Contents of the LOCKPICK.TXT file
" H O W T O P I C K L O C K S "
By The ENTERminator
November 25, 1986
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As an amatuer locksmith, I have found it incredibly easy to
be able to pick most any lock I desire. So easy, it is almost
rediculous how easy it really is. So, knowing that just about
anyone could do it anyway, I decided to write this file on the
basics of lockpicking. In it, you will learn about how a pin
tumbler lock (the one that you see most often) works and what
you need to do to open it. Don't expect to open up a locksmith
shop after reading this; remember, these are only the basics,
and there is alot of things I won't be able to tell you. Just
use this information in personal emergencies only; when you be
a dumbass and lock yourself out in your underwear. DO NOT UNDER
ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE THESE TECHNIQUES ILLEGALLY !!! Though you
didn't throw a brick through the window or bust the door down,
it's still BREAKING and ENTERING! Use with discretion!
* * * * * * * *
As for your very first step, I'd suggest obtaining a copy
of a lockpicking manual. Block characters are no substitute for
a good drawing. I got "Lock Picking Simplified" for about $5
from the Parallex Corporation (address listed at end of file),
and I'll admit that I ripped-off a lot of it's info, BUT NOT
ALL! You will really use it.
In case you don't already have a copy, which would be dumb
reading this file, your first step is to get familiar with how
a pin-tumbler lock operates. The pin-tumbler, from now on
referred to as just "lock", is made up of a series of spring-
loaded pins which are divided at specific places according to
the key. A rough drawing follows:
1 2 3 4 5 Where:
///// / is a pin-spring
///// H is the top pin
shear line->HHHHH and v is the bottom pin
Of course, this drawing is best I can do without real
graphics, but it is basically true to form. Also, keep in mind
that the top pins are not cut evenly, for obvious reasons.
The top pins of every tumbler must be above the shear line
in order for the lock to open. This rules out just stuffing a
rod into the lock; that's just on TV. The job of the locksmith
is to align each tumbler separately, one at a time. When all
tumblers are aligned, the lock will open. So, what do you use
to accomplish this?
There are really only two tools that are needed to unlock
such a simple lock. They are referred to as a "feeler pick" and
a "torsion wrench". Their crude representations are below.
90-120 at about 60
"torsion (same "feeler pick"
2' wrench" scale)
(side view of wrench) (top view of pick)
These simple tools can be fashioned out of almost any
strong steel wire or rod you might have around the home. I made
mine from a plastic paper-clip's metal grips. After bending
them straight, I pounded the top of the torsion wrench until it
fit into my door lock. I did this with the top half of the pick
as well, making sure they both were long and skinny enough to
work the lock. Be careful in choosing your metals! Copper might
pound easy, but it also breaks easy, too. And, choose a rod
that is *strong* ! Some locks are picky (ooooooh, sorry).
Once you've got the tools you need, find yourself a lock
that you can practice on. Obviously, the less tumblers it has,
the easier it is to pick. Get one you have a key for.
How do you pick a lock? There is one shortcoming of pin
tumbler locks that aid their being picked: ONE OF THE PINS WILL
CATCH ON THE SHEAR LINE BEFORE THE OTHERS. You will feel the
plug turn ever so slightly. All you do is keep pressure on your
torsion wrench while you work on the next pin.
Take a look at the lock you're trying to pick. Insert the
flattened end of the torsion wrench into the side opposite the
pins. The torsion wrench provides the turning power needed to
open the lock. Now with your pick, move the first pin up and
down until it clicks into place (*be sure to keep applying
pressure with your wrench!*). Then, work your way to the back
of the lock, clicking each pin into its place. When you get to
the last pin, the lock should "give". Your torsion wrench will
turn, and the lock is opened.
Of course, you will find that some locks are easier to open
than others. Some easy locks include key-in-knob locks,
padlocks, and other cheaply-made locks. Harder to pick are
automotive locks, deadbolts, and vending-machine locks, for
which you need special picks (but if you get 'em, you're in
luck!). Experiment with each to see what you can do.
That's about all you need to know in order to open most
every lock. For those of you who wish to go beyond the
"entertainment purposes" of this file, you can recieve a copy
of "Lock Picking Simplified" from Parallex (listed below) for
about $6.00. For those of you who hate making your own tools, a
complete set of lock picks and a locksmithing guide are
available to the public from Beckman Associates for $29.95.
Both prices exclude postage and handling. The addresses are:
Parallex Corporation Beckman Associates
1285 Mark Street P.O. Box 2266
Bensenville, IL 60106 South Hackensack, NJ 07606
(free catalog) ($1.00 catalog)
Have fun, and you don't need tools to pick your nose...