Home LockLab University Welcome to Lock Picking!!

Welcome to Lock Picking!!

Welcome to Locksport, one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world! If you like puzzles or figuring out how mechanical things work, you’ll love this hobby and will find it totally consuming.  There are thousands of YouTube videos, online forums, chat rooms, lock picking organizations, even a Lockwiki to help you learn how to pick locks.

You’ve just taken the first step to learning how to pick locks, GREAT!  We’ve tried to lay everything out logically for you to make everything easy to learn.  Get started by clicking through the items in the drop down menu.  Try to do it in sequence since each item builds on the predecessor.  If you skip ahead you’ll likely get confused about a technique or some technical term, and have to go back anyway.  It’s tempting, I know, to jump right to the “Tricks & Bypasses” or the “Tools” tabs, but you’ll just have to trust me.  You can read through the tabs pretty quickly and be picking a lock within an hour or so, don’t worry!

My objective is to teach you how to pick locks in the minimum amount of time.

When I started picking there were no such resources.  I had to learn it on-the-fly, trying to figure everything out by trial and error.  I ordered my first lock pick set out of a magazine, paying an arm and leg for what I know now was a piece of crap kit, and started sticking them into random locks.  My results were disappointing.  I threw them into a drawer and they sat there until I went into the Army.  In the service I was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician and the Army taught me how to defeat different types of locks.  Unfortunately, they taught us the very minimum and then turned us loose on mankind – none of us got very good at it.  Later, when assigned to the teams each member ended up specializing in multiple skills, one primary and several secondaries.  Being a mechanical engineer and the dumbest guy on the team, I was the lock picking specialist.  As I studied and taught myself how to pick locks, my interest grew and became more than just part of my job, it exploded into an all-consuming hobby.  When I retired from the Army my lock picking abilities, combined with my other skills, moved my career into a new, and unexpected direction.   I’ve picked locks and taught lock picking and physical security on every continent, in more than 70 countries.

My objective is to teach you how to pick locks in the minimum amount of time.  I’ll do my best to accelerate your learning, teaching you basic and advanced techniques along the way.  I’ll give you all the information that you need to be successful, in a much more condensed format than was available to me.  I’ve tried to organize the material logically, leading you sequentially from basic to more advanced skills.  This is cookie-cutter lock picking.

you won’t be able to open every lock you face.  None of us can.

It won’t be easy – no skill worth having ever is.  You can’t learn lock picking by reading or watching videos.  You MUST put your hands on picks and locks and spend time practicing the techniques.  If there’s a single secret to being a good lock picker (or football player, or ballet dancer), it’s practice, practice, practice.  Practice does make perfect.  Still, with minimal effort you’ll make tremendous gains in your first week or two.  You have the rest of your life to achieve perfection, don’t rush it.

Having said that, you won’t be able to open every lock you face.  None of us can.  Locks are complex mechanical devices growing more devious in their design every year.  Some locks, dare I say it, are unpickable.  Many in the hobby consider that blasphemy and insist that with enough time and effort even a monkey can open an Abloy, and that’s true.  But to me “pickable” means being able to do it reliably and quickly which isn’t possible for 99.99999% of us mere mortals.  Even “easy” locks can be cantankerous. One day it practically FALLS open with a look.  The next day you couldn’t open it if your life depended on it.  Sometimes life’s that way, suck it up.

Before you begin breaking picks, it’s probably a good idea to know how locks work and how those devious lock designers conspire against you.  Let’s get started by first looking at the tools you’ll be using, which I call The LockLab Pick Kit!

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