The Feel Method of Lock Picking
How many times, just because it is there, have you wandered by a safe in a friend or relative's home or workplace and spun the lock just because it's there? Maybe you thought you could figure out with a paper clip and some super spy tactics how to "feel" the parts of a lock and open it up like a magician or illusionist?
A lot of the time people tend to think they can perform tricks with locks just by guessing, intuition or feel. While there certainly are cases of those lucky few, who can, without any training, happen upon a lock and open it with ease, these feats are rarely repeated.
In the industry of locksmithing there is one method that might sound easy, but it still takes many years of practice and experience with knowledge of the locks being worked on to successfully and consistently open them, appropriately titled the feel method.
The feel method requires the use of lock picks and while it is not always the preferred method, it can be very helpful in some situations.
What the locksmith does is insert a lock pick, usually a hook or diamond pick, holding it like you would a pen or pencil. Pointing the tip upward and towards the pin the pick is then inserted into the keyway.
A torque wrench is used in the top or bottom portion of the keyway, depending on where there is more working room and using the index finger of the hand holding the torque wrench pressure is applied lightly in the direction that the locksmith wants the plug to turn.
As the pressure is released from the torque wrench the pin stack will drop back into place. By repeating this step a locksmith can determine which pin stack has the most and least resistance.
When the pressure from the torque wrench is released the locksmith will then go to the pin stack that showed the most by way of resistance and then lift the bottom of the pin with random amounts of force.
As the top and bottom pins for a chamber meet at the sheer line apply enough pressure to keep the pins out of the lower chamber and in place. Smoothly move on to the next stack that showed resistance and continue lifting them into place until the plug of the lock can be turned.
The reason this technique is possibly is that the lower pin chambers of a pin tumbler cylinder are never perfectly aligned with the matching upper pins and also the pins, instead of forming a straight line actually form a shape more similar to a zigzag across the plug and cylinder.
As stated, this is not a method for the novice to try out just anywhere, as it can not only cause costly damage but can be considered a form of breaking and entering if being performed on locks other than your own. Also, one who is in possession of the tools required to perform these jobs when not a licensed locksmith can be thought of as a would be criminal.