Locksmith Info

Best Locksmith Tools For Lockpicking For Car Locksmiths

Best Locksmith Tools for car

Best Locksmith Tools For Car Locksmiths – Automotive lock picks are as diverse as the variety of car locks that we have today. There are considerations to keep in check. You need to have a deep understanding of cars and the type of lock you are to pick before you can get the right tools for the job at hand. When talking about car locks, door lock cylinders and trucks have always been the main discourse.

Car ignition cylinders on the other hand have a history of being too difficult to maneuver because of the extra security that has been put in place in a bid to reduce the alarming rate of car theft. However, the same amount of attention is not being paid to the exterior locks.

These locks are most often than not in varying type with some types being recurrent than the others. Top of the list of the most common lock types are the wafer locks and the slider locks and these culprits are the reason why bump keys can never be used to gain entrance into cars during a car lockout intervention. Different locks styles have been experimented with in the past, some manufacturers like Ford and Jaguar have been known to use disk detainer locks in their early years while at the invent of vehicles, some cars have been known to come equipped with pin tumbler locks.

The boom in the production of locks has forced some manufacturers with only profit making as their driving force to substitute quality for quantity and this is a heads up for automotive industries whose primary service is to provide car security as there are many ways to manipulate the locks on cars without necessarily tampering with the cylinder.

The focus for car security has totally moved away from car locks to alarms and other electronic features. As an automotive locksmith, there are some basic tools that are certainly worth having on your lock pick set. Depending on the kind of locksmith you are, whether a hobbyist or a professional and the type of car locks you deal with, but, as a locksmith professional, you should know how to use just about every tool that’s on the market. This will go a long way in boosting you through the ranks of professional locksmiths.

As a professional, you only get to use the tools you feel comfortable working with whenever you are on the field with no one to question you about your choice of tools because at the end, what matters is the result. To help eliminate the question of, what tools to get as an automotive locksmith, here is a list of  the best locksmith tools for lockpicking picking for cars;

1. Single Pin Picks

The most resourceful locksmithing tool you can have at your disposal are the standard lock picks which helps with the individual movement of every component in the lock. One of the best tools for single pin picking is a standard hook as it can be used for the movement of both the wafer and the slider lock and peradventure you run into cars with the classic lock type, a hook is a great tool to have handy.

When it comes to picking disk detainer locks, there are standalone tools that are specifically made for picking these locks. Being that, the components of a disk detainer lock are being rotated as against elevation that’s common with other types of lock, it is of great advantage to have a tool that helps with simple controlled rotation. The decision as to whether to purchase disk detainer picks or decoder tools that are specially made for car locks is totally yours to make.

The technique to maneuver the different kind of locks that we have sure differs but the backbone of all this and the sole requirement for a lock to be successfully picked is to have a tool that gives you an edge by making you feel all the components that’s in the lock and in the end, whether it’s a disk, slider, wafer or pin lock, all of that won’t matter as you already have a good start by picking the right tool and as such, picking the lock should not in any way be an inconvenience. The “feel” basis of car lock picking allows for you to be able to keep every component in place until every last one of them is binding, once everything is in place, the lock will be successfully picked without much hassle.

2. Decoders

The most best locksmith tools and the popular car lock decoders are for wafer locks and disk detaining locks as referenced in the section above. Decoders are tools with a great sense of adaptability as to finding where the “biting” of the working key is situated.

These tools have been proven to be a reliable ally when under professional pressure to get a job done in the shortest time possible, its reliability is further enhanced by consistency in training and the picking method being used. The ability to be able to decode the lock is one of utmost importance when getting the key code for the car isn’t an option. Being unable to get the key code of a car happens for a variety of reasons with equipment malfunction; server downtime and door lock cylinder change as some of the many reasons for this occurrence.

If you happen to be a lock picker who also doubles as a collector, having a decoder might be of interest to you as when the lock of a car gets removed with no solution in sight as to how to get the key code, being able to decode the lock will help with the key cutting if you have the right equipment at hand. It is important to know how the decoder works on the lock you are working with as the reading varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

3. Key Profile Picks

Right under this section, we will highlight the different best locksmith pick tools for car locks starting with the most popular of them all, the jiggle keys. These tools are also referred to as the jigglers and several other nicknames. Jiggler key sets works on selected cars with wafer locks. They have been known to help with manipulating motorcycle security and also igniting some motorcycles as well as some vehicles but,  this is not in any way advisable as these picks have a reputation of ruining locks in no time.

Rocker picks are in every way similar to the jiggle keys safe for the fact that jigglers tend to use the same profile for almost all of their products while rocker picks on the other hand have a wide variety of profiles. Rockers also tend to make use of thicker users as oppose what’s found on jigglers, this helps to make lock picking easier as there is no need to keep tension tool as an addition as it is with jigglers. On a side not, jigglers do have their own tension, but relying on it shortens the lifespan of the tool, so, it is better to use with a tension wrench.

Moving on, we have the tryout keys, there is nothing more to them, they are just keys that works with an alter principle as against the jigglers and the rockers which hints you on how they are meant to be used while in the key way, the tryout keys on the other hand are just inserted into the keyway and turned. These keys are mostly being used as though they are the correct keys for the lock and when they fail to get the lock picked, you just have to fall back on the earlier mentioned tools.

4. Tension Tools

These are a bit different from the conventional tension tools as they are specifically made for car locks. They are somewhat like forceps and they sit well in the keyway using an outward spring tension to secure the lock from both the top and the bottom of the keyway. These tools are used because coming across a warding with a curve is a rarity on automotive locks. The locks are mostly open with the probability of having a string which gets moved out of place by the tension tool in the keyway.

Having a spare tension tool while working with profile pick as it is with single picking tools and some decoder tools. Not applying a tension while picking a lock is an effort towards futility as the lock most likely won’t give way. So, if your tool does not come equipped with a tension tool, there is need to get a tensioning device.

Just to be clear, you do not have to compulsorily make use of an automotive tension wrench, you can as well make use of any tension wrench that will fit in the keyway. Due to the size of the automotive keyways, to get the needed grip to apply torque to the cylinder, one needs to acquire an automotive tension tool to this effect. An “L” bent tension wrench should be considered over a pry bar as the girth of the former sits well in the keyway.

5. Probe Tools

With probe tools, there is an endless possibility as to getting a lock picked. Using these best locksmith tools alongside the wedge will go a long way in helping ease the tension of not getting the lock opened on time. The wedge comes in handy for creating the needed space for the probing tools to be inserted and used in manipulating the lock. With the wedge in use, most cars can be opened with a straight rod or any other iron bar with a solid tip but, not many cars can be unlocked in the same way as new models have improved on this vulnerability.

In America especially, most of their car brands are equipped with sliding locks and unlock buttons that are situated at the side, picking these kinds of locks is not an impossibility, it only requires you to have a probe equipped with a hook. The probe hook has also been proven to be of help in cases where car keys are locked inside and the batteries are there to execute any electronic related command.  A hook or lasso type tool are also great for post locks as grabbing an upright lock requires you to just pull it up in order to unlock the vehicle.

Cloth hangers and sticks can also be used as makeshift probe tools in times of there need, there are a few things to keep in mind though, you need to ensure whatever material you are sticking with as your makeshift probe tool is strong enough to manipulate the lock. If it is a stick, you should aim to not get it broken and if it is a hanger, you should try as much as possible to prevent it from getting bent. The wire hanger can be used in a variety of ways, the ends can be twisted together to give it a stronger form to qualify it for the job at hand, you u can bend it to your liking in accordance to the requirement of the car you are working on and depending on the tightness of the doorway, wire hangers also come in handy as a wedge.

Always ensure that the opening you created with the wedge is large enough to conveniently allow the passage of your probing tools as doing otherwise can bring your tools in contact with the body of the automobile thereby causing a scratch on the paint job. To avoid this, it is better advised to make just the opening that’s right for your tools as making one too big can damage the window glass or the frame of the door.

For beginners on the field, the ideal size of the diameter you should create with your wedge tool should not be any larger than the size of a pen in diameter and it is of importance to get this done as soon as possible because maintaining the torque for so long can have devastating effects on the car.

Closed Doorway Tools

In a gathering of beginner locksmiths, when the discussion about automotive locksmithing comes on, Slim Jim is probably the first tool that pops on the mind of half of the people present at the discussion. This tool is most likely the number one tool for closed doorway lock picking which loosely translates to trying to gain access to a car whose doorway is closed all through the process until its successfully picked.

To use this tool effectively, experts have advised that, it should be placed between the window glass and the weather stripping of the door. Slim Jims are most effective on upright locks with a few exceptions to these types of lock it cannot gain access to. The usage of this tool to successfully pick a lock relies solely on finesse.

Once a tool is inserted on the inside of a door, the cable connections therein can get damaged if the picker is not being extra careful. The slim Jim on the other hand is moved along the path of the upright lock until it gets close enough to pull it up and get it unlocked. In some older cars, using the slim jim is even easier as all you have to do to get the car unlocked is to keep pressing the keyhole to the car as it is with the 78 Firebird.

There is no laid down rule guarding the usage of the slim jim, but, its better to go along with the already established fact about it producing better results with the upward pull method instead of snooping around trying to carry out some more experiments that might in the end leave you with a damaged car.

There are several other closed doorway tools that works similarly to the slim jim by taking advantage of the space between the window glass and the weather strip, what sets them apart, is the fact that, most of the other tools rely on popping up on the other side of the glass and once these tools gets to the other side, they will be shaped according to the current need.

The Atobuster tool is one of the many talked about alternative to the slim jim as it works on side door and sliding door locks. This tool is commonly used to gain entrance to cars manufactured in the US whereby there is another dedicated tool for picking cars made in Japan. Japan’s style of door lock has always been the thumb locks that are located very close to the arm rest. A thumb lock needs a tool that is going to keep it pressed down while a sliding lock on the other hand needs a tool that clings to the side of the door.

These tools are more specialized because they are shaped in a way that provides easy passage beneath the window. Trying to alter the shape of these tools can cause havoc as they might end up tampering with wires or prevent the tool from coming back up which is really bad for business. Constant practice with these tools enhances professional use that ensures no harm is done to the car.


This is undoubtedly the least common method for automotive reentry because of the ever evolving nature of car keyways. With that out of the way, if you do have an older car, you might wanna take a look at this. Standard single picking and raking have always been an option but, when it comes to cars, there are a broader alternative. Car manufacturers have discarded the use of pin and tumbler locks for wafer locks which is far easier to pick. The main difference between wafer locks and the out-of-style pin and tumbler locks is the components, the key will move wafers instead of pin as is found in the pin and tumbler locks.

As a result of the wafers not moving in same direction, the lock can be raked in minutes by moving it up and down the keyway or with the use of a tryout key, these keys act similarly to a rake but their movement is restricted to the downward and upward only and if one refuses to get the lock open, you keep on trying with the others until the desired result is achieved. The only downside to picking is how car keys have evolved over the years and the newer models now have chips that send a signal to the car thereby preventing cloning of keys.

Until the car has been successfully pried open, there is no other way a locksmith can access the CPU that’s on board in order to program a new transponder key or alter the car’s receiver. Picking the lock in some way acts mimics having a fake key inserted into the key way and the new technology that’s already in place prevents this kind of entry. Most of the other reentry methods have been rendered useless, well, not totally useless if you have the transponder in the actual key. Proximity is another factor, this comes into play when the key is locked in the car and the cloned transponder key is not working as it should because the signal needs to be exact for it to work.

Even when you are super confident in your knowledge about cars, there’s the need to look inward and access your skill set when it comes to automotive locksmithing and whether you are in the field as a hobbyist or as a professional will shape your decision as to where exactly to start tackling the many issues that might arise from being an automotive locksmith.

Once you are certain about the type of lock you want to pick, the only other requirement is to have the right tools handy and with all of these put in check, you will have no problem with manipulating car locks. Be sure you are doing this automotive lock-picking of a thing with the proper license that’s required of you and good-luck as you ruminate on your choice of tools for your next automotive lock picking set.


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