How many times have we locked ourselves out of our cars, out of our houses or apartments with no spare key available to get us back in? It happens to just about everyone eventually, and what do we do? Well, we call in a professional to take care of it.
But here’s the thing… I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there’s absolutely no reason to hire a locksmith, not when you can have an emergency lock picking set to do the job yourself. The truth is that it’s not all that difficult to be your own locksmith, nor is it illegal to own a lock picking set in most regions of the world – though I suggest you check local laws before pulling the trigger on one. Yes, as long as you don’t have felonious or malicious intent, it’s legal to privately own a set. Professionals often have to be licensed by the state, but private owners do not.
Why Should I own a Lockpicking Set?
The most obvious reason is that owning a lockpicking set (and knowing how to use it) is going to be quicker and less expensive than hiring a professional when you lock yourself out of something. When it’s the middle of the night and you’ve locked yourself out of your car, well… trust me, you’ll be glad you had it. Heck, you could even hide a safe in your home and toss away the key; your only way in will be via picking the lock. Pretty damn secure, providing you’re skilled enough to open it. Might want to practice that one first, though…
Having said that, cost savings and added security aren’t the only benefits. No, there’s another major perk: it’s fun. Learning to lockpick is an extremely satisfying skill to learn, just for the hell of it. It requires intelligence, coordination, and a fair bit of patience. If you ask me, it’s pretty good for the ol’ brain. Instead of sitting down to do some Sudoku, I practice picking padlocks. Thankfully, it’s not even that expensive to take up.
Many companies now sell professional grade lock picking sets because of an ever growing demand from enthusiasts and regular people who are just sick of getting locked out. There are a wide range of styles and specifications for lockpicking tools, but most of them have a pretty well defined use. As an example: SouthOrd lock picking tools, which feature electroless nickel plating and rivetless stainless steel handles. Their Slim Line lock pick collection is designed specifically for U.S keyway sizes.
Now, just keep in mind that it takes some level of skill to use the set without damaging the lock. Make sure you have the right tools for the job and you know how to pick a lock first. A quick search should bring up a wide range of tutorials.
Here’s how to Choose the Right Set
When selecting a lock picking set, make sure that it has a diamond mark for quality. The mark means the set has been tested and successful during use, which is pretty important I would say. They often cost a little bit more, but the slightly more expensive versions are generally worth the cost of admission. Cheap sets = lower quality = lockpicks that may break. Paying a little more for a quality set means it will be more durable, which is important when you’re a newbie to the craft.
Also worth mentioning: the size of the set should play a key role in your buying decision. Buying a large set isn’t necessarily the best bang for your buck, but buying a small set won’t get you all the tools you need. The key to getting a good set of tools for the job is by finding one that offers variety. This will allow you to tackle more jobs with it without spending more out of pocket.
Lock picking tools are definitely practical, but they also make you feel like a badass too. I’m not going to lie… that was the main reason I wanted them. I came for the “badass” factor, and stayed for the “useful skill” and “brain teaser” qualities. If they’re legal in your region, order a set and give them a try. I think you’ll be surprised at just how fun they can be.