A Full List of Different Types of Locks and How to Pick Them

different types of locks and how to pick them

In this modern age, locks are an absolute necessity of our daily life. We use these things to protect our valuables. Although locks have been there for more than 6,000 years.

However, locks have upgraded a lot since then and so have the securing manners of apartments and homes. Now there are various types of locks available on the market.

So, if you want to know more about the different types of locks and how to pick them, then you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll briefly talk about 5 different locks and how you can pick them. So, without further delay, let’s start.

5 Different Types of Locks and How to Pick Them

There are various locks available in the market. Now if you think that you use one pick for all kinds of locks, well, you’re wrong. So, let’s go through the different kinds of locks one-by-one.

1.  Pin Cylinder Locks

Pin cylinder locks are one of the oldest locking mechanisms available. It has a simple working mechanism.

You need to rotate the central core or plug to open the lock. A series of pins prevent the central core from turning.

You see, the pins are put in pairs, the driver pin(top), and the key pin(bottom). So, where you insert the correct key, the pairs of pins line up with the edge of the central core.

Finally, it makes the plug turn and the lock is opened. These paired lines are called the ‘Shear Line’.

How to Pick Pin Cylinder Locks?

For picking a pin cylinder lock, you need to get the paired pins in a line. As pin cylinder locks are widely used all over the world, there are lots of tools and techniques for picking them.

Although, there are mainly two techniques-

●     Single Pin Picking

You have to pick each of the pins individually in the single pin picking method. Even though it takes a lot of time to learn it, it’s the most successful technique.

●     Raking

In the raking technique, you pick all the pins at the same time. If you’re a beginner, it can be the perfect technique for you.

2.  Lever Locks

As long as home or apartment locks are concerned, the lever locks are the most used kind after pin locks. A lever lock has a series of levers that need to be pushed at the right height to get unlocked.

The keys of this lock are teethed. These teeth simultaneously push the levers into the right position and unlock the lock.

How to Pick Lever Locks?

Simply put, you may face two kinds of situations when you unlock a lever lock. You’ll either get a simple mechanism with some bent wires or you’ll need a special tool for the sake of setting up the lock.

Some of the examples are:

  • Multi-Gauge Curtain Lock Pick
  • 2 in 1 Lever lock pick

However, you’ll need specific tools if you have to pick a more advanced lever lock.

3.  Wafer Locks

Wafer locks are not that popular compared to pin locks and lever locks. But don’t think that people aren’t using them. You see, these locks are used in many cars.

Although, you may have seen them on drawers, some padlocks, and lockers.

Wafer locks and pin locks work quite similarly. It has a series of flat wafers in place, preventing the lock from unlocking unless you insert the right key.

However, each of the wafers inside the lock is an individual part. Whereas in pin locks, each of the pins has two or more parts.

How to Pick Wafer Locks?

As wafer locks and pin locks are quite similar, you can use the same pick sets for them. So, you can call it Single Wafer Picking like the Single Pin Picking.

However, they are some specific tools for wafer locks. They have both functions of the tension tool and the raking tool.

Here are some examples:

  • Lock Jigglers
  • Wafer Rakes

Although, there are some advanced tools that are specifically made for car locks.

4.  Warded Locks

Warded locks have been around since ancient Rome. You won’t see these locks nowadays. They’re mostly used on historic estates to maintain their original look.

You see, warded locks are not really locked. You’ll be able to unlock the mechanism if you can somehow access the back of the lock. This is the main reason people stopped using these locks.

 How to Pick Warded Locks?

The metal barriers or wards are what stops someone to get to the back of the lock. You see, other locks have pins or wafers whereas a warded lock only has barriers that won’t let you access the turning mechanism.

So, removing everything but the turner from the key will let you easily unlock the mechanism.

Even though most warded locks can be picked with some bent wire, there is a tool available. A warded lock pick will let you pick any warded lock quite easily.

5.  Disc Detainer Locks

In 1907, disc detainer locks were invented by Emil Henriksson. Later on, he started manufacturing the locks under the brand name Abloy.

Disc detainer locks have rotating discs, rotating like tumblers with the right key. Moreover, it won’t unlock unless all the slots have been aligned.

How to Pick Disc Detainer Locks?

Disc detainer locks don’t use springs, making them almost immune to water, salt, or sand. Genuine Abloy disc detainer locks are still better than most of the locks available in the market.

However, a lot of cheap copies have filled up the market. You can easily pick these cheap products with some inexpensive tools.


Well, that’s all we had to say about different types of locks and how to pick them. However, there are many other types of locks available, starting from pocket locks, pad locks, multi-point locking systems, and so on that you can go and pick from.

In simpler terms, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, it’s a great way to start your journey. So before wrapping up, we have a piece of advice for you. When you start to learn about lock picking, begin with pin locks.

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