Lock Picking

Sparrows Dark Shift Expansion Kit

Skills On Lock: Lockpicking Kits For Preppers

To be a prepper means to stay ready and survive. Now's the opportunity to hone or pick up survival skills, especially with all the time you have at home. You likely know how to build shelter, hunt, and such if you're a survivalist - but what about lockpicking? 

People often associate lock picking (yes... we've heard it all) to shady or illegal activity, but lockpicking can actually be a life-saving skill. Thankfully, it's also one that's easy to learn for people regardless of backgrounds. For preppers, there are lockpicking kits designed to challenge your survival skills. Take a look at these!

🔑 The Sparrows Vorax Kit

This lockpicking kit already shows serious business at first glance. It comes with a camo case made with double-stitching for added durability. You can smoothly open the case thanks to then nylon zipper in black, which pairs well with the camo design. 

Buy Sparrows Vorax

Inside, you'll see fourteen picks with thermal handles for easier handling. Each one was made with .025 stainless steel for durability. You get tension wrenches that are twisted to give your hands flex while lockpicking. Rake picks of several designs, such as the worm, the snake, and the half-diamond, are also available to fit into different keyways. 

Sparrows Vorax

Other features include the five-comb pick set, a laser-engraved Sandman Pick, a five-comb pick set, and another Sandman pick but with the XXL size. Looking at this variety of picks, you'll see how the Vorax kit really caters to preppers. After all, you need to stay ready for whatever keyway that comes your way.

🔑 The Sparrows EOD

Now you also have another option if the Vorax case isn't your style or you prefer rake picks. Sparrows made the EOD kit with fast entry in mind, which is why raking - the fastest lockpicking method - is its focus. If you're a prepper who prefers timed challenges or engages in lock sport, this one's for you.

Sparrow EOD

The kit comes in a tan or khaki case that houses six lockpicks and six tension wrenches made for various keyways. The EOD also comes with minis: a Mini Door Jim to open door hatches quickly, and a Mini Knife for opening luggage and briefcase locks. You also get a wafer pick for opening file cabinets and wafer locks.

If you're curious about the acronym, the kit is named after the Explosive Ordnance Disposal army specialists, which have specific entry and tool requirements in their line of work. Sparrows tapped members of the military in creating the kit to ensure even EOD teams can use it. For instance, these army specialists can be tasked with sweeping an area to ensure the security of an event. In doing a search of an area, doors, baggage, or anything shut has to be opened quickly

🔒 Skills On Lock

After reading about these kits, you can see the appeal they have for preppers. The assortment of picks you get with each kit enables you to practice how quickly or how well you can unlock a specific lock. Many survivalists believe that picking locks is a skill you'd rather have and not need, rather than a skill you need and not have. You'd rather not imagine yourself in the latter, would you? Waste no time and get these skills in your EDC - you don't know when you'll need them!

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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

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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.
Easy Pickings - Guide Book

7 myths of lock picking

Oh, we get it. Lock picking is taboo. But believe it or not, it’s a fast-growing hobby both in Australia and around the world, and what many people don’t yet realize is that it is a very engaging, fulfilling pastime that comes with a range of benefits. So let’s explore some of the myths surrounding lock picking, debunk (most of) them, and then hopefully you’ll see why you should give it a go.

Myth #1

“Lock picking is only for criminals!”

Lock picking is an art. It takes time, skill and determination to understand how locks are picked. The lock picking community is dedicated to protecting the sport and follows a strict code of ethics.

Myth #2

“Lock picking is not a sport”

Lock picking is practiced all around the world. In many countries such as the UK, Netherlands, USA and Australia, competitions are held for challengers to test their skills against others in the community. Organisations such as TOOOL run these competitions and the trend has been growing year-on-year.

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Myth #3

“Lock picking is only used by locksmiths”

Lock picking was once the default practice of locksmiths, however with the advance in technology, traditional lock picking has taken a back seat to newer, quicker methods of entry. There are even groups within the lock picking community that are focused on protecting the art of lock picking.

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Myth #4

 

“Lock picking is hard”

Like any skill, lock picking is going to take time to learn. However, we have a range of products to get you opening your first lock and feeling the excitement that comes with hearing that satisfying first “click”.

Myth #5

 

“Lock picking is expensive”

We have a range of tools for every budget. Our tools are of the highest quality and will last a lifetime if used and cared for properly. With our intro set starting at just $29, you can give lock picking a go without breaking the bank. In many cases we also offer free shipping as well as bonus guides and tutorials on our website.

Myth #6

 

“Lock picking is addictive”

Ok, this one is true. Lock picking is highly addictive. Once you open or ‘pop’ your first lock, you’ll just want more and more. It’s a great sense of accomplishment to open a lock, much like working on a puzzle. We’ve heard of some people taking days to understand and open a single lock!

  • PickPals Intro Lock Pick Bundle Plus

    $USD 88.28 $USD 70.48
  • PickPals Intro Lock Pick Set

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  • PickPals Intro Padlock Bundle – Limited time only

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Myth #7

 

“Lock Picking isn’t for me”

We sell lock picks to everyone. From mechanically-minded folk who want to understand how to work and manipulate a lock, to seniors who work on their fine motor skills, to die-hard Doomsday Preppers fans who need tools for the field, lock-picking appeals to people from all walks of life. Lock picking is a fantastic skill we encourage men and women of all ages to try.

 

If you have any more myths or questions, be sure to get in touch with us - we’d love to hear from you.

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  • Law Lock Tools – CTR Pro Lock Pick Set

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