Lock Picking · Locksmith Tools

How to Use Different Types of Lock Picks

In 2020 there is a variety of locks in market so choosing the right tool to pick a lock will make the job much easier & less time consuming. Some Locks picks looks much likely same but this guide will be a basic key in differentiating them. Basic Lock pick types mentioned below are mostly used in traditional lock picking whether you want to pick a car lock or a old lock at home but we have smart locks now in 2020 so there are other locksmithing tools for those services

Short Hook

short hook lock pick

Arguably the most useful pick, a must have default pick to feel out a lock and how its tumblers work (so you know how much tension to apply and generally how far up to push a pin, etc…) Used to pick pins one at a time.

Double Ball

double ball lock pick

Best for wafer locks. Simply apply tension, put on a pin and jiggle till you feel/hear a click. Alternatively, push it in and out randomly with tension. Use the single ball first, if it doesn’t work try the double.

Half Diamond

Half Diamond Lock Pick

Second in command to the short hook. Good for pin tumbler or wafer locks. Apply tension, push into the pin and past it slowly so that the pin (not the pick!) goes up slowly, then back down. If you did not feel/hear a click, then repeat until you do. Then move to the next pin. Can also effectively be used as you would use a hook.


rake lock picks

These work magic with some locks, and will never work with others, depending on where the shear points are for each of the pins. Not to much art with these, just insert, apply tension, and jiggle.

C-Rake & Snake Rack

snake rake lock pick

My personal favorite, you’ll need a crafty combination of jiggle as with a rake, and finesse as with a hook.Long Hook – a bigger hook, for bigger locks, with bigger tumblers.


w rake lock pick

This one is weird, as with the rake it can either work wonders or do nothing. My experience with it is mostly the latter. Its angles are too sharp in my opinion to be effectively used as a snake.


jiggler key

Move in and out, up and down, jiggle all around. Vary tension.

Single Ball

single ball lock pick

Used same as double ball.

Another Snake

another snake rake

See description for c-rake. I don’t like this version as much as the other one, too thick. Used for larger locks with heavier pins.

Broken Key Extractor

broken key extractor

If you broke your key in the plug of the lock, well then this is the tool for you! Slide in next to the key fragment, all the way in, tilt ninety degrees, and remove, the key fragment should come with it. Use these other fine tools to complete the lock opening process. Can also be used as a sort of half diamond, worth a try if you’re not having success with your other picks.

Tension Wrench

Insert into the vertical key slit, towards the bottom, away from the pins. Apply tension such that if you push a pin to the shear point, it won’t fall back down. The amount of tension required varies greatly from lock to lock, brand to brand, but in general, it should be enough to fell it but not enough to hurt. Be sure to apply tension in the same direction the lock turns to open it! Usually this is clockwise, but can also vary. I like the twisted tension wrench because it doesn’t dig into your finger when you apply a lot of tension like the non-twisted ones do. If you’re not sure which way to apply tension, use the key to see which way it turns. Don’t have the key? Try to remember which way you turned it before you lost the key. Never had the key? Then you probably shouldn’t be picking this lock (thieves not welcome like I said).

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