Lock pick set to pick locks you can buy online.

How to Pick a Lock

lock picking made easy

How to Pick a lock

Picking Locks

Picking locks is the technique used to open a lock without a key by lining up all the pins or discs to allow the lock barrel to turn. Well, we have all seen it in movies. You just grab a bobby pin out of your hair and stick it in the lock and Hey Presto!! lock opens… Uhrrrrr If only it was that easy!

So how do you pick a lock? Well if you type “How to pick a lock” into Google you get 121,000,000 results!! So you don’t need me to tell you.  Sites on lock picking are all over the net.  Anyway here is the top YouTube video result for “how to pick a lock”.  This explanation is not from a locksmith!  It is just some guy who bought a lock pick set online!

Well, the reason for this post was not to show you how to pick locks. It was more along the lines of how easy are door locks to pick in Brisbane. I say Brisbane, because the types of locks used for a particular region, city, country, etc differ quite a bit. So lets use Brisbane as a case study, because that is where I live.

I will try to be as honest as I can with regards to just how easy or hard locks are to pick. Even though I pick locks professionally as a 24 hour locksmith, I still have a pretty good idea just how hard it is to pick locks for an amateur lock picker.

Lock pick set to pick locks you can buy online.

Lock Pick Set for sale on the internet

Lock picks and picking tools can now be purchased on the internet which will open a range of locks in Brisbane. Sounds scary? Well, yeah, it is very scary! A lot of people might not know this? Even if they do know, then it might be a case of, well, my neighbors have the same locks. Why would a burglar target my home or business? There is truth to this. A lot of break ins are just random and not targeted. So having a lock on your door that can be easily picked open does not mean you are going to get broken into. Neither does leaving your door unlocked.

Some places are targeted for break and enters. Especially businesses that keep a high dollar value of stock or that are a high value target for thieves. I often see business premises that are locked up with a low quality lock that could easily be picked by amateur thieves.

I was going to try to go through some of the common key operated door locks that are sold at the large chain hardware shops and let you know how hard they are to pick open.  But there is no point to singling out any particular lock.  Truth is, just about all the door locks sold by the major chains are easy to pick with tools readily available on the internet!!
Before information and tools was easily available over the internet, it was a different story. But the truth is the door locks have not changed in their designs. It is not that they are any more insecure then they were 20 years ago. It is just that it is a lot easier to buy lock picking tools and find the information to use them. So I would have to say that most of the door locks sold by major hardware shops are not secure enough to fit to peoples homes or business.

Easy to pick open entrance lock set from hardware

Entrance Lock Set you might buy at a Hardware Shop

There are a few door locks sold by the major hardware shops that are not easy to pick. They are mainly the Lockwood range of domestic locks with Kinetic Defence cylinders. The Kinetic Defence cylinders use a very simple and effective pin design that makes them harder to pick open. Many locksmiths can not even pick these locks and have to drill the cylinder out if they need to open a locked door. Our 24 Hour Locksmith can pick Kinetic Defence lock cylinders, using specialised tools that are not available over the internet.

Lock from hardware shop easy to pick

What are you getting when you buy a lock at a hardware shop?

Is price a good guide of a quality lock?

No! Many expensive key operated door locks sold in hardware shops are still very easy to pick the lock cylinders. Basically most of the pin tumbler locks operate in the same way and these locks are easy to pick with low cost tools.

Can anyone pick a lock?

Yes and no. The tools make it possible for anyone to pick a lock with a little practice. The more practice you have at picking locks, the better you will get. Picking locks is a skill that is learned over time and when you get proficient at picking locks there is a much higher chance of picking each lock you come across. As a professional 24 hour locksmith, our skills at picking locks have to be of the highest standards. We need to be able to pick every lock that we possibly can to perform our job. An amateur lock picker might only be able to pick a percentage of the locks a professional locksmith can.

Are commercial locks any harder to pick?

Lock easy to pick on commercial door

Standard Pin Tumbler Commercial Door lock Cylinder

Many standard commercial locks use the same pin tumbler mechanism as domestic doors. These standard locks are just as easy to pick as domestic locks.
There are of course high security locks that can not be picked with tools bought on the net. Many businesses do use high security lock cylinders and are secure from these types of attacks.
Just simply having a heavy duty shop front lock fitted to your door, does not mean that your lock can not be picked! The lock must be changed from the standard pin tumbler cylinder to a high security lock cylinder that can not be picked.

I have a registered key system.

Restricted registered key lockwood Australia

Registered Key by Lockwood

There are many types of registered key systems on the market. Some use a high security cylinder that is practically impossible to pick. These are the best lock cylinders to have on your doors. Why you would secure your doors with anything less is a mystery to me. The cost is not that high, and the fact that it can not be picked open with tools you buy online makes these locks more then worth their value.
Some types of registered key systems use lock cylinders that are easy to pick. While others are very difficult with off the shelf products you buy on the net. It is very hard to tell the difference between an easy to pick registered key system and a difficult to pick system. It is not about the quality of the lock or price. It mostly comes down to weather the locksmith sold it as a difficult to pick lock cylinder or just a “Registered Key Lock System”. Locksmiths who know what they are doing can make registered keys locks very hard to pick. Sadly, most locksmiths do not ensure registered key lock cylinders are difficult to pick at all.

I have a deadlock on my door

Brava deadlock deadbolt

Deadlocks

Ummm Off the shelf deadlocks from hardware shops generally use the same Pin Tumbler Mechanism as other easy to pick locks. Deadlocks with a standard lock cylinder are no harder to pick with a tool bought over the internet then any other type of door locks.

Security Screen Doors

door with security lock

Security Screen Door

I have a $1000 stainless steel mesh door installed. It even stops attacks from “Bowling Balls” 🙂
I love that add!! If ever I get attacked by a bowling ball, I know I will be safe 🙂
Seriously, most of the security screen doors are installed with disc tumbler lock which is almost in the class of “Able to be picked with a bobby pin” These cheaper screen door locks might keep out flies, but spend $5.99 on the internet and buy a lock pick and you will have these doors open in a few seconds.
Screen doors also have a better lock cylinder that can be installed which is a Pin Tumbler lock. These locks are generally a little harder to pick. They are still easy enough to pick with tools you can buy on the internet.
Security screens can be placed onto a high security cylinder that can not practically be picked. You will only find the high security cylinders available from locksmiths.

Electronic locks

electronic lock Brisbane

Electronic door lock with key override

There are still very few homes fitted with electronic locks. Even though they are available at a reasonable price many locksmiths do not recommend them as a good alternative. Most electronic locks have their own unique vulnerabilities for which are not generally in the public domain so discussing ways to defeat electronic locks is out of the scope of this post.
One thing most electronic locks do have in common is that they also have a key override. If the override key is simply a standard pin tumbler lock, then being able to pick these locks is generally as easy as any other pin tumbler lock. This kind of makes any security feature of an electronic lock obsolete.

Electronic locks generally can be unreliable. Batteries go flat and many electronic locks just fail. Most electronic door locks have the batteries on the inside of the door, so a key override lock cylinder is an important feature.

Not all electronic locks are terrible. We fit a range of electronic locks that are reliable. We are careful to select locks that can not be bypassed or easily opened as many electronic locks can.