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How to Pick a Lock

How to Pick a Lock

Lock-picking is an important skill useful to all home and small business owners. It has been a lifesaver during lockout emergencies. Surprisingly, the lock-picking process is not exclusive to locksmiths and not as difficult as many would think. You only need basic tools and the right skills to pick locks successfully.

Also, mastering the lock-picking procedure will help you understand lock installation and how your locks work. However, it is permissible to purchase and own lock-picking tools if you use them appropriately. For this reason, we wrote this article for those who desire to learn about lock-picking as an act of personal safety and security.

What is Lock Picking?

It is a non-destructive method of bypassing a lock to gain entry into an enclosed area. This involves manipulating them in such a way that they follow the action of the key whenever it is being turned to make sure that the lock opens. You can use lock-picking skills to open your door or safe box when the keys are lost or broken.

Understanding the Basics

Begin by holding a set of key elements to choose a lock successfully. Pins are usually aligned along a shear line in most locks. You can access this mechanism by simply twisting one of its pins. Having in-depth knowledge about basic locks such as “pin tumbler locks”, “wafer locks” and “tubular locks” will help in the lock-picking process. It will also help you to minimize over-dependence on locksmiths when you have a lockout situation.

Essential Tools

A good lock pick set should have the following components; tension wrenches, offset diamond pick, short or medium hook, ball pick, saw (or "L") rake, and snake (or "C") rake. With this set and the knowledge of how to use them, you can pick different tumbler locks.

Techniques for Pin Tumbler Locks

Pin tumbler locks are widespread. To do this, use a tension wrench, in the direction that would be turned by the key. Manipulate every pin with your lock pick until you hear a soft click, meaning that the pin has snapped at the shear line.

Mastering SPP (Single Pin Picking)

SPP includes adjusting every pin separately. Be gentle, and ensure you feel when every one of the pins moves into the right position.

Raking Techniques

Raking involves a fast drag of the pick over the pins, shaking them up. It could, however, be effective for some locks depending on the level of the practitioner’s experience as well as his touch sensitivity towards the lock.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Always make sure that you have the right authorization before trying to pick a lock. 

For most, trespassing, and picking locks is not legal as it undermines professionalism. First of all, always bear in mind that you must never trespass on other people’s property or violate their privacy.


Reset the pins and relax while turning the wrench if you encounter difficulty. There is a need for patience; as rushing can cause frustration, leading to damage to the lock.


If you do not have the right tools and knowledge, then allow professional locksmiths to handle your lock installation and repair needs. At GreenPro Locksmith, we are always available round the clock to assist people having issues with their locks. Call to get quality services. We are at your service.

Nov 30, 2023
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