I locked myself out of my house the other day... D'oh! It would've been easy enough to break a window, but hey it's my own home. So I decided to try and pick my way in. I used a pair of garden shears to cut up a hose clamp which I used as a pick and tension wrench. Even though it was a very crude piece of work, it did the job!

So I decided to polish my impromptu lock picks into something more presentable. Now that I'm not locked out of my home, I was able to use these things to make a simple lock pick and tension wrench:

Hose clamp
Safety gear

Don't have a Dremel? Like I said, I made picks using rusty garden shears, so I'm sure you can be resourceful, too.

I've entered this into the Spy Contest. These may not be the most sophisticated lock picks, but a spy must be ever resourceful when a situation becomes dire (like locking oneself out of one's own home...)

This is just an example of how I made some simple lock picks. There are many different designs and materials out there. I hope this Instructable inspires you to make something for fun in the way you want, not necessarily copy what I did here. And of course, use lock picks for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy!

Step 1: Prep the hose clamp

I chose to use a hose clamp to make these lock picks for a few reasons. Hose clamps are made from very thin and rigid steel, which is ideal for picks, and the slotted part of the band can be easily cut with a Dremel or even good quality hand tools. Hose clamps are also inexpensive and easy to find at hardware stores. And perhaps most importantly, it's what I found lying around in my backyard the first time!

Begin by completely unscrewing the hose clamp and laying it flat as shown in the second photo.
Nice 'structable, and congrats on your success first time in. <br>Just goes to show that locks are only for keeping honest people honest...
is it true that a good dead lock can't be picked because the bolt is to heavy or hard to move with the pick? I heard that once but that doesn't sound very true after reading about lock-picking.
An actual DEADLOCK mechanism can't really be picked from the outside without doing quite noticable damage to the door and lock. This is due to the DEADLOCKING mechanism being contained completely inside the lock and having NO interface on the outward facing side of the lock. I am oversimplifying this a bit, but not much. <br> <br>A DEADBOLT OTOH, whole 'nother story... there are very few locking mechanisms which are still yet unpicked, and they are not inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination and some are even fairly difficult to get depending on what country you live in (ubiquity varies by country due to other locks being popular in other countries.) However, to someone who is VERY well practiced and continues to practice regularly and skilled as well, most locks are not an impediment. It comes back to the old adage &quot;Locks are to keep honest people honest.&quot;
I think I need to clarify my first statement, a DEADLOCK mechanism can't be picked at all, it can be damaged so as to access it's operational parts making TONS of noise and mess, attracting LOTS of attention.
<p>deadlocks CAN be picked. The whole idea of picking a lock is to use the picks and wrench as a key. So if it opens with a key it CAN be picked I find dead locks easier than ordinary locks as the heaviness of the mechanism allows the use of less finnese</p>
<p>You are thinking of a <strong>deadbolt</strong> which of course can be picked so long as there is a lock cylinder (some are only a thumbturn on the interior and have no external cylinder or access.) A <strong>deadlock</strong>, however, is an internal mechanism which prevents the movement of the bolt and is not attached to any external mechanism(s), with the only physical interface being an actuator of some sort that is located on the interior side only. And regardless of it only being on the interior, it is just a knob, slider, button or similar, there is absolutely nothing to pick.</p>
<p>Most deadbolts i have ever tried to pick has been fairly easy assuming i have my full LP kit, a lot of american deadbolts can be pretty easily bi passed which a pro would try first. Bi passing is quicker,easier,and more efficient</p>
<p>no any lock can be picked, although it takes practice and patience locks with mushroom pins are way harder to pick. Also someone mentioned bump keys in an above comment. Bump keys take A LOT of practice and are very loud. A five pound hammer would be quicker and one single loud thump attracts way less attention. Thieves are thieves because they are lazy. Picking a lock takes work.</p>
No, that's not true.
I like the Sugru handles, too, but you didn't have Sugru with the garden shears for the first ones you made, did you?
No, I didn't - after scraping my hands up quite a bit I found a rag and wrapped it around the pick and wrench.
I'm curious... How much does the segru dampen feedback from the pin stacks?
is it true that a good dead lock can't be picked because the bolt is to heavy or hard to move with the pick? I heard that once but that doesn't sound very true after reading about lock-picking.
Like Salmonella said. It can be picked. Some locks are harder than others.
<p>I'd like to point out that this is not picking, it's a variation called raking. Though it still gets the job done on most lower quality locks, if you have a fairly good lock, raking won't cut it.</p><p>Though I agree raking is a valuable skill to learn, especially to the beginner, if you're serious about lock picking you should learn to SPP (Single Pin Pick).</p>
This is a great instructable, very informative. But do be aware that just possessing these is a felony in many places. So make them, practice picking locks and have fun, but you should probably leave them at home unless you are *sure* it is OK to carry them with you.
Indeed, I tried to buy lock picks at a local locksmith, but as it turns out one needs to have a locksmith permit to own lock picks... which makes a lot of sense.
<p>Actually, one doesn't, usually. Unless the company is feeding you some BS about that, they're just misinformed.</p><p><a href="http://prntscr.com/6mvqdj" rel="nofollow">http://prntscr.com/6mvqdj</a></p><p><a href="http://toool.us/laws.html" rel="nofollow">http://toool.us/laws.html</a></p>
No, it really doesn't make sense. This instructable demonstrates that picks are easy to make. Therefore, restricting their sale does very little to prevent there sale. <br>
Not to mention that very few thieves bother to learn how to use such tools. There are much easier, faster ways to open locks if one doesn't care about causing damage.
INDEED! This is such a common misconception (that burglars are out picking locks.) This is patently absurd. Even if they cased the house in advance, to check out what brand of lock is on a door, there are too many variables to spend time dickering around at the front door picking a lock in view of the world... they are going to try and bypass or break a window or other non-door based entry typically.
<p>However, if it's a low-quality lock that can easily be rocked or raked, they would probably lock pick it, just so that it'd seem to the casual observer that he's just unlocking the door with a key. Also, it would make it less obvious that something were wrong for a while, giving him even more time to get away.</p>
The typical method of forcing a door lock quietly is a sheet metal screw on a draw hammer and rip the tumbler out. Takes expensive materials and manufacturing processes to make a lock proof against that. And yet, somehow, they don't go around requiring licenses for autobody repair tools...
Yeah, I was avoiding mentioning specific bypass methods such as things like makeshift nose pullers or even proper nose pullers.(That's why I just said bypass generically.) Also, it's not uncommon to try and jimmy the frame, or break glass near the door and use the thumbturn (if there is glass on or next to the door,) or any of the others mentioned above too. There are a myriad of ways to get past doors, windows, etc... it's actually fairly disturbing. Especially when one lives in the US given the typical locks used as opposed to the typical locks used in other countries.
The weakest point on just about every home door I've ever seen is the door frame. Most of them are made of wood and won't stand up to a good solid kick from a large fellow. Two kicks at best. On the bright side, $12 worth of steel and an hour and a half with a drill and a jigsaw puts them back in the realm of crawling in through a broken window...
Very true... many door frames are not even properly installed, or are just not strong enough. A little bit of reinforcing goes a very long way.
Nice job on the improvisation BTW... As far as needing a permit/license that varies greatly state by state.
This is quoting Wikipedia, but my feelings on it are similar: <br> <br>**** <br>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lock_picking#Legal_status <br> <br>In the United States, laws concerning possession of lock picks vary from state to state. Generally, possession and use of lock picks is considered equivalent to the possession of a crowbar or any other tool that may or may not be used in a burglary. Illegal possession of lock picks is generally prosecuted as a felony under the category of possession of burglary tools or similar statutes. In many states, simple possession is completely legal as their statutes require proof of intent. <br> <br>In California, locksmiths must be licensed by the state. However possession by laymen may be legal there and in most states, as illegal possession must be coupled with felonious or malicious intent. This is also the case in Utah, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Washington, Washington D.C., New York, and Arizona. <br>**** <br> <br>I don't know what your definition of 'many' is, but 8 states plus a district doesn't count in my eyes as many. It's not even half, or a quarter of the states. And in those states specifically listed, it is only if you are using the tools to actually do some form of illegal activities. <br> <br>tl;dr - unless you are actually doing crimes they have no reason to go around asking people to empty their pockets and show them their papers and prove why they have what they have on them.
Well Spokehedz, I put the info there for those who might not know they can go to jail for having these in their pockets. As far as intent, if you are stopped by police, and you have no real reason to be somewhere, they will argue that your intent was to use the lock picks you have in your possession. They will ask why else would you be carrying them? <br><br>As for semantics concerning whether 8 states plus DC is &quot;many&quot; , you may be right, but you are not considering local laws and ordinances that, in addition to state laws, do make it &quot;many&quot; places. <br><br>I don't know if you have heard the old legal saw that states &quot;a person who represents themselves has a fool for a client&quot;, but I would add to that &quot;Anyone who uses Wikipedia for a legal source better be ready to serve some time, if it proves incorrect&quot;.
And your words about the laws are any more legally binding than mine, exactly how again? At least I cited a source, you just gave some anecdotal evidence and tried to pass it off as fact while wildly blowing out the proportions... There is a term for this: Spreading FUD.<br><br>Who are you going to believe more: One person's statement on Instructables, versus the editing of several dozen individuals on Wikipedia over the span of 10 years? Based on just those two parameters alone, I'm going with Wikipedia. Some of those people might be lawyers, you do not seem the type to be a lawyer--although you might be, but the odds are against you.<br><br>But whatever. You said your bit and I said mine. I'm sure that nobody cares, as I sure don't anymore because frankly you won't ever see things my way because you want to be RIGHT and that is just so amazingly important to people. So fine. Whatever. You 'win'. I'm sure you are going to be so much more happy with yourself now that you 'won'.
Wow, you can sure delude yourself! *I* want to be right? I gave people a heads up, YOU heaped your crap on me.
Veeguy was just trying to give some friendly advise and you gave him grief. Can you be anymore belligerent? And you backed up his statement. What's up with the attitude?
Be careful not to take them off your property as it is illegal to possess burglar tools in most states unless you are a licensed locksmith.
<p>If by &quot;most states&quot; you mean four states.</p><p><a href="http://prntscr.com/6mvqdj" rel="nofollow">http://prntscr.com/6mvqdj</a></p><p><a href="http://toool.us/laws.html" rel="nofollow">http://toool.us/laws.html</a></p>
Most states don't have a concept of Licensed Locksmith
I don't know about you, but 8 states and 1 district doesn't make that 'most' to me.
They are not cinder blocks any more they stopped making those 60 years ago they are now made of cement
Kudos! Great info! I would like to toss out a bit of info, on possible material that could be used, or so I have been told. Old hacksaw blades! I ran across an old tool room guy, that was collecting the old blades, when someone would come in to exchange theirs on a job site, many years ago. He was saving the old 1's to make pick sets from them,( and making a few extra $$, selling them on the job sites!). So if you happen to have some laying around in your own workshop, and have the time to fiddle around sometime, they might just come in handy someday?
<p>hacksaw blades are generally to brittle for making picks and snap if you try to bend them into a tension wrench. Just go to southord.com or if on a budget dx.com</p>
I agree, hacksaw blades are a really good material (I've uploaded an image of picks I made with one). I tried using hose clamps today, but the pick is to unstable for my taste (maybe the material differs, between different brands). Kudos though on finding a way to get into your house with stuff you had lying around! Have you tried using a plastic card first?
Feeler gauge stock works VERY well too.Honestly, if one had to fashion a pick in an emergency, yeah sure use a hose clamp... outside of that, the only time I've really seen people using hose clamps is to make specialized picks for MTL telescoping pin locks. Lots of people use and swear by hacksaw blades though. So, I'm not going to knock it.<br> <br> Here is a pick I made from starrett 666 .020&quot; feeler gauge stock with a hammered copper and patinated handles.<br> <br>
<p>can buy anything online from any state no questions </p>
One other place to get really good material for this kind of thing is an old car windshield wiper. Each of these have a really stiff stainless steel strip that keeps the rubber straight. And it is almost exactly the same size as what you get after cutting out the clamp. <br> That clamp is a really good idea though. I had never thought of that. <br>
<p>Yeah, we usually use those in Italy too (to make lock picks). Really good material for this purpose - and many others!</p>
so I've heard, though I don't have wiper blades. However, during the last rainy season I noticed that old wiper blades were piled high in the trash can outside a nearby auto parts store. Hmm....
Anyone living in a major metropolis or a place with a shopping center that uses a street sweeper to clean the lot, keep an eye out. they use spring steel bristles that are great for this sort of utility.
oh and mini-screwdriver sets work well also.
Thanks for this awesome instructable! I have loved learning about lockpicking ever since I had to call a <a href="http://www.sbs24locksmith.com" rel="nofollow">locksmith in San Francisco</a> when I was locked out of my house. It is a pretty hard skill to learn but so worth it! Thanks again!
Thanks for the 'ible! I'm restoring a vintage moped (1970s Motobecane), and the steering lock was locked in place without a key. Your instructions inspired me to make a quick set of picks out of some high-carbon steel wire. A bit of bending and hammering made a tension wrench and pick that lasted long enough for me to: <br>A) Learn how to pick on my old padlock <br>B) Unlock the steering lock and remove it <br> <br>Now the lock is at the lock smith for keying!

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