4 Jobs That Use Lock Picking

Posted by Bill Best on Jul 26th 2023

While lock-picking is a misunderstood art and is often associated with criminal activity, most individuals with lock-picking skills have no malicious intent and a legitimate professional need.

Learning to pick a lock is not a simple task, often requiring years of specialized training and practice through trial and error to fully master. Many careers and occupations involve lock-picking, and a competent locksmith is an asset to almost any business or organization. Here are four of the trades most commonly associated with lock-picking.

1) Locksmiths

When people get locked out of their homes or cars, the first person they call is usually a locksmith. In every community, locksmiths use several tools and years of experience to help customers get back into their homes or inside their cars. They usually have 24-hour phone lines or mobile apps that help people who find themselves locked out.

In addition to opening locks for customers, locksmiths can also install and repair locks of all types. Customers often hire them to install or repair locks for a variety of settings, including:

  • Cars
  • Homes
  • Apartments
  • Office buildings
  • Security facilities
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Banks
  • Warehouses
  • Schools

How Locksmiths Use Bump Keys

Locksmiths use various tools to accomplish their tasks. For homes with cylindrical locks, one of the tools most commonly used by locksmiths is a bump key. Bump keys are specially-shaped keys designed to manipulate a locking mechanism into opening even if the correct key is unavailable.

After inserting it into the key slot, a locksmith will hit the back of the key with their hand or a hard object while turning it. The bump key causes the tumbler pins inside to jump out of the way, making it possible to turn the key all the way and unlock the mechanism.

Other Lock-Picking Tools Used by Locksmiths

Another pair of tools that locksmiths commonly use is the lock-picking set and the tension wrench. The locksmith places the tension wrench in the lock’s key slot and applies rotational pressure in the key’s turning direction. Simultaneously, the locksmith uses the tools in a lock-picking set to manipulate the pins until access is granted.

The lock pick method takes considerably more practice and expertise than a bump key. However, there are some alternatives, such as the lock-pick gun. A lock-pick gun simplifies the lock-picking process by consolidating the set and wrench into one device. Using a lock pick gun, locksmiths insert the pick end into the key slot and pull the trigger. Typically, the lock can be unlocked with just a few trigger pulls.

2) Property Managers

From broken heating systems to leaky refrigerators, property managers face an array of issues they are responsible for fixing. On occasion, property managers are tasked with fixing issues related to their properties’ doors and locks.

Property managers need to quickly and easily get into any area on the properties they manage. They often have to enter residences to fix broken stoves, spray for bugs, or conduct safety checks. Without the ability to enter properties as needed, managers are restrained to the schedules of their occupants, significantly decreasing productivity.

As a result, many property managers carry tools like a pocket knife-style folding lock pick set. These devices can be easily carried in a pocket and allow property managers access to all of the tools they need wherever they are

3)Building Maintenance Professionals

Crews working as maintenance professionals in residential and commercial buildings perform many of the same tasks as property managers. For example, school custodians must be able to access each room in a building to perform maintenance and repairs, as do the custodians working in various other settings, like healthcare facilities.

Maintenance professionals must quickly access various units, rooms, or common areas. While they don’t always have the keys corresponding to every lock on their way, the right combination of tools and skills allows them to access every zone and area they need to enter.

For these reasons, most maintenance professionals use expansive lock-picking kits, such as this 20-piece lock-pick set. The set contains 14 lock picks, 6 tension wrenches of different dimensions, and a broken key removal tool. By owning such an expansive kit, maintenance professionals can be confident that they can access any necessary location at any time.

4) First Responders

First responder personnel include police officers, emergency medical technicians (EMT), fire rescue teams and other emergency staff. As part of their duties, they must quickly get in and out of vehicles, rooms, homes, apartments, or buildings. Many of these emergencies carry life-threatening consequences. That’s why first responders must be capable of using lock-picking tools quickly and effectively.

When time is of the essence, a locked door can be a massive roadblock in successfully handling an emergency. As a result, these individuals must be able to get through any door they encounter.

Even for an experienced professional locksmith, the traditional lock-picking process takes a great deal of time and often requires a stable environment, not to mention the years of experience needed to pick locks on demand successfully. As a result, many first responders carry bump keys, which have a much shorter learning curve, can be successfully deployed in seconds, and do not damage the lock itself.

However, since each bump key is designed for only one lock manufacturer (e.g., Kwikset bump keys only work on Kwikset locks), a single bump key would be of minimal use to a first-responder.

Consequently, many first responders carry comprehensive premium bump key sets. This set contains 40 unique bump keys, capable of unlocking Kwikset, Schlage, Master, Dexter, Yale (and Yale Disc), Lockwood, BEST, and many other types of locks. There are even bump keys for residential and padlocks, so first responders can access any building or room they encounter.

Choosing Professional Locksmithing Tools

For any profession involving lock picking, it is vital to choose the right locksmithing tools for the task. To ensure you’re prepared for your job, follow these tips:

  • Understand Your Responsibilities

It is essential to understand your position to address lock-related issues adequately. For example, a hospital maintenance professional will not need residential bump keys since they will not be required to enter residential homes.

However, first responders will need to prioritize these tools, as they often encounter issues in residential areas. Understanding your position will help you choose the right tools for the job.

  • Keep Multiple Locksmithing Tools

For many careers, owning various locksmithing tools is a good idea. Each lock-picking tool is suited for a particular situation, making it crucial to carry as many types as possible.

For example, if you have access to bump key sets but no traditional lock-picking kits, you will only be able to open the locks for which each bump key is designed. If you find a lock made by a different manufacturer than your bump keys, you may not be able to pick it.

  • Practice with Your Tools

While having access to the right locksmithing tools is crucial, it is equally essential to be as familiar with them as possible. Even simpler lock-picking devices, such as bump keys or lock-pick guns, require practice.

If lock-picking is an essential part of your occupation, especially if you need to use them quickly, you must practice using them as often as possible. Don’t hesitate to spend enough time learning each new tool and practice using them regularly on training locks. With a few hours of exercise per week, you’ll become proficient in using most lock-picking tools in just a few months.

Get High-Quality Locksmithing Tools at Zero Day Gear

Whether you work as a locksmith, property manager, maintenance professional, first responder, or are simply a hobbyist, you need reliable, durable lockpicking equipment every day.

Zero Day Gear offers a variety of the best locksmithing equipment, tools, and bump-key sets made by the most respected manufacturers in the industry, such as SouthOrd, Brockhage, Jetto, Fisher Industries, and GOSO. We guarantee shipping within one business day, ensuring you receive high-quality lock-picking and locksmithing tools as quickly as possible.

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