September 1, 2011

Lee Valley Puzzle Lock

This lovely puzzle lock was loaned to me by Jeff Chiou of, check out his review here. It is available now from Lee Valley for $79. I had seen this one before and it looked really interesting, so I was quite tempted to purchase one and was glad to have the opportunity to try one out first.

The first thing you'll notice about the Lee Valley Puzzle Lock is that it is quite massive, it weighs in at about 2 pounds, and has a solid brass body.The finish is a bit rough, but I think that's alright for a puzzle of this type, it gives it character. On the Lee Valley site, they mention that it is based on a 15th century design, so this puzzle goes quite a ways back.

It comes with three pairs of duplicate keys: one looks fairly standard but the other two look a bit unusual. I found the first step fairly quickly, as did other people who I gave this lock to. It is pretty straightforward given the various features of the lock and the tools that are available. The second step is probably my favorite part of this lock, it isn't particularly hard (maybe slightly harder than finding the first step), but it is quite fun.

The next step is pretty easy, and you may think you're done, but there's one final step to open the lock. This is probably the hardest step, but by a very thin margin since they're all pretty easy. Most folks that I gave this lock to were able to solve it in under 5 minutes, I think it only took me a minute or two, so it is not particularly difficult. However, it has a nice sequence of steps and is quite accessible to non-puzzlers, which I liked.

Overall, I really liked the Lee Valley Puzzle lock! Definitely worth checking out if you enjoy puzzle locks, as long as you won't be too disappointed if you find it easy to solve. Thanks to Jeff for loaning it to me!


  1. Plus if you ever get bored of it as a puzzle it would make one hell of a nut cracker! ;)

  2. I quite liked this puzzle lock. As you say, not very difficult but has a few steps and is a heavy lock. Gerard

  3. Maybe this one is quite suitable for the novice of the puzzle lock, just like me.
    I love this puzzle lock very much.
    But it weighs 2 pounds and the postal fee may be tremendous.
    Mechanical puzzle addict


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