These locks are the cheapest type of lock that still “requires” a key. They offer slightly more security than a doorknob or handle without a lock, and are effective against anyone without two paperclips handy. They can be found on filing cabinets, drawers, and gumball machines. Those glass cases that house jewelry however, are disc tumbler locks, and are hard to pick without a special tool called a double sided lock pick
Picking Wafer or File Cabinet Locks
I don’t have much to say about these except that they suck, in the good way, not the bad way where you can’t pick them. You can use a normal lock pick set, they don’t take anything special. They operate essentially the same way as a pin tumbler lock, in that the correct key pushes the pins (wafers in this case) up to a shear point allowing the plug to rotate.
The difference is that there is only one pin, no separate driving or key pins. This makes it extraordinarily easy to pick, since you just apply tension (sometimes more than you think you need) and push the wafers up with a hook until you hear them click one by one – don’t worry you can’t push these too far up like you can with pin tumblers. Then the lock will turn. It’s that easy. I know you can do it, probably with just a couple paper clips if you’re not a newbie.
Double Sided Wafer Locks
Some wafer locks are double sided (called double wafer locks), like the double sided pin tumbler locks I described on cars. These are a tiny bit harder to pick than single sided ones, but a trained congressman could probably do it. With the best of these, the two pins vertically opposite each other must be pushed to the shear point simultaneously for the plug to rotate; however, most are not made well enough for that to be true and you can usually simply pick them one by one with enough tension. The best tool for these is the big round ball pick, jiggle it on each pin till you hear a click, and proceed to the next.