a yellow-green book cover with a winged lock

A Guide to Picking Locks: Number One

by Nick Adams Author and CrimethInc Author

"How frustrating would it be if you could magically learn everything a master locksmith knew about picking locks, but didn't have the actual tools used to pick a lock? Now reverse that problem. Suppose you bought an entire tool case from a master locksmith, but had no idea how to use the myriads of tools inside. The point is that both the book-learning of lock picking techniques and the workshop making of the tools to pick locks are two halves of the same skill."

Written by an experienced locksmith, and illustrated with a nice assortment of diagrams, this giant zine will guide you through the different types of locks one might encounter and the best tools and techniques for picking them. With an emphasis on making your own lock tools, you might be surprised when this kind of practical information comes in handy!

  • A Guide to Picking Locks: Number One image #1
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This is A Guide to Picking Locks #1

Comments & Reviews


...a meticulous and serious guide to making and using your own lock picks. It takes you step-by-step through the principles of lock pick design; the types of metal and tools you need to make various picks; layout, grinding, filing and finishing; the most common types of door locks, as well as car doors, and office equipment.



"The guide to lockpicking is pretty thorough, explaining all the different kinds of locks and keys and giving practical advice on how to practice and hone your skills. But the best part of the book is the writer representing himself as a thief who has been on hundreds of jobs and seen it all. "I have witnessed specialists actually attempt to pick a lock with with keyway tools before even checking to see if the lock is actually locked," he chuckles, though he could have offered the suggestion since he was there."


Just looking at the cover to this zine I had no idea what to expect from reading it. I just assumed that the phrase “A Guide to Picking Locks” was a metaphor and it would be a perzine about picking the locks of your heart or your mind or maybe even your soul. So I opened it and you know what? This isn’t a zine about picking the locks of your heart, mind or soul. It’s about how to pick the locks on your door. Which is fine with me because I always enjoy zines focusing on some obscure (obscure to me at least) facet of the world I am completely ignorant of. As I said, I know nothing about lock picking, but reading this made me think that if I could get my hands on the right tools (or make them myself which is the ideal way to do it) and I wasn’t in any sort of hurry I could actually manage to pick a lock. The language here is detailed and technical without getting into too much jargon or becoming hard to understand and there are plenty of diagrams to help guide you along. If you’re interested in learning to pick locks or are good with tools and are just looking for a new hobby or even if you just like reading about how to do things you know nothing about then this is a zine for you.