How to Pick a Lock – How to Pick a Lock With a Tension Wrench
Knowing how to pick a lock could come in handy if you lock yourself out of your home or are in an emergency where you need to get into your house quickly.
Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as you may think. All you need are a few everyday household items and a little patience.
Picking The Lock
Usually, if you are locked out of your home because you have lost your key, it’s best to call a professional. But there’s also a way to get yourself out of the situation.
Lock picking is the process of opening a lock without the original key. You can do this with the help of a few simple tools.
The key to picking a lock is understanding how it works and using the right tool. This skill can be useful for grid down and survival situations and when you forget your keys or lose them.
Most locks have a pin cylinder mechanism that requires you to push the lock’s pins to specific levels to unlock it. The trick is to manipulate each of the pins in the correct order. This way, you can change the lock’s position so that it will turn when you apply pressure with your lever.
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A tension wrench is an essential tool for picking locks. It can help you apply tension (torque) to the plug of a lock, which will turn the lock in the direction you want it to.
The key to using a tension wrench is to understand its characteristics. If you have any nicks, scratches, or dents on your tension wrench or on the lock itself, this will interfere with the turning process.
Once you have determined the correct direction to turn your tension wrench, insert the short end into the bottom of the lock’s keyhole and put pressure on it in that direction.
Repeat This Process For Each Lever.
Once all the levers are set, remove the pick from the lock and use your tension wrench to turn the lock clockwise or counterclockwise. Once it’s turned, you should hear or feel pins falling as the tension you’ve applied for the last few minutes spins the cylinder open.
Picking The Pins
Picking a lock involves manipulating the pins inside to open it. A typical lock consists of a cylinder housing, the plug (the part you insert the key into) and a series of pin stacks.
The goal is to get the proper pin pair to the shear line, where the plug sits and stops it from rotating. When the correct pin reaches this point, the plug can rotate, and the lock opens.
There are two types of pins used in locks – standard and spool. Spool pins are specialized security pins with a unique shape and transmit a different signal when picking.
Spool pins can give an opportunist or inexperienced lock picker the illusion of progress by causing the core to rotate partially or emit extra clicks as they bind in the lock.
To overcome a false set, moderate tension and move the pick from pin to pin, applying pressure on each one while slightly releasing tension on the core. As you feel the lock core, try to turn slightly, push that binding pin down until it catches at the shear line and opens the lock.
Jiggling The Lock
Jiggling the lock is a basic lock-picking technique for beginners to open locks quickly and easily. The chances are you’ve already used this technique with your normal key – you know how to wiggle it about a bit when your lock doesn’t open.
Jigglers work on all pin-cylinder types – on older car locks, specific padlocks, desks, lockers and post-boxes. They have been designed to match the popular pinnings of all these locks, but more importantly, they must offer enough room for movement so that the selector can move the key in and out a few times without it sticking.
If the key doesn’t jiggle free, try applying a thin layer of WD-40 Smart Straw to the keyhole and other tight spaces. The smart nozzle of this product will allow you to spray directly into the keyhole, where it can help your key slide out more easily.
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