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Jan 3, 07 - 2:08 pm

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Lock Picking

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Yes, I know that my post title is a little shocking but before you freak out thinking about possible criminal elements, read on. I’m a lock picking hobbyist.

There is a lot of math and physics involved with many locks and this is why it’s of interest to me. I see locks as puzzles and solving such a puzzle provides an enormous thrill.

Some people like jigsaw puzzles, I like locks. The thrill I receive from solving a lock motivates me to try an even more difficult lock.

To help in my continued education and learning to become better at my hobby and sport, I’ve taken a few professional locksmith courses, have read a ton of books and have also become a licensed locksmith.

So what exactly is the hobby of lock picking you might be asking yourself?

Lock picking is the art of opening a lock without damaging it or using a key. This “opening without damage” can be done in various ways but is generally done with special tools for that purpose.

Of course when you hear the term “lock picking” most people in the general public will immediately think about the criminal elements of this hobby and sport.

Let me clarify a few things about the “criminal elements” you might be thinking about.

If someone wanted to be able to break in to a building or car, then they should go buy a crowbar or a screwdriver; lock picking will be of little help to them.

Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting you go break into buildings or cars because that would be against the law.

With a crowbar, breaking in takes seconds. All you have to do is watch TV and see movies or shows about people breaking into buildings. A good example of this is a favorite movie of mine Oceans 11.

To be good at lock picking on the other hand requires years of practice and enormous amounts of patience. Again, I do this as a hobby and sport, not for ill will.

I open locks in my hands or fix them to a table with a clamp. This works quite differently than opening a lock in a door. In fact, that is an inconvenient placement and demands an entirely different position and technique.

So hopefully this post will answer a few questions that I received in emails this morning and if you’d like to learn more about the hobby and sport, check out TOOOL: The Open Organization Of Lockpickers website.

If there is enough interest, I could post some pictures of my practice locks and the tools I use in my hobby.

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