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Showing 1-10 of 202 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 219 reviews
on August 9, 2013
Being a gadget guy it was inevitable that I would stumble across the various lock picking videos on YouTube. Those are almost all about picking pin-type locks, such as padlocks. I figured I'd order up a set of picks and give it a go. In the "people that bought this also bought this" section I saw a couple of books, this being one, that claimed to give thorough guidance on lock construction, theory, and how they can be picked. I also ordered up the "CIA" book. No offense, but I'd bet that the "CIA" in the title of the other book stands for Can't Imagine Anyone (in the CIA) using this manual... (Sorry.)
This book, on the other hand goes beyond expectations. Illustrations are very clear and concise, and usually from two different perspectives. The illustrations are also coordinated with the text, so you don't have to flip back to see what the author is talking about. The section on each type of lock begins with a clear and well illustrated explanation of how that lock works internally. The author then takes you, step by step, through how to use the various tools (picks, rakes, torsion wrenches, etc.) to effectively defeat each type.
An added bonus is the inclusion of various exercises to aid the fledgling lock picker in getting the hang of each particular type of lock. (The section on combination locks is a bit daunting... I'll save that for much later!) It is apparent the author has spent a lot of time either teaching the craft, or thinking about the challenges a neophyte faces. Such tips as: "If you're getting frustrated you're more likely to over tension. Take a 15 minute break and come back to the lock".
Especially impressive was the section on the tubular type security locks, such as those on vending machines and higher quality home strong boxes. As someone who will study a manual extensively before undertaking a project (such as building a Harley) I was impressed on how the author walks you through what, at first, appears to be a fairly complicated process. After two or three read throughs I'll be ordering the simple tool described and give one of those a go!
With the aid of this excellent study of the subject just about every lock I have (legal) access to now pops open in about a minute or two, and sometimes in seconds. I can now look down the barrel of a lock and instantly tell if it is a pin type or wafer type. The seemingly random shapes and sizes of picks and rakes in my beginners pick set now make complete sense. The essential function of the torsion wrenches is now totally clear.
Also included are fascinating discussions of how foolish t.v. depictions of the picking process are, the ethics of being able to open locks without actual keys, and the growth of lock picking as a sport.
The only downside to this excellent book (which I have now read cover to cover three times) is that I now have no choice but to go back on Amazon and start buying more picks! I cannot overstate what an essential tool this book is to anyone interested in this fascinating process/sport/art.
Buy it!
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on January 12, 2016
My boss, believe it or not came into the office with a lock pick set, and I was really blown away at how fun and satisfying picking locks are. (In the office and on my own personal property of course.) So I decided to buy my own set! Then immediately after I went on amazon and purchased this book to further my knowledge! And am really glad I did.

It has detailed diagrams and visualizations throughout the book. It also has detailed information on every lock you can imagine, and also has detailed information of every type of lock pick and tension tool there is as well. Nice bold words on every page, and even if you like just looking at pictures you'd be okay to learn something just by skimming the pages.

Every time I open the book I'm quite blown away with the amount of detail knowledge I gain just from a single sit down. If I were you and looking to learn anything and everything there is about picking locks then this is the book for you.

Great Fast Shipping Too! I also have amazon prime, and I live in Michigan; I ordered on a Friday and it came Monday Morning.
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on September 21, 2016
I literally sat down after reading up to page 42 of this book and was opening up master locks in under 2 minutes and a practice lock I purchased within 2 minutes the first 3 times, shorter after. This was with zero lock picking skills. I paid attention while I read. One thing not mentioned but that worked well for me was adding a slight bounce to the tension bar, I ever so slightly increase and decrease the tension rapidly while picking and this brought me down sometimes to single pass picks, like 2-3 seconds on master locks.
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on April 11, 2016
Well written with lots of photos. I got this to send my college age kid who keeps locking herself out of her apartment, so she could avoid having to pay a locksmith every other week by keeping a set of picks conveniently stashed somewhere nearby in a neighborhood where a key would be found - and used.

I wound up keeping this copy for myself and sending her a second one. I love locks and picking them for fun. The apple didn't fall too far from the tree - I learned to pick locks because in college I kept locking myself out of my dorm room (the door automatically locked when it closed) and finally got a set of picks made to fit in a wallet - which I carry to this day. I always had the picks even if I managed to forget my keys since I kept them taped to my ID card.

The book includes an intriguing discussion of historical locks and diagrams of them, as well as information on how those locks would be picked. There's a section for those weird round locks like on Coke machines and how to pick them. I would never have even thought about that. There's also a section on high security locks which caused me to re-evaluate the locks on my home -- and replace them with more secure locks, ha ha.

Part of what fascinates me about locks is all the tiny mechanisms and the physics involved. We see locks all the time and don't even think about the ingenuity behind these little machines. Getting an inside look at the mechanics involved is but one way to appreciate human intelligence and marvel at the things our brains think of, both how to lock stuff up as well as our innate curiosity (or simply criminal intent).
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on June 8, 2016
I am an amateur but needed to pick the locks on so e arcade games. I was able to pick basic 5-pin locks within an hour. I still cannot pick my front door but this book is the right information delivered in the correct manner.
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on March 19, 2017
I always wanted to be a cat burglar, unfortunately I am a tub of lard so my cat burglar days are just a fantasy. I figured I could get a book on lock picking and just burgle tool sheds and locked dumpsters. Im more of a hippo burglar instead of a cat burglar. Great book I think I really could turn this into a side business, or at least know how to open locks and impress the ladies.
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on May 7, 2017
A nice surprise to find an author that is clear, concise, and simply an excellent writer.
The book is exceptional (not dry/boring) for a non-fiction. Good way to learn a new skill.
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on March 25, 2016
A good book. Not a whole lot of new information if you scour the web and video sites but having the information in one place is handy. For the beginner, I'd recommend this book because the illustrations show the inner workings of the lock and the wide variety of locks discussed. I bought this book because a friend of mine has Practical Lock Picking and we wanted to compare the two books. Of the two, my 14 year old daughter and I like this on better.
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on June 5, 2014
To pick a lock you need to know how they work. This book tells you all about how locks work.
With this book and a Qwik Pick (also sold on Amazon), you will be opening all the locks in your house in a couple of days.
I work in a large complex with hundreds of secretaries, someone always forgets their keys. Now I don,t need to break a lock to open it. Good skill to have. I would never have guessed it was so easy.
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on February 7, 2016
Explains what to do really well if you know nothing and are just starting out lock-picking. It has a lot of pictures because the concepts it is explaining are hard to explain but much easier to understand when you see it. Jut remember that this is a skill you will get by doing. A cutaway lock will help you in the very beginning so you can see what is going on, but you should move past it pretty quickly.
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