What Kind of Tools Does a Professional Locksmith Use?

Being a locksmith is not just about the know-how. It is also about having the right tools for different jobs. Being a professional locksmith with Delta Locksmith of Dallas for as long as I have, there is no tool I have not had the pleasure of using and working with. Like most professions, some tools prove to be extremely useful and more commonly used, while others remain next to useless.

Here are a couple of the tools I find most useful for completing professional locksmith tasks:

  • Tension applying tools:

    one of the basic tasks a locksmith needs is applying tension to pins. Such tools include a feather wrench, a tension wrench, and a torque wrench among others. A tension wrench for example, is very useful for holding picked pins in place until all pins have been picked. Then, it is used to turn the plug and release the lock.
    Tension tools are suitable for a variety of lock picking tasks and needs, such as picking car doors, or other types of locks. Therefore, some tension tools may vary in looks but all share the same principle. More advanced and sophisticated tension tools completely cover the lock and offer a visual and graphic display of the tension within the lock. It even illustrates how this tension changes during the lock picking process and pin handling.

  • Rake pick:

    this basic pick is a great choice for some locks while a poor one for others. It does not rely on gentle and precise lock picking proficiency, but rather on a simple technique: you insert it into the lock hole and start moving it around, hoping to pick pins as you go about it.

  • common locksmith tools

  • Half-diamond pick:

    this popular lock pick is one of the most commonly used tools. It is best suited to handle a pin without disturbing or touching any other nearby pins, or to handle a single pin that needs your attention. Half-diamond picks come in many shapes and sizes and suit many lock picking needs.

  • Broken key extractor:

    keys break within locks all the time. Used together with a half-diamond pick, a broken key extractor is used for just that – extracting broken keys from within locks. This is an extremely simple yet essential tool in every locksmith kit.

  • Short hook / long hook:

    this pick comes in several lengths and is mainly used to pick pins one at a time. It is great for feeling around the insides of a lock, learning how much tension should be applied, what is the tumblers’ configuration, and ultimately, picking the lock.

  • Double ball / Snowman pick:

    this easy to use pick comes in quite handy in many cases. Being simple and basic, almost anyone can use it by simply inserting it into the lock while applying different degrees of tension until the lock pops open.

Obviously, there are other lock picking tools available, but this short list covers the most commonly used among them.