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’What man can lock, YOU will be able to unlock’
To start with, lockpicking is an art. This text file will attempt to teach
you that art. This file will cover all the different types of locks, different
types of picks, how to obtain the picks that you need, and, of course, how to
pick locks. Believe it or not, you will probably be able to pick some locks
within 15 minutes of reading this file, without picks... There are some people
out there who only want this information so that they can get into vending
machines and steal money and edibles or condoms or whatever. These people
should skip everything else and go directly to the section III. No. 6...
That section deals with how to pick ’WAFER’ type locks, usually found on cheap
vending machines. This is possible to do with a paper clip.
(Another type of vending machine lock is the round, cylindrical key, usually
found on Coke machines. This is something else all together and you will need
a specific set of picks for these.)
II. Types of Locks
There are several types of locks. Some of the more common are:
1. The Pin Tumbler Probably the most common. It is used on almost all dead
bolt type locks and also on doorknobs. This style may be found in better
padlocks as well. (ie Master Locks)
2. The Cylindrical Lock (aka Tubular lock). Usually found on Coke’s vending
machines or on Kryptonite bicycle locks. These are fairly tough to pick,
as you would need a special set of ’Tubular’ lock picks.
3. The Wafer Tumbler. This is the easiest lock to pick. Fortunately, many
businesses haven’t caught on to this yet because alot of companies put these
locks on their vending machines! This is wonderful should you happen to come
across an unsuspecting vendor with one of these locks, you can open the lock
in under a minute with a little practice. These locks are found in lesser
padlocks as well as desk drawers, cheap vendors, etc...
The above is not a complete list of locks. These, however are the ones I’ll
cover. Others would include skeleton key locks (you can open these with a bent
coathanger) or other rinky-dink locks. Often times you can figure out these
cheap locks yourself with a coathanger or paperclip. if not, read on...
III. Types of Picks
There are ’MASTER KEYS’ available for certain types of locks, but these are
harder to get and they aren’t even real picks. Sufice to say they do the job
if you can get them. Otherwise there are three general clasifications of ’lock
picks.’ These are:
1. The Tension wrench is not a pick, but you need one. It’s ’L’ shaped and
used with all picks. You usually get one with a set of picks (See ’How To
Obtain Picks’ later on). This is used to put pressure on the tumblers in a
lock when you are using a pick. Therefor, once you ’solve’ a specific tumbler,
it will stay in place while you move on to the next tumbler. Don’t worry, I’ll
explain more soon!
2. Hand picks. There are several types of hand picks. These are: the ’Rake,’
the ’Hook,’ the ’Diamond,’ and the ’Ball or Double Ball.’ All will be
3. The Rake. This is God’s gift to lockpicking. It has got to be the easiest
to use of all. First, take the Tension wrench (L shaped) and insert into the
lower part of the keyhole (The tumblers should be ontop). Next, insert the
rake into the top, making sure that the pick is touching the tumbler pins.
Now, you want to apply pressure with the tension wrench: not too much- you
only want enough pressure to keep the pins from falling down once you push
them up. You should be turning the tension wrench in the direction that the
key would normally be turned. If you don’t know which way it turns, then just
try one, if that fails, try the other direction. The pick should be inserted
into the lock with the HOLLOW SIDE DOWN. You want the handle of the pick to be
angled downward slightly so that the curved part of the pick is HORIZONTAL.
Push the pick all the way into the keyhole and pull it back out, making sure
that its touching the pins. Keep doing this until the lock opens. Sometimes
there are problems... if it doesn’t open, try less pressure on the tension
wrench. You may also want to adjust your angle, or pick the lock in the
opposite direction (Turn the tension wrench the other way).
4. The Hook does the same thing, only one pin at a time... After inserting the
tension wrench and applying pressure in the direction the lock turns, insert
the hook (hook upwards) all the way into the keyhole. There, you will feel the
furthest tumbler. Now, with slight tension from the wrench, push the tumbler
up with the hook. You will feel a ’click’ or a ’bump.’ When this happens,
stop. You have ’solved’ that pin, and are ready to go on to the next pin.
Keep this up until the lock opens. For problems, try less tension, try turning
the tension wrench in the other direction, or try picking the front tumblers
first. If you have the option, it is easier to use a rake type pick.
5. The Diamond uses the same theory as the rake, so follow rake directions.
The diamond is actually a modified rake and may go by other names as well.
6. The Ball/Double Ball. This is really totally useless. It only works on
wafer type locks. Wafer locks can be opened using regular picks or, if you
need to, a paper clip. Sometimes you find vending machines with wafer locks.
If you’ve got a Ball/Double Ball pick then use it just like a rake. These locks
are so easy to open that if you bend a paper clip like this: _________/ you
will be able to pick it. Simply insert the paper clip into the keyhole with
the peak upwards and use it like a rake. For a tension wrench, the small nail
file in a nail clipper works the BEST. Rotate the lock lightly with the file,
then rake the wafers until it pops open. I once found a vending machine with
two locks like these. One lock was on the cashbox, the other on the food
dispenser. I really didn’t want to steal the money- I just wanted ring-dings.
The problem was that the food dispenser lock was jammed so I was forced to
pick the cashbox lock and put money (well earned of course) into the machine.
7. Pick Guns. These are alot of fun. To use one, set the tension dial as low
as it goes. Insert your tension wrench and rotate lightly in the direction the
lock turns. Now, insert the pick gun GENTLY all the way in. Holding the tool
level, pull the trigger. Do this 5 or 10 times. If it doesn’t open, try
turning up the pressure on the pick gun. This is pretty much trial and error,
so keep working like this until it pops open.
8. Tubular lock picks... To put it simply, these are a pain in the ass. The
best way to learn how to use these picks is to buy a book on how to pick these
locks, available from most major locksmith suppliers. Check with some of the
IV. How To Obtain Picks. Okay, the part you’ve been waiting for: ’How do I
actually get a set of picks?’ Believe me, its not that hard.... Some places
specifically require a locksmith’s liscence before they sell you anything.
you’ll have to check with the laws in your state but, if you send somebody a
check or money order, chances are they will not send it back. Or, of course,
you can always mail order out of state for picks. Another option is to try to
fool them into thinking you are an official locksmith. This may not be as hard
as you think... If you have access to a color lazer printer, print out an
imaginary company’s stationary like ’Jims lock shop’ or something. Perhaps
this will do if it looks good enough. In any case, shop around, order catalogs
from everyone who will send them to you. Here is a list of a couple of
1. Steve Arnold’s Gun Room 2. Commonwealth Lock Co.
PO Box 68 1853 Mass Ave.
Dexter, OR 97431 Cambridge, MA
(503) 726-6360 (617) 876-3301
3. Pasek Corp.
9 West 3rd Street
South Boston, MA 02127