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High-Security Mechanical Locks - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780750684378, 9780080555867

High-Security Mechanical Locks

1st Edition

An Encyclopedic Reference

Author: Graham Pulford
eBook ISBN: 9780080555867
Hardcover ISBN: 9780750684378
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 17th October 2007
Page Count: 616
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High-Security Mechanical Locks comprehensively surveys and explains the highly technical area of high security locks in a way that is accessible to a wide audience. Well over 100 different locks are presented, organized into 6 basic types. Each chapter introduces the necessary concepts in a historical perspective and further categorizes the locks. This is followed by detailed 'how it works' descriptions with many pictures, diagrams and references. The descriptions are based on actual dissections of the real locks.

The scope is limited to key operated mechanical locks, thus keyless combination locks and digital locks are not covered. The book does not deal with routine locksmithing topics such as installation and servicing of locks. The sensitive area of picking and bypassing of locks is dealt with only at a high level without giving detailed information that would be unacceptable in the wrong hands.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive coverage of over 100 different types of 19th and 20th century key-operated locks, unified in a simple classification scheme
    * Detailed operating principles - clear 'how it works' descriptions
    * Manipulation resistance rating for each lock on a scale of 1 to 5


Security professionals; some interest for locksmiths as well as lock enthusiasts and hobbyists.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction; 2 Pin-Tumbler Locks; 3 Wafer Locks; 4 Side-Bar Locks; 5 Lever Locks; 6 Magnetic Locks; 7 Car Locks; 8 Conclusion; References; Figure Credits; Appendix A1: Permutations and Combinations; Appendix A2: Lock Permutations and Fractals; Appendix B: Translations of Lock Vocabulary; Appendix C: Terminology and Abbreviations; Appendix D: Lock Patents; Appendix E: Brief History of the Bramah Lock; Appendix F: Key Code Computations; Appendix G: Security Gradings for Cylinder Locks


No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2007
17th October 2007
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Graham Pulford


"In scope and clarity this book transcends anything that I have ever seen on locks and keys." --Jon Millington

"It's not often that a book lands on your desk that you feel should be an essential companion for all locksmiths. High Security Mechanical Locks is just such a book... I was very impressed by both the breadth and depth of locks covered, where else do the Bode-Panzer Tangential lock from the '30s and the Hobbs Parautoptic from the Victorian era rub shoulders with the New Generation BiLock and the Mercedes & Volvo Four-Track Locks? In short, if you're serious about your profession as a locksmith you have to have this book!" --from Keyways, the Journal of the Master Locksmiths Association, UK, Feb. 2008

"Since I received the book I can’t believe how many times I have grabbed it to try and help explain to a friend how a specific lock works...The book is so packed with information and pictures it is a real joy to have on the shelf." --Mitch Capper

"This is a really fantastic work, and one that I just wouldn't want to be missing from my collection." --Josh Nekrep

"I thoroughly recommend this book to both lock collectors and working locksmiths. After some 40 years of active collecting, I have learned of the existence of high security locks that I was totally unaware of. It is quite obvious that many years of intensive research and study have gone into the preparation of this book. It is no exaggeration to describe Graham Pulford as the 'George Price' of our era. He has documented the high security mechanical locks of our age in the detailed way that George Price did in the Victorian period. This book is a 'Must Have'." --J. Michael Fincher, Collector and writer on the subject of high security safe and vault locks for over 40 years

"A very coherent and riveting book which will be found valuable to anyone interested in learning more about mechanical locks. This book triumphs over all encyclopedic references I have read from modern day times, and is worthy to stand alongside George Price's book of 1856."--Tommy Watson, UK safe expert

"As a professional involved in reviewing and testing mechanical locks for several manufacturers, I have over time gained considerable knowledge about locking techniques and systems and was initially skeptical about this book. As soon as I started reading my perceptions changed. There were several locking techniques I had not seen or read about before. In addition, not only were many locks covered in great detail, but many uncommon locks too. There are certainly many ways one can talk about a lock, from patents to operating principles, or even how to manipulate the. In my opinion, the author has done a remarkable job at covering the subject of mechanical locks in an understandable and comprehensive manner. I would recommend this book to every lock enthusiast or industry person who would like to dive deeper into locking techniques."--Han Fey, Han Fey Lock Technologies, The Netherlands

Ratings and Reviews