Top positive review
182 people found this helpful
Very thorough. Excellent illustrations.
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.