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How to Pick a Lock - what tool and technique to use.

Posted by Brightpearl API on

Hello all

I thought I'd go back to basics and explain the process I go through when picking a lock. Not the actual technique, rather how I decide what tool and technique to use. With so many different tools available, for the beginner it can often be a daunting selection process. Imagine you've locked your keys in the car, or want to free up an old locked bicycle and need to pick a padlock. With no knowledge of lock picking, our huge range of tools can easily confuse. Here's some questions you might want to ask, to help you select your tools....

1 - Identify the Lock

What kind of lock is it? There's quite a few types of lock, here's the most popular...

  • Pin-cylinder
  • Lever
  • Wafer
  • Combination
  • Disc 

If you don't know, Google 'locks' and see if you can find a match, something similar. if there's any writing or numbers on the lock, Google them with 'lock'. You could even try searching the types I have listed above and see if there's anything similar.

2 - Is there a dedicated pick or set of picks?

Some lock types have 'Dedicated' picks - a tool or tools that are made exclusively for that lock type. Our Classic HU66 Inner Groove Pick is a good example, as is our Chubb Battleship pick. You can search our shop to see if there's a dedicate pick or set by putting the lock type in the search bar. If your lock is a 'Wafer Lock' we have a set of 'wafer rakes' for instance, again, use the search function.

Classic HU66 Inner Groove Pick

3 - Is there a Bypass alternative?

Some locks can be 'bypassed', meaning you can avoid working on the lock mechanism altogether. MICA is a good example of these. Some bypass tools don't even go near the lock such as our car bypass tool the Goldfinger.

4 - Can you rake or jiggle or Pick Gun your lock?

RakesPick Guns, and Jigglers can open locks very quickly. Once you've identified the lock, search our 'rakes' and 'jigglers' to see if this is available to you. They are easy techniques to learn and can often open most lock types in minutes, sometimes seconds.

Pin-Cylinder jigglers

5 - None of the above?

If there's no dedicated tool, rake, pick gun, or jiggler available, you might want to see what else is available. There's techniques such as Bumping, Master Keys, or Impressioning. Maybe search your lock type on You Tube and see how other people are opening them. See what tools and techniques they're using and search our site for those tools or techniques.

6 - It's time to learn Lock Picking 'Proper'!

If all else fails and you're determined to pick that lock, it might be time for you to learn lock picking proper! We call it 'Single Pin Picking' or 'SPP' - and although that refers to 'pins', we use it for lever, disc, and wafer picking too. It takes learning and practice, but if you master this technique you'll have access to around 85% of the world's locks, and that's with just a set of lock picks! But even a professional will tend to go through the stages above first, because dedicated tools, bypass tools and other techniques - when they work - will work very fast with very little fuss. If you want to learn how to SPP, here's our excellent guide, just click and download.

Single Pin Picking Guide PDF

Good luck!

Chris Dangerfield



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