Lock Picking Explained: Learn How to Pick a Lock
Unlocking is the practice of unlocking a lock by manipulating the components of the locking device without the original key. While lock picking may be associated with criminal intent, it is an essential skill of the legitimate locksmith profession and a useful skill to be pursued by law-abiding citizens, or simply as a hobby. In some countries, such as Japan, it is illegal for most people to own lockpicking tools, but in many others they can be legally possessed as long as they are not intended for criminal purposes.
1. Know how your lock works.
The pin lock consists of a cylinder that can be rotated inside its case. When locked, the cylinder is held in place by several pairs of pins. Each pair of top pins is inserted into the cylinder and housing to prevent rotation of the cylinder. When the right key is inserted, it pushes the pairs of pins up so that the top pins no longer enter the cylinder. When this happens, the cylinder can be turned and the lock will open.
2. What is Lock Picking?
While there are a vast variety of technical definitions surrounding lock picking, none quite resonate well with the absolute beginner. So, let us define it in terms of the layman. Lock picking is the art of tricking a lock into believing that you are using that lock’s correct key. Locks are extremely simple and senseless creatures that have but one fixed path of operation. This simplicity makes lock picking a very easy skill to acquire and implement for anyone looking to do so. But to acquire this skill, we must first learn the very basics of how a key works so that we can learn to mimic it.
3. Basic Lock Picking Tools
The tools for lock picking are rather simple and really small. You can buy sets that are large and contain dozens of picks with easy to hold handles, but really, 3-4 tiny picks that are just a few inches long, and flat are a much better choice. They’ll fit in your wallet or in a tiny compartment in your car, which is much more practical since they'll be at hand when you need them. The most bare-bones basic setup is just two tools, a tension wrench, and a feeler pick. You use the tension wrench to apply tension to the lock, and then the pick to set each individual lock pin while maintaining tension.
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