How Hard is it to Pick a Lock?

Lock picking is a practice that requires patience. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, more advanced lock picking will naturally come more easily. The challenge lies in the initial mastery. In order to develop proficiency with lock picking you’ll need to spend a lot of time practicing. Lock picking is all about paying very careful attention to minute tactile feedback, and you’ll need to develop new muscle memory in your hands to get really good at it.

That being said, lock picking is not always inherently difficult. The basics of lock picking are fairly simple, and a thorough understanding of the inner mechanism of a traditional pin tumbler lock will be of tremendous help to you.

Common lock picking challenges

  • Maintaining Tension– One of the challenges inherent in lock picking is in maintaining tension on the wrench with one hand for the entirety of the time that you are scrubbing or picking the lock with your other hand. Releasing tension at any time will force you to start from the beginning.
  • Recognizing Tactile Feedback- Another challenge is recognizing which pins still have yet to be set, and which is the next binder pin (the least springy), all without the aid of your eyes. Since, with the exception of clear trainer locks, the mechanism of a lock is within a closed metal housing, you’ll be relying entirely on touch to give you information about tiny and delicate parts. This requires the cultivation of patience and sensitivity.
  • Recognizing Lock Types- The difficulty level of picking a given lock will vary depending on the lock type. Recognizing what kind of lock mechanism lies within and knowing which tools and techniques are necessary for the job are skills that will grow with time as you practice and experiment.

Don’t let the idea of lock-picking intimidate you! Like any other skill, it takes practice and patience. But unlike many other skills, not only could it get you back into your locked house or car… it could possibly save your life.

How Hard is it to Pick a Lock? is written by TIHK Team for

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