Are you a lock-picking expert?
by Staff
If you find yourself locked out of your house, you might be tempted to learn your way around a lock pick. But while the theory is easy, getting a lock to open without a key is a little harder.

If you want to pick the most common type of lock -- on your own property, of course -- your objective is to:

  • lift a set of pins to the right height
  • compress a set of springs
  • pull a set of springs

The two main tools used in picking a lock are:

  • picks and a drill
  • picks and a tension wrench
  • picks and fine pliers

While a lock is being picked, the cylinder, or plug:

  • turns a little further with the movement of each pin
  • stays in place until all the pins are out of the way
  • moves away from the housing, creating a ledge

The point at which the pins in a lock line up perfectly, allowing the lock to open is the:

  • cam line
  • perfect line
  • shear line

If you're not patient enough to pick a lock, you can pull a wide-tipped pick out of the lock while turning the tension wrench. This is called:

  • scraping
  • raking
  • plucking

Why is it often easier to pick wafer-tumbler locks than pin-tumbler locks?

  • Wafer-tumblers have only a few wafers to move.
  • Wafers are flimsier than pins.
  • Wafer-tumbler locks have a wider keyhole.

Tubular locks are the most secure type of key-opening lock because:

  • A tube of an exact diameter is required to open the lock.
  • The pins are located all the way around the inside of the lock instead of in a row.
  • The keyhole is designed to prevent picks and wrenches from fitting inside.

You can make a lock fit an existing key by:

  • reconfiguring the pins
  • reconfiguring the springs
  • You can't. You have to get a new key.

How does a pick gun open a lock?

  • by interpreting the weight of each pin in the lock
  • by using picks to vibrate the lock's pins
  • by breaking the lock from inside

Most burglars don’t gain entry to homes by picking locks because:

  • Lock picking takes lots of skill and practice.
  • There are lots of easier ways to get into a building.
  • both A and B