How to Pick a Lock: My Lock Picking Skills

I am a long-time antique dealer who loves to buy at live farm auctions. For whatever reason, when the auctioneers gavel comes down, my items always seem to be safely locked behind a door that nobody has a key to, or sporting cheery padlocks that I get to pick after I get home.

Lock picking is a skill that every antique dealer needs to know. It is pretty easy to pick a lock on doors and padlocks with tumblers. There are probably many ways to pick a lock, and terms for lock picking skills that I do not know about. I just know what works for me.

Lock Picking Step One: Before starting to pick a lock, take a look at a key. See how it has a long skinny raised area along one side? You need to make a sturdy pick a lock bar that is about the same size as that raised line on your key before you start to pick a lock.

Paperclips and bobby pins are not heavy enough metal to work for this pick a lock bar part. You will be adding a lot of pressure to the metal while you pick a lock. Find a piece of skinny metal that will not bend easily. I have found that small metal embroidery hooks, and skinny stocking darning needles are about the right size and durability for lock picking.

Lock Picking Step Two: You need to make a second pick a lock bar like the first one. This second pick a lock bar works best if it has a tiny hook on the end. A small sized metal embroidery hook works fine for this part of lock picking. You should now have two long skinny sturdy metal pick a lock bars, which will fit into the lock-hole together, at the same time.

Lock Picking Step Three: To start to pick a lock, insert your first sturdy pick a lock bar into the bottom of the lock-hole. This pick a lock bar is in there to turn the hole like a key would do.

Lock Picking Step Four: Next, insert your other piece of metal pick a lock bar with a tiny hook on the end into the hole above the first piece of pick a lock bar. With this second pick a lock bar, tap and feel inside until you can feel something moving up that a spring is pushing back down. What you are feeling is one of a few pins that are hanging down into the lock hole and waiting for a key to push them back up flush with the sides so that the lock will turn.

Understand? Picture a toilet paper roll with nails poked into it. Your job is to poke those nails out of it from the inside of the tube with your lock pick a lock bar with the hook on the end; that end hook acts like a tiny hammer.

Lock Picking Step Five: After finding your pins hanging down as explained above, and counting how many you need to push back up – do something desperate. Quickly shove your second pick a lock bar in and out over those pins a few times to see if any just stay up without any work. This method of lock picking doesn’t always work, but when it does it makes you smile.

Lock Picking Step Six: Start lock picking. Insert your two pick a lock bars into the hole and try to push each pin up until you hear a tiny click, or until you do not feel a spring pushing it back down. While you are doing this, keep pressure on your pick a lock bar that is trying to turn the lock. Your lock will open when you have all of the pins poked out of the hole, and are turning the lock-hole in the right direction.

Lock Picking ~ Help

If your pins are not cooperating in your lock picking, try easing up some or adding more pressure on the pick a lock bar that is trying to turn the lock-hole. This bar has to have just the right amount of pressure being added to it for the pins to release.

You may also want to try poking the pins up from one end to the other in order, or in a reverse order from what you were trying with your lock picking. Think of lock picking like a puzzle. There is a way that you can pick a lock with each lock that you encounter.

Lock Picking ~ The Law

It is probably very illegal for you to try lock picking on a lock that you do not own. It is also probably very illegal to have lock picking tools in your pocket for the purpose of picking a lock away from the privacy of your own home. To stay safe, contact your local law enforcement agency and ask them what lock picking rules apply to your individual situation.

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