- Lock Pick
What is it and how do you use it?
A lock pick is a small instrument, typically of metal, used to simulate the interaction of a key on a lock. Coupled with a tension wrench, it is used to copy the action of a key inside a lock. For an idea of the variety of tools available, you can check out the lock pick sets on our site.
In order to know more about picking locks, one must understand the simple key and how it interacts with a lock. First, it is important to understand there are different kinds of locks, the most common being warded locks, wafer lock, tubular locks and, most of all, pin tumblers locks. These are by far the most important and the ones you will encounter the most.
Inside a pin tumblers lock pins are pushed to a precise height by the key. The lock can have as little as 2 pins and as many as 14, the most common being 5-pins for regular locks and 6-pins for commercial high security locks. A key will then have 5 or 6 little flat spots to push these pins to the precise height. These flat spots are called "lands". Once all pins have been "set", the cylinder will be free to rotate and the lock will open.
Check out this popular YouTube video for one method of pin tumbler lock picking . . .
A lock pick will simply push the pins to the correct height one by one (in the case of single-picking) or randomly (in the case of raking). Depending on the complexity of the lock, this can take anywhere from a few seconds to several hours. Most technicians will be able to open an average lock - the lock you find on houses or in public buildings - in sixty seconds or less.
Lock picks, simply said, are pieces of metal that can take different shapes.
The manual lock pick is the most frequently used tool in the locksmith's collection, even for very advanced locks. In fact, a simple rake pick can be effective even on fairly secure, high quality commercial locks, provided they are not of the "high security, pick-resistent" variety.