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Beginning lockpicking isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. Some essential skills are required to pull off the job. Understanding the internal structure and workings of a lock are essential to your success when you’re first learning. Here are some tips and tricks for beginner lockpickers.
Why Force Matters
Locks are built to be sturdy and not easily broken. Lock picks, on the other hand, are very fragile and require a certain amount of finesse to operate correctly.
To make lockpicking work, you must understand that there are pins inside the lock. These pins all have what is known as a shear line that they sit below while locked. Once they all find their shear line and sit right above it, then the lock will loosen and open. Lockpicks are made to carefully and individually move those pins to their shear lines until the lock opens.
Two Strokes While Picking
There are generally two methods to lock picking. The first is known as raking, while the second is known as single-pin picking. Raking requires exactly what it states: to rake the pin across the lock from the end to the opening multiple times until the pins fit above their shear line.
Single-pin picking, as its name suggests, is when every pin must be snared individually. While this may be the more effective of the two, it lacks efficiency and can take quite a while to complete. If you rake your lock a few times before beginning to single pick, you’ll get the best results.
Listen for Pin Drops
Whenever you’re lock picking, do it in a silent environment. Listening plays a vital role in determining whether you have successfully moved your pins to their shear line. If you hear a pin drop, then that means you’ll have to rework that pin until it’s in place above the shear line.
Lubrication Is Key
Locks always work better when they’re lubricated. If you use lubricant, be careful of what type you use, since some can clog the inner workings by attracting dust and dirt. Professionals advise always using graphite as a perfect solution to lubricating locks.
Make sure you’re taking enough time to practice your skills in lockpicking, as it can be tricky and time-consuming. Having the right technique and form will assist you when you’re locked into a tricky situation. Practice these tips and tricks for beginner lock pickers so you can become a pro in no time—and then keep practicing them so you never lose your edge.