Building Your Basic Lock Picking Set (How To)

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Brokor, May 17, 2015.

  1. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    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 banner.
    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.

    hook banner2.

    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.

    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.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I would also add a pack or two of shims.
    As you pick each pin you can (if you have access to the back of a cyclinder Lock) slide a shim In to to keep the pins at the sheerline. Picking is much easier, and the cyclinder can then be removed for repining. Shims in the latch, can open the lock without even sliding a pick into the keyway.
    ,(and as Broker said, keep it legal)

    SouthOrd SPS-20 Padlock Shims -

    Ignore the advertisement, but follow the instructions to make a handcuff shim that will work even if the cuffs are installed with the keyhole toward your elbows (correctly). However, NO shim will work on a cuff that has been double locked.
    Super Simple Handcuff Shim
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
    Yard Dart, HK_User and wnn like this.
  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    If one is particularly interested, you might get a set of bump keys. They can often open a door lock in 5-20 seconds if one is a bit experienced with them.
    wnn and kellory like this.
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    True, I am gathering blanks for a set of bump keys, now.
  5. wnn

    wnn Guest

    Whats your thoughts on the bogata lockpicks & any hands on info would be appreciated.
  6. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

    Go to your local big box hardware and look in the drain snake section.
    There should be a flat steel 20ft one called a "sink cleaner" for 7$.
    If you have a dremel tool you are in business. (Diamond blade and a carbide grinding cylinder tip)
    If you use a exacto knife handle and just make insert picks for where the blade usually goes, it only takes about 3 inches per pick.
    That comes out to 80 picks for $7 or 0.25 cents per pick.
    Templates for picks can be found on a google image search or you can make them custom to your specs..
    Have fun and be good and legal.
  7. wnn

    wnn Guest

    Thanks Matteo , but ive never had any luck building picks, tried many times.I used to have a standard set but lent em to a buddy & poof never seen em again. Just curious about the bogata set ,since it has good reviews..& I do know theyre n ot cheap but good tools never are.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I cannot speak about any Bogata rake besides Petersen's, since theirs is the only one I have used. I know that Sparrows makes fine picks, but keep in mind their snake rakes may not be exactly the same as a Bogata. Now, as for performance, it will vary depending on the keyway. I can say that in many locks without security pins, the Bogata will usually pop it open in a few seconds like magic. In some cases with locks which have a spool or serrated pin, the bogata can still work, but you have to know the difference between zipping, rocking and bitch picking to get it. Now, here's the thing: do NOT get a thin Bogata. This is just my opinion, but they break very easily (and I used the government steel) and it's just better to go with standard Bogies and switch to a thin hook if you have to. I haven't broken a standard .Gov steel Bogata from Petersen's yet, but I am not a hard-core picking type like some folks out there.

    On a Master Lock or a Schlage, it's ridiculously simple to use a Bogata. As soon as you pop it in the key way, many times it pops open, faster than using the key. Truth.
    Ganado, wnn, kellory and 1 other person like this.
  9. wnn

    wnn Guest

    Good info thanks. Im thinkin about the ti units . on a side note on Kellory's post with links for the shim pick a set tweezers from a sak work wonders if not double locked & they dont get a second glance if theyre seen.
  10. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Broker I've read this post a couple of times cuz it has so much great info. Thanks for posting. .. lock picking wasn't something I ever considered. ... mostly I was thinking freeze and use a hammer
    Brokor likes this.
  11. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    At the end of the day, whatever works will do. I first got into this hobby to pass the time, but quickly realized how useful it could be if ever presented with emergency escape in the case of WROL, where travel may be necessary and the safest route may be to defeat a locked gate or to seek shelter inside a locked building. Basically, a small, lightweight kit such as I proposed and a bit of practice would benefit someone far greater than trying to carry massive amounts of tools or try to acquire them as needed. Also, picking a lock is discreet and leaves no trace. Bear in mind, this preparation would be for WROL and I wouldn't ever condone breaking any laws during regular police state occupation.
  12. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Have you traveled with it internationally or just usa?
  13. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I don't travel. I wouldn't take it if I did. :)
  14. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Ok thanks.. i ask because I do trave a bit and I take a few things with me. A big door stop is one thing because hotel room doors are vulnerable and I've made the trip to the front desk for a new key in my pj's when I got locked out a couple of times

    It's a great post.
    Brokor likes this.
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