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What is Lock Snapping? – Find Out How To Prevent it

Lock Snapping banner

You may well have heard of “cylinder snapping” or lock snapping or even the term “lock bumping”.   Lock snapping is a very common method used by burglars to break into a property that has a euro cylinder.

Euro lock cylinders are found on almost all properties that have UPVC doors, although a significant number of composite & aluminium doors use them too, and they’re often used in commercial as well as domestic environments.

On This page we will cover:


1. The Method of Lock Snapping

The method of lock snapping involves breaking the cylinder to then manipulate the lock to open.

Whilst you may think that all the multi-locking points on your door make it secure, it’s important to realise they are all operated by the cylinder – this is the weakest point and if compromised all the locking points are rendered useless.

Brass Cylinder Keys

What your typical euro cylinder looks like

  • Lock snapping requires no specialist tools or knowledge – Various Police Forces are warning residents that lock snapping / cylinder snapping is a method of attack which requires no specialist tools or knowledge.
  • 25% of burglaries use lock snapping – Euro Cylinder Burglary Developments from the West Yorkshire Force have established that 25% of burglaries use this method of entry.

Lock Snapping spreading further afield – Whilst it has previously been restricted mainly to the Yorkshire area we are now seeing Police further afield giving warnings


2. How an Anti-Snap Lock can prevent a Burglary!

From the below image you can clearly see how fitting by a anti snap lock cylinder to these UPVC doors that a burglary attempt has been stopped.

What lock above is used to stop the snapping?

The lock on the above door protecting it from snapping is a Sold Secure approved diamond standard cylinder.

To get one of these fitted we recommend contacting your local MLA approved locksmith who will be able to advise you on getting one fitted for your front and back doors.

Click here to Contact a MLA Locksmith
to discussing fitting Anti Snap Locks


3. How do I know if I have anti snap locks

1. The lock is a SS312 Diamond Approved Cylinder

One way of identifying if a lock is anti-snap is by making sure your lock is a SS312 Diamond Approved Cylinder – this is the highest level of approval for a lock cylinder

Sold Secure Diamond Lock Cylinder 2013 Logo

A diamond standard cylinder protects against lock snapping

Subsequent to the launch of SS312 Diamond other standards have been launched to address the issue but the Sold Secure standard is seen by most as the leader and therefore the approval to have.

You can find a list of all SS312 diamond approved lock cylinders that have achieved this highest level of approval by visiting the Sold Secure website

2. Look out for the 3 Star Kitemark Logo

If your lock has the 3-Star Kitemark Logo on it, this indicates the lock has been tested against snapping.

3 Star Kitemark Logo

3-Star Kitemark Logo = Anti-Snap lock protection

The Kitemark logo can be found anywhere on the lock, it’s usually found on either, the front or side of the euro cylinder.

Further Information: >> Most Secure Lock Cylinder to Prevent Lock Snapping


What Standard Cylinder Should I Fit?

To protect yourself against lock snapping there are essentially three ways to go.

OPTION 1 – Sold Secure 312 Diamond Approved Cylinder

By fitting a Sold Secure Diamond approved cylinder ( SS312 ), your local professional, MLA licensed locksmith will help you minimise the likelihood of being burgled using this method of lock snapping.

Anti Snap Cylinder ABS Chrome MK3 Cylinder

SS312 Diamond Standard Anti Snap Lock Cylinder – Image Courtesy of Avocet Hardware Ltd

>> West Yorkshire Police recommend using a SS312 Diamond Cylinder


OPTION 2 – 3 Star Kitemark

If an SS312 Diamond cylinder isn’t used then it should at least reach the 3star Kitemark standard to provide true resistance to snapping.

kitemark 3 star logo

If it’s not Sold Secure diamond make sure a cylinder at least has a 3-star kitemark

Don’t simply rely on the manufacturer stating its snap resistance, you should always look for 3rd Party approval to confirm a product’s performance.

>> West Yorkshire Police recommend using a 3 Star rating Cylinder


OPTION 3 – 1 Star Kitemark Cylinder with 2 Star Door Furniture

A 1-star kitemark cylinder fitted with a 2-star kite mark door furniture ( handle, cylinder guard )

lock cylinder and door furniture image

A 1-star lock cylinder and 2-star door furniture will prevent against Lock Snapping – image provided by Avocet Hardware Ltd

What is the Most Secure Lock
To PREVENT Lock Snapping?
read our advice here


How should the lock cylinder be correctly fitted?

The more of the cylinder that is accessible, the more prone it is to snapping, and a properly fitted cylinder (with no external overhang) will provide more protection against snapping, so the size of the cylinder is vital too. Yet more reasons why changing locks isn’t a do it yourself job!

The cylinder should not protrude more than 3mm from the handle and ideally should be completely flush.

Incorrectly Fitted Euro Lock Cylinder

The pictures below show incorrectly fitted cylinders. unbelievably they are actual pictures from jobs our members have witnessed (and of course immediately  suggested addressing!)

Overlong cylinder

Yet another unbelievable job by a so called “locksmith” where the cylinder is obviously far too long


Overlong cylinder 2

This is an actual cylinder fitted by a so-called “locksmith”.


Correctly Fitted Euro Lock Cylinder

This is how a correct size specified and fitted cylinder should look.

Correctly fitted cylinder

This cylinder however is the correct size and has been expertly specified and fitted

Don’t accept anything other than a correctly sized cylinder when having your locks changed and certainly don’t fall for the line that “the fact the cylinder is protruding is a special feature to help you feel where to put the key when it’s dark”!

Believe it or not, this is what one homeowner was told, luckily one of our approved companies spotted it and highlighted the homeowner to the danger this other so-called “locksmith” had put him in.

Conclusion on Lock Snapping – Consult your local MLA Licensed Locksmith

So the answer to the snapping issue is simple, contact a MLA locksmith to fit a Sold Secure Diamond approved cylinder and you can rest assured that your locks will put up the best fight.

A lot of people will ask can I fit my own lock but we recommend using a MLA Locksmith, especially with anti snap cylinder locks.

BONUS TIP
If you want to go that extra mile then why not get a MLA locksmith local to you to fit some high-security door furniture too such as security handles, make sure they have a 2-star Kitemark though.

Concerned about Lock Snapping?
Click here to Contact a MLA Locksmith
to discussing fitting Anti Snap Locks

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