A good lock picking set includes the tools needed to manipulate the pins of a lock in order to open it. A set will typically include a tension wrench (a small, L-shaped tool used to apply tension to the lock cylinder), a hook pick or similar feeler pick, and a rake or jimmy type pick. It should also come with a carrying case to keep the tools organized and easy to access.
The short hook is the most basic and versatile pick in the lock picking arsenal. It is a narrow, pointy pick that allows the user to reach far into the keyway of a lock and is capable of picking individual pins without touching other pins. The short hook is also very agile and maneuverable, making it ideal for raking locks.
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Other popular picks include the zigzag-shaped rake or snake pick, which is ideal for picking wafer locks, and the double-ball “snowman” pick, which is often used to break free a key that is stuck inside of a lock. However, it is important to remember that the quality of the tools is far more important than how many are available; even expert lock pickers only use a handful of different picks in their arsenals.
A good lockpocking set will also include a core trainer set with several keyways to practice proper pick placement. This is one of the most difficult aspects of lockpicking, as if the pick is not properly placed it will be impossible to align the driver pins at the shear line and open the lock.