The Truth About Transparent Practice Locks
If you're new to lockpicking and thinking about putting a clear lock on your first practice lock, you may not like what I'm about to say -- but it's a very important fact that can make or break your success or failure in learning to pick locks.
The truth is...
The best clear training lock is no clear lock at all.
Using any type of clear plastic lock to develop and practice your lockpicking skills can do more harm than good, for two main reasons:
First, unlocking develops patterns based on the feedback we receive from the lock and the senses we use to receive that feedback. These patterns become flawed and distorted when we develop them using feedback and feelings that cannot be applied to real locks.
Second, locks are just puzzles. The more times we solve a particular puzzle, the more we rely on memory rather than skill to solve it. When we use visual cues to open a lock, we deny ourselves the ability to solve a puzzle with feedback that can be applied to a real lock. We also deny ourselves the ability to lay the foundation for two very important skills: the ability to make a mental map of what is happening inside the lock, and the refinement of the key lock-opening senses (touch and sound).
Now, before we delve more deeply into why these locks can hinder your ability to learn and improve Lock Picking Practice Kit skills, I want to clarify that these clear locks do serve two very useful purposes.
They are excellent visual AIDS for understanding and explaining how locks and picks work, and are very good at showing how specific tools affect the internal components of a lock.
Lock picking is not a visual skill. Sight is an extremely important sense that overpowers all other senses.
When we train ourselves to recognize feedback and signals, locks provide us with visual support, and we absolutely distort our understanding of feedback and cues. Our understanding has become contaminated and to some extent dependent on visual feedback.
While it's not the end of the world, it will force us to step back and get a new, more accurate understanding of what the feedback is and what it feels like to have no visual damage.
It's always easier to learn things well at once.
Real and plastic locks differ in many ways, including what they are made of, how they are constructed, and the tolerances built into them.
As a result, the feedback we get from these locks - such as the friction of lifting the binding pin, the vibration and tactile click of the setting pin, or even the feel of pulling the core tight - varies between the two.
Starting with a plastic lock can cause you some confusion and even frustration, because things will be different when you move on to a real lock.
The frustration and frustration is sometimes so great that it causes many novice pickers to simply give up picking.
Pin clear locks are commonly used in locksmith training programs to help students understand lock construction and develop their Lock Picking skills. They are also used as educational tools for people who want to learn more about the mechanics of locking and the importance of safety.