The Locksmith Tool Belt: 4 Essential Locksmith Picks
A locksmith’s tools include some of the most interesting and bizarre-looking instruments of any technical industry. Each tool serves a different, but equally significant purpose. Lock picks are probably the most essential component of any locksmith’s tool belt, and come in an assortment of shapes and sizes that vary greatly in application. Any standard pick set is normally comprised of the hook pick, ball pick, diamond pick, and the rake pick (as well as popular variations of some) as described in the list below.
The Hook Pick
The hook pick is arguably the most fundamental and useful of any pick on this list. This must-have go-to tool has a hooked tip (sometimes called a “feeler” or a “finger”) designed for exploring the lock’s tumblers before activating them by picking one pin at a time. Use of the hook pick allows for a better understanding of a lock’s mechanics that is not offered by any other pick. It also helps the locksmith determine how much tension is needed to pick the lock. A variety of uniquely shaped and sized hook picks are included in professional pick sets.
The Ball Pick
The ball pick comes in two forms: the single ball pick and the double ball pick. Both are commonly used for disc tumbler, ward, and wafer locks, but the double ball pick often works better for wafer locks. In fact, the double ball pick is always applied, and usually successful, when the single ball pick does not work on a certain lock. The single and double ball picks both have flat, rounded tips for bi-directional lock picking. However, the tip of a double ball pick has two differently-sized circles that form a distinctive snowman-like shape. Both picks are a standard inclusion in professional locksmithing pick sets.
The Diamond Pick
The diamond pick is thought by many professional locksmiths to be the most versatile and far-reaching pick in a given set. Its primary application is to pick individual pins to activate tumbler locks, similar to the hook pick. However, unlike the hook pick, the diamond pick can also be used for lock raking and is applicable to wafer locks, padlocks, and pin-and-tumbler locks. Most pick sets include both full- and half-diamond picks in a variety of sizes and tip shapes.
The Rake Pick
The rake pick is known for having the greatest variety of tip shapes. Common rake picks include the “C” pick, the “S” pick, the “L” pick, and the “W” pick—each of which are used exclusively for pin-and-tumbler locks and vary greatly in tip profile. Rake picks are designed for raking, a lockpicking technique in which multiple pins are bounced at once through heavy tension and rapid sawing or jiggling motions with the pick. Since rake picks generate more movement than other picks and can bounce multiple pins at once, they are the best tool to use when working against the clock or in emergency situations, so they are included in every professional pick set.
At South Shore Locksmith, our professionals are equipped with only the best tools to ensure that lockouts don’t last, and these four picks have always been part of our tool set. If you have been locked out, enlist the help of a professional at 561-531-2619. We’ll send someone over right away to get you back into your home, vehicle, or business as soon as possible.