How To Pick Locks. Beginners Guide To Lock Picking

Two of the most searched questions we get are “What lock pick do I need for this lock,” next to “How to pick a lock?” Locked yourself outside your room or car and left the key inside or lost it then you should know how to pick locks so that you can enter your room or car with ease without having to search for your key. You can use a chainsaw, impact drivers, wrenches, drills, saws, etc to cut or hammer through the locked door but it is never a good option but knowing how to pick a locked door can be the best option to avoid damaging your beloved door.

Although lock-picking can be associated with criminal intent, it is an essential skill for the legitimate profession of locksmithing and is also pursued by law-abiding citizens as a useful skill to learn, or simply as a hobby (locksport). Note that, this article is not intended towards any wrongdoings. And it needs to be taken as a skillset or hobby only.

Lockpicking is considered a very useful skill if used for the right reasons as it helps you understand how locks function and will allow you to create a more secure household. It’s also a fun hobby (locksport), not much different than solving Rubix cubes. It can be very frustrating to get locked out of your house. Sometimes it may take hours for a locksmith to finally show up and you might not have that much time to wait for them to get there but the best would be to pick a lock kit that can meet all your lock picking needs.

However, some states have laws that make owning lock picking tools prime evidence of criminal intent. Knowing how to pick locks really can help you get out of such intense scenarios. In the event of an emergency, it can definitely come in handy.

How To Pick Locks

A Guide To Lock Picking Skills

Things can get a touch bit complicated because we’d like to determine whether we’re talking about the locking mechanism or the lock housing. As an example, the word ‘padlock’ refers to the housing of a lock mechanism, but padlocks can use many various locking mechanisms. during this guide, we’re getting to specialize in the locking mechanism, the way the lock works inside, and more importantly, the picks you’ll get to pick a lock given its internal mechanism. Furthermore, knowing how to use a lock pick set is another important aspect of getting your lock picking skills praiseworthy.

How To Pick A Locked Door

Types Of Locks And How To Pick Them

Let’s check out the various lock types and find out how to pick These locks. While there are many locks, but we should always specialize in the foremost popular, the sort of locks you’re likely to encounter within this real-world and can probably recognize from having seen around.

Pin Tumbler Locks

Come with a pin cylinder locking mechanism which is considered one of the oldest mechanisms in the world
Pin Tumbler Locks

The design of a basic pin tumbler lock has been in use since 4000 BC and is one of the most common locks that you can easily see on front doors. Of course, it’s gotten more complex over the millennia. the planning that’s utilized in most cylinder locks – just like the one on your front entrance – has been around since 1861 and it hasn’t changed much.

Basically, most of the planet is employing a technology that’s been around for a century and a half to stay their most prized possessions safe and secure. There’s a central core or ‘plug’ that needs to rotate to open the lock. The plug is prevented from turning by a series of pins, which obstruct the plug.

How To Pick Pin Tumbler Locks – Steps For Lock Picking

  • You will need a hook pick to lift and set the pins, one after the other following the correct sequence or order.
  • Then use a tension wrench to apply pressure or torque to the plug while you pick the individual pins.
  • It takes practice to control and use the right amount of pressure when picking locks using the tension wrench or applicable turning tool.
  • Most modern lock pick sets will have a couple of specially designed rakes with a tension wrench or two to work on the driver pins and key pins to open the lock.

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Lever Locks

After pin cylinders, lever locks are the most widely used locks (also known as mortice locks)
Lever Locks

The basic principle uses a series of levers that have cut-aways or ‘gates’ which require to be lifted to different heights to permit the bolt stump to maneuver, then unlock the door. once you insert the key and switch it, the various height cuts on the key will lift all the levers to the right height, which aligns perfectly to supply a niche through which the bolt stump can move.

One among the cuts on the key, the last one, is that the bolt thrower, and because the key’s turned, and therefore the levers are raised, the bolt thrower simultaneously moves the bolt, and since the gates are correctly aligned, the bolt and stump can freely move, retracting into the housing and opening the lock.

How To Pick Locks – Steps To Pick Lever Locks

  • Simple lever locks can be picked with two pieces of wire, bent at right angles. One is used to apply pressure on the bolt, and the other is used to lift the levers.
  • Apply tension to the bolt using a tension wrench to create a tiny ledge, much like the shear line in pin cylinder locks.
  • Once created, a fraction of a millimeter, the levers can be lifted until they sit on the ledge.
  • To pick complicated lever locks that have a protective curtain layer, Curtain picks’, a special tool designed to allow you to get round the curtain, apply tension to the bolt stump, and then pick the levers individually.

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Wafer Locks

Wafer locks are significant since they are used in literally millions of cars.
Wafer Locks

The principle of those wafer locks is sort of almost like pin cylinders, therein springs are wont to push obstructions into the housing of the lock which stops the plug from rotating. But rather than having pins, wafer locks use a series of flat single pieces of metal called wafers. you’ll get both single and double-sided wafer locks but to know them we’ll start with the single-sided wafer lock, they type you’ll find on a locker.

How To Pick Wafer Locks – Steps For Lock Picking A Car Door

  • Knowing how to use a lock pick set can make the work easier as wafer locks can be picked using the same pick sets that you use for tumbler lock owing to its design.
  • Insert the tool, apply pressure to create the ledge, and rake in and out, or jiggle up and down, left than right, etc.
  • Use a tension wrench to apply the required pressure, insert a pick, and pick the wafers one by one.
  • Position the wafers so they are at the shear line to allow the plug to turn.
  • Some specialized tools can also be used as they work by combining the tension wrench and the raking tool into the one pick.

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Warded Locks

These locks have been around since ancient Rome
Warded Locks

Warded locks aren’t widely used today. most frequently , they’re used on historic properties and items, with the intention of maintaining the ‘old’ aesthetic. the rationale for his or her scarcity is that the lack of security they supply . A warded lock houses a really simple turning mechanism, that needs a key to show . However, they’re susceptible to a comparatively simple attack because they’re not actually locked, so to talk , and if you’ll get to the rear of the lock, you’ll turn the mechanism and unlock it.

How To Pick Master Locks – Steps For Lock Picking

  • Warded locks are very basic locks that have in brought in use since Ancient Rome and require no special tools to pick this lock but a little knowledge on how to pick a lock.
  • It’s the metal barriers, or ‘wards’ in the lock that prevent you getting to the back of the lock. The correct key has been cut in such a way it can be inserted into the lock and turned without hitting these obstructions, the ‘wards’.
  • Many warded locks can be tackled with some bobby pin or bent wire, instead of a tension wrench and picking tools for standard locks with pins or wafers.
  • Moreover, there’s a very simple and well-known lock pick set called ‘Warded Lock Picks’ which will deal with most warded locks in use, which tend to be padlocks

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Disc Detainer Locks

These locks use slotted rotating detainer discs
Disc Detainer Locks

Disc detainer locks don’t use springs, like pin cylinder and wafer locks, which makes them ideal to be utilized in harsh conditions like outside, where things like water, salt, or sand won’t easily damage them. the essential principle behind its mechanism is that the right key rotates these discs very similar to the tumblers you’ll see in high security safes, until all the slots are aligned, allowing a sidebar to drop into the slots and therefore the lock is open.

How To Pick Locks – Steps For Lock Picking A Disc Detainer Lock

  • One can apply the principle of binding pins to that of discs in these disc detainer locks.
  • Use the usual lock picking tools for tumbler locks
  • You can also use custom tools just to get a feel for what it’s like to pop open a simulated disc detainer lock.

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Final Verdict

How To Pick Locks And How To Use A Lock Pick Set

Lock picking is an incredibly useful skill and it can be a lifesaver if you lose or forget your keys. With some simple tools and a little patience, you can crack just about any tumbler lock, giving you access to everything from secured doors to closed padlocks. Knowing how to pick locks and owning lock picking tools is perfectly legal and ethical as long as you do so without and wrong intent. Just be a decent human being.

Saptarishi Bhattacharjee

Saptarishi has been an expert in industrial tools and accessories. He himself is an ardent industrial tools user and has an experience of more than 5 years and while using and testing them he has found a great love in writing about various tools . Currently he is settled in India and runs the editorial team at GeekyViews, in his spare time he loves to go on a tour or test newer and fresher tools that are available in his garage.

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