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What is the difference between raking and single-pin picking?
When is the best scenario to use this particular method?
There is so much debate on the difference between lock raking and single lock picking around the locksmith community.
Other people consider one method as a crunch over the other.
These topics have yet to find concrete answers among hobbyists and locksmiths alike.
Beginners who are just starting with this art want to know the best way to get their hands on it.
More often than not, what is easy is not always the wrong way to go.
Doing the simple method is not necessarily evil.
It all comes down to individual differences.
Table of Contents
The raking process uses variable-shaped picks to move as many pins at a time.
This method is fast in cracking low-security locks and locks that do not fluctuate with height.
These raking tools have their names, and the most common is the worm, the city, the snakes, and the Bogota rake.
Each of them mimics the key grooves called biting.
Raking is common in low-security locks, but sometimes it is more efficient than single pin picking (SPP).
More often than not, when you can easily rake a lock, its security comes into question.
Raking is used by beginners and professionals even if the process is preliminary to SPP.
The raking process helps a professional locksmith familiarize with the pins before using the single pin picking.
- It is easy to understand.
- Beginner friendly.
- It requires minimal practice.
- Works well on low-security locks.
- Great for locks with calm biting.
- It is easy to lose control when doing the lock manipulation.
- Raking is challenging to determine the lock mechanism.
- It does not work on high-security locks.
Single Pin Picking
Single Pin Picking (SPP) is the typical way to get through the lock.
Time and practice will allow you to pick any lock.
SSP requires patience and the ability to work with it.
Single Pin Picking is not a quick fix, but it gets the job done.
Then again, single-pin picking requires more skill and patience than raking.
It necessitates using several tools to access various keyways and room to manipulate individual pins.
Hooks and half diamonds are the two types of tolls associated with SPP.
While the usage of these tools is pretty standard, they come in different varieties.
Hooks help the picker set the pins vertically while the half diamond tool does the pushing and prodding horizontally.
Taking on each pin individually helps the lock picker understand the internal mechanism of the lock.
- Gives the lock picker a better understanding of how the lock mechanism works.
- Helps in identifying the pins better.
- This method is more accurate than raking.
- Effective method at the highest level of lock picking.
- Given time, this method always gives results.
- Much harder to master.
- More challenging to beginners.
- This is not ideal for high-intensity situations.
- It requires patience.
So, is raking for practicality and single pin picking is for sport?
This argument is similar to traditional versus digital art.
The debate could go on and on, depending on your preference.
While raking will always give you instant results, single-pin picking will eventually open doors for you that raking could never breach.
Are you looking for comprehension or immersion in the art of locksmithing or just trying to make a living?
These distinctive parameters will help you choose which method works for you.
Some people who chose both ways can attest that raking and single-pin picking are skills in many lock-picking scenarios.
The difference of opinion about lock-picking varies as much as the varied intentions and the views towards the craft.
To some, it is an art, but for others, it is just a sport.
Ultimately, it is your view on lockpicking, and your choice of whether to use raking or single-pin picking is the choice you have to make on your own.
The Bottom Line
There is no easy way to conclude the argument between raking and single-pin picking.
Each method serves a purpose, and your skill will determine its effectiveness and success.
The best lock pickers in the world do not use rakes, but it all depends on your personal goals.
For professionals, this may be the fastest and easiest way to legally get the job done.
But, for the hobbyist, it may be about developing their craft until they stand up with the greats.
Competitive lockpicking has its challenges considering how far you will go with raking, and the time required to develop your single pin picking skills.
Single pin picking will eventually arm you with the skill to crack any lock regardless of its complexity.
Raking is sometimes seen as a cheat tool, and many lockpickers are offended by their use.
The argument is so strong because of the extreme gap between lockpicking as a job and as an enjoyment.
And then some are not sure where they fit in this spectrum.
Ensure that the choices you make are entirely your own.
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