The items you carry with you every day are a reflection of your expectations for life. You expect to receive text messages, to get on the bus or drive your car, to unlock doors and use your debit card.
But what about when things don’t go the way you expect?
This is why we carry other stuff too- stuff like a pocket knife, a mini flashlight, maybe a multi tool. Just in case. Now consider all the times you have the potential to get locked out during the day: your car, a gym locker, your backyard tool shed, your own front door. With the number of locking doors surrounding us every day and our own human capacity for failure, not to mention the potential for accidents outside of our control, it’s surprising that more of us aren’t carrying a small lockpick set.
At a bare minimum, a useful lockpick set will include a rake, a pick, and a tension wrench.
While you can pick a lock pin-by-pin with just a hook or other pick, a rake is especially useful for beginners in emergencies. As evidenced by the name, this tool is literally raked along the pins to bump them up into their appropriate place.
There are a wide variety of picks- your set should have something like a half-diamond or a hook pick, meant to individually bump the pins into place. With practice you’ll be able to interpret the feedback you feel in your hand through the pick to tell you whether the pin is in place or not.
A tension wrench is necessary because it maintains tension on the lock, which is what enables you to set the pins and turn the lock once you’ve picked it successfully. Without a tension wrench, picking a lock is impossible.
Lockpicks are not just for locksmiths and criminals. You’ll want to check the laws in your region before you make a purchase, but in most cases it’s perfectly legal for you to own the means to open any lock that you own in an emergency when you don’t have a key. This is a perfectly reasonable right that has much less to do with insidious intent than it does wishing to be prepared for emergency situations.
Carrying a set of lock picks gives you peace of mind that if you need it, you’ll have a backup plan in place. It also makes you available to help others in need at a moment’s notice. Being prepared is far preferable over helplessness.
Some lockpick sets are easy to carry on your person every day without a second thought. So bulk or inconvenience becomes a non-issue.
Lockpicking is a skill worth learning, especially if you’re interested in being prepared for any emergency in an urban environment. Honing the skill can take a lifetime, but there are tons of resources available online to get you started. Check out our list of the top 20 resources for lockpicking beginners.
We also created a brief tutorial to get you started picking locks. Read through it, understand the various parts at play, and then get your hands on a set and start building muscle memory.
Most lockpick sets are bulky, too big, or otherwise hard to carry on your person, with more picks than you’ll ever need for a simple pin tumbler lock. The key to success is to find a lockpick set that doesn’t take up much extra space and includes only what you’ll need in an emergency.
To that end, the best way to incorporate something seamlessly into your EDC is to include it as part of something you already carry- in your wallet or on your keyring or belt loop.
When we discovered that there weren’t any lockpick sets on the market that were small and light enough to carry every day, we made one.
The PicoPick is TIHK's answer to bulky lockpick sets that are hard to comfortably carry on your person. The matte black case is inconspicuous and easy to forget about on your keychain... until you need it.
The smallest lock pick set on the market, the PicoPick is just over 2 inches long, under half an inch wide and a quarter of an inch thick. Don't let the unassuming size fool you... it has everything you need to pick most tumbler locks in an emergency situation.
In addition to a w-rake and half-diamond, the PicoPick set includes a removable tensioner, all stainless steel.
Last Updated: October 10, 2017
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