Author - Lockie

Your Christmas Gift Guide

So – NEWSFLASH - it’s already December, which means Christmas is SO FREAKING CLOSE GUYS. *Swears softly*. If you’re like many of us who prefer to live on the edge, you may not have even made a list yet, and are planning on saving shopping till the very last week before Christmas. This is not ideal for three reasons: a) parking is a nightmare; b) there are crazy people EVERYWHERE; and c) if you’re shopping online, courier wait times at this late stage can also be a pain in the bum. So if you need to pick up some sweet and swift gifts with same-day shipping (and express shipping options), never fear: we’ve got you sorted. Stuck for ideas? Check out our top picks for every budget…

Under $30

Our Practice Padlock (Was $45, ON SALE $25) is perfect for those in your life entering the art of lock picking. Not only is it affordable, its unique clear construction ensures the user learns how a padlock functions, making it a great starting point. Stocking filler gold right here, people.

Under $80

This price range offers so much choice. From the PickPals Lock Pick Bundle Lite ($69, save $14.99) to the PickPals Intro Padlock Bundle ($50, save $20 - YASSSS!), the new pickers are well catered for. For something a little more advanced, the SouthOrd Pocket Pen Pick Set or the ever-popular SouthOrd Jackknife Pocket Lockpick Set is sure to please. Not for the faint-hearted, the Revolver Cylinder Practice Lock ($74) is the ideal choice for the picker who loves a challenge.

Gifts under 100
Gifts Under $50

Under $150

With this high-security re-pinning kit you can turn those old tired locks into some of your own mind-bending locks! For something a little different but just as good, the European Multipick Super-Set Practice Cylinder comes complete with a re-pinning kit and tweezers in a beautiful box, guaranteed to impress. 

Under $200

Valued at nearly $250, the Sparrows Night School Tuxedo Plus Bundle ($199) is perfect for the beginners OR the upgraders. This high-quality kit includes everything you need including every practice lock you’ll ever need, plus some fabulous extras. It’s all bundled up in a sweet case to keep everything together.

Hey big spender

If bucks aren’t a biggie, The Ultimate Lock Pick Bundle is your guy. For the person who craves only the best, this premium kit is our crème de la crème. Bonus: you’ll automatically receive free shipping wherever you are in the world. That includes our Australia and NZ customers as well as those of you further abroad.

Want to spend even bigger or still don’t know what to get them? Simples - grab a gift voucher. And remember, we offer same-day shipping with express options available. Standard shipping within Australia and NZ is always free. 

For more Christmas Ideas check out our complete gift guide over on the website, featuring a range of specials and kits for everyone. Merry Pickmas!

Multipick Locksmith Tools

5 Best Lockpicking Scenes on TV

Lockpicking is a hobby people find thrilling and satisfying, especially once a lock is successfully opened. Rising interest in this particular hobby has led to the establishment of locksport, which is the recreation of overcoming locking systems. Practice locks have also seen some growth in the past years to aid people in honing their lockpicking skills.

sandman-lock-pick

If you desire to learn the same skill, you may easily purchase a legitimate lockpick set that includes a step-by-step guide as well as various lockpick tools and practice locks here. This can be a worthwhile investment as it enables you to learn the addictive lock sport that may aid you especially during instances when you get to forget- or even lose -your keys.

While there are lots of scenes of lockpicking in movies and TV shows, it is uncommon to find accurate portrayals or execution of the act. Additionally, several lockpicking scenes found in many films are captured in an angle that avoids viewer attention - frustrated in finding an accurately portrayed scene? Fortunately, we have scoured the web and found 5 Best Lockpicking scenes on TV for you.

In television, lockpicking scenes are usually portrayed in crime, suspense, and thriller films using a variety of lockpick tools and lockpick sets. This seemingly simple act contributes immensely to the tense atmosphere of the scene.

📽 1. Midnight Run

The 1988 action-comedy film shows several realistic lockpicking scenes. In one scene, Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) tries to unlock a door using practical lockpick tools. First, he is seen inserting a turning device, which looks like a tension wrench. He then puts in an improvised home-made snap pick, repeatedly rolling his thumb off the pick spinner, which tries to push the lock pins upward. As he drops a tool and reaches out for it by bending to the floor, a gunshot goes through the door. The snap pick tool is a very rarely used in lockpicking films, making this scene a commendable and memorable one too!

📽 2. Terminator 2

Another realistic depiction of lockpicking is featured in Terminator 2 (1991). Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) is seen unlocking a door, first inserting a tension wrench into the lock cylinder, then adding the pick and pushing the pins up using the pick. After opening the door, she runs toward an unsuspecting guard or warden and hits him. 

Though very brief, the scene stands out because the camera is focused on the order in which the lockpick tools are inserted into the lock. First, she inserts the tension wrench, then the pick.

📽 3. Foolproof

The 2003 heist film Foolproof features a split-screen scene of a man and woman lockpicking two different doors simultaneously. The scene is captured in closeup, with both the male and female characters inserting rather thick tension tools and picks. That particular scene stands out because of the still camera focus and the way the actors took their time to accurately push the pins by using the lockpicks until the doors eventually unlocked.

📽 4. Castle (Season 5, Episode 15)

This 2013 episode of the crime-comedy-drama TV series Castle shows a scene of two girls in a dark area. One of them is seen trying to do a lockpick on a door, explaining to the other girl the difference between a wrench and a pick, and about not applying too much pressure. The good thing about this scene is that the girl is shown rotating the tension wrench, slowly, until the door unlocks.

📽 5. Angel Beats! (Season 1, Episode 3)

A rather short but accurate scene of lockpicking is featured in the 2010 anime show, "Angel Beats!". The male character, accompanied by several of his associates, tries to infiltrate a schoolroom by lockpicking a door. The scene immediately shows both the tension wrench and the pick inserted into the lock cylinder. The pick is moved very briefly, and then the tension wrench is rotated, opening the lock. The scene is incredible in that the lockpick tools are accurately drawn, and the movements are realistic.

📺 Additional TV scenes

Aside from the above, here are a few more worthy mentions of good lockpicking scenes:

🎥 Bound

The 1996 crime thriller movie Bound gives a decent portrayal of lockpicking. In one scene, a woman named Corky (Gina Gershon) attempts to steal mafia money from a locked briefcase. She halts for a brief moment after Caesar (Joe Pantoliano) enters the room and gets clothes from his closet. As soon as he leaves, she resumes the lockpicking. What follows is a closeup scene of her inserting the pick into one of the briefcase locks and trying to somewhat shake or push the pins for a few seconds. Then, she adds the tension wrench, rotating it, which opens the lock and the case.

🎥 Undercover Blues

The 1993 comedy film shows a woman named Jane Blue (Kathleen Turner), who is lockpicking a door, accompanied by a man Jefferson Blue (Dennis Quaid). The woman inserts first the tension wrench into the cylinder, then the pick, seemingly upside down. She takes the pick out, then reinserts it right-side up, then shakes or moves it. She is then shown pushing the pins up using the pick, rotating the tension wrench, and unlocking the door.

📻 End thoughts

Lockpicking has not escaped even the movie industry. With numerous thriller, crime, and suspense films featuring scenes of the act, locksport has become an addictive hobby for many. However, only a few are reliable depictions or portrayals. The majority of films shift the camera focus away from the angle by which the lockpicking is executed. 

Whether this is deliberate or not is not known, but the relative intricacy of the act, not to mention the proper tools to use, may probably be a contributing factor. As it happens, films or TV shows in any 5 Best Lockpicking scenes on TV list warrant attention to detail in the lockpicking execution.

Nonetheless, it is a novel and interesting skill to learn, especially for those who are searching for something to occupy the many dull moments of each day. If all else, it is a legitimate hobby that can be applied for the unavoidable instances when you get to forget your keys.

If you are interested in learning this skill, just click here

clear cutaway practice lock

Guide to Picking Your Perfect Gift Bundle

Well this is your chance to spoil someone special or maybe even yourself, get yourself that shiny new set you have been waiting for – or maybe a chance to upgrade your hardware and enjoy old favourites.

And that means there’s plenty of potential gifts for the friend, family member or partner in your life.

So you want to purchase a lockpick set for someone for Christmas? Great idea!

Intro Bundle Plus$99

  • Intro Lock Pick Set with leather case.
  • PickPals Expansion Set
  • Clear Practice Lock 
  • Easy Pickings Guidebook
  • BONUS: Rubber Handles!
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Sparrows Night School$159

  • 7 Picks
  • 6 Tension Tools
  • Zip lock Expandable Case
  • 3x Re-pinnable Brass Locks
Shop Now

There are many types of different pickers, whether you’re looking for a newbie or wanting to grab them an upgrade, we have a package for everyone. Some are the competitive type; others like their picking to be a soulful relaxing affair, other just want the satisfaction of knowing they can do it. In this guide I'll break down a couple of options for those different types of people, one for those who are trying to keep spending down, and another for whom money is no object (relatively speaking).

Buying your first set or for someone else may seem overwhelming. In this guide, we'll make it easy. To put it simply, you need lockpicks, some tension tools and locks to practice.

With these three bundles, you can't go wrong. Pick sets are like any toolset, you can add to it, grow it and get specialist tools. These three are a great foundation and will get you or your giftee on the way to lock picking success.

I won’t go into the benefits of we have covered that here…Well, the below give you a small understanding of what your getting and the benefits,  to ensure you get the perfect pick this Christmas.

Let's start with our PickPals Intro Bundle...

PickPals Into Bundle Plus

BUY NOW

We took our most popular items and bundled them to help you save. Included quality tools and a beautiful double stitched leather case, acrylic lock and easy pickings guidebook.

This is a fantastic, unique gift that is sure to create a buzz, and get them opening their first lock. These tools are all you need to get started and nothing more. You can even purchase handles and give thee picks an upgrade.

Benefits:

  • Great price point.
  • Everything needed to get started.
  • The clear lock is a real hit!

Sparrows Night School Tuxedo Edition (Our Pick!)

BUY NOW

The all in one kit is a top seller at and you can see why. With it’s beautiful tools and 3 solid brass locks,  all wrapped up in one tough case. Play at home, pack it up and take it with you.

Great for taking with you on the go or around to a friend’s house. This set perfectly aligned with the new budding lock.  The newly released version too is adding the strength of the previous version. The new version includes easy to hold locks, made of solid brass, you can really see and feel the quality.

Benefits:

  • Includes 3 locks of varying diffculty
  • Locks can be re-pinned and re-built
  • All in one convenient case

The Ultimate Bundle

BUY NOW

Want to go to level 70 wizard? Want to learn how to make stupid ridiculous hard locks? Introducing our Ultimate. For those who know what they want.

We took one of our best sets, took some great locks and supercharged it with the reload kit. Whether it is an upgrade or for the newbie who knows what they want and doesn’t mess around this is the set. Not only can you learn, but with the addition of the Reload Kit, you can learn how locks really work and how to re-pin and build the ultimate. This gives you endless combinations.

It’s the higher end but you get a lot for your money, they’re so much in this kit you won’t need to get the giftee anything else, they'll be chuffed to bits with what this set can do.

Benefits

  • Super HOT Vorax
  • Lock Picking Manual
  • 4 Progressive Locks
  • Reload – re-built the ultimate locks
  • Bonus – Tweezers
  • Exclusive to Pickpals

Free Shipping

Don’t forget all these bundles have free standard shipping to Australia and New Zealand so you know you’ll be wrapping your new picks in no time!

Best Practice Locks For Beginners

So you’re taking up lock picking? Welcome! First up, you’re going to need some practice locks. Keep in mind it’s definitely not a good idea to practice on locks around the house, and PickPals recommends never using an active lock for practice. These can break the bank if you end up breaking the lock, and you’re still new and inexperienced at this, remember?

When learning the art of lock picking, practice locks are just as important as a set of quality lock picks. At PickPals we have a huge range of practice locks for beginners through to advanced. The most common practice locks are:

  1. Clear Locks
  2. Cutaway Locks
  3. Progressive Locks

So which locks are ideal for beginners? Good question.

Clear plastic locks are a standard keyway set in an acrylic plastic mould. Not only do these locks look pretty cool, the clear practice locks allow you develop an understanding of how the locking mechanism works when manipulating the locks.

Advantages of clear plastic locks

  • Very clear view of locking mechanism and moving parts
  • Great for absolute beginners
  • Come as a standard lock or a padlock form

Available in standard, spool and serrated pins

Padlock Practice Lock Picking

Cutaway locks are a standard lock, often cast in brass with a cutaway window so once again the pins can be seen as they are manipulated when picking.

Advantages of cutaway locks

  • Visually understand how pins work
  • Match feedback to feel – especially with the security pins
  • Mix of standard and security pins
  • Locks can be re-pinned

Available in standard, spool and serrated pins

We also sell locks referred to a progressive system. The progressive system usually comes as a set of locks, with an incremental the pins start at 2. The Sparrows Progressive Locks can also be re-pinned to make them harder/easier so they will last a long time and provide great value. The progressive locks are a great idea for those who want to practice without windows, much as you would experience in real life. This allows you to develop feedback and a real feel of the pins.

Advantage of progressive locks

  • The progressives are great and you can create a thousand combinations
  • Stronger and more realistic feedback
  • No cheating, learn to lock pick via feel
  • As you progress you can increase difficulty
  • All standard pin (can be re-pinned to security pins)
  • Locks can be re-pinned
Sparrows Progressive Lock

The Ultimate Bundle is a set we put together and includes a few more items. It is like our Night School on steroids. You could buy the Night School and the Reload Kit which lets you pull the locks apart and re-pin, but at that point, we’d steer you toward the Ultimate Bundle.

Sparrows Night School Tuxedo Cutaways

Honestly, here at PickPals we are huge fans of the Night School for beginners. It contains almost everything you’ll ever need in terms of picks, and once you master those locks you can modify them and then move onto other locks. These locks are actually the same too, and you can re pin the other locks in the same progressive system. The Night School can be added to later, while The Ultimate Bundle as explained above will keep you going for a very long time.

And what about buying locks from the hardware store?

We’re often asked if buying locks from a hardware store is good for practicing lock picking. Firstly, these locks can be very expensive to buy and while you may be able to pick them, they do not act as a training tool. Cheap locks from hardware stores are usually made in such a way that they are very easy to pick, but give you no understanding of actually how to pick a lock – and that’s what you’re here to learn, right?

High security locks that are harder to pick may be a good idea for your lock picking progression, however, due to the high quality and technology, you can also expect higher prices. Our recommendation would be to use locks you have lying around the house already that are not in use. Another option is to get involved with a Lock Picking Association and trade some locks with your new friends.

In short, all of our practice locks are great starters, and are designed as a learning aid.

Practice locks can range in the number of pins they contain (more pins = higher level of difficulty), standard, or security pins. The most common security pins are practice locks, which are perfect for refining your lock-picking skills. With many practice locks re-pinnable, if they are damaged you can rebuild the locks.

There are different practice locks for different purposes, and everyone has their own preferences. Over your lock picking career, you’ll amass a collection of locks; some you will find easy and others you’ll probably want to throw out the window!

So welcome to the world of lock picking, pal – let’s get picking!

  • Clear Practice Padlock

    $USD 32.04 $USD 17.80
  • Sparrows Progressive Locks

    $USD 54.82
  • Clear Practice Lock

    $USD 34.89
  • Sparrows Reload Kit

    $USD 28.48
  • Sparrows Revolver Cylinder Practice Lock

    $USD 63.36 $USD 52.68
  • Sparrows Cutaway Practice Lock – Standard Pin

    $USD 42.00 $USD 27.77
  • Progressive Bundle Reloaded

    $USD 120.32 $USD 77.60
  • Sparrows Cutaway Practice lock – Spool pins

    $USD 30.61
  • High Quality Padlock Shims (Pack of 20)

    $USD 34.89
  • Sparrows Cutaway Practice Lock – Check Pins

    $USD 30.61
  • Practice Hand Cuff

    $USD 32.04
  • Clear Practice Lock (Spool Pins)

    $USD 34.89

What is in a Locksmith’s Toolbox?

You probably already know there is nothing more important than a worker’s tools – and locksmiths are no exception. Having the right tools for a job can help ensure a locksmith gets their work done easier and faster. Unless the locksmith is Macgyver, turning up to a job with the wrong tools is going to make things very interesting. (more…)
pickpals

What are High-Security Locks?

If you’ve ever taken the time to stop and look you may have noticed that some locks are better than others. This means using a lock from your local store isn’t necessarily going to protect you and your stuff. This is where high-security locks come into play. High-security locks are harder to compromise and will help increase your lock picking skills.

What Makes Them Better Than Your Average Everyday Lock?

The first difference you’ll notice between an everyday lock and a high-security lock is the price. High-security locks are more expensive thanks to their complex internal components. This provides a level of extra security that everyday locks can't compete with.

Everyday Locks Lock icon

You can buy everyday locks at any home improvement store or big box stores like Bunnings or Kmart. Most of the locks you will find in these stores are cylinder locks. These locks rely on conventional pin stacks and sidebar mechanisms. They provide the most basic level of protection. 

These basic locks are also susceptible to unauthorized access. If you only need basic protection, everyday locks are a good solution. This is because they can be re-keyed by a locksmith with minimal effort. This can be especially helpful if you tend to lose your keys or are starting out in lock picking.

Are Standard Locks Secure?

Why are most locks standard? In your community there is a level of trust. A standard lock will be more than sufficient for the majority of people. One of the benefits of lock sport is to understand weaknesses in your home or business security so we can make improvements.

There are three common methods an intruder may use to open an everyday lock without the keys:

⬇️

  • Bumping. This method opens a lock using a specially designed key (a bump key). This key forces the tumblers inside the cylinder to align. Once the tumblers of the cylinder align, the lock is easily opened. With this method, an intruder can open the lock with no evidence of tampering.

Picking. Lock picking requires the use of a special kit. This kit provides the tools needed to align the pins in the cylinder. Once these pins are aligned the lock will pop open, leaving very little evidence of tampering.

  • Drilling. This is a more intrusive method of opening an everyday lock. It uses an ordinary drill that you pick up from a home improvement store. The drill bores through the cylinder of the lock, opening it. Unlike bumping, drilling leaves behind evidence of tampering.

Remember the rules! Only pick locks you own!

This is, by no means, a comprehensive list of the ways to open an everyday lock without a key. There are locks designed to be resistant to such methods of access. However, the protection gained with these locks is still lagging when compared to high-security locks.

High-Security Locks

High-security locks are more complex than everyday locks. As their name suggests, they are much more difficult to break into. They use a complicated system of pins that include either diagonal or horizontal access. This is a system that holds its own against the traditional methods of opening a lock without a key.

The complex system of pins is only part of the equation on how these locks provide extra security. Here are some other characteristics that make it difficult to open a high-security lock:

  • Forced Entry Resistance. The design of these locks often includes reinforced rods and plates in the cylinder. This makes provides a layer of protection against drilling to gain unauthorized access.

 

  • Restrictive Keyways. The design of these locks boasts narrow keyways. This makes it difficult to use tools within the lock. This prevents unauthorized access via picking.

 

  • Key Control. High-security locks come with registered keys. Registering keys means that you must give permission to duplicate a key.
  • Manipulation Resistance. The design of these locks means that it would take a longer time to gain access to the lock. The design also means that the only way to gain access requires tools that will make noise. This alone is a deterrent for intruders, giving that extra bit of security.

 

  • Reinforced Doorframe Plates. These plates provide an extra level of protection. They help keep the doorframe secure and prevent an intruder from kicking in the door. This is a design feature aimed at protecting the integrity of the high-security lock.

The design of the high-security lock is carefully crafted. The methods used to gain unauthorized access are proactively addressed through design elements. However, rather than try to make the locks undefeatable, the design of high-security locks makes it too time-consuming and too expensive.

So Why Get a High-Security Lock?

High-security locks are a great alternative for both your home and your office. The unique features of these locks work to provide a high level of protection against intruders.

In your business, installing high-security locks almost serves as an insurance policy. These locks protect your business from theft, a problem that can cripple a business. These locks also ensure that private paperwork and data remain protected.

In your home, this means you, your loved ones, and your possessions are safe. You can sleep at night knowing that you are safe and that an outsider won’t easily open the locks on your doors.

Don’t Depend on The Label

The design and labeling of some locks can easily lull you into believing they are high-security. Walk into your local home improvement store or big box store and you'll know what we mean. Locks that claim they are high-security and will give you extra protection. The truth of the matter? True high-security locks are not found in these stores. Getting a lock that will provide the extra protection needed requires a lockshop or a locksmith.

When you're in the market for a high-security lock, here are some things to look for:

Security Lock iconHardened Steel Bolts. These can withstand high levels of force, preventing the lock from bending or snapping, or being cut.

Drill Protection. Make sure your set screws and the shear line of the lock have protection. It is common practice to protect these areas with hardened steel ball bearings.

Metal Content. You want a lock that is heavy and does not use plastic components as a cost-saving measure. Locks with empty space or plastic parts reduce your level of protection.

Bypass Resistance. While they may be convenient, they weaken the security provided by the lock. Make sure you research the model you are considering.

Registered Keys. This prevents keys from being duplicated without permission. Fewer duplicate keys means less access to what is being protected.

Before purchasing any high-security lock, make sure you review all specs on the lock model you are considering. This will help you identify any weak points with the lock. This also helps you ensure the lock is, in fact, a high-security lock--a necessity if you want true protection.

Lock Picking Facts about Topy

Many of you will be familiar with Topy and his amazing lock picking skills. Here at PickPals, we thought we’d get to know him a little bit better with a little interrogation of our own.
We put out any questions you may have to the Australian Lock Sport Guild and got some great questions that we put to Topy.
The answers are great reading and inspiration for your picking.  Like how Topy learnt to pick, his favourite locks to pick and where the future of security is heading.
Lets get to the questions…

One day, on school camp, I managed to open a lock with some poorly improvised tools and zero idea about what I was doing, but I got lucky and people thought it was super cool.

3. Is there anyway, other than lots of experience, to work out the best way to attack a lock. Eg. shimming, raking, SPP, bypass, bumping etc?

Get Behind Michael Maynard’s Gorilla Picking

Many of you will be familiar with MH Maynard and his amazing gorilla lock picking skills. Here at PickPals, we thought we’d get to know him a little bit better with a little interrogation of our own.

We put out any questions you may have to the Australian Lock Sport Guild and got some great questions that we put to Michael.

The answers are great reading and inspiration for your picking.  Like how Michael learnt to pick, his favourite locks to pick and where the future of security is heading.

Lets get to the questions…

I like Mul-T-Locks in general, and the Mul-T-Lock MT5+ in particular, no doubt about it. I love the precision that pin-in-pin dimple locks demand, and  Mul-T-Locks are the best of all of the brands available - they are engineered to amazingly fine tolerances so there's just no room for error. The MT5+ has the sidebar as well so to beat that thing you need to be incredibly precise with both pin in pin dimple picking AND sidebar slider picking. The other thing I really like about picking dimple locks is that dimple picks are amazingly personal - you can't just buy one and start picking.

 You have to go through a process of buying and modifying commercial picks until you find the shape that works for you, and I really enjoy that.  A pick that works for me, probably won't work for you in the same lock - you have to evolve your own style and technique.

Sparrows Tron
But more specifically...I'd just like to see more manufacturers do the basics very, very well. A standard six pin lock made to good tolerances and with a few security pins plus a tight paracentric keyway provides FAR more security than the average domestic or commercial consumer is ever going to need...and costs very little more to make than a lock with a wide open keyway and standard pins. Which is easier to pick? A German six pin DOM, or a six pin Lockwood with a C4 keyway?  I'd be willing to bet that the DOM costs barely a few cents more than the Lockwood to produce.

I've never even seen one, only heard about them.  This is one of the best things about lockpicking - no matter how good you get, there's always one more difficult lock to beat...

Unlocking Tipene’s Known Ways to Picking

Many of you will be familiar with Tipene Nga Puhi and his awesome lock picking skills. Here at PickPals, we thought we’d get to know him a little bit better with a little interrogation of our own.
We put out any questions you may have to the Australian Lock Sport Guild and got some great questions that we put to Tipene.
The answers are great reading and inspiration for your picking.  Like how Tipene learnt to pick, his favourite locks to pick and where the future of security is heading.
Lets get to the questions…

I should also mention I met Michael Maynard around this time after we engaged in a bidding war for 3 old Lockwood Padlocks on the Trademe auction site.  We have been mates ever since and his support and encouragement has got me where I am today.  The man's an unbelievable picker and has an incredible analytical mind.  If people aren't already watching his YouTube channel, they are missing out on a treat.
Sparrows Tron
Not being a Locksmith, I've never been “ON THE JOB”, so never.
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