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The Soft Key Lock Is Essentially Unpickable

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Updated January 26, 2020

As long as there have been locks, there have been people trying to pick them. Really, it’s not a big surprise: A lock is a logic puzzle, essentially, and there’s just a certain type of person that can’t resist one. That said, though, it’s hard to see how the Soft Key could ever be picked.

Chain Of Custody

Most locks are relatively straightforward. There’s a keyway, and inside are some tumblers, set to split when they align at a certain point. If you align the tumblers, whether through inserting a key or using a pick to lift them properly, you can turn the cylinder the lock is contained in, and open the door. If you’re a more visual person, here’s somebody doing just that, in less than thirty seconds.


So, how does the Soft Key thwart this? By changing how keys work.

Key On A String

Essentially, you align the key with the key way and “inject” the key, which is actually a chain, into the lock. This allows the key way to wind around in the lock, making it impossible for conventional picks to get in and lift the tumblers, and essentially makes your stuff unpickable. So why aren’t these standard?

It’s a complete mystery, honestly. We weren’t able to find anything from the lockmaker, HYT, and it appears that any retail versions of this lock are completely out of stock. But it’s still a fascinating idea, and we hope it resurfaces.