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How to Pick a Lock With a Paper Clip | The Art of Manliness

This is the part that will go in the lock. Using your pliers, bend the long, straight end of the paper clip 90 degrees to form the handle of the tension wrench. Straighten out the second paper clip. Pinch the end of the paper clip with the pliers and bend the long part 90 degrees to form the first ridge in the rake. Move the pliers down on the long part of the paper clip, and bend again at 90 degrees.

Keep doing this until you have 3 ridges in the paper clip. Just follow the instructions in our how to pick a lock article. This method can be used on both pin tumblers and wafer tumblers. You have to know more about the inner workings of the lock to pick it, but the knowledge will greatly help when later attempting other methods. The goal when picking is to clear the shearing line and make sure that there are no pins obstructing it. The Concept If locks were perfectly made, than it would be impossible to pick each individual pin.

But in the real world, locks have various imperfections and are built to a certain set of machining tolerances. The higher the quality of the lock, the tighter the tolerances, and the harder it is to pick. Also, remember that since the various pieces of metal have to slide, rotate, and move next to each other, there has to be slight gaps that allow for this motion.

It is important to remember that this makes picking locks possible. The first aspect we are going to look at is an important effect called binding. Binding is what happens when a sheer force is applied to the plug when you try to rotate the cylinder with your torque wrench. The plug and the hull essentially crimp the driver pin, thus holding it in place.

The hull remains fixed in place, but when you turn the plug it grabs the pin. The ability to pick individual pins occurs when the locks are made with imperfections in manufacturing, sometimes as small as. The holes drilled for the pin columns don't lie exactly in a straight line that is exactly parallel with the axis of revolution of the plug. Because of this, when you rotate the plug only one or a few pins will bind first.

The others will still be loose and able to move up and down freely. Each lock is built Pin Tumblers Picking 33 slightly different and will have it's own order in which the pins set. Remember, the order in which the pins set will be reversed depending on which direction in which you attempt to turn the plug.

Also, note that metal is somewhat elastic; so if you turn too hard on the torque wrench, the pins will "give" slightly, and more of them will bind. Make sure that you don't apply too much force in order to avoid this situation.

Improvised Lock Picking : Secrets from the Master

You can now push up on the pin that is binding, or being held in place. As you push up on the key pin, it in turn pushes up the driver pin until you get to the point where the driver pin is completely past the shear line and up in the hull. The plug, that before was pushing on the driver pin, now has nothing in its way to keep it from rotating.

Since you are still applying a light force, it will start and continue to rotate until it hits the next driver I pin and stops again.

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Because of the extra rotation, the hole in the plug and the hole in the hull of the first pin now no longer exactly line up. The spring can push down on the driver pin all it wants, but the pin will catch on the edge of the plug and stay completely lodged in the hull. It is now trapped.

When this happens, the pin is set. Neither the driver nor the key pin is obstructing the shear line. This is the goal we are attempting to achieve. When you are pushing up on the pin, you have to be finely tuned to feel the right point when this happens. Make sure to stop after the pin is set. If you continue applying an upward pressure on the key pin and keep pushing it up, 34 Visual Guide to Lock Picking then you can force the key pin up into the hull as well. The rotational force on the plug will now bind the key pin instead of the driver pin, and they will both be stuck up there.

You can tell when this happens when you remove the pick from the pin and the key pin stays up. This is not good because the key pin is now blocking the shear line and will prevent further pins from binding properly, as well as the lock from opening. However, if when you remove the pick from the key pin and it free falls down without the spring pushing it down, then you have properly set the pin. At this point another pin should be binding, and the whole process can be repeated. Your Turn Now it's your turn to start picking pin tumblers. First, insert a pick and torque wrench into the keyway.

Now apply a gentle turning pressure with the turning tool.

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Again, the word gentle is emphasized. If too many pins bind, it will jam the lock. If the pins that do bind are too difficult to push up, then you are also turning too hard. When you become frustrated and tired, you will likely start turning harder. When this happens, take a break and recover.

(225) How to Pick Your First REAL Lock

Well-machined locks, and those made to tighter tolerances, will require the use of more torque. Padlocks and some doorknobs also have to turn a spring-loaded locking bolt, so these require more torque. Experience will tell you how much to apply. When you pick padlocks, there is the additional skill of holding the lock in the same hand that you use to turn the wrench. With practice you will learn the method that suits you best. Try a variety of methods, and remember, this isn't a science. Pin Tumblers Picking 35 While you are applying this gentle turning pressure, use the pick to feel the pins.

Don't use your sight. Just feel them. By knowing how they respond in various situations, you can create an internal map in your mind of what the lock looks like and the state of all the pins. Remember to visualize. This is a critical skill to learn. Just as many athletes try to visualize before their game what they have to perform, so should you visualize the lock and what you have to do before you attempt to pick it.

Now, attempt to determine which pin is binding the most. Then position your pick directly under it and make contact with the tip of your pick and the bottom of the pin. Apply a small amount of force pushing the pin upwards in your attempt to push the driver pin completely into the upper chamber of the lock. Be sure not to disturb the neighboring pins too much during this process. There are various size hook picks that are better for different shaped locks. Also, you can use any other type of pick or rake that works well for you.

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Remember, the only rule is to do what works. When the driver pin completely clears the shear line and enters the hull, you will have set the pin. This is also called breaking the pin. When this happens, you will hear or feel a small click. When your senses are in tune with this, it will be an earth-shattering event. You will feel the pin respond differently. Before you had to fight against the binding force and the spring pushing down.

For a brief moment in the gap mere will be no force resisting you. Then, there will be a large resistance as the key pin hits the edge of the hole in the hull. You must get used to how this feels. You will also feel the click in the hand that is holding the torque wrench. The wrench will give and the plug will rotate ever so slightly, and then stop. Although you can feel this, you probably won't be able to see it.

Treat the tools as extensions of your body. Don't trust your eyes; use your other senses to experience the lock. After you have broken the pin, lower your pick and make sure that the bottom key pin also free falls. If it stays up, then you have pushed the pin up too far and you will have to relieve some tension from the wrench in order to drop it, or you can start over.

If the spring pushes the pin down, then you haven't set it. Perhaps this pin isn't the one binding the most, you didn't push up far enough, or you didn't apply enough force to the wrench. Feel the remaining pins that have not broken and try to determine which is the next one that is binding the most. This will be your next target. Repeat the steps listed above with that pin. If you set a pin and other pins fall, or if you are unable to set any more pins, you may have set one in the wrong order. Clear the lock by releasing all pressure on the wrench and start over again.