Everything you need to know about lock picking

Everything you need to know about lock picking

lock picking

What is crocheting?

Reminder on security locks

To explain more precisely what picking is, it is necessary to recall the characteristics of a barrel. Depending on the habits, the latter is also called a barrel, cylinder, or lock. A cylinder is more or less complex and can be more or less resistant to burglars. Indeed, today the most robust is the high-security cylinder. It consists of a mechanism with various pins and lines of more or less complexity.

These pins lower and raise according to your key’s different notches and holes. This mechanism is carried out in an exact order to actuate the opening of its door. Therefore, for the cylinder to open, it is necessary to align all the pins correctly while maintaining rotary pressure.

In short, it’s far from child’s play, but when the technique is mastered on an entry-level cylinder, it can be done very quickly.

Definition of cylinder picking

Picking is a lock unlocking technique that allows you to open a cylinder or padlock without the key. This method, very discreet, requires tools (hooks) and a lot of know-how. An intrusion by picking has the advantage of being discreet. It does not necessarily leave a trace, unlike drilling the barrel. Using a lock after picking is therefore entirely possible. (but not always).

This technique is also one of the most used by burglars today.

Method and tools for crocheting

To be able to pick a lock, the burglar equips himself with at least 2 tools:

  1. Firstly, A tensioning tool reproduces the rotational movement the key makes in regular times.
  2. Second, A hook to drive in the pins one by one while maintaining the rotational force.

Note that picking a third-party lock without permission is illegal and punishable by law.

The pin-by-pin method manually aligns all the pins using the hook on the break line. Then, it will unlock the cylinder.

You will tell me. It looks as simple and easy as the videos on the internet show. Well, no, this technique is very complex on a “security” cylinder, especially if the one is reinforced against picking. As a result, it will be very difficult or even impossible to pick under “normal” burglary conditions.

Picking: the distinction between a standard and high-security cylinder

The picking attempt will differ depending on the cylinder, whether standard or high security. Also, it will depend on the skills of the burglar.

Picking time

It is essential to know that the more pins and lines of complexity there are in the lock, the more difficult it is to pick it, or it will take much longer. Indeed, everything will depend on the level of security of the barrel chosen.

The picking time is a few seconds on a standard cylinder with 6 pins or less and no special protection against picking. As a result, high-security cylinders with seven or more pins will necessarily be more resistant to break-ins. Indeed, they will take much longer to be crocheted.

To conclude, what must be remembered is: the higher the number of pins and lines, the greater the resistance to picking.

Are all the cylinders bookable or not?

In itself, all the cylinders can be crocheted. But beware, what is most important is the pick resistance time.

So you are probably wondering which type of cylinder to choose if they are all bookable?

Anti-pick certification

Today, there are high-security cylinders with anti-pick certification. These will allow you to protect your exits.

In addition, in addition to this certification, some of them, such as the Abus Bravus 4000 MX model, have additional picking reinforcement. Furthermore, other characteristics may be present such as anti-drilling, anti-breakage, anti-tearing, thus bringing additional complexity and security.

The A2P standard

On the other hand, specific standards, such as  A2P cylinders confer a certain level of resistance to picking. However, this does not mean that a cylinder without an A2P standard is not resistant to this intrusion technique. Indeed, the number of pins, the lines of complexity, and various characteristics (anti-picking, etc.) are good safety indicators. Some brands do not opt ​​for A2P certification, but their cylinders remain excellent. Focus mainly on security levels, pins, and lines of complexities.

Finally, you will understand even if all the cylinders can be picked. The goal is to discourage the burglar by opting for a high-security cylinder. It will cause him to abandon his intrusion action for lack of a quick result.

Distrust of lock picking demonstration videos:

These ultra-fast lock picking demonstration videos that you can find on the Internet must be interpreted with caution.

Why? You have no proof that the barrel has not been tampered with or that the pins inside it have not been damaged upstream.

The picking of certain cylinders such as those of high security is carried out and reserved for highly qualified experts carrying out this action in optimal conditions. These are, therefore, very different from those encountered during a burglary. Indeed, the time, the model, and the complexity of the action are sometimes unknown to the burglar.

Let’s take an example :

An apprentice crocheter training in his garage knows the pattern of crochet and its different specificities perfectly. While during a burglary, the burglar does not know the model. If we take the example of a Bravus cylinder, the latter has a reinforced Intellitec anti-picking technology. It means a ball position on the last pin, which supports the anti-pick security. If the burglar does not know this cylinder, he cannot guess its characteristics.


Finally, it is essential to remember that reality is very different from what happens in the movies. The burglar goes to the essentials and will not take the head with a cylinder, requiring too much time to be picked. Therefore, he will favor other exits or other faster techniques to achieve his ends.

That’s it. You now know everything about picking. Do not hesitate to share your point of view, your experience, or react to this article.

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