Lock Picking - An Emerging Hobby
By Matt Peoples
The hobby of lock picking suffers from a bad reputation. People always think "why would you
want to learn to pick locks, to break in to places?" In my years as an amateur locksmith, I have
never heard of anyone getting arrested or accused of using their skills for illegal activity.
Burglars are not going to take the time to pick a lock when they could much more simply throw
a brick through a window - have you ever heard of a burglar picking a lock? Hobby pickers see it
as an art form, as a puzzle. Except unlike most puzzles which you solve with your eye, this
puzzle you solve by feeling and listening.
Keys open locks by setting pins at a predetermined location, such that the pins no longer block
the plug from rotating. This art is in feeling where the pins are, and where they need to be in
order for the lock to spin and open. I won't get into the details of how locks work here, see my
site below. It's really quite a satisfying feeling when you are successful, like when you finish
assembling a jigsaw puzzle or figure out the Rubik's cube.
Lock picking has seen a recent trend towards popularity in the past few years. There is even an
organization, Lock sport international, which holds gatherings for enthusiasts. Much of this has
been fueled by the internet, most people don't even consider it as a hobby until they stumble
across it on the internet. It is also quite popular with so-called "hackers", as bypassing the
security of a digital network is very similar in principal to opening a physical lock.
Don't let the bad reputation of lock picking deter you from giving it a chance if you're looking
for a new hobby. I am part of their community, and it is 100% good people.