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Buy a Mul-T-Lock online -- the Israeli lock called רב בריח

Updated on September 25, 2010

Is your front door break-proof? How about the lock? Could you keep intruders out if you needed to? One of the best locks available today is Mul-T-lock from רב-בריח, an Israeli company. Here at Project Bow we are considering purchasing a high grade security set of locks, and in the process we are weighing the pros and cons of investing in a Mul-T-lock locking mechanism. Do we want a pick proof lock or a lock that will stand a full force frontal assault? And is the Mul-T-lock system best suited to handle both those challenges?

At Project Bow we have a number of special requirements that must be met by the locks we use:

  1. The locks have to be symmetrical on both sides. There should be an identical keyhole on both sides of each door.
  2. Each of the fifteen locks we use should open with the same key.
  3. The door should not be too snug in the doorway. It should be possible to ascertain by gently rattling the door that it really is locked.
  4. The lock should be able to withstand the physical assault of a full grown male chimpanzee. This means, it should stand up to superhuman strength.

The Mul-T-Lock Trademark
The Mul-T-Lock Trademark

בריח can be part of a gun's locking mechanism

    Another example of the use of the word   Image Credit: Wikipedia
Another example of the use of the word Image Credit: Wikipedia

Israeli Locks and Hebrew Terms

Project Bow has the world's only literate chimpanzee, and Bow is able to read and write in both English and Hebrew. Here is a quick lesson for you, if you want to have an intelligent mutlilingual discussion about locks.

In Hebrew, inner doors are called דלתות פנים. Outer doors are called דלתות חוץ. And the world's best lock company is called רב בריח. Translated literally, it means "multiple bolt". (It's the same kind of bolt as used in the locking mechanism of a gun.) But the commercial translation is multilock, or Mul-T-Lock.

If you are looking for a pick proof lock or a mutliple point locking system, the Mul-T-Lock is the answer. It will keep people from breaking into your house, if that is your concern. My concern is different. I need to keep someone from breaking out of my house. And even though I was born Israeli, I'd never even heard of רב בריח until I invited a master locksmith to take a look at the locks in the pen system at Project Bow.

A typical Kwikset lock at Project Bow
A typical Kwikset lock at Project Bow

Structural Weaknesses involving Single Point Locks

Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Any structure can withstand an assault so long as its weakest point holds. Here in the pens with Bow, the door frames are made of steel. The grid is made of steel. The weakest point of the structure is the locks. Currently, we have a matched set of fifteen same key Kwikset locks for each of the fifteen doors in the Project Bow pen . They are good enough to serve as most people's front door locks, but then most people's front doors are made of wood, and would break long before the lock would, if a chimpanzee were pounding on them.

Right now, our locks are adequate, because Bow is only eight years old and weighs about sixty pounds. But we want to think ahead to when he is an adult and may weigh as much as two hundred pounds. We want more than just a single point lock.

Mul-T-Lock lock and key

Image Credit:
Image Credit:

What Makes a Mul-T-Lock special?

The Mul-T-Lock cylinders use a telescoping pin-within-a pin tumbler design and horizontally-oriented dimple keys. They are hardened against forceful attack. They are also ingeniously designed to make it difficult to pick the lock using conventional methods.

A local locksmith has quoted us $300.00 per lock as the going price for Mul-T-locks. However, I understand that in Israel you can buy an entire steel door with the lock for that price. It's called a פלדלת.

רב בריח

Breaking Things versus Breaking Out

Bow does not want to break out of his pens. He knows that life outside the pens is dangerous for a chimpanzee. However, he does enjoy testing his strength and breaking things. He is also a natural born saboteur. He once totally neutralized a lock using only poop.

Every once in a while Bow throws himself against the zoo glass or the door in a splendid display of his masculine prowess. If he wanted to get out, he could simply take the key away from me and use it. He never even tries. He's not interested in leaving. But what he wants to do is to make it amply clear how very muscular and strong and manly he truly is. He needs to have his physical superiority over us acknowledged. He wants to be appreciated for the damage he could do, should he choose to. But he doesn't choose to. He's saying: see what I can do to the door? I could do that to you, too, only I'm nice, so I won't.

So far, the locks have withstood the abuse, but we are not waiting until he is full grown to buy better locks. The pen system keeps us safe-- Bow most of all.

Bow hanging off the door. The shiny thing is the lock.
Bow hanging off the door. The shiny thing is the lock.
My daughter on the other side of the lock from Bow
My daughter on the other side of the lock from Bow

Selling Points: Multiple Points of Contact

The selling point for me is that I want multiple points of contact for the lock, instead of a single bolt affixing itself to one point on the door frame. But every time I watch one of the commercials for the Mul-T-Lock system, they don't even show the point of contact with the door frame. They keep showing us the mutliple pins in the cylinder. In other words, they seem to be most proud of how their lock is pick proof.

I'm not sure that I want a pick proof lock. I don't want to get locked in here in case of a fire. I want a lock that can be gotten around in an emergency. (In Israel, many people die in fires when they find themselves locked into their houses with their top of the line pick proof locks.)

What I want is a lock that can withstand a physical, brute assault and won't break at the point of contact.

Conclusion: Not Yet Locked In

I haven't decided yet on the locks we will purchase. I'm not yet locked into a single system that has everything we need. But if you are looking for a lock to keep someone out or hold someone in, the Mul-T-lock system is one you might consider when you are shopping around.

(c) 2010 Aya Katz


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    • Aya Katz profile imageAUTHOR

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      ReuVera, yes, I read that, too. It seems we left before everybody got so security conscious.

      I don't want to buy an opaque pladelet for Bow's pen. We are happy with the steel doors we have which allow us to see through the grid and even share a drink through a straw stuck in the holes of the grid. We just need a better grade of lock with more than one point of contact.

      I am thinking of contacting the manufacturer and working out a deal with them, but first I need to know for sure that this is the kind of lock I want. I'm hoping the locksmith I'm dealing with will provide me with photos and documentation on the locks.

    • ReuVera profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Aya, I've read that the company was founded in 1973 by two young Israeli entrepreneurs in Holon and now it seems that every single house or apartment in Israel has "pladelet", as they call this steel door with an installed four-way lock. It also has a steel frame fitted for the four-way lock.

      Can you actually buy the whole construction for Bow's den? I mean, the door with a lock and the frame?

      I suppose that these doors are pretty affordable in Israel, because even cheap apartments have them. Of course, US dealers inflate the prices pretty much. For example, solar water heating system in Israel (dud-shemesh) costs much much less than here, in US.

    • Aya Katz profile imageAUTHOR

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Thanks, ReuVera! I never had a rav-bariach myself as it is a relatively recent invention, and we left Israel in 1970. But I hear it is quite common there now. What do you think? Does it make sense for a single lock to cost about as much as a door?

    • ReuVera profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Good information, Aya. I miss my rav-bariach key from Israel apartment. :-)

      This lock will be a good investment if it might be a solution in Bow's case.


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