What is this all about?

After some people asked me to blog about my hobby, I finally decided to create this page. So what is it about? It's about a sport called lock picking which is concerned with non-destructive opening of locks.

I am a big fan of this sport and have a growing collection of locks, most of which I can open by now. I'm furthermore interested in different and maybe new techniques that might be helpful for this purpose.


Simply because it’s fun! I like solving problems and riddles and opening a lock requires skill, concentration and sometimes creativity. And that’s what it’s about :) Furthermore, locks themselves are often underestimated in terms of complexity. People just use them on a regular basis but some locks really have a unique and complex mode of operation which deserves to be studied. Another nice thing about lock picking is that it’s mostly an “offline” activity. I am an IT person, some people might say a “nerd” and it’s really nice to have an additional hobby that is not IT-related. Even better, with this hobby I also got interested in mechanical work, like metalworking, required to create additional tools.

What it is not about…

My hobby, the sport and this page are not about breaking into peoples houses, opening stuff that you aren’t authorized to open or any other kind of illegal activity. Lock picking as a sport and hobby is strictly about opening your own locks. Of course I’d always help a friend or neighbor who’s in trouble, but even that requires careful checking and keeping record of your activities.

Now people might be asking “Aren’t you encouraging/teaching burglars with your site?”. I’d say no for two reasons:

  • Burglars usually have easier ways to get around locks (especially since they don’t need to open them non-destructively). Lock picking is just not practical in most of these scenarios.
  • Information is not everything required to be successful in lock picking. The other thing you need is practice, and a lot of it for sure. Those that are willing to practise that much to use it for illegal activities also will have other ways to get the necessary information. I’d imagine that these are usually parties that have enough money and resources available, like governments or businesses involved in industrial espionage.

One more reason to publish such information is that although most (if not all) locks can be picked, some are a lot easier to pick than others. If this is due to a particular vulnerability, and/or if there are ways to improve, then we should always talk about the problems openly to get them addressed.

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09 March 2013