Alright! Let’s get picking!
Some excellent training locks are sold by LearnLockPicking.com, complete with extra parts and a bag of replacement and high security pins.
Well, not quite… First you’ll need to select a lock and that’s the most common mistake newbies make. I’ve seen guys grab the first lock they find and try picking it, only to fail miserably for days on end. There’s nothing more frustrating than to give it your best effort and not be rewarded with an open lock. My first attempt to pick locks was so frustrating that I threw my expensive pick set into my bureau and gave up. Today I know why that happened: I was trying to pick a lever lock with tools designed for pin tumbler locks. Not possible, no matter how good you are. I was doomed from the moment I began. Since putting videos on YouTube over five years ago I’ve had countless calls from frustrated people seeking advice on opening their first lock, which usually turns out to be an Assa Combi, Primus, Medeco, or something equally as impossible. Beginning your training on a simple lock reduces all the variables and accelerates your learning. We’ve got plenty of time for the hard stuff later, but for now let’s just focus on basics.
You’ve reached your first decision point: the lock. There are two possible choices: use a dedicated training lock, or buy a series of different locks. The advantage of single training lock is purely cost. Some excellent training locks are sold by LearnLockPicking.com, complete with extra parts and a bag of replacement and high security pins. I would recommend starting with their 6-pin “Ultimate Challenge Lock” and that’ll get you through most of these lessons. The disadvantage of using just a single lock is that you’ll become over familiar with it and gain experience only with a single keyway, the Sargent “L” keyway. If you can afford it I’d recommend buying the different locks that I list for each lesson and using a training lock to experiment with new pins or combinations of pins, or for your portable training lock. By using the different locks in your training you’ll be facing different numbers and types of pins, smaller, more paracentric keyways, and be constantly challenged to learn. The locks are fairly inexpensive, averaging only $10-12 each.
If you are on a budget (or have a habit of losing things like I do), there are other, less expensive options for re-pinnable training locks available on eBay.
I urge you to become proficient at the material in each module before moving to the next.
OK, I’ll say it up front. Although they are in the list, I hate everything Master Lock stands for. They mislead their customers, overstate the security their products provide, and are focused on profit rather than quality. They are the money grubbing producers of the world’s lowest security lock. Still, there’s a bright side. Their locks are mostly shit, but they are consistent, reliable, and predictable shit. We know they have sloppy tolerances, junky pins, and ridiculously wide keyways but they are ideal to learn lock picking basics on! We’ll begin with the lowly Master #3 and progress sequentially to more complex locks, building your skills along the way.
At each step I’ll list the lock model and describe what it can teach you. I urge you to become proficient at the material in each module before moving to the next. I know, everyone’s in a hurry but if you move forward before your skills are developed, it’ll slow down your learning curve because you’ll have to come back. You’re learning a new “language”. You have to build your vocabulary and understand conjugations before trying to construct complex sentences.
LP101: Basic Raking and Tensioning
LP102: Using Your Other Picks
LP103: Single Pin Picking
LP201: Increasing Lock Complexity
LP202: Spool Pins
LP203: Advanced Spool Pins
LP301: Broadening Your Skill
LP302: Tight Keyways
LP303: Paracentric Keyways
LP401: Serrated Pins
LP500: Dimple Picking
—— in development——
LP501: Simple Disc Detainers
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