Lock picking is a skill that most professional locksmiths (like A Aable Locksmith) are proficient in, and allows for locks to be opened without cutting open the safe or using the key. Many people practice lock picking as a hobby or have knowledge of this skill in case they forget their keys. Lock picking is perfectly legal as long as you only use it on locks that you own. However, laws regarding lock-picking tools vary depending on state, so check with local laws before you attempt to pick a lock.
Here are the six main types of lock picks:
- Diamond Lock Picks: These types of lock picks are the most common, and have a flat underside with a triangle tip. Sizes vary, and larger picks will be useful for larger locks. Diamond lock picks are most commonly used to pick tumbler locks and padlocks, which happen to be some of the most common locks available.
- Hook: These lock picks have a tip that is bent upwards, allowing you to reach around the warding in a lock. Since they are most often used for tumbler locks, hook lock picks are also fairly common.
- Single Ball: These lock picks have a flat, rounded tip on a straight handle. These lock picks only work effectively with wafer tumbler locks, and as such are not very commonly used.
- Double Ball: Double ball picks are simply single ball picks with a second, smaller ball attached to the first ball. Again, double ball picks are only used for wafer locks, though they work well with bi-directional wafer locks, which are rare locks that have pins that move both up and down.
- Rake: A rake lock pick has a wavy tip. Rakes come in different variants, with different tip shapes that run rapidly over the pins in a lock until they all catch, opening the lock. Raking is the easiest form of lock picking, and rakes are the second most common types of lock picks after diamond picks.
- Key Extractors: Less of a lock pick and more of a retrieval device, key extractors are used to pull out the broken part of a key that has become stuck inside a lock. They resemble a diamond pick in shape, but have a sharpened edge that is used to grip the broken bit of key and pull it out. However, key extractors can be used like diamond lock picks to open tumbler locks and padlocks as well, and are an essential part of any locksmith's inventory.