When you don't have the right key, lock picking is a great way to open just about any lock out there. Normally, picking locks is something we associate with crime and illegal activities, although crime isn't always the case. There are a lot of instances where locking picking skills can come in real handy. Take for instance a lost house key or locking your car keys inside your car. Even though you could always break a window, calling a professional locksmith is the best to go - it can save you a lot of money in repairs, and get the lock open fast. To properly pick a lock, you'll need the right tool kit.
Even the most basic lock picking kit will contain a lock pin and a tension wrench. If you have an emergency, you can normally replace the lock pin with a hair pin. Professional locking picking kits on the other hand will normally include a variety of tension wrenches in several different shapes and sizes, covering several different styles of lock pins. Some include a locking picking gun, which uses vibration to push all the lock pins up at the same time. When picking a lock is necessary, the first thing to do is to insert the tension wrench into the keyhole and attempt to turn the cylinder.
Next, you can use the lock pin and gently pry up on the pins. Once the pins reach the normal opening position, you'll hear a clicking noise, letting you know that the pins are in the right place - and the lock is open. There is also another technique to lock picking, which is known as racking. Racking uses a lower precision level, and uses a special pick known as a rake. To use the rake, simply insert it into the keyhole until it reaches the back of the cylinder, then quickly pull it out so that it hits all of the pins when it comes out. A tension wrench is also used as well, to turn the cylinder.
The hardest lock out there to pick are master locks. They offer an excellent protection system, and aren't as susceptible to picking as other types of locks. Master locks were invented by Henry Soref in 1921, introducing the first lock to use laminated layers of solid steel. Although master locks use the same picking system as other types of locks, those that are in combined format will require a locksmith with a lot of patience - and skill.
To learn more about lock picking, there are several books and illustrations that you can buy, which will show you the techniques step by step. Often times, a video or Cd is included that will show you the techniques in action. Several books and videos were made by true locksmiths, although others are more directed for people who just want to learn a bit more on the subject. If you want to become a locksmith or a professional at lock picking, you can also find books and videos out there that will help you become proficient at picking locks.
Anytime you buy a lock, you should always keep in mind that just about any lock can be picked. Although most locks can be picked, there are some that take a bit more time and patience than others. When you buy a lock, you should always think in terms of safety and select one that you know it isn't to penetrate. This way, you can have a sense of security in your lock - and know that you are safe and protected.
Rob Thomas is an author of articles such as How to Pick a Lock, Pick Locks, and Lock Picking.