For almost everyone who gets a set of lock picks their first target is almost always the front door. Can I open my front door? When you're starting out, avoid this temptation and also avoid picking any lock you depend on. Padlocks and practice locks are by far the best way to get started and practice locks are specifically designed to help speed up the learning curve for starting lock pickers. They are also great for teaching.
Types of Practice locks
Practice locks fall into two categories. Level of difficulty and visuals. Lock picking is often compared to working with a puzzle and the comparison is perfect. When you work on picking a lock you need to find the correct order of pins to move and the correct height to move them to. Our Cutaway practice locks take the mystery out of the lock picking puzzle by letting you see your pick interact with the pins. This is a huge advantage that quickly lets you feel and see how your lock picks interact with the mechanics of the lock. Another option are our progressive locks. These are pinned as a way that they go from easy to “normal” . A normal lock will have 5 pin stacks so your challenge will be to manipulate all 5 stacks in the correct order and to the correct height. A progressive set comes with 4 locks starting with a easy 2 pin stack moving to a 3 then 4 and then to a normal 5 pin stack lock. These progressions let you build up to picking a real lock. With a set of practice locks you will save yourself time and frustration in learning how to pick.
A practice lock for everyone
Practice locks are for everyone and have options like cutaways and clear locks SPARROWS has solutions for visual learners. If you are more mechanically inclined a set of progressives will be the way to go. If you want a set and locks you can look at our Night School sets that include lock picks and a set of cutaway locks. These cutaways even come with different pinning options to make them harder. You can even learn how to take a lock apart and repin it with one of our reload kits
How do you pick a lock?
When you start out lock picking it is best to use a short hook and your tension wrench. In your chosen practice lock place the tension wrench at the base of the lock and apply a small amount of pressure. About half the pressure you would use to push down the key on a keyboard. Insert the pick all the way to the back of the lock and lift it a bit up. Your pick should now be curved up behind the last pin with the shaft just resting under all the pins. Slowly pull the pick forward and feel for the clicks as the tip of the pick moves from one pin to the next. Count the number of pins and think of how they are spaced apart. Goto the back of the lock lifts the back stack of pins. Do they click into a potion or just freely lift up and back down? You're searching for the first stack of pins to set.
By setting a pin you have the top pin rest above the sheer line while the bottom pin sits below it. Often you feel a very gentle click when this happens. Slowly go through each pin lifting and setting them at the sheer line with light tension on your wrench. When completed correctly with all the pins set your lock will open. Being able to see these pins as you set them or reducing the number that you need to set is clearly an advantage to learning and is the reason for having practice locks
Why Choose Sparrows’ for your Practice lock needs?
All SPARROWS practice locks are manufactured to give real world feedback and come with future forward options. All the brass practice locks are milled to allow for 6 pin stacks so as you advance you can make these locks even harder to pick open. We also have a wide variety of security pins options like spool and serrated and we also have options that allow you to rebuild your locks with new cores. Look at our Core kit and reload kit if you want to try your hand at taking locks apart and servicing them.