How To Pick A Lock: Understanding The Pin Tumbler

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Before you learn how to pick a lock, it is important to understand how a lock works. The pin tumbler lock is the most common type of lock (the kind used in most every door). Study it carefully and memorize all of it’s parts.

Diagram of the Pin tumbler lock created by Wapcaplet in Blender, and fine-tuned in the GIMP.

1. Pin tumbler: locked – The driver pins (blue) are pushed downwards by springs which prevent the plug (yellow) from rotating.

2. Pin tumbler: with key – With the key inserted, the gaps between the key pins (red) and driver pins (blue) align with the edge of the plug (yellow) forming the shearline.

3. Pin tumbler: unlocked – When the pins align with the shear line, the plug is now free to rotate.

Once you understand how the lock works, it will be easier to understand how to pick the lock. In my next blog, i’ll go over the tools used to pick these locks.

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Copyright (c) 2007 n1ch0la5.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU
Free Documentation License”.

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