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How To Open Locks With Improvised Tools: Practical, Non-Destructive Ways Of Getting Back Into Just About Everything When You Lose Your Keys (formerly published as Lock Bypass Methods) Paperback – October 28, 2001
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About the Author
Hans Conkel has been involved in locksmithing since 1994. His primary interests in the field are covert entry techniques and the investigation of criminal entry. Currently, he is writing "The Forensic Study of Forced Entry," which he hopes to finish in late 2002. Outside of locksmithing, he has two ongoing fiction projects and one mathematics project.
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1. If you want to be anything NEAR good at picking locks\: you must get various locks to work on: you must have tools; you MUST devote hours to practice, practice, practice; you must develop skill at feeling, through your tools, what's going on inside that lock.
2. The actions you see in movies and TV shows regarding lock picking is for entertainment and largely hogwash!
3. The warnings in the book regarding laws and the possession of lock picks is fro real. If you want to carry such things without concerns IF you are ever searched by a law officer, you had better become a LICENSED Locksmith.
4. You're in the clear for such tools and action in your own home. Enjoy.
Then he goes on to fill chapters with poorly illustrated, and detailed instructions on bypass methods that are impractical at best! Doesn't mention anything about bypassing an inward opening door (sorry, I don't know what this bypass is technically called, you don't brute shove the door or anything, I had to cut a notch in an old credit card when I locked myself out of the office building I was working in, slide the card up and around the back of the latch and the door opened right up.)
No mention of lifting your sliding glass door, or lifting those storm windows (with the two latches, one on each side that you squeeze together to open and release to lock in place) just enough to slide a looped phone cord in on each side and squeeze them as you lift, instead he assumes that nobody has decent weather stripping and you can fit complicated improvised contraptions through the door-jam and manage to catch the deadbolt latch and pull it THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION! OK Houdini, maybe if my life depended on it, but otherwise, I'm calling a locksmith.
And the first chapter is a bit insulting, as if the reader doesn't already know that stealing from people is wrong.
BTW, if you are into making your own picks, don't catch tetnus from playing with rusty rakes and street sweeper bristles, just buy new windshield wiper blades for your car and take the rubber off of the old ones. The metal strips make perfect picks, if you're good at filing them, which I'm not.
*** I decided to edit my review, I am giving Mr Conkel's book another star, as it turns out, he was right afterall... making your own picks and wrenches is more effective and more enjoyable. I don't know why I like to play with locks, but it is a hobby so it makes sense that I'd rather make my own, improvised tools. I can understand though, why a professional locksmith would prefer to invest in high quality tools. I am using a Dremel and wiper blades, though I will keep his other suggestions in mind.
I'm just a novice at picking, but learning quite rapidly. There are exercises to improve your skills.
The only thing bad I can say about the book is the first chapter. Long winded, but basically states the following: 1) picking what you aren't supposed to is illegal and will get you into trouble, 2) don't be egotistical and show off to your friends thinking you can pick anything, and 3) practice practice practice, that's the only way you'll be proficient in lock bypassing & picking.