How to Pick a Lock

How to Pick a Lock

Lost your keys? Locked out of your home? Don’t Panic! Losing your keys is one of the most frustrating occurrences, but it is quite common.

Though losing keys, be it house or vehicle’s always seem to happen at the most inconvenient of times. 

Imagine coming back home after a long tiring day at work only to find out that you can’t find your home keys.

Whether you have misplaced them or accidentally left them at a friend’s home, getting locked out of your home is an unpleasant experience.

Learning how to pick a lock can prove to be useful in the situations like that.

While it may sound like a difficult task to undertake at a first glance, lock picking is not rocket science.

It is a skill that anyone with little knowledge, practice, and patience can learn. 

In order to pick a lock, you must first lubricate the lock, and use the proper tools. This includes a pick, rake, and tension wrench. Put your tension wrench in the keyhole and try to push the pins so that you can easily open the door.

There is more on how to pick a lock below. We even included a video, so you can easily follow along.

This guide is made to make you a pro when it comes to the art of lock picking. Whether you are new to lock picking or a professional, there’s definitely something for you to learn in this guide. 

So, let’s get started.

What is Lock Picking?

Lock Picking is an art used by locksmiths and those involved in intelligence or detective work to unlock the lock by analyzing and manipulating the lock components without the original key.

In addition, lock picking causes no damage to the lock and can be re-keyed for later use.

Lock picking can be performed in a variety of different ways which we will discuss in this guide.

All the ways stem back to one basic principle which is replicating the basic functions of the key.

It can be a lifesaver if you lose or forget your keys.

Why Should I Learn Lock Picking?

Picking locks might be associated with burglars and other criminal activities, but there are many legitimate reasons why one should know this skill.

It Makes you Handy

If you ever have been locked out, you might already know how annoying it is standing there like an idiot and waiting for a locksmith to come and help you back in.

Who wouldn’t like getting in themselves without waiting for any superhero to rescue them? You can be your own superhero.

Not only can lock-picking skills can save you time and money but they can also make you self-dependable in times of emergency.

It Can Save a Life

There was an instance when someone picked their way into their home when their relatives weren’t picking up the call only to find out that the person inside the home has collapsed on the floor. 

Yes, they could have broken a window to get in but picking a lock only takes a few seconds and it causes no damage to the property. 

What Tools are Required for Lock Picking?

The tools required for lock picking will depend upon the type of lock you’re picking.

The most common lock picking tools are picks ( long, thin metal objects with curved ends) and a tension wrench.

There are different types of picks available that can be used to pick a lock though all of them have their own technique.

You can even use a paperclip as a pick and a tension wrench can be any tool that can create tension, including a screwdriver. The tension wrench is generally ‘L’ shaped and does the most important tasks. 

One, just like the key, the torque wrench gives the leverage that we need to rotate the plug. Secondly, it provides the torque required to set and hold the pins at a straight line. With a wrench, the pins would fall back into the plug. 

How to Pick a Lock?

As you can see from the video, lock picking is not rocket science, but an art. Each lock is different but the same picking principle applies.

The following steps will teach you how to pick a lock.

First of all, you need to insert the smaller end of the tension wrench into the bottom of the keyhole. Now, apply a little pressure using your one or two fingers towards the direction where the lock would naturally open. 

While applying slight pressure on the wrench, take a rake pick and insert it into the keyhole. Now, push the pick all the way back to the lock.

Apply gentle pressure to the pins and snap the pick out in a circular motion. Make sure to bum all the pins down. This way locks plug will be slightly rotated.

Yet again push the pick into the lock and repeat the motion. Continue with the process until all the pins are set. 

Once there’s appropriate tension and all the pins are set, you will be able to fully rotate the plug with the torque wrench. 

That’s how you pick a lock. You need to practice a lot to be perfect in the lock picking skill. The more practice you do, the more skilled you will get, and the less time will be taken to pick a lock.

You can buy some Tumblr locks and pins from the hardware store and practice them every now and then. 

Read More: Are Pittsburgh Tools Any Good? What You Should Know About Pittsburgh Tools

Is Lock Picking Legal?

There’s a common misconception that lock picking is illegal. Well, that’s only the half-truth. Lock picking and owning lock pick tools are considered a crime only if you use them illegally. 

In most states, lock-picking tools are legal and easily available as long as there’s no intent of using them for criminal purposes. 

In short, learning how to lockpick and owning lock picking tools are completely legal as long as you don’t have any hideous intent behind it. 


Lock-picking is a useful skill to learn. It not only saves you a lot of time and money but it can also be a fun technique to learn.

With the steps given in this guide, you will be able to pick a lock with ease. Just make sure to practice more often. 

We just hope you don’t plan on doing some illegal things by learning lock picking. 

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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