avatar

Familiar Face

Posts: 59

Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:38 am

Location: singapore

Post Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:59 am

Re: What Is Impressioning?

ToolyMcgee wrote:
superlenny wrote:eam i have a question:

when i get one of the pins on the sherline,
why he should not make a mark,
the springs pressing him on the kye ore not?


Superlenny:
Impressioning a key is much like picking a lock. The pin that makes the best mark is the binding pin. When you get the pin to the shearline the mark should drastically decrease, and be transfered to another binding pin.

I think this is what you are asking. If so, then I believe you are the first person I have seen ask such a direct question. If not then you are a foreigner, or possibly too buzzed. Either way, CHEERS!

Mcgee

so if each time i file...i can only file on one pin....and not all 5 at the same time?
Last edited by quaiboi on Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<<

magician59

User avatar

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 827

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:38 pm

Location: Houston, Texas

Post Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:55 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

After 38 years of practice, my average time is between one and three minutes, depending on whether the lock is in the field, or on my bench.
Nemo Malus Felix
<<

Mike51691

User avatar

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 75

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:05 am

Location: Massachusetts

Post Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

Thats pretty fast
magician59 wrote:After 38 years of practice, my average time is between one and three minutes, depending on whether the lock is in the field, or on my bench.
<<

magician59

User avatar

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 827

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:38 pm

Location: Houston, Texas

Post Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

When you do it to feed your family, you have to be fast. Here's one way to improve your confidence a bit with impressioning:
Get a file and a few key blanks, AND a dial caliper or micrometer. Measure your every stroke with the file, until you can consistently remove the same amount of material with each stroke. Then you'll know just how many strokes it takes to go from one depth of cut to the next. This eliminates time wasted in extraneous filing. My career best time for an impressioned key was 45 seconds for a Ford pin tumbler trunk lock. That customer never saw any slim jims that day!
Nemo Malus Felix
<<

awol70

User avatar

Mentor - 1st Class / Research & Development Kingpin / Prolific Videomeister / Global Moderator / The Guy You Wish You Were
Mentor - 1st Class / Research & Development Kingpin / Prolific Videomeister /  Global Moderator / The Guy You Wish You Were

Posts: 1653

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:05 pm

Location: CANADA

Post Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:14 am

Re: What Is Impressioning?

magician59 wrote:When you do it to feed your family, you have to be fast. Here's one way to improve your confidence a bit with impressioning:
Get a file and a few key blanks, AND a dial caliper or micrometer. Measure your every stroke with the file, until you can consistently remove the same amount of material with each stroke. Then you'll know just how many strokes it takes to go from one depth of cut to the next. This eliminates time wasted in extraneous filing. My career best time for an impressioned key was 45 seconds for a Ford pin tumbler trunk lock. That customer never saw any slim jims that day!

i would absolutely LOVE to see you in action!
i had an old locksmith with thumbs like monkeywrenches impression a key for my AMC gremlin once,he did it on his knee !
just thumbs and a file...no vise-grips,no caliper..
i was amazed ,to say the least,and in wonder..
this guy had the biggest,strangest looking thumbs i have ever seen..
his hand was like a vise.
that was 20 years ago.
i remember it like it was yesterday.
" I Love the smell of napalm in the morning!....."

Image
<<

magician59

User avatar

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 827

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:38 pm

Location: Houston, Texas

Post Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:00 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

Wouldn't want to play thumb war with that one!
Nemo Malus Felix
<<

awol70

User avatar

Mentor - 1st Class / Research & Development Kingpin / Prolific Videomeister / Global Moderator / The Guy You Wish You Were
Mentor - 1st Class / Research & Development Kingpin / Prolific Videomeister /  Global Moderator / The Guy You Wish You Were

Posts: 1653

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:05 pm

Location: CANADA

Post Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:36 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

magician59 wrote:Wouldn't want to play thumb war with that one!

lol,me neither...
any chance at all of filming one of your impressioning jobs?
as i said, i would really enjoy seeing you do it,and i am sure all our members would as well.
i understand totally if you must decline,
but i just had to ask.



thanks.
Last edited by awol70 on Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
" I Love the smell of napalm in the morning!....."

Image
<<

magician59

User avatar

Contributor
Contributor

Posts: 827

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:38 pm

Location: Houston, Texas

Post Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:26 pm

Re: What Is Impressioning?

awol70 wrote:
magician59 wrote:Wouldn't want to play thumb war with that one!

lol,me neither...
any chance at all of filming on of your impressioning jobs?
as i said, i would really enjoy seeing you do it,and i am sure all our members would as well.
i understand totally if you must decline,
but i just had to ask.



thanks.

I'm not quite into the 21st century yet technically. I'm just getting used to cell phones. I do know how to take a digital photo, but I'll have to have my 13-year old son teach me how to upload!
Nemo Malus Felix
<<

Medecopen

Familiar Face

Posts: 39

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:28 am

Location: Northern California

Post Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:14 am

Re: What Is Impressioning?

I cant wait to do this... I remember over 20 years ago as a kid having a locksmith make me a key for my 67 cougar...
Never seen or heard of making keys like that again until I read this thread.. I started doubting what I saw, I e mentioned it to other folks and they just looked at me weirded but they were not lock people...
Is this possible on locks with side bars?
Next

Return to Pin Tumbler Impressioning

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot], Google [Bot]

Don't forget to visit our sponsors for all of your lockpicking needs!
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Grop
"CA Black" theme designed by stsoftware