One question folks may ask frequently is, "Which picks should I buy and use?" It will be wise to not invest a great deal of money unless you already have a decent understanding about lock picking, but for the novice, this information may be useful. First, always check your local and State laws to see if it is even "legal" to own lock picks, and take care when carrying them, if you choose. Always practice on your own locks, or if you do not and are caught, it's serious jail time. Do not break the law. See also: Where to buy lock picks? -My Recommendations- Get yourself a few rakes, hooks and a wide assortment of tension wrenches. This will comprise your entire beginner set, and you can frame the rest on your own preferences. You may add more picks to your set as you establish a comfortable picking habit. A description of each will follow below. Rakes: These tools are most useful for quick entry, and require only a moderate amount of practice -but can prove very useful in skilled hands to get a nice false set on a lock and then continue with a hook. Personally, I would just go with a triple rake (Bogey) and a double, and have multiple back ups of these. The standard thickness is fine for most cases, but some locks have narrow key ways (especially European locks), and a few of these thin version may be ideal. You should be aware that a thin lock pick is more susceptible to breaking, so they are for more advanced picking. Stick with standard thickness for beginners. Hooks: Hooks are the prime picking method to advance skills and require the most training to use effectively. However, even a novice can do well with some basic knowledge, so you should not be fearful of using them. I suggest straying from the severely hooked picks and sticking to the very moderately curved hooks, which will function well for most key ways. The short hook will function very nicely and not bind too much in the key way, offering you the most feedback without trouble, but on some locks you may not be able to reach pins behind the forward pins easily. Some folks choose to pick front to back, and this works well in some cases, but bear in mind that not every lock can be picked the same. Wrenches: Tension wrenches come in a wide assortment of varying widths and lengths as well as styles. The most widely used range from thin to medium and thick widths at average length. The twist in the handle on some wrenches are merely for preference, as some people like to have more of the tool to feel the slight click of the pins and to keep a firm grasp. You can also make your own, if you feel inspired. Windshield wiper blades can provide a very good material suitable for crafting tension wrenches. Summary Of Kit At least two triple peak (Bogey) rakes One, double peak rake Two short hook picks, minimum One deep hook Assortment of tension wrenches You can modify this kit how you choose, including the addition of thin lock picks. Try not to spend your money on full kits if you can manage, since many tools are not even necessary until you can become more skilled. For most locks, these will do nearly everything. This list does not include specialty tools for wafer locks, warded or tools for bypass. This is just a simplified kit to help tackle the most widely used locks. If you find yourself liking the rake more than hook picking, go heavy rake setup with fewer hooks. Of course, this works the other way around as well. You should have one of each type, no matter what. I post this for the average hobbyist and for those who wish to be prepared in the case of societal breakdown when escape and evasion may be on the list of situations to plan for. I have no intention to provide information to criminals, and remember, the best security is knowledge and preparedness. Of course, guns, dogs and alarm systems help a lot, too. Know your own vulnerabilities and guard your belongings and family. Stay legal, kiddos.