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Bought my first lockpicks


Apache Fiero
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Inspired by Thief and the Dark Mod, I've bought myself a real life set of lockpicks and a practice transparent padlock from Amazon.
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Of course I don't plan on doing anything illegal, but I figured it might be a fun new skill and hobby just for fun.

Anyone else had experience with lockpicking before aside from in video games?

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We have a set in our local hackerspace so I tried the transparent padlock and a couple very easy very cheap standard 2 and 3 pin padlocks with success, quite fun. Didn't manage any standard door lock though and didn't feel like practicing enough to learn.

I originally wanted to learn it for urban exploration, where sometimes you stumble upon locked doors even in places that are very obviously abandoned and empty, but there's always a risk of getting caught by police (happened once so far) and while with just a camera and snacks in your backpack there's a good chance they'll let you go with a warning or a symbolic fine, I imagine if they found a set of lockpicks it would be different. So in the end I decided not to.

Two things that I learned from a few cybersecurity guys who do it for fun and actually know how to do it is that:

  • there are often easier ways to do it than lockpicks (a bumpkey or various vibrating devices might be an option with door locks)
  • nothing is secure, especially not bikes, a reliable bicycle lock doesn't exist and you just buy a good one to make your bike slightly more difficult to steal than somebody elses

They demonstrated opening a rigid U shaped bike lock by just knocking on it with a small hammer in a certain way to release the locking mechanism without breaking it. Other popular method is literally lifting a bike and rotating it until you twist the lock off. 

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Wow, that is quite an impressive collection of picks to start with. You should train with the the half diamonds and hooks and use the snakes only for a quick success when frustration has built up too much.

There are plenty of tutorials and videos on the internet on how to make your own tension wrenches (probably earlier) and picks (probably later) when your lock collection grows and you need differently sized tools.

I made my first picks and wrenches from small saw blades using a cheap Dremel knockoff. With that tools i got most standard tumbler locks open eventually.
I was quite a cheap skate back then and therefore specialized on padlocks, because collecting them by unlocking often is less risky...
Luckily i don't really have the patience and feel for the sport and lost interest after a few weeks.

Later i impulse-bought a cheap set for a few bucks at a convention, but it did not get as much use as my old tools.

Have fun. Test for yourself whether low or high tension is your thing.
And watch the Lockpicking Lawyer - he is good at the sport.

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On my motorcycle I had a padlock where no lockpic worked, the lock worked with a bar with  magnets in a certain sequence, which had to be contacted with the padlock, lacking any hole for a normal key..

Currently there are keyless u-padlocks, which are open by fingerprint or bluetooth.

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I bought  a set of lockpicks some time ago and tried some time to learn how to use them. After some time I could open easy locks quite reliably, which saved some students of mine the money to buy new padlocks for their lockers, where they locked in the keys. But I never got the hang of opening more difficult locks. I have one five pin door lock, that I can open more or less reliably, but never magaed to open anything with six pins. I think it is fun to try, but usually lack the motivation to practice on a regular basis for more than a couple of days in a row.

Like Abusimplea I can recommend the Lockpicking Lawyer. Especially his 1st of April videos are hilarious 😄

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