The Infographical Guides to Lock Picking

The Infographical Guides to Lock Picking

So you want to learn the art of picking locks? Well, look no further than our quick and dirty infographical guides to lock picking! The goal behind these visual guides was to extract only the fundamental and necessary components involved in successfully picking a lock, no more — no less.

If you are looking for more comprehensive guides that cover the entirety of lock picking, be sure to check out the Academy and our Complete Beginner’s Guide to Lock Picking.

Single Pin Picking

The first of our techniques in this series of graphical guides is Single Pin Picking. Every technique of lock picking uses two tools — a tension wrench and a lock pick.

The tension wrench is used to place rotational tension on the plug of the lock, much like a key does. This aids us in both setting pins and turning the plug when the pins are all set.

Single pin picking uses a hook style pick. This pick is specially designed to push and manipulate each pin individually — hence the name “single pin picking.”


The next technique in this series is Raking — also known as Scrubbing. Raking is the art of using both luck and skill to open a lock. To rake a lock we need the use of both a tension wrench and a rake type lock pick.

These rakes style picks come in a variety of shapes, but all accomplish the same goal — to manipulate multiple pins at once. Rake picks have several peaks and are used by inserting the pick into the lock and scrubbing the pins back and forth — much like brushing your teeth, except much more fun. In theory, the more peaks a rake has, the more pins it can manipulate and the better chance you have of bumping each pin to the shear line.

Let’s take a look!

Raking a Lock Infographic

Improvised Lock Picking Infographics

Utilizing the proper lock picking tools will not only aid in your success but also in the development of your skills. However, we don’t always have these little tools on hand and thus we must improvise.  Lock picking can be accomplished with anything that is both small enough to fit into the keyway and malleable enough to form into the proper tools.

Bobby Pin Lock Picking

Bobby pins have always had this strange subtle link to lock picking. This is likely because they work fantastic on lower level locks and their availability surpasses any other item like them  — being found in just about any purse.

Ghost Lock Pick SetTo pick a lock with a bobby pin,  we must first forge our tools. Like any variation of lock picking, we will need both a tension wrench and a pick — hence we need two bobby pins.

To make our wrench we need only to bend our first bobby pin into the shape of an “L.” Simple enough!

Our pick requires a few extra steps. First strip off the rubber cap on the straight end of the bobby pin. This can be done easily by using fingernails, pliers, or even your teeth.

Once the rubber end is removed we can begin making our bends. Start by pulling the bobby pin apart and straightening it. Next, stick the straight end of the bobby pin about 1/3 of an inch into the keyhole of your lock and apply enough pressure to bend the end of the pin into a hook.

Bobby Pin Lock Picking INFOGRAHPIC

Other Lock Picking Infographics

The art of lock picking, like every craft and skill, involves much more than originally meets the eye. So many questions and concerns arise when venturing into a new craft. To conclude this infographical series, we will touch on the subjects unrelated to the actual techniques of lock picking, starting with applicable laws.

Us Lock Picking Laws

Before you consider buying a set of lock picks, it is always preferred that you check your state or country laws regarding the legality of owning locksmithing tools. In the United States, there are only five states that do not allow possession of lock picking tools. These states are Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, and Tennessee. Any other state is free game! For more information on the legality in your state or country check out LockWiki.

United States Lock Picking Laws

Taking Your Lock Picking Skills Further!

 While this simple guide is enough to get anyone’s feet wet, the craft of lock picking doesn’t stop here. Not by a long shot! These were but simple steps for anyone to mimic. By learning the basic theory and techniques behind lock picking, your success at picking locks will skyrocket. And the best part is, it’s not a terribly difficult skill to acquire. Within hours you could be picking locks with a seemingly innate knowledge of not only how locks work, but what exactly you are manipulating within them. If you wish to develop your lock picking skills beyond mere mediocrity, take a look at our comprehensive beginner’s guide to lock picking!

Beginner Lock Picking Sets

Owning and using the correct tools is vital to any lock picking venture. They not only aid in your success, but they help you develop the “feel” and consistency required to become proficient at the craft. A quality set of lock picks is a relatively low-cost investment and will always be there in your time of need. Be sure to take a look at our most demanded lock pick set below or visit our store for more lock picking sets!

Peterson’s GSP Ghost Lock Pick Set

Peterson GSP Ghost Pick Set


As always, Happy Picking!



5/5 (1 Review)

Question or Comment?

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Great blog, guys! All this is really interesting. One request – can you add in a section on how to pick a car door? I’ve locked my keys in the ignition many a times, and knowing how to pick a car door would be a cool trick up my sleeve.

Want More?

Join over 10,000 lock pickers and received exclusive guides, tips & tricks, article updates, and other awesome stuff!


GSP Ghost Lock Pick Set

“Hands Down The Best Beginner Lock Pick Set!”