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LOCK PICKS has the Lock Pick tools and practice sets to both hone your skills and use when you absolutely need to get into a lock.

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How To Pick A Padlock Using Shims

Padlock shims are designed for use on padlocks with spring operated latches. Generally, they are more effective on cheaper types of padlocks. More expensive padlocks tend to be made to better specifications and are therefore more resistant to opening with padlock shims. For padlock shims to be effective there must be sufficient clearance between the shackle diameter and the holes in te padlock body to enable insertion of the shims. On single latch padlocks, any slack in the pivot side will help if the clearance is minimal.

First determine whether the padlock is single or double latched. If you don't know, then start by sliding a single shim down the inside of the pivot leg of the shackle to feel for a latch. Ideally, knowledge of the lock is the best way of knowing whether it is a single or double latch. For most padlocks, the latched leg of the shackle is generally on the same side as the serrations of the key. Choose a shim having the same or slightly larger bend radius than the shackle diameter. A slightly larger radius will close down to the correct shape more accurately than an undersized one will open up. It may also be necessary to shorten the length of the arms before using a shim on smaller padlocks. Exert some pressure on the pivot side of the shackle to ease the shackle towards the latch side and increase the clearance between the shackle diameter and the hole. Then insert the shim into the clearance on the outside of the shackle opposite the latch and twist and push the shim down as far as possible. When the shim is fully inserted, rotate the shim around the shackle so that the tongue of the shim approaches the latch from the side and eases it back. Once the shim had been rotated until the wings of the shim are pointing outwards away from the lock, it is likely that the latch has been sprung and the shackle can be pulled to open the lock. On some types of padlocks with weak latch springs, it may be possible to force the shim down onto the latch(es) directly from above, and ease it (them) back. However, if this technique is used on a latch with strong springs, the tip of the shim could bend and the latch would not be pushed back far enough to release the shackle.

More detailed information about lock picking can be found in "The Beginner's Guide to Lock Picking" which is included with the Secure-Pro® Credit Card Lock Pick Set.


  • Why do I need a lock pick? What would I use it for?
    Lockpicking is a great skill to cultivate because you never know when you might need it. Use a lock pick if you accidentally get locked out of your home, vehicle or if you lose the keys to a padlock.
  • What sort of lock picks do you have?
    Our inventory of lock picks contains practice padlock lockpicking sets, auto jigglers, lock pick guns and card-sized lockpicking sets.
  • What do your lockpicking practice kits have?
    The practice lockpicking sets that we have give you a transparent practice lock, lockpicking tools and a set of keys.
  • What’s a padlock shim?
    A padlock shim is a tool that, when inserted between the hasp and body of a spring-operated padlock latch and twisted a certain way, it will disengage the locking mechanism.

Top Customer Reviews

  • brad (Tennessee) - Good set, but you will want more,

    I bought this set and have used it quite a bit. The trick is to not be disappointed with how long it takes to pick a lock. This set will get the job done, but it takes some practice to learn to use the picks. So far, I have used these to pick padlocks and door locks on houses. With a little patience, the set works fine! The only think that I feel is a little lacking is the thickness of the tension tool. You will probably over-do the pressure on it in the beginning and end up bending it if you are not careful. Some locks are stiff too and that makes it hard on the tension tool. Occasionally a little lubricant can help with that, but it would be nice if the tension tool was a little better quality. Overall, I would recommend this set to anyone who wants to learn to pick--on the condition you practice a lot. This set can save you a lot of money on locksmiths and broken windows, but only if you know how to use it!

    Review of: Secure Pro Credit Card Lock Pick Set

  • Bruce Wolosky (Ocala) - Master key locksmith auto jigglers door opener

    Excellent product. Really does work. I would highly recommend this product to anyone interested in lock picking.

    Review of: Master Key Locksmith Auto Jigglers Door Opener

  • Liz Dickson (Lapine, OR) - Pretty good picker

    This auto type picker works really well and has performed solidly for our family. We do maintenance and repairs so it comes in super handy when a home owner has forgotten his or her keys.

    Review of: Professiional E-Z Pick Lockpick Gun

  • Jake (South of Boston) - Watch out! This blade BITES!

    I bought this set a few years back off bud-k. It was really cheap and I wanted to learn to pick locks so i picked it up. To learn on it's a great little set with a variety of tools. I used it for padlocks for the most part. I'm now a locksmith and for a lot of doors this set wont do. The problem is that the metal doesnt bend enough and the tips tend to break. For simpler locks and to learn it is great though. The Z shaped tension tools have actually saved my a** on jobs because they are so small that they fit in cramped areas that my professional tension tools won't go. For spending 10-15 the set is Grade A.

    Review of: Secure Pro X5 Eleven Pierce Lock Pick Set

  • Nathan Sand (minnetonka, MN) - Very Pleased :)

    This is probably the best lock picking kit out there for the price. Every pick is good quality and its not to bulky at all. Very nice durable case with zipper. The handle could be shaped a little better to fit the hand so i use a thin glove for extra comfort. Great buy overall though. Part of the satisfaction comes in being able to actually open locks so keep working at it everyone!!

    Review of: Deluxe Lock Pick Set