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Manual picking vs electric picking: Locksmith Monkey

Manual picking vs electric picking: Locksmith Monkey

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Generally, lock picking is used when you get locked out or in an emergency. Overall, when it comes to lock picking, professional locksmiths usually use two different methods. Henceforth, one is manual picking and the other one is through electric gun picking. In brief, in this article, we’ll learn all about the difference between manual picking vs electric picking that will help you understand better. 

What is Manual picking?

First, manual lock picking is the art of opening a pin tumbler lock without the use of any power tools. Hence, it’s an essential survival skill in an emergency situation. Also used by professional locksmiths

How do locksmiths unlock using the manual picking method?

As mentioned above, manual lock picking is the art of unlocking a pin-tumbler lock by analyzing and manipulating its components. Professional locksmiths who deal with manual lockpicking manipulate pins to get them to fall out of grooves inside the cylinder so they can align with a notch on the driver.   

Lock picking is not illegal in most countries. Locksmiths and security personnel practice it for legitimate reasons. However, some laws prohibit non-licensed individuals from possessing or using lock picks.

Common tools used in manual lock picking:

Of course, manual lockpicking tools can be easily bought from the nearest hardware store. You can find a large range of these tools in any hardware store or in a locksmith shop. However, these are the common tools used by locksmiths for manual lock picking:


Hooks are used for manual lock picking. There are many different shapes and sizes, they are made from different materials such as steel, brass or nylon. They can be used to pick almost all types of locks. Each one has a specific use depending on the type of pin tumblers inside the lock. 

This tool is mainly used to manipulate a lock’s components in order to set the pins within the lock cylinder. Which allows the plug to be rotated and thereby open the lock. They can be used with either tubular or flat keys. These hooks can come with teeth on it that line up with those on the key and engage them, allowing it to turn. Or may also simply have a hole through which the key turns.


A rake is used to manipulate the pins inside the lock through sheer force, without any additional tools or keys. Rakes were originally developed to aid law enforcement personnel in bypassing locks that could not be opened with standard picks and tension wrenches. The most popular rake design consists of three thin metal segments connected by short connecting pieces of wire. Each segment has a slight curvature and is serrated on one edge to make it easier to insert into the lock and open it.

Bump keys:

A bump key is a specially cut key that can open pin tumbler locks using a “bump” attack. These keys work by exploiting the design of the lock cylinder. And work similarly to a skeleton key. But instead of being inserted into the lock and jimmied to unlock, it is held parallel to the door and bumped up and down until it falls into place and opens the lock.

Manual pick gun:

A pick gun is a specialty tool used by locksmiths and law enforcement officers. It has a spring-loaded firing pin that delivers quite the blow to make it easy for you to open your lock. 

Electric Picking:

The electric pick gun is the upgraded version of the manual pick gun. It is a method of opening locks without the original key. This method can be used in any type of door lock, including residential, office or industrial doors that use electrically powered locks. 

Common Tools Used in electric picking

Electric pick gun:

Electric pick gun is one of the efficient tools for removing broken and rusted parts from the hole that has been drilled by an electric drill. It can be used to break and remove any damaged parts from the hole. It saves a lot of time compared to using a hand-held hammer and chisel. The electric pick gun can be easily handled by anyone without special skills or knowledge. 

Tension wrench:

A tension wrench is a specialty tool used to open up the lock in order for the bolt cutters and any other tools to access the deadbolt. The tension wrench is also called a long arm tool, which allows you to reach into areas that are hard to get into with your traditional pick set.


High Security Lock Picking

To sum it all up, electric locksmith tools are more efficient and provide better service. But if you have some specific needs, then the manual picking option might be a good fit. We hope that you now have a better understanding of the benefits of manual picking versus electric picking, and how to decide which one is right for your needs. 

If you’re looking for a professional locksmith in Portland, Locksmith Monkey is the right choice for you. We use a variety of locksmith tools and techniques to ensure that we get your lock opened in the quickest, safest, and most efficient way possible. If you’re interested in learning more about our services or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our locksmiths from Portland, Oregon, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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