Locksmith Tools

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Locksmith tools are the keys to a successful lock picking business. Bad puns aside, the tools you choose will be a major factor--along with practice and business acumen--in your long-term viability. A so-so locksmith can benefit from state-of-the-art pick sets and niche tools and accessories. But these items are no substitute for commitment to the craft. Similarly, a technically proficient locksmith can be hindered by outdated or damaged tools but will still be capable of defeating most basic locks.

So what types of locksmith tools are in the standard bag? Lock picks with diamond-shaped ends, rake tips, rounds, and snakes are just a few of the most common varieties. Each is suited for a different type of lock, from five-pin varieties to steep-angled versions. The snake, for instance, which is so named for its coiled shape, can be effective in binding several pins of varying lengths in one fell swoop. Locks such as these are common in most households, where they offer basic protection but are more a deterrent than anything.

Other Types of Locksmith Tools

One of the most critical locksmith tools in your arsenal is the torque or tension wrench. This is used in conjunction with the pick to turn the plug inside the hull of the lock you're attempting to pick. Without some degree of torque, it's hard to tell when your pins will bind. With pressure applied through the wrench, the lock is more likely to "click" as pins fall into line with the shear, alerting you of your success.

One of the remarkable things about locksmith tools is that they're easily replicable with everyday items such as paper clips and street sweeper bristles. Any medium that combines strength and "springiness" may be fashioned into an ad hoc pick. You can even build lock picking kits completely from scratch using a handful of objects from around your office. That said, poking around random keyways with bobby pins is unlikely to meet with the same success it invariably does in the movies.

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