How To Pick A Lock - Beginners Guide To Picking Locks

You never know where and when you may need to pick a lock. You may just need to get into your house or car, or you may be captured by insurgents in a foreign nation. Whatever the case may be, this is the Beginners Guide To Lock Picking. With practice and time, your skills will improve.
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You never know where and when you may need to pick a lock. You may just need to get into your house or car, or you may be captured by insurgents in a foreign nation. Whatever the case may be, this is the Beginners Guide To Lock Picking. With practice and time, your skills will improve.
Even if you know nothing about lock picking, if you follow the steps outlined here, you should be able to pick your first lock open less than an hour from now. You'll also learn the best places to get the tools you'll need (and how to make them if you don't want to buy them).

Lock Picking Instructions

Step 1: Purchase a practice lock

Now you're ready to purchase a practice lock. Odds are, you'll end up destroying this lock, so don't go for anything fancy, or anything you'll want to keep. Walk into any department store and buy a medium priced dead-bolt. A dead-bolt is the easiest lock to disassemble, so don't stray away towards any other type. Also, the really cheap locks can be hard to open even with the key, so trying to pick them is even worse. The brands you want to look for are either generic names, or Kwikset. Stay away from Schlage, it's more difficult to pick due to the shape of the ward. The lock you purchase should be a five pin tumbler (you would have a hard time finding a dead-bolt that isn't).

Step 2: Remove all but one pin from your lock

Attempting to pick a five pin tumbler is way too difficult for someone just starting out. So you'll want to make your job easier by removing all but one pin from your lock. This will give you a feel for what it's like to pick a lock so you'll know it when it happens. Taking the pins out of a lock without destroying it isn't intuitive, so I've put together a guide showing how to do it. You'll want to leave the first pin (the pin closest to the front of the lock) in. This will allow you to see what you're doing.

Step 3: Get a torque wrench and a pick

You probably don't own a lock pick set, so you're going to have to make due with household items. Here is a list of a few items which will serve you well as a torque wrench: * Allen Wrench. This is the best tool. If you have a grinder, pick one which is a size or two too big to enter the key-way, then grind it's width down just enough to enter the key-way. If you don't have a grinder, use a file, or use a different item for a torque wrench. (Using one which fits exactly into the key-way will only work for a while, eventually you'll wear out the key-way). * Screwdriver. Use a very small one, but not so small that it doesn't touch the wards. You'll want to make it as effortless as possible to apply turning pressure. * Paper Clip. Find a sturdy paper clip and straighten it out. Then bend a loop just big enough to fit into the bottom of the key-way. Then bend the remaining wire about 80-90 degrees to the loop. Here are some tools which may be used as a pick (most of these tools will work well for picking the first pin, but you'll need to upgrade after you've added a pin or two): * Allen Wrench. Pick the smallest one you can find. * Screw Driver. Again, pick the smallest one you can find. * Paper Clip. You'll need one strong enough to withstand the force of the springs. * Straight Pin. File the point off so you don't stick yourself. * Safety Pin. Again, file the point off. * Staple. You'll need one strong enough to withstand the force of the springs. Straighten it out so it's flat, then turn it edgewise when picking.

Step 4: Pick the lock

And now the moment of truth; you're ready to pick your first lock. Basically, just do what you learned back in step1 and step 2. I find it easiest when the lock is turned upside down. Then place your finger on the torque wrench, and let gravity do the work (you may need to press down just a little bit). Then take your pick and lower the first pin down very slowly. Once you hit the the sheer line, you'll know it. The plug will turn, and you'll be amazed as to how easy it was and how little time it took. Return the plug back to the locked position and repeat until you're comfortable.

Step 5: Add some more pins and try again

Now that you know what it feels like, add another pin back in (add pin two, just behind pin one). Now when you get a pin picked, you won't know for sure, not until you try to pick the second one. Practice, Practice, Practice. You'll want to become very proficient at picking two pins before stepping up to three. If you try to advance too quickly, you'll hinder your learning. So take your time. If you practice casually, it will probably take you three to five days to work your way up to five pins. Also, you'll need better tools to pick more than three pins, so order your pick set and practice with two and three pins until your order arrives.

37 Comments

7 years 20 weeks ago, 12:23 AM

Anonymous

Props man. Great work (y)

6 years 47 weeks ago, 1:45 PM

silvergryfon

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Lock picking

Very interesting. How about combination locks?

6 years 47 weeks ago, 2:34 PM

Anonymous

combination locks usually have a keyhole in the back.

4 years 28 weeks ago, 9:13 AM

nick1

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That's great,instead of paying a locksmith to let you in or to open something up, its good to learn picking the lock yourself and the process is simple and can be mastered with practice.

4 years 28 weeks ago, 9:24 AM

HampsterW

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when you have a 12GA full of frangible breaching slugs.....BANG!

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
4 years 15 weeks ago, 2:03 AM

jimmy51

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Great one !!This is a

Great one !!This is a comprehensive guide to understand the process of lock.Amazing stuff with comprehensive details.Keep posting stuff like that.

4 years 11 weeks ago, 1:52 AM

Anna10

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Thanks for sharing a guide for Lock Picking.Very interesting and thought provoking ideas.I wasn't sure about the pin,how it function and how it looks like but pictorial explanation helped me a lot in understanding the function of pins.

6 years 37 weeks ago, 3:46 PM

ssdd71

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Lock Picking

I learned to pick locks from an old timer, he gave me a set of very nice lock picks but said that they could be bad to be caught with as it might be deemed as burglary tools. He then taught me to make due with items which were at hand. I became somewhat proficient with just every day items such as paper clips. I agree that practice, practice, and more practice is important, but the reality is that unless you need this skill everyday, it is a dubious use of your time. I can still manage to get into almost anything I try, but it does take a little longer than when I was practicing regularly. It has been a useful skill, but one I do not brag about. I do like the challenge when I am confronted with a situation that requires this skill, and I do surprise myself when I manage to open the lock. Paddle locks often only need to have a shim to open the hasp.

6 years 33 weeks ago, 7:47 PM

Pkato

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Check it out under videos

Patrolman Kato
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They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone
under independence. -- George Washington
6 years 29 weeks ago, 11:28 PM

machinist

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Lock picking tools

Great diagrams and explanations. I just came across this site when I was looking for locksmith related info and noticed the forum on lockpicking. I make lock picking tools for virtually any type of lock. I have an extensive collection of picks and picking tools; some of which are for sale. I have even made several 7-pin tubular picks that work by simply inserting it into the lock and wiggling it. I posted pictures of two of them here: www.workplaceindustrial.com/tools The website I posted them on was an old idea I had, but never pursued, so nevermind the other junk on there. I always welcome comments and opinions.

Machinist

4 years 33 weeks ago, 1:33 AM

Anonymous

Tools

reat diagrams and explanations. I just came across this site when I was looking for locksmith related info and noticed the forum on lockpicking. I make lock picking tools for virtually any type of lock.

5 years 16 weeks ago, 2:24 AM

myavatar

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my God

It has been a useful skill, but one I do not brag about. I do like the challenge when I am confronted with a situation that requires this skill, and I do surprise myself when I manage to open the lock.

All for one, one for all ...
5 years 16 weeks ago, 7:33 AM

luckybychoice

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okay weirdo

this dipshit comes on here and posts verbatum from a couple posts up,on some old threads,anybody smell a rat? obviously he's dumping a couple eggs,i'd delete this asshole just in case,oh and good fuckin morning.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
5 years 16 weeks ago, 8:31 AM

runawaygun762

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Yeah, this is weird

But I'll play along. I'm a professional dog burglar (like a cat burglar, but better) and can pick 25 pin locks with depleted uranium tumblers using only my mind's eye. And once that's done, I can draw pornographic designs using the different levels of hot sauce packets from Taco Bell on the locks and maintain intricate detail. Perhaps you've seen some of my work.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 16 weeks ago, 8:43 AM

Anonymous

Drill it out with a dewalt cordless drill if you want in bad enough.

5 years 16 weeks ago, 8:53 AM

runawaygun762

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Dewalt cordless?

How about a 35 pound Dynamic Entry battering ram? I have one of those. How cool am I? Not very? Oh. Okay.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 16 weeks ago, 9:04 AM

Anonymous

using the cattle killer compressor air tank from "No country for old men" but I dont have one on me at the moment. So a sledge hammer or a garden gnome from the yard of the house in question may do.

4 years 51 weeks ago, 12:36 PM

bobmarks

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Interesting made me want to go out and buy a practice lock

sudoku solver http://sudokusolver.info
4 years 47 weeks ago, 7:52 AM

HampsterW

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Spam day at Gunslot,

it must be!!!!! I will buy a bag from you if it is full of ammo or good weed!!

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
4 years 44 weeks ago, 7:31 AM

dockit

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Mods need to delete these two idiots.

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4 years 44 weeks ago, 7:42 AM

HampsterW

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these birds are attracted to this particular thread? Just two weeks ago it was the bag lady and some other moron trying to hawk their shit, now these two.....Hmmmmm!

Change you can truly believe in comes from the barrel of a gun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Ron Paul 2012----Vote the bastards out!---------------------------------
4 years 40 weeks ago, 9:14 PM

luckybychoice

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uhm ACE

it's for you

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
4 years 40 weeks ago, 9:24 PM

ACE

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LBC!!

If U wanna be a DICK, then be a DICK!!! And Call me out on whatever, If not, then shut the hell up, and let me learn what I can from the people I have gotten to know, Because I have obviously not gotten to know everyone on here,obviuosly not you!! If this is because of the kid, then bitch up someone else's tree. I only barked after everyone else did. What the hell is ur problem with me???

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4 years 40 weeks ago, 9:44 PM

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POS Spammer Ace

POS Spammer Ace

Have to wait till they move on

or get a mod to delete and ban

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4 years 40 weeks ago, 9:47 PM

ACE

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Bigshot Nobody

Thats where LBC was coming from!!! SORRY LBC!!!! But she does need to get the hell off this site!!

“When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.”- George Washington
4 years 40 weeks ago, 9:53 PM

Bigshot Nobody

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Happens every now

and then,,,, it wouldn't even surprise me if it is some high school shit for brains

"We fight not for Glory nor for Honors; but only and alone we fight for Freedom, which no Good Man surrenders but with his life" - Robert the Bruce "Declaration of Arbroath"
4 years 40 weeks ago, 9:56 PM

Bigshot Nobody

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I see I missed

some of the fun earlier

I always get to the club house too late ....but I was at the Republican Meeting

"We fight not for Glory nor for Honors; but only and alone we fight for Freedom, which no Good Man surrenders but with his life" - Robert the Bruce "Declaration of Arbroath"
4 years 40 weeks ago, 12:55 AM

zx12rmike

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Uh, ok?

Uh, ok?

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4 years 33 weeks ago, 12:43 AM

greg az

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Guess its some sorta bot huh.. what ever, you just wonder why it wound up on this post.. By the way Runs .. those comments of yours were the sorta stuff we missed.. Maybe Sam or Reap can just delete from Mikes down.

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
4 years 30 weeks ago, 11:27 AM

Anonymous

Let us all work together

4 years 27 weeks ago, 12:41 AM

pubserv

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Awesome, that look likes good...

4 years 19 weeks ago, 2:10 AM

smart5

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Thanks for posting step by step guide for picking a lock.Apart from text in the article ,pictures really helped me a lot in understanding the process.My favorite part is step 3 where you mentioned about torque.

4 years 11 weeks ago, 1:44 PM

Nitris

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sunnyaa wants a vacation

Ron Paul 2012 III
4 years 11 weeks ago, 1:59 PM

Reaper308

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sunnyaa

has been put on the boat to join runaway in cuba

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4 years 3 weeks ago, 9:11 AM

Ishootdaily

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Ut-oh

Nitris is going to have to come up with something new, that Chasity belt ain't going to do any good protecting his pooch when Runaway goes on R&R next time if he sees this..

No sir, he fell into that bullet... Never argue with a stupid person. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!
1 year 2 weeks ago, 12:32 PM

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lockpick

I read lots of good information at lockpick center. Thanx for you're post and helping us lockpickers on the good way!

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