Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lock Picking Observations

In a previous comment I noted that I intended to share my observations on beginning lock picking. I’ve only really been raking so far, not per-pin picking.

First, it’s very easy to apply too much pressure to the torsion wrench. Start by applying just a little bit of pressure and slowly increase the pressure. The wrenches with the half twist will absorb some of the pressure by bending so they may be a good choice while you get a feel for the right amount of pressure. The downside is that you lose some of the sensitivity of what’s going on with the plug. While I was getting a feel for it I would vary the pressure as I was raking. Sometimes I would let up to much and give up pins I had set, sometimes I would press too hard and false set some pins. Eventually my hands learned the proper range of pressure. If you eat sushi I think the right pressure range is what you might use picking up a cut roll with chopsticks. If you don’t eat sushi, you’re missing out.

Second, the raking pressure should also be pretty light. I think of it like brushing teeth. You’re not trying to rub your gums off but you are trying to remove plaque. Raking too hard has less of a negative impact than applying too much torsion.

Third, don’t try to hard. The more you work at it the less success you have. Keep your practice lock, torsion wrench, and pick/rake at your desk. Pick them up and fiddle with them when you’re thinking or need to take a break. Just don’t focus on it. Your hands need to figure things out on their own. I found that my first half dozen or so times getting my practice lock I was absently fiddling and had no idea what I had done to make it work. Every time I’d try to figure it out and get nowhere. When I stopped paying attention I eventually found that my hands just knew what to do.

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