The Ultimate Safecracking Quiz

3 PLAYS

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

You often see slick safecracking in the movies, but is it really as easy as it seems? There are several methods, but the starting point with all of them is knowing what safe you are trying to crack and how it works. Take a crack at this quiz and learn more about this fascinating subject.

The three ingredients of successful safecracking are: the right tools, the right skills and:

You need the right tools and skills, but you also need lots of patience. If you're one to give up easily, choose a different profession!

Advertisement

What is the basis of successful safecracking?

Consider it a weakness of the security system, but every safe has to be accessible to a locksmith in case it fails to open.

Advertisement

What do fire safes do?

Fire safes have the primary purpose of protecting the contents against fire. What they don't guarantee is protecting against unwanted entry.

Advertisement

What characterizes a Group 1 combination lock?

A Group 1 combination lock is usually more sturdy than a Group 2 lock, boasting up to six numbers.

Advertisement

What do wheel fly, fence, drive cam and spindle have in common?

They are all parts of a combination-lock wheel pack.

Advertisement

In a wheel pack, what happens when you turn the combination dial?

When you turn the dial, the spindle turns the drive cam, causing the drive pin to make contact with the wheel fly.

Advertisement

For how long has the wheel pack been used in safes?

The wheel pack has been used for about 100 years.

Advertisement

All safes come from the manufacturer with try-out combinations. What are these?

Try-out combinations conform to industry standards for certain safes and are the initial combinations set into the locks.

Advertisement

People who buy safes and use the try-out combinations without resetting the combination:

Not resetting the combination always makes it easy for safecrackers, who are expert in knowing the standard try-out combinations.

Advertisement

How will searching the room help a safecracker to crack the safe?

People often write the combination down so as not to forget it and leave it somewhere near the safe.

Advertisement

Why is it easy to break into a day lock?

A day lock, often used by businesses during work hours, is often left almost completely unlocked, so all that is needed to open it is to guess one digit.

Advertisement

According to Harry C. Miller, lock manipulation has three steps: 1)determine contact points, 2)_____ and 3)graph your results.

The second step is to discover the number of wheels. This is achieved by listening for the number of clicks as you turn the dial from its parking position.

Advertisement

What will you see when you graph the results of your lock manipulation?

When you graph the results, you'll see that the right and left contact points converge, pointing to a range of numbers that contains the combination.

Advertisement

How many variations will a three-number combination have?

It will have six variations: ABC, ACB, BAC, BCA, CAB, CBA.

Advertisement

If you want to drill through a safe, where on the safe should you do it?

The best place is to drill through the face of the lock. This way, you can reach the lever or drive cam and push your way through.

Advertisement

If cobalt plates have been installed inside, what drill bits would you require to penetrate them?

You would need titanium or diamond drill bits, although they will wear out your drill motor sooner than they'll wear out themselves.

Advertisement

When drilling above the cobalt plate, the safecracker can use a fiber-optic viewer to watch the wheels spin as he turns the dial. What is this viewer called?

It's called a borescope and it enables the safecracker to see inside the safe.

Advertisement

Torching is one effective method to crack a safe. What temperature can an oxy-acetylene torch reach?

It can reach 4,500 degrees Fahrenheit (2,482 degrees Celsius), although this is not hot enough to bore a hole into a safe quickly.

Advertisement

Using a plasma cutter or thermic lance can create enough heat to drill through a large safe, but it generates a lot of heat and smoke. What other downsides are there?

Both plasma cutters and thermic lances are expensive and require skill to operate properly.

Advertisement

When using explosives to crack a safe, the most popular option is nitroglycerine "grease." What does the substance look like?

Nitroglycerin is a jelly-like substance and a highly explosive concoction made of glycerin, nitric acid and sulfuric acid.

Advertisement

Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!