Lockpicking, or Locksport isn’t the most expensive habit to start up. Often times, you have locks laying around (old computers have them, so do old file cabinets, etc). If you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease, you can avoid the expensive tools. Buy a few of the common picks, and tension wrenches, and then use fine sandpaper and polish to make them as smooth as you can. Makes a huge difference when it comes to feeling the lock internals.
Where is the cheapest place to get tools?
AutoZone? Yes… Or any other auto parts store. You see, most of the ones that have modernized now install some components for free. Bulbs, batteries, as well as windshield wipers.
But those have nothing to do with lock picks!
You haven’t looked into the image close enough. If you had, you’d see this:
I said cheap, when I really meant to say “Free”
Now — if you’re as unlucky as I was, you’ll find one of these winter wiper blades. These have a large blade of steel inside. If you’re lucky, the rubber will not be glued to it and you’ll be able to use it. In this case, rubber was glued to it, so I simply discarded it.
I totally lucked out though, I found some normal summer blades (if you’re in the South, this is all you’ll have). These usually have two inserts (Which is why folks like LockPickingLawyer call them “Wiper Inserts”).
It really helps to carry a Leatherman or similar… The ends are barbs, so you’ll want to ease them out of the metal carrier frame, then tear the rubber wiper off the metal backing. At that point -carefully- remove the two metal inserts. This is spring steel, and is quite rigid.
Make sure to do the right thing and toss the wipers back in the can. Sometimes you’ll find wipers in the grass from other folks who were too lazy to toss ’em out. These can be harvested too.
The four silver strips on the bottom are the summer blade inserts, the 2nd from the top is a winter insert (that would work pretty well for picks and rakes), and finally, the glued-on wiper blade on the top. That one is trash unless you’re really hard up.
With a small section of a summer blade, I made a tension wrench. I doubled it up which resulted in ~0.068″ thickness on the insert portion. Needless to say, this isn’t fitting in many locks so was really a waste. The summer blades I grabbed were 0.110″ by 0.030″, but YMMV.
Others will want to make actual picks and rakes out of this. I already have a pick set, so that would have been useless for me. If you decide you do, you can get nice scalable vectors from GitHub (https://github.com/redditlockpicks/designs).
If you’re getting into locksport — check out my new project: https://keyoftheweek.com — Each week there will be a challenge where you use images of keys to figure out the type of key, and then decode the bitting order for points. Meaningless internet points, but points nonetheless.