- Pick Any Lock
Pick Any Lock
Most asked question in Locksmithing?
The question we receive the most often is: Can all locks be picked?
The short answer is "no". There are several reasons that you might be unsuccessful even if you are a top notch technician. The most obvious reason is that a lock must be in operating condition in order to be picked. If the mechanism doesn't work (frozen tumblers, broken inner parts, etc) no amount of effort will bring success. Also, there are certain specific types of high security locks on the market that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be picked (virtually un-pickable). Medeco is a prime example of this. The design simply prevents the use of lock picking tools.
There are easier ways to break open a lock anyway. Thieves rarely use lock picking. Why? It takes too long. A well pinned, high quality lock can require up to an hour for a professional to open -- even longer under difficult circumstances. No thief would spend one hour with lockpicks. He is interested in a fast, easy, silent breakin if possible.
Even the most advanced hardware, with security spools and hundreds of pins, can be opened in another way. You could cut it. You could drill it. You could cut the fence, break the door or open the window. Nothing is funnier to a locksmith than to see a $500 residental lock on a glass door. Anyone can break or cut the glass without a single noise and open the lock from the inside!
That being said, there are in fact locks that are almost impossible to lock pick, locks that would require years and years of training, locks that no one in their right mind would try to lock pick, locks that are picked only in the toughest competitions in the world. Locks that requires hours to pick sometimes. Why isn't every lock one of these? For two reasons: first because it's expensive, second because the lock can STILL be opened in other ways. Very advanced Medeco locks can be bumped, for example. You could also rake or try to jiggle the lock. It's that simple.
I had a friend who specialized in alarm systems. He told me that businesses paid thousands of dollars to buy and install their system and that thieves would simply cut the electricity before entering. When he added a security system that would trigger an alarm at the police station if the electricity was cut, theives would wait until the whole town was in blackout to break in. When he added batteries, theives quickly removed them - or the owner would simply forget to replace them. There is no perfect solution. There is no unbreakable lock.
Many locks have labelled themselves as pick-proof. Most of the time they've been proved wrong. The newest Primus, or the advanced ASSA locks for example, are two examples of locks with more security than you can imagine and that are insanely hard to open. Yet, many people have been filmed lockpickign them successfully.
In conclusion, every lock can be lockpicked. However, keep in mind most you will encounter (90%) are low security, and that with training you will be able to open 90% of the locks you see within a minute, usually within fifteen seconds, and that you will be able to open 95% of the locks without five.
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