41 Free Lockpicking Ebooks, Guides and Other Resources
Lock picking is the technique of opening a lock without a key while avoiding damage to the lock or its door. There is no law or regulation on lock picking, so it is legal as long as one has permission from the owner of the lock to pick the lock in question. Lock picking tools can be freely bought and sold. There are several clubs where lock picking is practiced as a sport. There are some locks that can be opened in seconds by even the most novice lockpicker, and there are some locks that take a great deal more skill, and may take minutes or even hours for even the most skilled locksmiths.
If you’re interested to learn more about lockpicking, you’ll find a curated list of free ebooks, awesome guides, tools, communities and other resources relating to the security and compromise of locks, safes, and keys below. The general concept behind lockpicking is relatively simple but practice makes perfect.
Ebooks & How-to Lockpicking Guides
- Art of Lockpicking
Educational website with animations detailing the process of picking locks.
- Beginner’s Guide to Security Pins
Short article guiding beginners comfortable with picking padlocks towards an understanding of more complex locks.
- BosnianBill’s Lock Picking for Beginners
YouTube playlist of selected instructional videos sorted in order from first principles to techniques for specific locks.
- CIA Lock Picking Field Operative Training Manual
Guidebook covering terminology, tool use, and techniques for picking the vast majority of pin and wafer tumbler locks.
- Deviant Ollam’s Lockpicking Video Presentations and Advisories
Collection of physec talks and locksport advice for all skill levels from a world-reknowned expert.
- Easy Pickings – Mini Lockpicking Manual
Widely-distributed beginner’s manual with diagrams showcasing how to pick various entry-level locks.
- MIT Lock Picking Guide
Famous introductory text by Ted the Tool.
- Lock Picking: Detail Overkill
Exceptionally thorough guide for those who want more than just the basics.
- Locksport International Guide to Lock Picking
Locksport primer in the style of a comic book, with photographs and speech bubbles.
- How-to Lock Pick – Our Free Lock Picking Guide
A free updated, illustrated guide to help you understand and learn to pick locks with various tools.
Contests, Conferences and Events
- Chaos Communications Congress (CCC)
CCC hosts the German Lockpicking Championships.
- DEF CON
Annual infosec industry conference which is popular with many lockpickers featuring a locksport contest.
- Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE)
Annual conference often featuring a locksport competition and presentations on physical security.
Annual, invitation-only international conference about locks for members of respected locksport organizations.
- 3D Printed Lock Picks
Print lock picks made of plastic materials that, while weak, will survive at least several uses.
- DIY Lock Pick Set from a Windshield Wiper
Illustrated guide to building a custom lock pick and tension wrench from windshield wipers.
- How to Make a Set of Lockpicks!
Instructions for using discarded street sweeper bristles as material for dual-sided turning tools and picks.
- Making Tension Wrenches / Turning Tools From Old Windshield Wiper Blades
Instructions for turning old windshield wipers into any of a variety of lock pick types and turning tool styles.
- Under Door Tool Kit Instructions
Short guide to constructing an under-door (“lever opening”/”Mule”) tool using material available at a typical hardware store.
Locksport Associations and Organizations
- Fraternal Order of Lock Sport (FOOLS)
Lock picking club established to serve Bloomington, Indiana and surrounding areas.
- The Open Organization Of Lockpickers (TOOOL)
Worldwide association of lockpickers with national, regional, and local chapters.
- Locksport International
International association of lockpickers who offer help starting new locksport clubs and groups.
- Sportsfreunde der Sperrtechnik – Deutschland e.V.
German lock picking sports club who hosts the german lock picking masters and offers workshops on how to pick locks.
Novel Lock Attack Techniques & Research
Acoustic-based physical key inference.
One of the longest-running online communities dedicated to the fun and ethical hobby of lock picking.
Community-driven reference for both beginners and professionals in the security industry.
- /r/lockpicking Subreddit
Subreddit dedicated to the sport of lockpicking.
- Dark Sim 905’s Lockpicking pages
Personal website of a knowledgable hobbyist discussing a variety of picking and bypass tools.
- Lockpicking Forensics
Website dedicated to the science and study of forensic locksmithing.
- Raking Techniques
Raking techniques illustrated with awesome animations.
- Schuyler Towne channel
Lockpicking videos and security talks.
- The Amazing King’s Lockpicking pages
Hobbyist’s website with detailed pages about locks, tools, and picking techniques.
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