2. Basics

Lock picking is the act of opening a lock by manipulating it’s components, without the benefit of the key.

At a high level, the methods used to open locks fall into two categories.

  1. Picking, or “single pin picking”: This is where the internal components of the lock, called pins are moved one at a time, positioning them just as the key would, until the lock can be opened.
  2. Raking or bumping: These methods have the same end result as picking, however the pins are manipulated more or less all at once. There is more of an element of chance at play that they land in the right spot for the lock to open.

As a beginner, you may be drawn to the second option, however, it is critical that you learn both. Single pin picking teaches you much more about how locks function, what to feel for, etc. But more on that later.

First it’s important to understand more about how locks work.