Lock Picking For The Survivalist

Knowing how to lock pick, can save your life.

Lock picking gets a bad wrap, mostly because we associate lock picking with illegal activity; however, knowing how to pick a lock can be a matter of life and death. For me, lock picking is as essential as knowing how to build a fire. In this article i’ll briefly cover the basics of lock picking, and how to get started.

What is lock picking?

Lock picking is any method used to open a lock without the proper key. Knowing how to pick a lock will give you the ability to regain access to shelter, or locked supplies, and could potentially help you escape from illegal restraint.

Using the right lock pick

In movies, you’ll often see characters picking locks with close pins, paper clips, or bobby pins. Using these items for lock picking, can be disastrous and ineffective. It’s important that lock picks are made from metals like steel or titanium. Using cheap materials could break off, and clog the lock or strip gears inside the pinhole. If you’re looking for a good beginners pick set click here.

Like fire making, lock picking is a skill and can be trained with practice. Often times, you’ll see lock pickers instantly gaining access to their point of entry; however, picking locks can take hours, and requires patience. Standard lock picks, like the set shown above, can not pick every lock. Without knowing certain things about a lock, some techniques will be useless. For example, using the set above to pick a set of handcuffs will not work. In order to escape from illegal restraint, one must use a set of handcuff keys or a special lock pick specifically designed for this scenario.

The Mechanism of a lock

The pin-tumbler lock is a lock mechanism that uses pins of varying length to prevent the lock from opening without the correct key.

Without a key in the lock, the driver pins are pushed downwards by the springs preventing the plug from rotating. When the correct key is inserted the pin stacks are lifted to the correct heights. The split between the key pins and the driver pins align with the edge of the plug or shear line. When the gaps between the pins are aligned with the shear line, the plug can rotate freely.

When an incorrect key is inserted into a lock, the key pins and driver pins do not align with the shear line and the plug will not turn.

Lock picks are best tools to use in order to manipulate the pins in a lock. In the lock pick set above, we include what is called a tension wrench.

What is a tension wrench?

A tension wrench is the tool used to apply turning pressure on the lock. The tension wrench must be placed at the bottom of a key way.

What is a short hook?

A short hook, is a thin pick that is needed for narrow key ways, and is meant for single pin picking. This method takes some practice but is highly effective for picking older locks.

Knowing how to use these tools effectively is crucial, which is why i recommend our practice set to get started. The lock is transparent, which helps users visually see when they’ve correctly bypassed a lock pin.

If you would like to purchase this lock picking set click here

Written by Leo

Having graduated from one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, it wasn't long until Leo abandoned his career in finance and entered the survival industry. Leo's survival specialization is in rescue and wilderness survival.