Lockpicking is an art that has been around for centuries. The earliest lock-and-key devices were discovered in the ruins of ancient Egypt, dating back to about 2000 BC. At present, many people deem lockpicking a fun hobby to possess. However, starting can be daunting. Worry not because this guide details everything you should know and advice on purchasing a lockpicking set.
What does Lockpicking Entail?
- Lockpicking is a skill that involves using a lockpick or another tool to manipulate the internal components of a locking device to open the lock.
- The first step in picking is understanding how locks work. A lock has two sides: the critical side, where you insert your key, and the pin tumbler side, where pins are pressed up or down by the key. There are many types of locks, but all have one thing in common—a cylinder that holds everything together. The cylinder turns when you use your key to push down each pin until it aligns with its spot on the outside of the lock (called “shear line”). You can turn and open your door when all these alignments happen simultaneously!
Why should you learn Lockpicking?
- Personal security: Learning how to pick locks is a great way to protect yourself and your property, especially if you live in an area with a high incidence of burglary or theft.
- Hobbyist interest: If you’re interested in learning more about mechanical devices, the science behind locks and how they work is fascinating.
- Emergency preparedness:If you ever need something from an emergency kit but have no way to open it, knowing how to pick locks will let you get in there and get what you need out safely—without worrying about breaking anything else inside the container as well!
Learn about the different tools for lockpicking.
Several tools can be used to pick locks, but each serves a different purpose.
- The tension wrench is used to apply pressure on the lock so it can be manipulated from the outside. It’s usually made from metal and comes in various shapes and sizes depending on what type of lock you’re working with.
- The rake is used to feel pins inside the cylinder sticking up higher than others—it’s like feeling for keys by running your fingers along its surface. A rake has grooves or “teeth” on one side so it can slide into place quickly without getting stuck; this design also allows you to break some pins if need be (you’ll learn more about this later).
- The hook pick looks like a U-shaped piece of metal with one end bent at an angle (or sometimes curved) into an L shape. This tool is inserted into keyholes to pull out individual pins when they’ve been set incorrectly by allowing them access through holes in the housing around them. So basically, it helps remove misaligned components within a lock!
What to consider while buying lockpicking sets
It would be best if you considered the following when you buy a lockpicking set:
- What size of lockpicking set do you need?
- How many different types of picks are included in the set?
- How many different types of locks can be opened with the set?
- Is it easy to use?
- Is it durable enough for regular use, or will it break soon after purchase (such as within 6 months)?
Understand lock types and how they work.
There are two primary types of locks: pin-tumbler and wafer. Pin-tumbler locks are the most common, and they’re the easiest to pick out. They use small pins that fall into place when you insert a key, allowing the lock to open. Wafer locks are more complicated, but their core principle is identical to pin-tumbler locks—the difference lies in how each works. To pick a lock successfully, you must know precisely how it operates so you can manipulate its components to unlock it.