A few well-chosen tools make all the difference in learning how to pick locks. You could get away with a paper clip, bobby pin, or card credit in a pinch, but you’ll be far more efficient and have much better odds of successfully opening a lock using proper tools. Those include a tension wrench and a pick or rake that conforms to key shapes.
A basic padlock picking tools set typically includes a standard short hook and a half diamond rake for lever locks (the type found in most domestic front doors and some padlocks). Some sets also include a clear practice lock and training guides. Other useful options are a warded pick (for skeleton keys) and a bypass tool that opens locks in a different way than raking or picking pins one at a time.
Mastering the Art of Lock Picking with the Right Lock Picking Set
You’ll want to look for a quality set from a reputable manufacturer that specializes in making picks and wrenches, like Southord or HPC. These brands have better quality control than cheap knockoffs. They’ll also last longer. The best sets will include a tension wrench, a couple of picks (including a standard short hook and a double-peaked Bogota rake), a practice lock, and a detailed guide for learning the skill.
A snap gun is another option for those who want to open a lock quickly, but it’s only effective in lever locks and requires a lot of skill to master. A rake, on the other hand, takes much less skill and can work in a variety of lock types.