A lock picking device is a tool that helps open a pin tumbler or wafer lock. It consists of a set of tools that are used together to manipulate the pins and ultimately turn the plug, or shear line, to open the lock. There are many different types of lock picks and tools available, although only a few are needed to open most locks. These include standard locksmithing picks that are meant to be manipulated single-pin at a time; rakes, which are more comprehensive flat pieces designed to rake across several pins in a lock; and specialty items such as a hook pick, which allows users to work on one specific pin at a time.
Mastering Lock Picking: Exploring the Contents and Uses of Lock Pick Sets
Most starter lock pick sets come with a few basic bottom-of-keyway (BOK) tension tools. These are typically made of a hardened steel that is corrosion-resistant and can be used with a tension wrench to apply pressure to the plug while the pins are being manipulated. Other common elements found in a lock pick set are a variety of different hooks that can be used both statically by simply wobbling the pick in the keyway, and dynamically to zip a lock by running it in and out.
Other more specialized picks include wave rakes, which essentially are smaller versions of city rakes that can work in locks with a shorter keyway; and snake or squiggly rakes that can be used for rocking, an advanced technique in which the user quickly changes the angle of the pick within the lock to lift pins up to the shear line. These are a necessity in some advanced lock picking methods, but can be quite difficult to master, and so are best left for more experienced users.