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Lock picking – are you a budding locksmith? Don’t forget to stock these tools in your arsenal!

Updated on November 5, 2010

This hub highlights the tools needed for lock picking.  You’ll be surprised how simple they are.  Don’t think of getting started without these tools!

Lockpicking is a complicated process.  But really, it’s not that hard.  It can be a simple process if you have the right tools.  This is why it’s very important that you know the tools of the trade if you want to start a career as a locksmith, or you just want to be able to pick locks. 

Now, it’s important to note that there are a lot of locks.  Blame it on the rising cases of break-ins and burglaries.  This is why you’d often see locksmiths with a toolbox full of locksmith tools.  Do you need to buy all these tools?  No, you don’t especially because you can easily make most of them.  Sure, you encounter a lot of locks each day.  But there are more commonly used tools that can open the locks that common people like you encounter each day.

There are two basic tools that you would need for most locks:

·         Tension wrench

·         Picks with different heads

Tension Wrench
Tension Wrench

The tension wrench plays two very important roles in lock picking.  First, it’s used to turn the cylinder like how a key would turn it to open it.  The wrench also keeps the pins that were already picked in position.

It’s generally made of metal and is L-shaped.  Note that the vertical line of this letter L is more elongated and the horizontal line is shorter in a tension wrench.  It’s also flat and should easily fit in the wider side of the keyhole.  Some tension wrenches have a twisted metal at the elongated line for more comfort.  As you can probably see, you can easily make one with any piece of flat metal.

The tension wrench won’t work without a pick.  Now, there are several types of picks, each one of them with its own expertise.  The picks are differentiated with the shape of their heads or what they do.

·         Rake

·         Hook

·         Half-diamond

·         Ball

Lock Picks
Lock Picks

There are other types of picks but these are the most common.  A rake pick is used to rake in and out of the keyhole, adjusting the pins in the process until they’re all aligned.  As you can probably see, this can damage the inside components so locksmiths generally stay away from using it unless they’re up against a cheap lock.

A hook pick is the “go-to pick” of locksmiths.  It can generally open any traditional locks that have pins.  It’s used to “feel around” the insides of the locks while adjusting the pins in the process.  A half-diamond pick is a little similar in the sense that it can also be used to adjust pins one by one.  If needed, it can also be used as a rake pick.  It’s also very common but it’s more popular because of its versatility as it can also be used for disk and wafer locks.  But if you’re up against a wafer lock, a ball pick is the more logical choice.

But these picks are up against a generally new kid on the block – the pick gun.  With a simple press of a button, it works like a lock pick.  It’s used with a tension wrench and once you master the timing, lock picking can be done in seconds.

Pick Gun
Pick Gun

With these tools, you can start practicing to be a locksmith.  Remember that all these tools will be for nothing without a little practice.  So acquire these tools and start practicing how to pick a lock today!   


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