risk of damaging locks?

I was wondering how much risk there is of damaging a lock from picking it? I'm new to picking, just started a couple days ago actually, and I've been practicing on mine and some of my friend's doors. I've not had any problems with the door locks yet, but I purchased a small padlock on it, and after several minutes of trying to pick it with no luck, I tried to open it with the key and it wouldn't open with it either. I'm using a feeler pick and tension wrench made from a hairpin as described in "The Locksmith" CD.

Thanks, Taylor

Reply to
Taylor Reed
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It is possible although not especially common to break or collapse springs. In a wafer lock you can also damage the wafers (I like ball picks on wafer locks, they are easier on the wafers than a half diamond).

If you were to rake the same lock often and long enough it is also possible that you could wear one or more pins to the point that the key no longer works correctly.

Turning the plug 180 degrees on some locks will allow the upper pins to protrude into the bottom of the keyway, thereby temporarily jamming up the lock. That's probably not the case with your lock though.

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If you get to 'frisky' with the speed or amount of pressure you put on pins, you can cause the cheap thin plate that tops the bible and cause it to pop loose. Thus allowing the springs to not have the tension they should. Or as posted by putyourspamhere, you could either bend or break a wafer, or possibly wear a pin down. But from what I have seen, you would be more likely to egg-shape the hole a pin rides in by too much pressure while raking pins, thus the bottom pin can catch on the edge of the upper hole.

General rule - easy does it.

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Speaking only for myself, my policy is that I don't teach picking techniques unless I've personally known the person for two years.

You can find many forums on the web, but that's out of my control.

When I was new at locksmithing, I was completely fascinated by picking. Now, after 20+ years in the trade, it's an important part of the job, but not totally fascinating. There is so much more to the job.

The reasons I don't teach picking are several.

1) There is no way to know who is the person asking. Most people asking (or lurking and reading the posts) are decent people, but a few are not. So, I've decided simply not to say anything to anyone.

2) Picking locks is a "trade secret" like many other trades which have their techniques and systems.

3) A very small part of the security of locks is that so few people know how to pick them. So, by teaching lock picking, I make all locks less secure for the world. Not what I want to do.

4) Purely selfishly, I learned lock picking the hard way, with lots of practice, and you can do the same.

I wish you well. Hope this doesn't sound unkind, but the world isn't a nice place sometimes.

And in reply to your question, yes there is great danger of doing damage.

Reply to
Stormin Mormon

If you're using your pick properly, it's a virtual certainty. Remember to focus on the weakest point of the lock, try to hit it in a productive direction, and keep your pick handle well sanded do you don't get any splinters from it.

Joe Bramblett, KD5NRH snipped-for-privacy@myway.com

Reply to
Joe Bramblett, KD5NRH

Most of the time you don't even need a head, since the large area at the top of the pick handle carries enough heft to do whatever damage you need.

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Taylor --

Most picking techniques if done correctly will not damage most locks that are in good condition. However, due to the fact that the material that most lockpicks are made from tend to be harder than the materials that most lock parts are made from, leads to the whole study of forensic lockpicking. There are some telltale signs that a lock has been picked. There are also some problems that can come from incorrectly using some tools like pickguns and such.

-- Absinthe

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Or from picking a lock over and over - such as when practicing on it. The cumulative wear can be substantial.

Reply to
Henry E Schaffer

I think all newbies become expert on at least one lock.

A cheap master lock; $5

Mastering the opening of that one lock; many evenings

The look on mom's face when I whip out "my" lock and "expertly" open it in seconds. Priceless :-)


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Hmmm never learned on a Master. But I found one in the street the other day a #1. I didn't bother picking it, but cleaned it out and impressionned it, then decoded the key and cut one to factory specs. More fun than picking in my mind and now I have a new lock for my tool box :-) ... and think of all the wonderful practice I got :-)

-- Absinthe

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