Under Lock and Key
Locksmiths define lock-picking as the manipulation of a lock's components to open a lock without a key. To understand lock-picking, then, you first have to know how locks and keys work.

Locks come in all shapes and sizes, with many innovative design variations. You can get a clear idea of the process of lock picking by examining one simple, representative lock. Most locks are based on fairly similar concepts.

A standard deadbolt lock: When you turn the key, the bolt slides into a notch on the door frame.

For most of us, the most familiar lock is the standard dead-bolt lock you might find on a front door. We'll look at this type of lock to explain how lock-picking works.