A basic picklock-ing kit is a good thing to have on hand for day-to-day situations, especially in the event that someone gets locked out of their car or home. There are a few different types of kits on the market, but I like this one for beginners because it has a nice mix of tools and also includes a set of practice locks to help you get a feel for picking placement in a variety of lock styles.
Unlocking Doors of Opportunity: Exploring Pick Lock Sets and Their Uses
A standard set contains a selection of picks and rakes that vary in shape, size and design. There are also a couple of tension tools (also called tension wrenches) that are used to apply torque to the plug and help bind the pins. The most important tool to start with is the hook. There are many different variations of hooks, but they all perform the same function – to probe and lift the pins in the lock.
Rakes are a great way to pick multiple pins at once without needing to move the hook as much. A basic rake is often shaped like a half diamond and will have a slope on the tip that allows you to drag it across pins as you are probing and lifting them. There are several other rakes that work in a similar fashion, but the half diamond is usually a solid choice for beginner’s because it works well in most locks and doesn’t need to be moved as much as flat rakes.