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Art of Lock Picking

Tension Tools

It is said that lock picking is 90% how you use your tensioning tools (turning tools for the purists) and 10% everything else. Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that you select a turning tool that will provide you with the most feedback possible.

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It is said that lock picking is 90% how you use your tensioning tools (turning tools for the purists) and 10% everything else. I tend to agree. With the exception of practice, tensioning is the single most important aspect of lock picking, yet it is the most overlooked and undervalued.

Without the feedback tensioning provides we are but lost souls, forever probing the dark depths of the lock looking for any sign of life, yet finding none.

As a beginner, developing your skill in lock picking is directly correlated to developing your sense of feel and identifying the feedback the lock gives you. To this end, it is important that when starting out you do everything in your power to maximize the feedback you are receiving. This will help you to identify what certain feedback means and, as a result, significantly increasing your lock picking skills.

Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that you select a turning tool that will provide you with the most feedback possible.

When it comes to the turning tool there are three primary things that will affect the amount of feedback you will receive whilst picking:

  1. The type of turning tool you are using
  2. The amount of tension (torque) you apply to the lock’s core
  3. How well the turning tool fits into the keyhole — drag & core-binding
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