Plugging along in lockpicking

I have been devoting some time to continuing to learn lockpicking while there aren’t a lot of things going on. This has been aided by being in a review program where among other things I can get locks and review them.

tl;dr – lock bloggity

Fret not, there’s a ton of gadget news and reviews and potentially a series coming up, but at the moment old school turning metal is amusing me.

But I thought I’d share a lock I just got… advetised 75mm padlock, hardened steel, disc detainer core, waterproof, element proof and more. Sounds good right?

It was a 67mm padlock in a 73mm plastic shell first off. Front of the package claimed waterproof, back of the package said not. Logos were falling off where they’d been applied. I’m pretty sure the keys I have are the same cut as the keys shown in the product photos (which was the case with my last disc detainer core.)

“Hardened steel” that can be easily scraped with a fingernail file and damaged easily by light pressure with plyers.

The other day I got a 10 pack of wafer lock lock-out locks and was through all 10 in under 5 minutes. I wish this was about me being good, but it’s how absurdly low security some of these locks available for review are.

BOV II lockout locks
Electrical lockout locks are more there for preventing an accident than security, but you can open these with next to no skill

I got a two pack the other day that popped open as I was sticking a rake tool in it. It took slightly longer to single pin pick or shim open but not much longer. So much insecure crap out there and it’s priced online at about the same pricing as what has actually stopped me.

I’ve got a collection of 25 or so rather simple to open locks, including a glass storefront lock that I can get in using just a wire (or pick, or rake, not been able to zip) and I decided it was time to take on something real. Free is good but I wanted a challenge.

Picked up a Masterlock 5, and yeah… I am currently defeated. I’m interested to see how long I am as this brand is what amused me enough to get into lock picking. Well, people popping open Masterlocks with other Masterlocks is.

Knox box
The Knox box is unrelated to anything in this other than lockpicking, but it’s a fascinating one to learn how the lock mechanics actually work (it involves rotating pins as well as pushing them in to the correct height) – this ain’t getting picked by me any time soon. These are getting required in more places by the fire department and contain the keys to the building and security codes.

Due to reasons I ended up with three pick sets. A set from Lockpick Extreme I got for attending a seminar along with 5 extremely easy cores, a 24 piece set I got off of Amazon because I wanted a collection of see through locks (page gone now,) and a set from Covert Instruments including an FNG.

I discovered, as I was told, that I would use the see-through locks a couple of times and tire of them. They’re all as simple as can be, and useful once if you don’t have YouTube to see what you are doing… actually I take that back, I did get some useful hand/eye feedback on how far in a lock I was and that did help some. That said, I wish I could re-key and make them a bit more realistic.

My cheap Amazon set gets some use, but I seem to be mostly using the Covert Instruments or Lockpick Extreme set – either of those feel right… the cheapies do the job but the feedback just isn’t there for me. It may be because I’m training myself on the more expensive sets, I’m not sure.

Panavice 350 I believe
Another vice: another vise

I ended up getting a vise. I am a bit ashamed of that as I don’t feel I have the skills to need a vise… but I also felt I kept moving my hands around and was cramping and getting annoyed so it’s cheaper than physical therapy.

I have become absolutely fascinated in how to overcome most daily lock I encounter… I have no intention of using my skills for evil, but it has taught me a lot of things to slow down even people coming via sledgehammer (which happened to a person in our neighborhood recently). Fun times.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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