Thinking about becoming a lock pick master? Well one of the quickest ways of progressing in any craft is knowing exactly what steps to take, and in which order to take them. With lock picking this can be as simple as knowing which locks to focus on first.
Everything comes with time and a lot of practice. Do you seriously think that Michael Jordan was born with a basketball in his hand? Absolutely Not, everything takes time and with every new lock you pick, you’ll walk away with some new knowledge — a lesson taught through the sweat, struggle, and tears of picking.
The purpose of this little guide is to give you a progression of locks to learn lock picking. Locks that will not only give you the greatest lessons, but do so in an order that will prepare you for the next lock on this list.
From absolute beginner to tackling serrated security pins — all in 9 locks!
However, to get the most out of this lock progression, I recommended that you pick up at least two or three of each lock because every lock is different. You can pick 10 of the same models of lock and have an easy time with some, a hard time with others, and perhaps even find that one or two are seemingly impossible to open.
This is because every lock is different. Each has a different biting, a different binding order, and different tolerances that will affect the way in which it is picked. Some may agree with your level of skill or method of picking — some may not.
So when trying to master a specific style of lock and learn what they have to teach, it’s best to grab a few of them.
The Master Lock #3 is absolutely the first lock you should ever consider getting as a beginning lock picker. While these locks can be short lived in the amount of time it takes to master them — no pun intended — they are one of the most versatile locks for the beginner.
These locks are poorly made and have terrible tolerances — meaning finding and setting binding pins is especially easy because they have tons of slop in the core. They can literally be opened using any method of bypass including single pin picking, raking, bitch picking, zipping, shimming, light tension, heavy tension, or even a chicken bone (yes a chicken bone)… it doesn’t matter because you can easily find success with any method available and it will lay an important foundation for each method to be built upon.
They have only four standard pins and a very wide and open keyway. They also have a very light spring loaded core that fortunately doesn’t do much to muffle your feedback. It’s almost like Master Lock made these locks just so you could learn lock picking!
Pro Tip: You can also use a Master Lock #1 or #5 instead as they have the exact same core as the #3. The only difference is that the #1 has a smaller body and the #5 has a bigger body — all three will pick the same.
Now that you have you a slight understanding of how the picking process works, it’s time to hone those skills with a Master Lock #7.
Best beginner lock for learning to pick smaller keyways.
This lock is very similar to the Master Lock #3. It has 4 standard pins, poor tolerances, an open keyway, and a very light spring loaded core. However, its keyway is smaller, much smaller.
This small keyway will not only refine your skills, but teach you the art of finesse — which an important cornerstone to lock picking.
You will learn how to squeeze and maneuver your picks in very tight spaces and be forced to learned how to leverage the most out of your picks.
Now it’s time to bump up the difficulty a bit to a lock that has slightly higher tolerances… oh and a few security pins — YIKES!
Security pins may seem scary at first, but they are nothing to worry about and as you’ll learn, they can actually make the lock much easier and more fun to pick.
Master Lock 140 – Locks to learn lock picking
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The Master Lock 140 is a great introduction to spool pins as, like the #3 and #7, it has a very open keyway, light spring tension on the core, and terrible tolerances.
These locks have a four pin core and typically include one standard pin and three shallow spool pins (the shallower the spools the easier the pick.) However, there have been cases in which there are sometimes less spools, but in most cases there are three.…