How To Pick A Lock?


When it comes to standard pin tumbler locks, the type of locks that are most common on doors, deadbolts, and even padlocks, picking them is not as hard as you might think. Even with lockpicks that you attempt at home yourself or an amateur with a lock picking set, pin tumbler locks do not offer a lot of security against someone that really wants to get into your home. The reason so many homes (and even cars) use pin tumblers is because they are an affordable security solution, but that can have drawbacks as well.

What Is A Pin Tumbler Lock?

Pin tumbler locks are relatively simple mechanisms. Inside the door handle, deadbolt, or any other type of pin tumbler lock is a cylindrical shaft. Inside that shaft is a plug that rotates (what turns when you unlock the door), and inside that plug are holes and pins. Each of the pins on the top side of the cylinder has a spring and the bottom pins are known as the key pins.

When each of these pins are perfectly level with the lock (known as the shear point), the plug will be able to rotate inside the cylinder and the lock will open. If you are trying to figure out how to pick a lock the basics are to get each of the pins at shear point.

Easiest Way To Pick A Lock

How To Pick A Lock? The concept of how to pick a lock is simple (as mentioned above): each of the pins has to reach their shear point at the same time. To do this with lock picks, you have to do each pin one-by-one, making sure that each pin is at shear point and then moving on to the next pin. Once you have done all of the pins the lock will turn over.

The reason you are able to do this is a flaw in many locks: when the first pin reaches its shear point, it can be held in place by rotating the lock’s plug just enough that tension holds it in place. Because of this, you can use a set of lock picks to push the first pin into shear position. Then you can work on the next pin, and so forth.

For some locks only a single pin needs to be at shear position and the rest will simply follow suit and the lock will turn over. On more complicated locks, multiple pins will need to be picked at the same time which can be very difficult with lock picks.

Unlocking With Lock Picks May Not Always Work

If you are trying to figure out how to pick a lock that doesn’t seem to turn over no matter how many times you try, it may be because you have a lock that it is higher quality than normal. Lock picking is easiest on locks from low-quality brands where the plug, pins, and cylinder are not perfectly straight. With high-quality brands or new locks you may not be able to get the lock to open.

Car locks have pin tumblers but they are most often double sided pin tumblers that have pins on the top and the bottom. Instead of the traditional 5 pins they often have 10. In this case, picking the lock of a car is extremely difficult and the chances are you will not be able to get it open.

Lock Picking 101 - School Of Locksmithery

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