If you are southpaw (sup, my people?) you will relate to the infinite myths bestowed on us by a dominantly right-handed world.
Really, most of these myths are at the most hogwash or are they?
One of my all time favorites has to be the "southpaws are the more clumsy beings" stereotype. Sadly it's a conventional belief that I weirdly find myself struggling not to make true, but I'm scandalously losing that battle faster than you can blink
It's either that or I'm jinxed.
Apart from being lefthanded and clumsy, I make careless too good a word. Every walk out of the house and a few hours later I can't recall where I left my keys.
Here is the literal sequence of thoughts in my head every once a week.
Did I lose them(keys) at the mall?
Wait did I lock up and leave the keys dangling from the door?
Oh wait, must have left them at the dentist!
No, must be at the counter, the ambiance in that pub was a lot on the darker side- my way of saying, I dint sight them on my way out.
Fifteen minutes later, I pick up the phone and call Charlie-my locksmith, you know how every other person who ain't as awkward has a lawyer? let's just say Charlie is my normal.
lucky enough he picks up...
...and then comes the answer "I'm on my way."
Now after an eternity of going round this circle, I decided coz I can't beat this vice Ill hack it, literally.
So if you are anything like me you are in luck, below is how to open your door without a key and shocker!
No need to call your Charlie.
How Legal is Picking Your Lock
Ive really tried to do my research and all evidence point to being in possession of lock picking tools as no legal. However, there are specific differences from one state to another and from Nation to Nation.
It is would, therefore in your best interest to acquaint yourself with your local government regulation to be in the clear.
In some states possession of lock picking tools is considered as intent to use such devices to illegally gain access to residences, vaults or other locked space the access of which is restricted to specific persons.
I equally feel the need to put down this disclaimer, this article does not in anyway encourage nor condone illegal use of the skills outlined in this blog post.
The intent of which is to inform the reader of a basic DIY life hack the knowledge of which could save you time and money or come in handy in times of emergency.
But by and large with the best intentions at heart lockpicking skill and possession of the related tools is perfectly legal.
Basics of Lock Picking.
Fundamentally lock picking is an emergency resort, or if it's a necessary skill to hone whether by default or by design. There are definitely better and quicker ways to gain access to your space when you've lost your key.
Most locksmiths will probably opt to drill their way in, which is quicker and easier but more expensive. However, every method is predicated on the premise and situations at hand, coz think about it, in an emergency situation what would be easier?
I will tell you what would be easier, kick in the door, a little violent and impulsive but lightening efficiency right there.
So for the purposes of understanding lock picking the ideas is to manipulate one pin at a time for the purpose of duplicating the action of a proper key in a given lock using something else other than the properly cut key.
Picking in this instant can also be what is appropriately called ranking, which is using a ranking instrument for the purpose of gliding the tool across the tumbler of the same proportion a general and sequential fashion.
Most locking mechanism is most probably a variant of pin tumbler locks design and its what most articles including this one will refer to.
Understanding Pin Tumbler Locks
The basic workings of pin tumbler locks and the vocabulary used to describe locks and lock parts vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and so even when you already understand the basic workings of locks try to see if there is something more to learn.
When you inserted the key into the keyway of the plug, the protrusions on the side of the keyway called wards restrict the set of keys that can be inserted into the plug.
The plug is a cylinder which rotates when the proper key is fully inserted. The non-rotating part of the lock is called the hull.
The first pin touched by the key is called pin one while the remaining pins are numbered increasingly toward the rear of the lock.
The proper key lifts each pin pair until the gap between the key pin and the driver pin reaches the sheer line. When all the pins are in this position, the plug rotates and the lock is open. An incorrect key will leave some of the pins protruding between the hull and the plug, and these pins will prevent the plug from rotating.
Now that you understand how the lock works, let's get picking.
How to Exploit the Pin Position to Pick Locks.
Inside the lock construct two plates are kept from sliding over each other unless the proper key is used.
The lock is constructed by placing the two plates over each other and drilling holes which pass through both plates. Two pins are placed in each hole such that the gap between the pins does not line up with the gap between the plates.
The bottom pin is called the key pin because it touches the key and the top pin is called the driver pin.A protrusion on the underside of the bottom plate keeps the pins from falling out, and a spring above the top plate pushes down on the driver pin.
If the key is absent, the plates cannot slide over each other because the driver pins pass through both plates. The correct key lifts the pin pairs to align the gap between the pins with the gap between the plates.
There is always a sliding allowance between any two parts which slide past each other. The gap between the top and bottom plates is the inherent defect that allows lock picking to work by picking one pin at a time
A Step by Step Lock Picking Guide
Setting the Pin
- The first step of the procedure is to apply a sheer force to the lock by pushing on the bottom plate, this force will cause one or more of the pins to scissor between the top and bottom plate.
- Find the pin which is binding the most, and push it up, when the top of the key pin reaches the sheer line, the moving portion of the lock will give slightly, and driver pin will be trapped above the sheer line.
- Remove the picking tool and make sure the driver pin is held up by the overlapping bottom plate and the key pin drops down to its initial position.If lock movement causes another pin to bind repeat step one on the new binding pin
- Continue picking one pin at a time till they are completely picked.
However this is an overly simplistic version of how to pick a lock, use this field operative manual to better understand the nitty-gritty of lock picking
Now Work a Hairpin
- Use two hairpins one to make the pick you will use to lift the pins and a custom lever which allows you to apply rotational pressure to the plug.
- Open the first hairpin until both ends are about 90 degrees apart, remove the edge rubber on the edge of the pin which should be fairly easy.
- Make a slide bend on one end of the first pin you can do this using the keyhole when you don't have appropriate bending tools.Bend the other half of the hairpin into a handle which makes it easier to control.
- Bend about a third of the second pin in such a way it can be inserted into the keyhole and rotate the plug when you apply pressure like you would with a key.
- Insert the lever pin in the bottom half of the keyhole leaving enough room for the pick pin to be inserted above.Put pressure on the lever with one hand so that the barrel of the lock is under pressure to turn.The barrel, of course, won't turn because the pins are in the way but you will exploit the resulting friction to your advantage in the latter steps
- Insert the pick and the first thing you should notice is even though the lock is under pressure some of the pins still move inside the lock freely, of course, this you only feel not see. This easy movement is due to inherent imperfections within the lock and only a few of the pins bind against the barrel at one given time.
- In this step the aim is to focus on the pin that binds which is the only thing between you and an open lock.The free moving unbound pins can be ignored.Pick each pin with the end of the pick lifting slightly and letting them fall again, when you get to the binding pin it should be much harder to push up force it to go up while constantly putting enough pressure on the lever. Eventually, the bound pin should align with the edge of the plug and there should be an audible click which is the sound of the barrel slightly been allowed to rotate before hitting one of the other pins.
- When the barrel moves its release but allows one of the remaining pins to bind to the barrel which should be treated the same way as the first binding pin sequentially until all pins free the plug.
- After each binding pin is identified and the tensions released the barrel is released and rotated to allow the lock to open.
- Once all pins have been dealt with and the lock still does not open, there is a chance that one of the locks was pressed too high and its edge is above the gap of the locks barrel. Reduce the pressure on the lever which will cause the pins to fall, However, this might cause a pin to bind and you would have to start the process all over.
Use a Paper Clip for Your Desk Drawers Lock
- Just like you would with hairpins, get two paper clips which are fairly easy to find. If you are doing this for learning purposes a pin tumbler deadbolt is the test lock you want to use.
- Shape your first paper clip like a hook, it doesn't have to be picture perfect just useable.
- Make a long straight edge from one part of the second clip and leave the other edge curved to be used as the handle.
- Insert the hook pin at the bottom of the keyhole, this will be used to simulate the turning of the right lock key.You will need to apply pressure constantly on the hook pin throughout the lock picking process.
- Pull the hook pin either to the left or the right, this is pretty much a step you will have to wing it coz you can never be sure which the lock will turn.
- Use the long straight paper clip to hit each tumbler at a time as you move to the back.You should feel as you pick up all the tumbler, then you will pull out the straight clip as you apply pressure on the picked pins.
- As you lift the tumbler you will constantly pull on the hooked paper clip as if you were turning it like a key.
- If you hit all the tumblers correctly the plug should start to turn towards the direction you choose in step five. If your gamble is right the plug should turn all the way but will hit a dead end when the direction is wrong.
- If the direction is wrong to pull the lock to its original position and start the process again, this time working toward the other direction.You will know when the lock opens when the pressure you apply gives way and the keyhole turns.
When You Need to Kick Your Door Open in Emergency Situations
General doors would be wooden, dead bold lock with a positive locking part that goes to the wooden trim attachment.
The weak point of any door is the strike plate where the deadbolt enters the trim. This part is attached with small three quarter inch screws.
It would on average take three to six kicks to kick in your average do when done right, which is definitely a scary prospect with regard to security.It almost feels like what we consider as secure is nothing but a mere illusion.
When you kick in a door most likely a small piece of the door trim left behind the strike plate attachment will most likely tear off and let the door open.
The idea then would be to aim you kick or hit slightly to the side slightly above or below the lock where the deadbolt joins the trim.
However some doors are reinforced and handles better than your average door. In fact it advisable to raise the security of your door coz clearly it's not safe most people assume it is.
For instance instead of using three quarter inch screws to attach the strike plate use the more reliable three-inch screws overall if the door is strong enough it should be secure, which unfortunately presents a bigger challenge in case of emergency.