How To Pick A Lock

Have you ever been in a situation where you lost your house key or perhaps misplaced your car key and simply have no idea how to gain access?. Well, with this simple tricks and straight forward process explained in this article, you will learn how to save yourself from this kind of embarrassment without the need to hire someone to do that for you.

Lock picking is a life hack and can be a complete lifesaver. But do you know that with some simple tools and the right technique, you can pick open just about any lock and gain access to everything, be it secured doors or locked padlocks?

Lock pick is a non-destructive way without the use of the original key to open a lock.

Lock picking is essentially the act of imitating the original key by manipulating the pins to the same state, they would be at if the correct key were inserted.

Lock picking is not rocket science and requires some hands-on training to master the craft. If you would carefully go through these steps, you would, in no time, become an expert. That I assure you.

Lock picking

As you can see, when shoving the key into the hole, it pushes up the key pins. Since biting of the key and the key pins' length have been cut to fit, the key pin hooks can rise flush with the shear line allowing the driver pins to completely escape the socket.

Where the distance between the key pins and the driver pins is precisely the shear line, the key will rotate the lock to disengage.

By understanding this process, we can now start seeing what it takes to pick a lock.
First, let's see how a lock works.

When the right key is inserted into the keyway of the plug (the rotating part of the lock ), the wards(protrusion/teeth) of the keys lift up spring-loaded pins. Each lock pin has a set of key pin and driver pin. The proper key lift each pin pair until the gap between the key pin and the driver pin aligns with the lock turning mechanism, also called the shear line, then the lock turns and opens.

Getting down to lock-picking

Getting down to lock-picking

Basically, you'll need two tools: a lock pick and a tension wrench. The lock pick helps to push the pins to the shear line while the tension wrench gives the leverage needed to rotate the plug, also it supplies the tension necessary to set and hold the pins at the shear line as we pick them. You should know that applying tension is usually the key to successfully open all kind of locks. However, too much pressure can inhibit you from manipulating the lock pins. As we can see, the goal of lock picking is to control the pins, so they no longer restrict the plug from rotating, just as a key does.

Below is a step by step process to picking a lock

  • Step1

Carefully insert the tension wrench into the bottom of the lock's keyhole. Using a

finger or two, apply gentle light pressure on the wrench and twist it slowly as if it was a key (it will move smoothly in the direction it needs to go).

  • Step2

Still applying pressure on the wrench, take your lock, pick and insert it into

the keyhole above the tension wrench and feel for the pins.

  • Step3

Lift the pins one at a time using a pick starting, preferably with the pin

farthest away from the wrench (called the binding pin). You should hear or feel a click each time a pin locks

into position.

  • Step4

Repeat this process with each pin as you move toward the one closest to the

tension wrench, making sure to apply steady pressure.

  • Step5

Once all the pins are set, the plug will give way and allow you to fully rotate it

with the tension wrench, then the lock opens.

Another method that can be used is the raking method.

Raking is a less precise lock-picking method

Raking for lock-picking method

  • Step1

Take your tension wrench and place it at the bottom of the key lock's hole. Slightly apply pressure to the direction you would turn the key if you had it.

  • Step2

Slide the rake (a wider-tipped pick) all the way to the back of the lock and then pull it out quickly while simultaneously turning the tension wrench separately.

  • Step3

While applying light tension to the wrench, scrub the pick back and forth in the keyhole. Keep applying light pressure on the tension wrench as you pull the pick tool slightly backward, simultaneously lift up to apply pressure on the pins.

  • Step4

Keep applying tension on your wrench and scrubbing the pins until they are all set. You should use more torque and pressure on the pins with your pick tool as you get near the last set of pins that needs to align. If you're not making headway, you are probably applying too much tension with the wrench. Calm down, let the pins reset, and begin all over again. This time focus carefully on using less pressure.

If at any point you find yourself in an emergency where you need to pick a lock, but your tools aren't available, don't worry, you can also make use of paperclips.

Picking a lock with paper clips is almost the same as disengaging a lock with the conventional tension wrench. The only difference is that you'll be needing

to turn two paper clips into those two very same tools, and then proceed to pick the

lock with your makeshift tools like you'd do with a tension wrench and pick.

What you'll need

You will need two (2) metal paper clips—the sturdier,  the better. To avoid breakage, refrain from using plastic paper clips.

Pair of pliers


Straighten out one of your paper clips but leave one end still bent. Squeeze those two parts together. This is the part that will go inside the lock. Using your pliers, turn the long, straight end of the paper clip 90 degrees to form the handle of the tension wrench. Straighten out the second paper clip. Pinch the end of the paper clip with the pliers and bend the long part 90 degrees to form the first ridge in the rake. Move the pliers down on the long part of the paper clip, and turn it again at 90 degrees. Keep doing this until you have 3 ridges in the paper clip. Now you have your alternate tension wrench and pick. With this, you can now proceed with the standard method of lock picking. Generally, the concept of lock-picking is relatively easy, but like most skills, it takes constant practice to get it right.