Home LockLab University LP102: Using Your Other Picks

LP102: Using Your Other Picks

By now you’re an expert raker, but there are other techniques you’re ready to learn.  During this module the coordination skills you learned and practiced will really come in handy.  Hopefully tensioning your lock is second nature at this point, requiring no special thought to make happen.  That’s good because now you can focus on learning PICK techniques.

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Your goal during this module is to complete all the attacks without drawing any blood or breaking anything.

Still using your Master #3 we’ll start experimenting with some of your other picks.  You’ll learn how to use your different rakes and when they might be appropriate.  You’ll use your W-rake for a “kinetic attack“, the L-rake for a “rocking attack“, and your short hook or half diamond for a “zipping attack“.    Your goal during this module is to complete all the attacks without drawing any blood or breaking anything.  All of these raking techniques will get you into your Master Lock and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is!

The first new attack is very effective against locks that don’t have security pins and is called a “kinetic attack”.  Kinetic is exactly what it sounds like, a transfer of energy.  In this case you’ll transfer energy from a fast-moving pick that has jagged edges, directly to the pins.  When the rake strikes them, the transfer of energy will cause them to bounce off of the rake and compress the spring above the driver pin.  The concept is exactly what happens when using a bump key, except faster, cheaper and easier!

Take a close look at your W-rake and you’ll notice that the peaks are very sharp, unlike your other rakes.  These steep peaks have a high “angle of attack” when they hit the lock’s pins, making the transfer of energy more efficient.  Your objective with kinetic attacks is to transfer as much energy as possible to the pins in as short a time as possible.  So… this can get quite…messy… when learning the technique.  After doing it several times you’ll get the hang of it though as you further develop your “feel”.

OK, to perform your kinetic attack put in the tension wrench and maintain very light tension on the core.  Insert your W-Rake to the back of the lock and press it lightly upwards.  Hold your breath.  JERK the pick out rapidly, allowing it to drag against the pins on it’s way out of the lock.  Don’t release your tension on the core when doing all of this.  With luck, the lock opens.  If it doesn’t, don’t worry, it will.  Without releasing your tension, insert your pick and jerk it out again.  Repeat this 3-4 times.  If the lock hasn’t opened by then, release your tension to let all the pins fall back down (called “resetting the lock”) and begin the process again.  With a little practice you’ll find that the W-Rake’s kinetic attack is very effective against simple locks, most times even faster than raking them open.

Attack #2 will be with your L-Rake, commonly called the “City Rake” because it looks like the outline of a city from a distance.  Compared to the kinetic attack, this one is much gentler with less chance of injury.  Apply light tension on the core and insert the L-Rake all the way to the back of the lock.  Now, rock it in a see-sawing motion instead of raking it in and out.  The varying depths on the pick profile will gently rock the pins to their shear line, opening the lock.  The rocking attack is very effective against locks with light and moderate bitting (only a little difference in pin heights).  If it works, it will work very quickly – usually within a few seconds.  I love using this attack against most Master Locks because they often have bitting that is similar from pin to pin.

I named this third method a “zipping” attack, because when you do it, it sounds like a jacket zipper.  You can use either a half diamond or a standard hook to execute a zipping attack, the lock really doesn’t care.  While applying light tension insert your pick to the rear of the lock, press it upwards into the pins, and draw it out slowly.  You’ll recognize the zipping sound and that’ll confirm you’re doing it right.  As you draw out the pick the curve on the hook, and angle on the half diamond, will push the pins towards the shear line against the spring pressure.  It is likely the pins will not bind in order from rear to front, but it doesn’t matter.  When you get to the binding pin it will be pushed to the shear line.  If the lock doesn’t open, hold the tension and re-insert the pick and zip it again.  It may take 3-4 tries to open the lock depending on the binding order of the pins.  If you haven’t gotten an open after 5 attempts, reset the lock and try it again.  This is a very popular technique with speed pickers, used to obtain a false set with security pins.  You will use it for the same purpose later in the course, but with the simple 4-pin locks your objective should be to get it open.

Practice these techniques until you are comfortable executing them without dropping picks, locks or tension wrenches.  Again, you are developing lock handling skills, tensioning skills, and developing your feel.  Please don’t rush things or you’ll miss out on gathering valuable experience and skills.  You should spend roughly a week developing these techniques and building your skills

All right, let’s move on to LP103!



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