What Is Lock Picking and How Can It Be Useful?

What Is Lock Picking and How Can It Be Useful?
What Is Lock Picking and How Can It Be Useful? When one thinks of “lock picking,” usually one of two things comes to mind: (1) a secret spy (i. e. James Bond or Jason Bourne ) cracking into something to further advance their mission to save something, or (2) a thief trying to crack a safe, break into a home, etc. Despite these opposing clichés, lock picking can practical, fun and helpful. So, what is lock picking? According to Wikipedia, lock picking is the craft of unlocking a lock by analyzing and manipulating the components of a lock device without the original key.   This is a very concise and accurate definition of the practice. The craft of picking locks is practiced for a variety of reasons, with most individuals practicing as a profession (locksmiths), as useful skill, or as a hobby. Despite the common misperception that lock picking is mostly used for criminal reasons, it is much more commonly practiced by professionals (locksmiths), hobbyists and practical users (a Google search will affirm the same). For those first reading about lock picking, it is very easy to understand the basics. Nearly every key that we use to open and secure a lock manipulates the lock’s driver and plug pins. Each cut (or groove) of a key corresponds with the placement of each metal pin in the lock. Since the correct key places each driver and plug pin along a symmetrical line (a shear line), the plug of the lock (where the key is inserted) can rotate, freeing the user to open the lock. Without the correct key (or no key), the pins will not line up correctly to the shear line and the plug cannot rotate, since the pins are preventing the rotation. Even when one does not have the correct key, it is still possible to open (or “pick”) the lock with the correct tools. In a traditional set of lock picks, there is a hook pick, half diamond (steep angle), half diamond (shallow angle), snake rake, S-rake pick, long double ended pick and double round pick. There are also two tension wrenches that are used to rotate the plug. Most lock pickers state that a basic, 5-pick set is enough to unlock most simple locks. With the right material, it is even possible to fabricate a lock pick. Also, it is possible for highly skilled users to substitute other materials for a pick. Lock picking is growing quickly as a hobby and as a practical skill. Indeed, more organizations (i. e. recreational clubs and in-person courses) are popping up, as more people are becoming interested in this useful practice. Lock picking as a practical skill is growing, as the services of a professional locksmith are costly and unnecessary for those who obtain the right tools and skills. Even when comparing the cost of just one locksmith visit – which can run into the hundreds of dollars – to the cost of attaining a set of tools and learning the skill of lock picking, it is one skill that can certainly pay off. It’s also worth mentioning that possession of lock picks varies from state to state. However, most states have declared the possession of lock picks as completely legal and acceptable. There certainly isn’t any law against the practice of lock picking, except in cases where the intent is felonious or malicious. Most countries around the world have laws very similar to those in the United States. Do note that it’s the buyer’s responsibility to check all applicable local, county, city, state, and federal laws concerning any type of lock pick. Besides the traditional lock picks, people can now purchase other products to help make lock picking easier and more accessible. Bump key sets are products taking the lock picking crowd by storm. Instead of having to manually manipulate the lock’s pins with picks while applying the right amount of tension (and usually doing this repeatedly), the bump key simplifies the process. A bump key works like this: the user inserts a key that has been specially-made into a lock, down to the last pin. While applying torque, the key is then struck sharply with a bump key hammer. This strike allows for the driver pins to jump above the shear line, while keeping the plug pins in place. While applying torque, and with the right timing, this forces the pins to fall into the correct position and for the plug to rotate, unlocking the lock. Bump keys work extraordinarily well against nearly every type of common lock. Couple this excellent compatibility with affordable prices, and the bump key becomes a practical, affordable option. Bump key hammers also have an affordable price point, and using one correctly ensures that the bump key works to its maximum capability. Bump keys are classified and made according to the lock manufacturer and type. They can be made one-by-one, or – for those who encounter multiple lock types (i. e, locksmiths) – affordable key sets, ranging from five to over thirty keys, are available for purchase. Bump key options are affordable, the skills easy to attain, and bump key sets are a worthwhile return on investment should the unfortunate occur.