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Lock picking is misunderstood. Most people associate lock picking with thieves, criminals or even spies.

I disagree, lockpicking is an essential skill that the average individual needs to have in his or her arsenal. It’s one of those skills you never really know when you’ll need. But trust me, you’ll be glad you have such a skill if such a situation ever arises.

“If you’d like to master the art of lockpicking, you can do so with this online course

Why Should You Learn to Pick Locks?

You might still be wondering whether picking locks is worth learning about and whether you’d be thought of as a thief if you did. But here are some very interesting reasons for why you might want to learn how to do it. 

1. Security and Safety

Here’s the thing: most regular locks aren’t all that great at keeping us safe. In fact, if someone really wants to break into your locked home, they’ll either pick the lock or find another way in. When you learn to pick locks, you’ll soon realize that proper security is about a lot more than turning a key in a lock and leaving it at that.

Tumbler locks happen to be a very old locking mechanism and also happen to be the easiest to pick. The problem is that most locks we use are just common tumbler locks. They are effective at keeping most people out, but anyone with a reasonable knowledge of how they work and lock picking techniques will be able to open them.

In effect, this means that even those padlocks you thought were keeping your valuables safe are vulnerable to pickers with only a basic knowledge. It may seem strange that we continue to use such simple locks, but their effectiveness throughout the ages tells us that most people either don’t know how to pick locks or are honest people.

All in all, know how to locks work and how to pick them will guide your buying decisions when it comes to buying your own locks for your house and important possessions.

2. It’s Very Practical

Have you ever been locked out of your home and had to call a local locksmith? It can be a very expensive and time consuming exercise to hire a locksmith. But if you can pick a lock, you can get back into your home without having to ever call a locksmith or pay for one! The same goes for your car too.

3. Learning a New Skill

For many people, learning how to pick many kinds of common locks is just a cool skill to have. Whether you use it or not, knowing how to pick locks makes you feel as if you have some superpower that other people don’t. It can also be a nice little secret side hobby to practice when no one is looking! 

You must also remember this: because most people can’t pick locks at all, you’ll know something that they don’t. This can lead to a nice sense of self-confidence.

Most people simply assume that lock picking is illegal, but the laws are a bit more complex than that. It is actually perfectly legal to learn how to pick locks.

It’s even legal in many states to carry lock picking sets around with you if you don’t plan to use them to break into a place.

In other states, just carrying them around can get you into some legal trouble unless you can prove that you were never going to use them to break into a property. (This is referring to people in the U.S)

Basically learning how to pick locks isn’t illegal, it is what you with this skill that can be illegal. Don’t go around breaking into other people’s houses or cars, you WILL get into trouble.

How Should You Choose?

There are plenty of lock pick sets on the market, but they are not all created equally. In general, if you’re starting out, it’s perfectly fine to choose a cheap set. But if you plan to learn more about this most useful of skills, it’s always worth it to buy a better set.

The reason for this is that many cheap sets don’t contain all the tools that an advanced lock picker would find useful. The other reason is that many cheap lock pick sets are made quite cheaply, and they may even break during use. The last thing you want is for your torque wrench to suddenly snap off in a lock.

In short, here’s a small list of what you may want to look for when buying a lock picking toolset: 

  • Ensure that it is made from a durable and strong material, such as stainless steel
  • Ensure that the tools are not poorly made or flimsy
  • Buy a set with a practice lock if you can, but this is not essential
  • Make sure that there are enough tools in the set to get you started
  • If you’re progressing in your picking skills, make sure you buy a set that offers you more tool variety

Choosing a Lock Picking Set

If you want to learn how to pick locks, you’re in luck. There are plenty of lock pick set products online to buy right now. But which one should you choose, here are our top picks in no particular order.

Best Lock Pick Set 2020

  1. Stainless Steel Lock Set
  2. Unlocked Professional Practice Tool Lock Set
  3. Feeke Yanmi Lock Picking Set
  4. SouthOrd PXS-14 Lock Set
  5. Feeke Socket Pick Wrench Set
  6. Sawyer Products Lock Picking Set
  7. Mokpukin Lock Pick Set

1. Stainless Steel Lock Set

This neat little lock pick set is a great one for beginners. It comes in a small pouch and the tools are all made of stainless steel. They also look attractive in the black finish.

Most conveniently, this set also contains a practice lock. The sides of it are transparent, so you can easily see the key pins. Not all lock pick sets contain a practice lock, but this one provides one at a very tempting price. It may not have all of the tools that an advanced picker might want, but for those just starting out it’s a reasonable choice.

2. Unlocked Professional Practice Tool Lock Set

This is a great, if not high-end, lock pick set from Unlocked. Unlike some beginner friendly sets, this one includes a multitude of lock picking tools, including a torsion wrench, an offset diamond pick, a rake, and many other tools. This makes it an excellent set for someone who is just starting out on the road to be a picker.

There is also a carry pouch to make it portable and a transparent practice lock. This is an important inclusion because it’s necessary to have a practice lock when you’re starting out.

3. Feeke Yanmi Lock Picking Set

This 15-piece stainless steel set is yet another good buy for beginners. The price is right if you want to experiment to see if the art of lock picking is for you.

The biggest downside with this set is that the included tension wrenches are not made from the most durable steel. 

4. SouthOrd PXS-14 Lock Set

You may not be entirely familiar with lock picking tools, but the one thing to know about this set is that SouthOrd is a quality product. They have been making tools like this for a long time, and it really does show in this high quality beginner’s set. Many people trust this brand for its quality design, workmanship, and local origin in the US.

When you pick up one of the pieces in this multi-tool lock picking set, you’ll notice right away just how comfortable the tool feels in the hand. The included wallet may not be top-shelf, but it looks premium and all of the tools fit comfortably inside it.

The biggest downside is that this set doesn’t include a transparent practice lock like some beginner’s sets, so you’ll need to buy one separately. Having said that, the quality of each of the tools in his set offsets that little omission and this would even be a good set for someone who has come from a very cheaply made set and has been disappointed.

5. Feeke Socket Pick Wrench Set

Feeke has produced this great beginner’s pick set that fits into a case that looks like a credit card. This only adds to the air of mystery!

They are made from stainless steel, and though there are only five pieces, they are well-made and durable enough for nearly anyone. A hook and rake make an appearance in this minimal set—tools which are always well used. 

Having said that, this is not the kind of set for an intermediate picker. They’ll want something that offers a lot more tool variety. The five pieces that make up this set are basic and useful, but will not satisfy a picker looking to move ahead in their hobby.

6. Sawyer Products Lock Picking Set

If you’re looking for a neat lock picking set that fits in the palm of your hand and in your pocket, then this set from sawyer Products is the one for you.

Looking much like a Swiss Army knife, this set of lock picking tools offers plenty of variety for beginner and intermediate lock pickers. The best thing about this set is how compact it is and how easily it can fit into a small pocket for easy portability. 

The biggest problem is that this is not the best made lock picking set. The price may be right, but some of the tools seem a little flimsy in use. However, quality varies and you may find that the ease of use and portability makes this set a good buy for a beginner.

7. Mokpukin Lock Pick Set

This is one rock solid set from Mokpukin. The price is right, it’s easy to use, the tools are made from stainless steel, and the case is nice and neat. For a beginner, this would be an ideal set.

This is a well-made set with plenty of nice tools. They feel good in the hand and there is certainly enough tool variety to get any enthusiastic picker started on their hobby. It also comes with a good-looking black case for easy storage.

The biggest downside to this set is that it doesn’t include a practice lock of any kind. For some people, this is OK, because they prefer to practice on real locks. However, a transparent practice lock allows you to see the inner workings of a common tumbler lock. Having said that, it is possible to buy separate practice locks should you need to add to this set or any other.

Conclusion

Learning to pick locks is about more than just becoming a modern MacGyver. It can be an incredibly useful skill that can get you out of a bind. For example, you’re locked out of your home, knowing how to pick the lock can save you from having to hire a locksmith. If you’re locked out of your car, you can simply pick the lock and drive away.

Knowing how to pick locks also gives you a real insight into the illusion of security. When you can pick a regular tumbler lock, you can pick most of the locks out there in use. This can seem scary, but it will also make you realize that if you want the best security, you’re going to have to invest in some other tactics too. In the end, this kind of specialized knowledge can save your home from burglary.

The good news is that there are lots of lock picking sets out there on the market. They are not all created equal though, so you may want to do some research. If you’re just starting out on your lock picking journey, there are lots of cheaper sets around. In fact, it’s a good idea to spend only a little at first while you’re learning if the hobby is a good fit for you.

Once you’ve established some basic skills and you want to learn more, you can upgrade to a more expensive set that will be more durable and will offer more advanced tools.

What is important to know is that there are different laws regarding the possession of lock picking tools around the country. Some jurisdictions and states may not look so favorably on you if you are found with them in certain situations. That being said, it is perfectly legal to learn how to use these tools, and if you really want to be safe, you can practice on your own property and with the permission of owners elsewhere.