Order by 11:00am central time for same-day shipping!

How To Pick ANY Lock!

A skill that might come in handy when things get really bad, is picking locks. Even if you are just locked out of your own house, knowing how to get back in without a key could be useful.

A skill that might come in handy when things get really bad, is picking locks. Even if you are just locked out of your own house, knowing how to get back in without a key could be useful.

We do not suggest you learn this so you can break into other people’s homes and commit crimes. There are other reasons you should know how to do this.

The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

The Illusion of Security

Knowing how to pick a lock will open your eyes to the “illusion of security.” We all lock our doors to keep our loved ones safe at night and to secure our possessions during the day. Once you figure out how easy it is to pick locks, you will realize that locks don’t really do much except provide the illusion of security.

Locks make us feel safe, but if someone really wanted to get into your house, they could easily pick the lock on your front door. If they didn’t know how to do that, they could find another way in. You simply cannot just rely on a lock to keep you and your family safe. You need to utilize other tools and tactics and create multiple layers of security and if that’s all you get out of this, that is actually a powerful thing to figure out.

How To Pick a Lock

According to the Art of Manliness, If you’ve ever been locked out of your house or car, you know how annoying it is to be standing there like a chump, waiting for someone to show up with a key or a professional locksmith to arrive. Wouldn’t you love to be able to jimmy your way in yourself? Not only can this skill save you a lot of time and money, being able to solve a problem like that on your own is pretty dang satisfying. Plus, you can help out all your friends when they get locked out too.

You may need this skill to save a life too. ITS Tactical has highlighted a few instances in which someone picked their way into an older parent’s home because they weren’t answering the phone, only to find their parent collapsed on the floor. Could they have kicked the door down or broken a window? Sure. But picking a lock just takes a few seconds and doesn’t leave any damage. So why wouldn’t you do that if you could?

Tumbler locks are the most common locks on front doors, so this is the first type of lock you should learn to pick. You don’t really need to understand how pin tumbler locks work to successfully pick them, but it does help. (Watch the video above for guidance, and step by step instructions are listed below.)

Each lock is different, but the same basic principles apply when you try to pick it. The easiest way to pick a lock is to use the fast and dirty method: aka. scrubbing.

1. Insert Tension Wrench into the Bottom of Key Hole and Apply Slight Pressure

pick a lock tension wrench inserted into hole

Image source: Art of Manliness

The tension wrench is the key to successfully picking a lock. As you’re lifting the pin sets with your pick you need to apply tension on the plug. If you’re applying the right amount of torque on the plug, once the driver pin passes the shear line, the plug will rotate slightly. When you pull your pick out, the key pin will drop back down, but the driver pin will catch the edge of the plug, thus staying above the shear line. Here’s a diagram of what it looks like:

pin tumbler lock driver pin catching on plug diagram illustration

Image source: Art of Manliness

You’ll keep lifting pins with your pick and applying pressure with your tension wrench until all the driver pins have cleared the shear line.

So take your tension wrench and place it in the bottom of the keyhole. Apply slight pressure in the direction you would turn the key if you had it. And by slight I mean slight. If you apply too much pressure, you’re just going to cause the driver pins to bind below the shear line. You need to have enough pressure to let the driver pins rise above the shear line, but have enough torque that when they start dropping down, an edge of the drive pin catches the plug as it starts to rotate.

how to pick a lock correct tension for wrench illustration

Image source: Art of Manliness

Apply less pressure and slowly apply more to avoid using too much.

2. Insert Pick at Top of Lock

pick a lock inserting rake into lock

Image source: Art of Manliness

Select a “pick.” Slide the rake all the way to the back.

3. While Applying Slight Torque to Your Wrench, Scrub Your Pick Back and Forth in the Key Hole

Keep applying that slight pressure on your tension wrench. Use both hands. While applying pressure on the tension wrench, with your right hand, scrub or rake the inside of the plug with your pick. As you pull the pick back, simultaneously lift up in order to apply pressure on the pins. It looks sort of like this motion:

pick a lock rake motion gif

Image source: Art of Manliness

4. Repeat Until All the Pins Set

Keep applying torque on your wrench and scrubbing the pins until they all set. You may need to apply more torque and pressure on the pins with your pick as you get near the last one or two pins that need to set. If you’re not making any progress, you probably applied too much torque with the wrench. Relax, let the pins reset, and start over again, focusing on not using too much pressure.

That’s all there is to it. You can successfully pick most pin and tumbler locks using this scrubbing method. You may run across locks that require a little bit more finesse by picking each pin set one at a time. In these trickier locks, you may need to get more methodical by looking for the pin stack that resists the most and picking it first and then repeating the process until all the pins are successfully picked.

In order to do this well, you’ll want to practice. Try this on as many different locks around your home as you can.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 4th, 2020