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Lockpicking Your First Lock

Lockpicking your first or even second lock isn’t easy! If it was locks would have no purpose. Sometimes you’ll open your lock for the first time and then feel stuck. We’re here to help, so put your picks down, take a seat.

This guide is also great for those who are getting stuck and somewhat frustrated on their first or even attempting harder locks.

We hear it time and time again, “I’ve opened a cheap padlock, but cannot get this other lock open.”

Here are a couple of tips to get you moving on your lockpicking journey. Remember, lock picking is an art and not meant to be easy. Follow these simple steps to become a level 70 wizard.

Don’t Get Frustrated

Too often people get frustrated and lose patience when lockpicking a difficult lock. This is understandable, especially when you don’t have a visual reference to track your progress. When you become frustrated people often start to apply too much tension pressure and go to hard with the picks, resulting in damage to the lockpicks. Lockpicking requires very fine movements and feel, so take a break, give your hands a rest and come back the challenging lock. Don’t get frustrated, stay calm and keep picking.

Too much Tension

As we mentioned above, 90% of people apply too much tension when learning to pick a lock. You only need a slight bit of tension of the tension wrench, as a general rule if you are losing blood from your finger you are applying far too much tension. Keep in mind you only need enough tension to grab the edge of the pins on the sheer line, too much tension will prevent the pins moving freely effectively re-locking the lock.

Hold your picks correctly

Don’t be heavy handed with your lockpicking tools, these are precision tools and should be used as such. The best way to hold your lockpicks is like a pen, this provides stability and also good feedback through the lockpick.

Have your practice locks close

Practice locks provide so many benefits when learning to lockpick. Even if you have picked your practice locks a number of times, they are always great to go back to when you are struggling.


In real life you wouldn’t be able to see the pins in a lock. As you advance with your lockpicking skills, you’ll start to visualise the internal workings of each lock you pick. Often when you are relaxed and not concentrating too hard you’ll get that difficult lock open. Keep a lock and some picks on your coffee table and practice when you’re watching TV. You’ll be amazed at how well this works. You’ll also be training your fine motor skills and sub-concussion at the same time.

Not All Locks Are Created Equally

It’s important to note that no lock is created the same. Cheap Chinese locks and those who claim to be the master of padlocks found at big hardware stores (who cannot be named), are poorly manufactured. The flaw that allows us to pick locks, is only exaggerated in these cheaper locks. Opening these locks is not a fluke by any means, however, you may find our practice locks and security locks slightly more difficult. After all, this is the purpose of practice locks.

We hope these tips help you progress with your lockpicking, if you think there is anything missing or have tips for other lock pickers, we’d love to hear them and add them to this article.

Happy picking!

Lockie @ PickPals

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