A Guide to the 5 Types of Lock Picks- From Hooks to Rakes

Welcome to the captivating world of lock picking! As an expert in the field, I am excited to share with you a comprehensive guide to the 5 types of lock picks. Allow me to take you on a journey through my personal experience, which ignited my passion for this intriguing skill.

article title "a guide to 5 types of lock picks-from hooks to rakes" with images of different tools

From my first encounter with a lock pick set, I was mesmerized by the precision and artistry of these unassuming tools. Delving deeper, I uncovered their remarkable power to unlock even the most intricate mechanisms. Through practice, I mastered the different types of lock picks, manipulating pins and tumblers with finesse. Now, I’m excited to share this knowledge with you even if you are a beginner or an experienced locksmith.

In this article, we will explore the various types of lock picks, their specific uses, and how they can help you overcome the challenges posed by different lock mechanisms. With this comprehensive guide, you will gain valuable insights that will empower you to navigate the world of locks with confidence and proficiency.

So, are you ready to join me on this journey? Let’s unlock the secrets of the 5 types of lock picks together and discover the endless possibilities that lie within this captivating skill.

How Many Different Types of Lock Picks Are There?

Lock picking is a talent that necessitates precision and a complete grasp of the instruments available to you. Within the realm of lock picks, there are various types, each serving a specific function in manipulating different lock mechanisms.

In this guide, we will explore the 5 primary types of lock picks that form the foundation of any lock picker’s toolkit.

From the versatile hook picks to the specialized diamond picks and the efficient rake picks, each type offers a unique approach to overcoming different locking mechanisms.

By familiarizing yourself with these 5 essential lock picks, you’ll be armed with the knowledge and equipment needed to open a variety of locks. Whether you’re a novice locksmith or an experienced enthusiast, understanding the different types of lock picks is essential for expanding your skill set and tackling increasingly complex challenges.

The different types of lock picks are mentioned below in detail.

1.    Hook Picks

Among the various types of lock picks, hook picks are considered the workhorses of the trade. These picks feature a curved, hook-shaped tip that allows for precise manipulation of individual pins within a lock cylinder.

Let me share a personal experience that highlights the effectiveness of hook picks.

A few years back on a sunny afternoon, I received a call from a distressed friend who had accidentally locked themselves out of their home. As a locksmith, I quickly gathered my trusty tools, including my set of hook picks.

Arriving at the scene, I assessed the situation—a standard pin tumbler lock stood between my friend and their beloved belongings.

With a calm focus, I selected a hook pick from my kit and inserted it into the lock.

As I gently applied tension to the tension wrench, I carefully maneuvered the hook pick, feeling the feedback from each pin as I lifted and set them into place. The familiar click of the pins surrendering to my skillful touch echoed in the air.

After a few moments of precise manipulation, the lock yielded, and the door swung open, revealing a mixture of relief and gratitude on my friend’s face.

It was another successful encounter with the trusty hook pick—a tool that had become an extension of my locksmithing prowess.

This illustrates the importance of hook picks in the locksmith’s arsenal. Their ability to navigate individual pins within a lock cylinder with finesse and control is unparalleled.

Whether you encounter a simple residential lock or a more complex mechanism, the hook pick proves it is worth time and time again.

Remember, practice and patience are key when using hook picks. Understanding the feedback and resistance from each pin requires honing your skills over time.

With dedication and experience, hook picks will become your go-to choice for conquering locks and bringing peace of mind to those in need.

Types of hooks including gem hook and gonzo hook

a)   Gonzo Hook

This versatile hook pick excels at navigating tight keyways and reaching deep into locks with precision.

Its slim and curved design allows for seamless maneuverability, making it a go-to choice for locksmiths dealing with intricate lock systems.

The Gonzo Hook is a trusted companion when facing challenging locks that demand finesse and dexterity.

b)   Gem Hook

When it comes to meticulous control and effective lock manipulation, the Gem Hook shines. Its pointed tip and refined shape provide optimal control for engaging individual pins.

With the Gem Hook in hand, locksmiths can delicately set each pin into place, gradually unlocking the secrets hidden within the lock’s core.

c)    Small Hook

The Small Hook is a versatile tool suitable for various lock types. Its compact size offers flexibility in tight spaces and enables precise pin manipulation.

Whether you’re tackling residential locks or padlocks, the Small Hook’s ability to navigate the internal components with ease ensures efficient and accurate lock picking.

d)   Large Hook

When confronted with more complex lock mechanisms, the Large Hook comes to the rescue.

It is extended reach and robust design provide the strength and stability required for handling intricate lock systems.

With the Large Hook, locksmiths can confidently navigate multiple pins and warding, overcoming the challenges posed by high-security locks.

Each type of hook pick serves a unique purpose, catering to different lock profiles and scenarios. Whether it’s the Gonzo Hook for tight spaces, the Gem Hook for precision, the Small Hook for versatility, or the Large Hook for complex locks, having a diverse set of hook picks in your toolkit equips you with the right tools to conquer any lock with confidence.

2.    Diamond Pick

Amidst my lock picking journey, I encountered a challenging task—a vintage lock guarding a hidden treasure. The lock’s intricate design and multiple security pins posed a formidable challenge.

Determined to unlock its secrets, I reached for my set of diamond picks, knowing they would offer me the precision and control necessary for this task.

As I held the small half-diamond pick in my hand, I admired its sleek shape and sharp tip. I inserted it into the keyway, feeling the subtle feedback from each pin as I delicately lifted them.

The small half-diamond pick’s versatility proved invaluable as I effortlessly manipulated both the pins and wafer tumblers within the lock mechanism.

With each satisfying click, I inched closer to unlocking the treasure concealed behind the antique door.

Encouraged by my progress, I decided to switch to the large half-diamond pick, tailored for more substantial lock mechanisms.

Its elongated shape and increased surface area offered enhanced control and maneuverability.

With finesse and concentration, I skillfully engaged the pins, feeling the resistance and carefully adjusting my touch.

The large half-diamond pick’s design allowed me to navigate the complex security features with ease, ultimately overcoming the lock’s defenses.

Going through the story, you must be curious to know more about small half-diamond picks and large half diamond picks. So let’s go through them a little more.

identifying difference of small and large half diamond pick

a)   Small Half-Diamond Pick

This versatile diamond pick shines when it comes to manipulating both pins and wafer locks. It’s slim profile and precise tip allow for accurate navigation of the lock’s internal components, making it an indispensable tool for locksmiths dealing with a wide range of locks.

b)   Large Half-Diamond Pick

Designed specifically for larger lock mechanisms, the large half-diamond pick offers enhanced control and maneuverability. Its elongated shape provides a stable grip while allowing locksmiths to tackle more complex locks with confidence.

With the large half-diamond pick in hand, you can navigate intricate security features and overcome the challenges posed by high-security locks.

The diamond picks, both small and large, offer locksmiths the versatility, precision, and control necessary for manipulating pins and wafer tumblers.

By mastering the art of using diamond picks, locksmiths gain the ability to conquer locks of various complexities, opening doors to hidden treasures and solving intricate lock puzzles.

3.    Ball Picks

In my lock picking adventures, I encountered a unique challenge—a high-security lock with dual-sided pins. Determined to conquer this formidable obstacle, I turned to my trusty ball picks, knowing their specialized design would be the key to my success.

With the double ball picks in hand, I carefully inserted the tool into the lock’s keyway.

The two ball-shaped ends allowed me to engage both sides of the dual-sided pins simultaneously.

As I applied tension and manipulated the pick, I could feel the subtle movements of the pins aligning with precision.

The double ball pick’s design enabled me to navigate the intricate inner workings of the lock, steadily overcoming the complex pin configurations.

Inspired by my triumph, I decided to tackle another lock with specialized pin arrangements, this time using the double half-ball pick.

Similar to the double ball pick, the double half-ball pick proved its worth as I deftly maneuvered its unique ends within the lock.

The precision and control offered by the double half-ball pick allowed me to navigate the intricate pin configurations, overcoming the lock’s defenses with ease.

However, not all locks present such complex challenges. For locks with single-sided pins, the half-ball pick became my go-to tool.

Its rounded end provided the ideal shape for manipulating and lifting single-sided pins, allowing me to swiftly and skillfully navigate the lock’s internals.

The half-ball pick’s versatility and effectiveness made it an indispensable tool in my locksmithing endeavors.

Now, let’s go through the specific subcategories of ball picks:

types of ball picks including double half ball, double ball and half ball

a)   Double Ball Pick

Featuring two ball-shaped ends, the double ball pick is designed to manipulate dual-sided pins found in certain lock types.

Its dual functionality enables locksmiths to engage both sides of the pins simultaneously, facilitating efficient and effective lock manipulation.

b)   Double Half-Ball Pick

Similar to the double ball pick, the double half-ball pick is well-suited for locks with specialized pin configurations.

Its unique shape and ends provide the necessary precision and control to tackle complex pin arrangements, making it an invaluable tool for locksmiths working on locks with intricate designs.

c)    Half-Ball Pick

A half-ball pick is a versatile tool, ideal for manipulating single-sided pins commonly found in many lock types.

Its rounded end allows for precise lifting and manipulation of the pins, providing locksmiths with the necessary finesse and control to overcome standard pin arrangements.

With the ball picks in your toolkit, you’ll be equipped to handle a wide range of lock scenarios, from dual-sided pin challenges to specialized configurations and standard pin arrangements.

These picks offer locksmiths the precision and versatility needed to navigate the intricacies of different locks, opening doors to new possibilities with confidence and skill.

4.    Rake Picks

During one of my lock picking endeavors, I encountered a simple lock that required a different approach.

The traditional single-pin picking technique seemed time-consuming, so I reached for my set of rake picks, knowing they would provide me with a more efficient solution.

First, I grabbed the wedge rake, a versatile rake pick designed for quickly manipulating multiple pins simultaneously.

Its unique wedge-shaped teeth allowed me to rapidly rake through the pin stacks, creating a vibrating motion that effectively set the pins into place.

With each stroke of the wedge rake, the lock gradually succumbed to my skillful manipulation.

Inspired by the wedge rake’s success, I decided to test the long rake on a different lock.

This pick, designed for longer strokes, proved invaluable in swiftly raking through the pin stacks.

The extended length of the long rake allowed me to cover more ground with each stroke, effectively manipulating the pins and unlocking the lock with remarkable speed.

Encouraged by my achievements, I ventured further and faced a lock with complex pin arrangements and serrated pins.

This called for the snake rake, aptly named for its serpentine-shaped design. As I inserted the snake rake into the lock’s keyway, its curved shape effortlessly navigated the intricate pin configurations.

The snake rake’s teeth smoothly glided over the serrated pins, manipulating them with precision and finesse, ultimately opening the lock’s core.

One of my favorite rake picks, however, remains the Bogota rake. Its distinctive triple-peak design not only provides a unique aesthetic but also serves a practical purpose.

When I used the Bogota rake, its peaks engaged with the pins, delivering subtle feedback to my fingertips.

This tactile response allowed me to better understand the lock’s inner workings, enhancing my control and precision during the lock picking process. It’s no wonder the Bogota rake is highly regarded among professionals in the field.

To summarize the subcategories of rake picks:

Types of Rakes inclusing long rake, snake rake, bogota Rake and wedge Rake

a)   Wedge Rake

Excellent for quickly manipulating multiple pins simultaneously, the wedge rake offers efficiency in simple locks, allowing locksmiths to swiftly bypass their security measures.

b)   Long Rake

Designed for longer strokes, the long rake provides locksmiths with the ability to rapidly rake through pin stacks in various lock types, making it a valuable tool for efficient lock picking.

c)    Snake Rake

With its serpentine-shaped design, the snake rake excels at navigating complex pin arrangements and serrated pins. Its versatility and precision make it a preferred choice for locksmiths dealing with challenging locks.

d)   Bogota Rake

Renowned for its distinctive triple-peak design, the Bogota rake offers exceptional feedback during the lock picking process. Its popularity among professionals is a testament to its effectiveness and reliability.

By including these rake picks in your lock picking arsenal, you gain the ability to swiftly and efficiently manipulate pins in a variety of lock scenarios.

Whether it’s the wedge rake for simplicity, the long rake for speed, the snake rake for complexity, or the Bogota rake for enhanced feedback, these picks offer locksmiths the versatility and finesse required to navigate different locks with confidence and skill.

5.    Key Extractors

As I embarked on my lock picking journey, I soon realized that not all locks could be easily manipulated with traditional lock picks.

Some locks were damaged or had broken keys stuck inside, presenting a unique challenge. That’s when I turned to the trusty key extractors, a specialized tool designed to remove broken keys from locks.

I vividly remember encountering a lock with a broken key jammed inside.

It seemed like an insurmountable obstacle, but I remained determined to overcome it. With the key extractor in hand, I carefully inserted it into the lock, ensuring it engaged with the broken key fragment.

Applying gentle pressure and twisting motions, the key extractor gradually caught hold of the broken piece.

With a steady pull, I felt a satisfying click as the key fragment loosened its grip on the lock’s internals.

With one final maneuver, the broken key was successfully extracted, leaving the lock free and ready for a new key.

Key extractors come in various designs, each suited for different lock types and extraction scenarios.

defining extractor with an image

From curved hooks to serrated edges, these tools are specifically engineered to catch onto broken key fragments and remove them without causing further damage to the lock.

Whether you’re facing a lock with a broken key or need to remove a stuck key from a lock, key extractors are the go-to tools for locksmiths.

Their precision, reliability, and ability to rescue locks from tricky situations make them indispensable in the locksmith’s toolkit.

Remember, when faced with a lock predicament involving broken or stuck keys, the key extractors are your allies.

With their assistance, you can effortlessly overcome these challenges and restore functionality to locks that were once deemed inaccessible.

What Picks to Use on What Locks?

To successfully pick a lock, it’s crucial to understand which pick is best suited for a specific lock type. By selecting the right pick for the job, you’ll significantly increase your chances of successfully picking the lock and achieving your desired outcome.

1.    Hook Picks

Gonzo Hook: Perfect for tight keyways and deep locks, providing precise control.

Gem Hook: Ideal for manipulating individual pins with meticulous accuracy.

Small Hook: Versatile and suitable for various lock types, offering flexibility and precision.

Large Hook: Designed for complex lock mechanisms, providing extended reach and durability.

These picks are commonly used for pin tumbler locks found in residential and commercial settings.

Pin Tubmbler locks with keys and showing both locked and unlocked condition inside the lock

2.    Diamond Picks

Small Half-Diamond Pick: Versatile pick suitable for manipulating pins and wafer locks.

Large Half-Diamond Pick: Offers enhanced control and maneuverability for larger lock mechanisms.

These picks excel in manipulating wafer locks commonly found in automobile ignitions and padlocks.

golden color wafer lock with a key on left side

By Willh26 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

3.    Ball Picks

Double Ball Pick: Effective for manipulating dual-sided pins found in specific lock types.

Double Half-Ball Pick: Well-suited for locks with specialized pin configurations.

Half-Ball Pick: Valuable for manipulating single-sided pins in various locks.

These picks are effective for manipulating locks with dual-sided pins or specialized pin configurations. Locks with dual-sided pins or specialized pin configurations can include tubular locks and dimple locks.

Tubular Lock and Key

4.    Rake Picks

Wedge Rake: Efficient for quickly manipulating multiple pins simultaneously in simple locks.

Long Rake: Designed for longer strokes, swiftly raking through pin stacks in various locks.

Snake Rake: Adept at navigating complex pin arrangements and serrated pins.

Bogota Rake: Popular among professionals due to its distinctive triple-peak design, providing feedback during lock picking.

These picks are ideal for swiftly manipulating simple pin tumbler locks.

pin tumbler lock picked with rakes

5. Key extractors

Key extractors are specifically designed for situations where a key has broken inside a lock or is stuck and cannot be removed using traditional methods.

They are suitable for extracting broken or stuck keys from pin tumbler locks, which are the most common type of lock found in residential and commercial settings

Lock Picking Encyclopedia has more to say about this.

Most Commonly Used Lock Picks

Among the wide variety of lock picks available, certain types are commonly favored by lock pickers. Hook picks, with their versatility and precision, are widely used across different lock types. Rake picks, such as the wedge rake and snake rake, are also frequently employed due to their speed and efficiency in manipulating multiple pins simultaneously.

Apart from traditional lock picks, Paul Marks highlights Picking Locks with Audio Technology in a remarkable way and you must go through it for advanced knowledge.

What Are The Different Lock Picks For? Identifying Their Purpose

Lock picks serve several purposes in the art of lock picking. They are designed to manipulate the internal components of a lock, such as pins or wafers, allowing the lock picker to mimic the action of a key and bypass the lock’s mechanism.

Lock picks provide locksmiths, security professionals, and enthusiasts with the necessary tools to gain access to locked spaces, troubleshoot lock issues, or enhance their understanding of lock mechanisms.

Types of Lock Picks and Their Uses

Hook Picks

These picks are commonly used for single-pin picking, where each pin is individually manipulated to align and create a shear line, allowing the lock to be turned and opened.

Diamond Picks

Diamond picks are versatile tools suitable for both pin and wafer locks. They can manipulate individual pins or engage with wafer tumblers, allowing for precise control and effective picking.

Ball Picks

Ball picks are primarily designed to deal with specialized pin configurations found in certain locks. They come in different shapes, such as double ball and half-ball picks, enabling the manipulation of specific pin arrangements.

Rake Picks

Rake picks are known for their ability to quickly manipulate multiple pins simultaneously. They are especially useful for simple pin tumbler locks, where the rake is moved back and forth rapidly to set multiple pins at once.

Key Extractors

Key extractors are specialized tools used to remove broken or stuck keys from locks. They come in various shapes and sizes, allowing locksmiths to extract the key fragments without damaging the lock.

By understanding the purpose and specific uses of each type of lock pick, locksmiths and lock picking enthusiasts can expand their skill set and improve their success rate when dealing with different lock types.

You must give it a go if you are a beginner and interested in knowing How to Pick a Lock for Beginners: The Tech and Tools of the Trade, using the above Types of Lock Picks.


Congratulations on exploring the fascinating world of lock picking and discovering the 10 types of lock picks and their uses. Remember to practice lock picking responsibly and within legal boundaries.

By understanding the purpose of each type of lock pick, locksmiths and enthusiasts can expand their abilities and improve their success rate. Whether it’s using hook picks for single-pin picking, diamond picks for precise control, ball picks for specialized pin configurations, rake picks for quick manipulation, or key extractors for removing broken keys, having a diverse set of lock picks equips you with the right tools for the job.


What are the different types of lock picks used by locksmiths?

The types of lock picks commonly used by locksmiths include hook picks, diamond picks, ball picks, rake picks, and key extractors.

How do I determine which type of lock pick to use for a specific lock?

The selection of a lock pick depends on the type of lock you are dealing with. Consider factors such as the lock’s mechanism and complexity to choose the appropriate pick.

Are there specific types of lock picks recommended for beginners to start with?

For beginners, it is recommended to start with basic hook picks and rake picks, as they provide versatility and are suitable for a wide range of locks. Gradually explore other types of lock picks as you gain experience.


  1. BEGINNERS GUIDE TO LOCK PICKING March 11, 2019 by Ashley Adamant
  2. Lock Picking Encyclopedia
  3. How to Pick a Lock for Beginners: The Tech and Tools of the Trade
  4. How to Open Locks with Improvised Tools Practical, Non-Destructive Ways of Getting Back Into Just about Everything When You Lose Your Keys By Hans Conkel · 2001
  5. Picking Locks with Audio Technology By Paul Marks
  6. Improvised Lock Picks Formerly Titled : POLICE GUIDE TO LOCK PICKING

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