Where To Buy Lock Picks: Ultimate Buyer's Guide
So you're looking to buy your first lock picking set, and you're not sure where to start.
No worries, the purpose of this guide is to help you figure out where to buy a lock pick set—whether it be online or locally.
That being said, where is the best place to buy lock picks?
The best way to buy lock picks is from an online lock pick store. Many websites sell lock picking tools, but the best and most well-established are Art of Lock Picking, Peterson, Multipick, SouthOrd, Lock Law Tools, Sparrows, and LockPickWorld.
So let's start this guide off by looking at the best lock picking brands, and then we'll look at a few alternative ways to acquire lock picking tools for those who cannot buy them online.
Finally, we'll finish off this guide with a brief look into the main characteristics you should consider when buying lock picks to help ensure you get what you need.
Let's get to it!
Table of Contents
Best Online Lock Picking Brands
There are a ton of places online to buy lock picks; however, the seven brands listed below are well known and well established. Each business on this list carries a variety of excellent lock picking tools, provides fast shipping, and has great customer service.
1. Art of Lock Picking
First up on this list is yours truly—Art of Lock Picking
I founded Art of Lock Picking in 2014 with the sole mission of cutting through the garbage that litters the internet by offering only the best information and the best lock picking tools.
Art of lock Picking currently offers Peterson lock picks—which is a true blessing because I find them to be hands-down the best lock picks on the market.
The site also focuses intensely on educational lock picking guides and courses to help provide beginners with a structured path to mastery.
If you would like to check out Art of Lock Picking's selection of lock pick sets, you can visit the shop here.
When you want the best of the best, you should think Peterson.
Peterson manufactures some of the highest quality lock picks on the market. They are also one of the last remaining locksmith tool companies that have stuck true to their philosophy of "made in the USA."
They offer their tools in their exclusive "Government Steel," similar to the 420 stainless steel used in many surgical tools. In short, these tools are tough, which makes them perfect for any heavy-handed beginner.
However, they also offer a cheaper selection of lock picks in electroless nickel plated 10-95 carbon spring steel.
In addition to having some of the strongest picks on the market, they also provide the best handles. Each pick includes an ergonomic plastic-molded handle that increases feedback while picking and ensures that your picks don’t rub and cut into your fingers.
To finish, their lock pick cases are the absolute best on the market. I personally love The Book Lock Pick Case, which easily holds all my favorite tools. There really is no better way to protect your lock picks than a Peterson lock pick case.
Whether you are a beginner looking for your first lock pick set or a professional locksmith, if you want tools that perform great and last a long time, consider checking out Peterson Locksmith tools.
The runner-up to Peterson is Multipick!
German engineered and manufactured, Multipick lock picks are known for their sleek polish, slick design, and strength.
Each pick includes a small metal handle to help fight pick fatigue and do a great job transmitting feedback.
Their small-form lock pick cases are not the best; however, their foldover cases are a different story and a luxurious way to protect your investment.
Like Peterson, Multipick is an innovative company that sells amazing lock picks and unique lock picking tools—such as their dimple picks.
Also, if you live in Europe, you might save some time and money on shipping costs.
Everyone remembers their first.
Founded more than 30 years ago, SouthOrd lock picks are what many of us grew up on. SouthOrd tools are known for their affordability, strength, reliability, sensitivity, and great quality.
Like Multipick, each pick includes a small metal handle to help fight pick fatigue and transmit feedback.
They also offer higher-end picks called their "High-Yield" line.
However, something that falls short of the rest of their products is their pouch-style cases. So if you can, buy their zip-up ones.
Overall, SouthOrd is an amazing company that has done a lot for the lock picking world, and they offer a wide selection of tools.
5. Law Lock Tools
Law Lock Tools is the newest kid on the block, but don't let that fool you. Their lock picking tools are quickly becoming the standard in the locksport community.
I've personally never used their tools; however, being in the lock pick business myself, I've never heard a negative word about them.
This is another great option if you live in Europe and want to save some time and money on shipping!
Sparrows is one of the most popular lock pick brands for Locksport enthusiasts; however, it isn't as popular with professional locksmiths.
They were originally designed by Wizwazzle, a famous lock picking YouTuber who played a huge part in why lock picking is so popular today!
They currently work with other popular YouTubers to manufacture some pretty cool and unique lock picking products.
However, they are not the most transparent company with some of their products and are well known for ripping off lock pick designs from other manufactures and undercutting their prices with cheaper Chinese knockoffs.
Regardless, they are very supported by the locksport community and have good customer service, quick shipping, and quite a variety of reliable and unique tools.
7. Lock Pick World
Lock Pick World is the largest online lock picking store and carries a huge inventory of locksmith tools.
I often find myself browsing their selection when I'm in search of those odd or rarer tools.
It is an awesome shop with fast shipping and great customer service. I've ordered a lot from them and have never once had an issue.
Amazon Lock Pick Sets
So are Amazon lock picks any good?
While Amazon offers a wide variety of lock picking tools, their lock pick sets are typically low quality and fragile. They are often made from very soft and malleable metal that bends easily while picking and are highly prone to breaking.
Every once in a while, a decent quality lock pick set will emerge on Amazon, but they really are just junk most times.
For nearly the same price you can buy a higher quality set from one of the brands listed above. A good set of lock picks will perform much better and last you a lot longer.
I usually recommend staying far away from Amazon lock picks unless it really is your only choice. Truly the only benefit of buying lock picks from Amazon is Prime shipping.
Where Can I Buy a Lock Pick Set Near Me?
So what if you are unable to order lock picks online? Can you buy lock picks locally?
In most cases, you can not buy lock picking tools locally and will need to purchase them online. While purchasing and owning lock picks is not illegal in most places, stores such as Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Lowes, and Habor Freight do not carry lock picking tools.
Lock picking is sadly still a craft that is frowned upon, and many companies associate it with criminal behavior. Check out my article on why criminals don't pick locks!
However, if you absolutely can not purchase a set online, you have several other options such as:
- Making your own tools.
- Using improvised lock picks such as bobby pins.
- Become friends with a locksmith.
- Join a lock picking community and find lock pickers near you.
Make Your Own Lock Picks
An alternative to buying lock picking tools is to make your own— and it's easier than you may think!
Check out my list of the 15 best materials for homemade lock picks here.
If you have any of the objects on that list and a way to grind down that material—such as a Dremel or metal file—then you can easily and cheaply make your own picks at home!
You can make some beautiful creations that work just as well as manufactured picks.
If you go down this route, be sure to check out my printable lock pick templates here to help you craft the perfect lock pick!
Buyers Guide to Lock Pick Characteristics
So we've looked into all the ways to acquire lock picks, but now let's briefly cover a few of the characteristics of lock picks to help ensure you buy what you need.
Hooks vs. Rakes
In lock picking, there are two different types of lock picks—hooks and rakes. Let's briefly cover each.
Hooks are used to manipulate the pins of a lock one at a time. They require more skill, time, and experience to use but are very powerful and can unlock just about any pin tumbler lock you can think of—including very challenging ones.
Rakes, on the other hand, are designed to manipulate multiple pins at a time. They require less skill, less time and can be very powerful against basic locks; however, they can fall short against more challenging locks with extra security features such as security pins.
There is a lot that can be said about these two types of lock picks, so if you would like to dive deeper and learn how to use them, be sure to check out my ultimate beginner’s guide to lock picking!
Arguably the most important yet underrated tool in a lock pick set is the tension wrench. The tensioning wrench is used to apply torque to the plug and bind the pins. Without this tool, lock picking is impossible.
It also provides us with useful feedback—vibrations—that lets us know what is occurring in the lock as we pick it.
Some sets also include top of the keyway turning tools that allow you to tension the lock from the center of the keyway. These are handy to have but not essential for a beginner.
If you would like to learn more, I have a complete guide here that dives deeper into the tension wrench and how to chose the right one.
The first thing to consider when looking at lock picks is what thickness you need. Lock picks are typically categorized into two thicknesses.
- Standard [.025“]
- Slender/Slimline [0.015″ through 0.022″]
When selecting a thickness, it’s important to consider where you live, the types of locks you plan on picking, and your experience level.
If you live in North America, you’ll likely want to start with standard picks as most locks in this region have larger keyways.
However, if you live in Europe or Japan, locks typically have smaller and more paracentric keyways, so consider snagging some slimmer picks to complement your set.
Additionally, thinner lock picks are much easier to break, and beginners typically have a heavy hand. So if you are new to lock picking, consider starting with the thickest lock picks that you can.
Standard vs. Euro Lock Picks
So what is the difference between standard lock picks and euro lock picks?
There is a common misconception that "euro-style" lock picks characterize pick thickness. However, euro picks have nothing to do with pick thickness and everything to do with the height of the pick profile.
Euro means a reduction in shank height.
As you can see, the shaft of the euro pick is much shorter than the standard profile. This shank reduction makes it much easier to access more restrictive keyways and get more leverage within the lock.
Manufacture Pick Profile
In addition to the shank profile, there is also the manufactures profile.
The overall profile—or shape—of your picks will directly affect how effective they can be in the lock.
Different manufactures have different standards and designs to which they uphold. To illustrate this, let’s look at the common short hook from two different popular manufactures—Peterson vs. Sparrows.
As you can see, the Peterson Short Hook has a much wider and flatter tip, while the Sparrows are much thinner and pointer. This difference may seem slight, but it can make a huge difference in how the lock pick acts on the pins.
Notice in the image above that the bottom of the key pin is very narrow. Imagine the amount of precision it would take to align a pointy tipped hook with that pin and lift it without slipping off.
This is where the Peterson Short Hook has the advantage for a beginner. Because the tip of the hook is wide and flat, it is easier to locate the pins and control them while lifting as they are less likely to slip off a flat surface.
Note that this isn’t stating that Sparrows lock picks are low quality, but rather that they hold a different standard, profile, and value.