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Picking tiny locks. Help & Advice?

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Panoply

Newbie

Posts: 2

Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:51 am

Post Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:05 am

Picking tiny locks. Help & Advice?

I started lock picking as a hobby 6 years ago when I was laid up, seriously sick. I liked the mystique of it and came to like it - before I was out of my sick bed I could reliably open basic padlocks. I never devoted 100% of my energy to the hobby, but I can open most basic locks no problem. But.

As y'all likely know, when you fly you must use these special TSA locks to secure your luggage. We bought several for our trip and when we got back, I decided I'd try and pick the locks. I also found a tiny padlock to play with.

I ran into some problems, right away. These tiny locks won't admit a tensioner and a pick at the same time. One barely allows a pick in, and when in it allows no 'play.' I KNOW that somewhere there are super thin lock picks (this is America - if it can be sold, someone will!), I just can't find them.

Can one of you point me in the direction of some super thin picks and tensioners?

Thanks & God Bless,
Pan
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femurat

User avatar

Prolific Poster

Posts: 829

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:47 pm

Location: Italy

Post Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:10 am

Re: Picking tiny locks. Help & Advice?

You can file down regular size picks. Choose one that you don't need and try. It's quite easy. Same goes for the wrench.
Or you could buy euro or slimline picks. Keep in mind that the euro or slim version of the picks are not small enough to work with small padlocks like yours. They may need some filing too.

Cheers :)
Pictures in my old posts are gone due to a policy change by my old hosting provider. I'm working on that.
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whizdumb

User avatar

Active Member

Posts: 377

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:28 am

Location: NJ, USA

Post Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:21 pm

Re: Picking tiny locks. Help & Advice?

Panoply wrote:I started lock picking as a hobby 6 years ago when I was laid up, seriously sick. I liked the mystique of it and came to like it - before I was out of my sick bed I could reliably open basic padlocks. I never devoted 100% of my energy to the hobby, but I can open most basic locks no problem. But.

As y'all likely know, when you fly you must use these special TSA locks to secure your luggage. We bought several for our trip and when we got back, I decided I'd try and pick the locks. I also found a tiny padlock to play with.

I ran into some problems, right away. These tiny locks won't admit a tensioner and a pick at the same time. One barely allows a pick in, and when in it allows no 'play.' I KNOW that somewhere there are super thin lock picks (this is America - if it can be sold, someone will!), I just can't find them.

Can one of you point me in the direction of some super thin picks and tensioners?

Thanks & God Bless,
Pan


What kind of picks are you currently working with? And yes, small padlocks, despite their relative low security, do present an interesting challenge just in terms of manipulation. I would recommend making a special tension wrench that fits in the top of the keyway for such small locks. I have one that's invaluable when it comes to the super small locks. Also I agree with femurat, filing down of some production picks may still be necessary to achieve your goal. Let us know how it goes!

Cheers and Happy Picking,
Whizdumb
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Josephus

Familiar Face

Posts: 248

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:55 pm

Re: Picking tiny locks. Help & Advice?

I don't use tensioners on tiny locks. Gently twist the pick instead, similar to using jigglers. Be prepared for the odd feeling of leaving the pick in place as you open the lock. Front pins often trap full sized picks in place.

Or. OR. Get some metal from windshield wiper inserts and make some small picks from that while you make decent tensioners for normal sized locks.
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norwoodgolf

Familiar Face

Posts: 69

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:55 pm

Location: Arizona

Post Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:15 pm

Re: Picking tiny locks. Help & Advice?

Rytan makes mini picks for smaller key ways. They are hard to find and they are only sold to locksmiths and law enforcement.
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xcaetusx

User avatar

Newbie

Posts: 7

Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 4:29 pm

Location: Oregon

Post Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:32 pm

Re: Picking tiny locks. Help & Advice?

Depending on the tools you have, you could make your own. Many will use the metal inserts from wiper blades. You could fashion a tension wrench the same material. You could draw your design on a piece of paper, then glue it to the metal. I like to use files from hardware stores to cut out the design. You could also use a Dremel. You could also thin down an existing pick to fit, but I prefer to make them.

I use short hooks on small locks. I prefer the bottom of the keyway as well. A small tension wrench in needed. I bought the Southord PXS-14 as my first kit and it came with a small/skinny tension wrench that's perfect for the small locks.
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insatiableOne

Newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:58 am

Location: Arizona

Post Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: Picking tiny locks. Help & Advice?

Here's a little guy that i made. It is much smaller than you would think. The extreme curve helps a bunch to hold the tiny locks and still tension the lock.

Also have found that on cheaper locks using a diamond, try zipping by pushing in instead of out. SPP the rest if any. with practice can usually zip them open in one or two try's.
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