The tools essential for picking locks have been the same for decades, with a few minor additions. To compile a set of these tools for all lock-picking needs, it is important to understand what type of equipment you need and why. There are lock-pick sets that only include five tools, and then there are sets that have more than 25 items. But there are some basic tools you should have in your set---you might already have some of them around the house.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Carrying case/pouch
- Variety of lock picks (ball, diamond, hook)
- Variety of rakes (snake, saw)
- Household tools if necessary
- Torque wrench
Find or create a carrying case for your tools. This can be anything from a tackle box to a folding pouch that has 1-inch-wide by 4-inch-deep pockets in it to store the tools. You should keep them together just as you would any other type of set.
Obtain a torque wrench. There are different styles you can get, from a grip-flex one to just the regular wrench. The skinny wrench extends out to the shape of an "L" and assists in finding lock pins within the keyhole. After these pins can be held down by another tool, the tension wrench then puts pressure on the cylinder in order to open the lock. You can use a sanded-down small wrench or a paper clip instead of a torque wrench.
Create a collection of picks. There are different kinds and sizes, and picking the right size for you depends on what type of lock you want to pick, and the size of it. There are a couple of different types of picks you will want in your lock pick set. A diamond pick and a ball pick are good general-purpose choices because they'll fit different types of locks. A warded hook is a good choice because it's a specialised pick for warded locks.
Decide what type of a hook pick you want. It's just like a pick, but it has a hook shape on the end of it. It's good for holding down pins within the lock and counting them. Hook picks come in small, medium or large. They also come in short or long. Household items that can double working as picks include bent-out paper clips, safety pins, a large straightened-out staple, or a small screwdriver.
Obtain a saw or snake rake. These resemble key-like patterns and help imprint the inside of a keyhole. There are not many household items that can replicate them, except for maybe a filed-down soft metal piece.
Tips and warnings
- Keep in mind that lock-picking private property is illegal in most places.