Must have basic locksmith tools for beginner locksmiths – The right selection of tools has always been a phenomenon that plagues locksmiths who are just finding their feet in the locksmithing world and helping to put an end to this age long mystery is the main push behind putting this list of the top 10 basic locksmithing tools together.
Without further ado, have a gaze on the Must have basic locksmith tools for beginner locksmiths below;
1. Tension Wrench
This tool can either be referred to as the torque wrench or the tension tool, this is not in any way to confuse you, they both refer to the same tool; the tension wrench.
Basically, this tool was developed to deal with lock plugs by allowing for the application of torque to attain the end result of setting picked pins in placed with each set of pins giving way for the tool to reach out to the plug and give a little turn. At the end of this process of trying to manipulate the lock pins to give access to the plug, the tension tool is ultimately used to open the lock when it gains full access to the plug and it has been fully turned.
This tool is an easy spot for even a novice as it is usually characterized with its L shaped and despite the many variations of this tool, it still doesn’t make it a difficult spot in the midst of numerous tools. One of the many variations of this tool is the feather touch wrenches, they are a fairly recent advancement and unlike the other variations, these employ the use of spring in the wrench in a bid to help the user maintain a constant torque.
Brushing the claim of the feather touch wrenches manufacturers aside, some users have however insisted that, contrary to the manufacturers’ aim of wanting to help with focus and grip, the tool does the direct opposite as it reduces their control and feedback while on a job. Digging further in the world of tension tool variations, we have the tweezers-like wrench tools specifically designed for use on cars and wafer-type locks and as against the everyday tension tool, these set allows for the application of torque from both sides of the lock.
The other type of tension tool which seems to be the most common on the locksmith market are characterized with roundness and they are usually referred to as the “circular tension tools”. Just like the feature touch wrenches; this also entertains the presence of a spring system which does nothing else but to allow for a better grip on the plug.
This is usually an alternative to the standard “L” shaped tool for locksmiths whose current job is in an area where there is little to no room around the lock and the earlier mentioned type of tension wrenches would not be a fit tool for the job. For beginners who are not in the know, the tension wrench is their mostly neglected tool but, the thing is, it is hardly possible to pick a lock without this tool and as a beginner reading this, you should consider having one of these many variations if not all in your locksmith tool kit.
2. Warded lock pick
This tool manufacturer decided to go with a simplistic design and it is mainly for picking locks with wards instead of the conventional pins and wafers. This pick matches the wards fitted in the lock and also fits through the spaces left unoccupied. Its application is a no brainer as once the tool is inserted; all that is needed to open the lock is to only turn the pick. These types of locks are usually found on chests, cupboards and handcuffs and in the locksmithing world; they are one of the easiest preys as they can easily be unlocked with the right tool.
3. Pick guns
These tools are mostly used in movies as a tool to quickly force open a lock. In the locksmiths tool set, these tool comes in two different types, the manual and the electronic with the later being the most expensive one out of the duo as it is commonly made of hard steel and aluminium alloys. Putting this to work is quite easy and simple enough for anyone as you only need to pull a trigger that sends a vibration signal to the very end of the pick as tension is being applied. The manual pick gun which is used in a similar way to the electronic one with the difference being the tool snapping at the pins when the trigger is pulled, this in turn earned the manual pick gun the name “Snap Gun”.
4. Broken Key Extractor
Just as the name implies, it is a tool dedicated to not only remove broken key parts but to also do away with other obstructions in the key way of locks.
5. Framon Key Grip
There are plenty of varieties for the key grip tool, but, to be on a safer side, it is advisable to go with the framon key grip which has been vouch for by top locksmiths.
There is no doing away with this tool as it holds the key firmly in the needed location as any movement in the key might affect the effectiveness and end result of the process of lock picking.
This tool is an essential add to the locksmithing tools set especially for those who are looking into being an impressionist. The art of impressioning requires a smooth surface on the key to take the next set of impressions from time to time. When choosing the type of file to buy, it is important to make informed decisions as buying a badly made file will loosely translate to having one with a rough surface where impressions will not be registered on. With the efforts and experience(s) of locksmiths who have been in the game for long, the right type of file to get is the Swiss cut No4 which is characterized by a very clear surface which makes it even better for working.
There is a limitation to how the human eyes see tiny fragments and having a bit of light and magnification handy is definitely to your advantage. With the right type of magnifier, you will save yourself the stress of straining your eyes while trying to look of for impressioning marks which are but a fraction of a millimeter. A magnifier coupled with light is a great boost to your efficiency while on a job.
Holding lock parts in your hands while you work on them at the same time can be inconvenient and that is the more reason why as a locksmith, you should consider getting yourself a vice for holding lock parts in place while you work on them.
There are vices out there specifically designed for lock pickers to help them in the real sense of it trap the lock as tight as needed. The reason why there are special vices for locksmith is the fact that standard vices have the wrong kind of teeth, wrong shape coupled with the wrong materials like rubbers and wood causing the lock to slip occasionally.
9. Half-diamond locks pick
In the locksmithing world today, this tool is probably the most common pick as it is present in every lock pick set and it is generally used for SPP otherwise known as single pin picking but, it is not only limited to SPP, it has been known to be widely used on pin tumbler locks and basic lock raking for the disk and wafer locks.
The variety in angles of the sides on the half diamond pick allows for the picker to dictate and have a say over the finesse of his control within the lock. Each side’s angle modifications are not just there for the sake of it, they allow for different results when used for raking and single pin picking. As earlier stated, these picks are primarily designed for use on wafer locks.
These types of locks differ from the pin tumbler locks as the manufacturers did away with the usage of pins ad opted for flat wafers instead. The wafer locks, for those thinking they are the uncommon type of locks are usually found on cars glove compartment, desks, small money lock boxes and cabinets.
Just to be clear, the mere fact that half diamond lock picks are used on wafer locks does not mean they will work on vehicle doors and ignition locks that also makes use of the wafer locking system, reason being that, those are assembled differently and trying to maneuver them will require an entirely different set of skills and tools. Since time immemorial, this tool has been known to be effective when used for SPP on wafer locks and on the side, for raking pin tumblers.
10. Bump keys
This easy to get, cheap to purchase or homemade tool is usually the simplest of methods to open locks. The tool which can be made by experts by cutting a key that perfectly fits into the lock is simply “cut to its deepest cut” and its most often referred to as the “999” key.
These keys have in the past been used as a way of creating key replicas and maneuvers from the deepest cut key in the set. Bump keys operation is linked to the Newton’s Laws of motion and how momentum and energy must be preserved.
With this tool, a fair amount of practice and luck at striking and turning the key can allow for the easy opening of locks. Just like hitting snooker balls, the pins in the lock bounce apart after being strategically struck, leaving open a sheer line that allows for enough tension to turn the lock be applied. For extended knowledge, a bump key is usually characterized with low peaks and wide valleys, while many who are just venturing into the craft might see this as a design flaw, it is not, the tool’s structure aims to ensure that even under intense force, the pins can merely be impacted which brings about the tool’s misalignment with the lock key pins.
Going by the native and long standing tradition of its usage, bump keys are halfway inserted into the lock, intentionally leaving out a pin to act as a barrier between the tool and full insertion. Alternatively, with bump keys characterized with minimal movement as against the first one whose usage was described above, this is usually fully inserted into the lock, the picker then relies on the spring tension present on the pins to self-align the bump key.
Tension is then applied on the bump key to force or as it is being used in the craft, “bump” the keep into the lock further. This gesture “jars” the key pins and cause the driver pins to literally jump for millisecond giving the picker that fraction of time needed to quickly turn the plug and get the lock opened. Lock bumping skills have been built on over the years by different lock pickers and while inserting a bit of the bump key inside the lock and forcing it inward into the key-way allowing for the specially crafted bump key “teeth” transmit the bit of force from the picker to the bottom pins of the lock which in turn transfer the same amount of force to the driver pins to make the lock vulnerable seems to be the most common, many only follow the bandwagon to bump locks without really knowing how all of these works.
What goes on in the lock while being bumped can be visualized by observing how the Newton’s cradle works. The elasticity of the pin movements forces the driver pins to jump from the key pin for less than a second, the driver pins jump way higher than the cylinder present in the lock which is the sheer line of the tumbler, they are then pushed back down by the pin and pressed against the key pins they once jumped from. Though the separation does not last for a reasonable amount of time, the continuous application of force to the bump key at the moment is enough to get the cylinder turned to open the lock.