Survival Gear Review: Lock Pick Sets

As far as survival skill sets are concerned, one of the most underrated and under researched skills I can think of is lock picking. In the circles I know of and generally runbest prepper lock pick set with, emphasis is definitely on the “beans and bullets” mentality….and that’s pretty much about it. Expansion of survival skill set horizons is underplayed and ignored. Hell, if you have enough bullets, you can take the beans, right?

This survival theory doesn’t sit well with me for multiple reasons, but at the basest level, I like to learn new skills and processes to keep myself interested and to help ensure I have an edge – no matter how small – in any future situation I may encounter if the chips are down. Coming full circle to the subject matter, I have – for some time – been wanting to delve into the personal unknown of lock picking. I have a close friend whose passion is lock picking, so I needed a set of lock picks and his instruction.

Enter Lock Pick World. A UK company whose owner – according to the website – has been up to mischievous pursuits with lock picks since the tender age of eight. Fastbest lock pick website forward 20 years, and that first elation of a bumped lock has blossomed into an extensive online company that offers a huge array of lock picks, bump keys, and other lock picking needs to the entire world.

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After a short chat with Lock Pick World with the details of my desires coupled with a complete and utter lack of knowledge about locks and lock picking, I soon ordered up a beginner’s lock pick set, a slightly more advanced set, and a practice lock with clear sides so that I could see what the hell kind of voodoo was going on inside a lock. Just a week later, the package was at my door and I was geeking out.

Lock Picking Ain’t Easy… At First

After having a novice go with the picks, I quickly found out that: A) movies are completely wrong, and B) I didn’t know anything about anything with lock picking, even after a couple hours of trial and error with the provided practice locks and some unwitting door knob locks around my domicile. Even a bit of research into the tools of the trade – rakes, sweeps, bump keys, and more – didn’t give me much intel on the dance that must be performed to open a lock. Throwing up the white flag of the admitted ignoramus, I beckoned my lock picking buddy to come show me some black magic with the tools provided by Lock Pick World.

To be fair to our subject company, Lock Pick World does indeed offer instructional videos and practice locks on their website (Follow this link to their tutorial page) , but I remained hard-headed and wanted to be shown with my own new tools how to pick a lock. I’m a hands-on kinda guy.

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My buddy (who we’ll call Matt, because that’s his name) acquiesced to the request for lock pick instruction once I goaded him with beer. He arrived with a Craftsman survivalist lock pick settool bag jam packed FULL of locks, deadbolts, door knobs, and lock pick sets. After he showed me quick basic tricks with combination locks, we got to the nitty gritty with what he called “bitch picking”, a type of unrefined raking lock picking that requires very little finesse – just a bit of time and luck. A flat tension tool (included in the provided Lock Pick World sets) is inserted into the keyway, and a small amount of undulating rotational torque is applied. A longer rake tool is inserted in the keyway, and essentially bounced up and down, back and forth, until the tumbler pins are all bumped out of the way and held in place on the shearline ledge – and the lock opens. It’s very easy to do – shockingly easy, as a matter of fact – and is a good place to start learning how to lock pick. Here’s a quick video of me performing this method of lock picking with the Lokko clear sided lock and their Praxis Pick Set.

Lock Pick Sets

The Dangerfield Praxis pick set is the set I prefer to use when I’m working on my technique – it has two sets of eight laser-cut picks – each in either .015” thick or .023” thick so you can tailor your pick width to the lock. Different tension tools are provided as well, and all the tools are made from a stainless steel that is much sturdier than their minuscule thickness belies. The Praxis set comes in a small zip-up camouflaged case, and isn’t so big and heavy that it wouldn’t find a very welcome home in your Bug Out Bag or glove compartment.

The Lokko Beginner’s Box pick set that I also received was a bit more oriented to the beginner – which was perfect for me, and it was the set I started out with. The kit prepper lockpickingcontains a couple of the aforementioned plastic clear-sided Lokko locks, a black leather case containing an assortment of fifteen different tools, and a “spy case”, which is a rather unconvincing “credit card” plastic case that slides open to reveal a simple lock pick set comprising of a tension tool, a long rake, a hook pick, and a snake rake – good basic tools to have with you everywhere, or to use as a starting point for the hobbyist or even kids. The website shows a “how to” book included in the kit; my kit did not come with the book. The faux credit card container is a little cheesy, but it’s convincing enough at a glance to thrill kids who watch spy movies, or perhaps fool someone who is performing a cursory search.

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The real treasure of the Lokko Beginner’s set are the clear-sided locks; these locks let you see exactly what on earth the going on inside a standard tumbler-style lock andbest lock pick set how to act accordingly to open the lock up. These plastic locks were Godsends to help me refine my technique once my instructor departed.

The Praxis set is about $60, and the Lokko Set is about 40 bucks, both are great sets, though I’d definitely grab the Lokko Set if you’re starting from scratch, like I clearly was. Lock Pick World’s website is a treasure trove of knowledge for the neophyte raker as well as an advanced licensed locksmith – it’s wholeheartedly recommended that you use their site (and the magic of YouTube) as a resource to get your ball rolling after you purchase a pick set.

Wrapping It Up

Honestly? Praise the powers that be for Lock Pick World. Yes, I know that sounds melodramatic and sponsored (false on both counts), but I’d still be in the dark in the wide world of lock picking without the basic tools to kick-start me into getting off my posterior and learning how to learn a new survival skill set. The tools are excellent, quality made kit – and while I’m not a seasoned tumbler-defeater, I can tell you that the tools from both kits have all stood up to my ham-fisted attempts and learning how to open doors (literal and figurative) that were previously unattainable. The kits from Lock Pick World are great, the knowledge base and support structure (via their website and customer service) is top-notch, and getting started is easier than you think. You just need the tools and the ability to get off your ass and give it a whirl. Lock Pick World will help you with the first; the second is up to you. Consider it a challenge.

Thoughts? Any of you do lock picking? Feel free to provide resource links and comments below!

Drew P
Written by Drew P

Along with Joel, Drew is one of the co-founders of SurvivalCache. Drew has been immersed in the firearms and outdoors culture since birth. He now is a factory-certified armorer for several firearms manufacturers, as well as an experienced DuraCoat finisher. He currently works with a local firearms training facility as an on-call armorer and gunsmith. Read his full interview here. Read more of Drew's articles.

6 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: Lock Pick Sets”

  1. Some states consider these burglary tools if on your person in public at home they are a collectable.

    Another good tool to have is a lock picking gun. Most security locks have more than 6 pins and many other features that make picking impossible some require drilling others are better attacked with a dent puller / slide hammer or a saws all really and truly there are better and easier ways to enter buildings. some locks are better attacked using shims or bolt cutters even chemical methods.
    Today electronic devices like mini pucks and towers can converse with you answer questions have video and recording ability that is uploaded to the cloud light bulbs that have cameras including infrared motion vibration, sound and thermal sensing. Many can be accessed by smart phones in real time with record to the cloud so no matter what happens the information is available to criminal investigators.

    One other peripheral issue is the overlap of camera coverage and your own phone snitching your location if locations is turned on or not. Loud noises are able to be triangulated in micro seconds. the world we knew is dead and gone there are other technologies I am not presenting here are in play.

    Crime will never be eliminated, because too many criminal justice system workers lawyers and prisons would loose their jobs taxes would have to be decreased and without chaos how could they sell people on order peace tranquility and safety to trade what you have for something better a huckster leads you to believe you have a problem that only they can solve or provide.

    The solution is not always obvious the lock is not always the easiest way to enter there are hasps frames, jambs, hinges and 360 degrees you miss because your focused on a lock.

  2. First under the law these are burglary tools and not to be carried on your person I doubt in your vehicle.
    There are laws on the books that you can still be charged with though the laws are outdated they are still laws.

    Lock picking is considered a perverse attempt to hide a crime, Lock picking and safe cracking and hacking security systems those sentences are longer many times than smash and grab door forcing etc.

    With today's more advanced locks you won't pop them and your focus has to be so intent a swat team could be right behind you and you would never notice them. Cameras are not your friend and the number is increasing exponentially they are HD high definition and can see in the dark and with motion sensors they do not work on combination locks or keypads or push pin locks Machine or vending locks / cylindrical locks or magnetic locks. These techniques takes both hands and concentration so you need a lookout. The number of locks and manufacturers are astronomical and then there are key card locks. sorry boys and girls this is a dinosaur dead and stinking, if you have the money for a set of these spend it on a slide hammer and shoe covers so when you finally get frustrated and kick in the door your foot print won't convict you. The New pods are a security system with sound motion and video night or day cost less than a hundred bucks and can even answer questions turn on lights and contact the home owner by mobile phone with video and it's uploaded to the cloud so dress appropriately. there are hidden features most of us have no idea of in these little devils as well.

    • Snake, in many locales (such as the state I live in) possessing the picks themselves is not a crime UNLESS you are in the act of using them for illegal purposes.

      …and I'm not going to be using these unless we're in a deep SHTF/WROL situation – if we're that deep in, I'm not too worried about the cloud being an enemy. 😉

  3. Sorry Snake – we have to approve all comments before they post. Sometimes it takes a few days to review all of the posts. We get a TON of spam.

  4. drew if you can delete the doubled post

    This is a really nice tool set I made some of my picks added to my kit I had a kit from log ago my levers are helped by some Allen wrenches. I saw my kit in a desk drawer a month or so ago have not used it in 20 years but being a pack rat I keep it just for nostalgia sake. the lock pick gun can be improved with home made picks made to fit.

    Understood Drew. just remember it takes two people to pick a lock you are too focused to defend especially pad locks as you have to hold it while picking or when ratcheting the pins while finessing the lever. if there is glass close you can tape it and use a pellet gun to make a hole for a wire to trip the lock or just cut out the whole pane and use a suction cup or my favorite silly putty you need a couple of servings for a decent ball to work with.

    CZ stones are so cheap to make your own glass cutter versus the wheel cutter. some other "tools" are masking tape brass shim stock and metal snips also carry steel shims so you can pop those annoying handcuffs or a cuff key just remember that is considered escaping and that carries a hefty criminal charge <);=)

    Too bad porta-powers weight so much.

  5. I bought a 26-piece GOSO pickset several years ago. Not trying to brag, but I'm still surprised how easily the vast majority of locks can be picked. I practiced until I could "pop" any lock I had in 3 seconds or less, and I have a rather large collection of them. I also have a nice collection of tempered steel shims.
    The idea being that in a SHTF/WROL situation, a great many useful items will be abandoned because of folks just not thinking before panicking over their lack of preparedness.


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