Locksport Cover


A Hacker’s Guide to Lockpicking, Impressioning, and Safe Cracking
by Jos Weyers, Matt Burrough, Walter Belgers, BandEAtoZ, and Nigel K. Tolley
January 2024, 416 pp.
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Locksport is the ultimate guide to lockpicking and the competitive sport of bypassing locking systems. Written by five champion locksporters, this full-color, hands-on introduction to the art of lockpicking will take you from noob to competition-ready. You’ll learn how locks work and what makes them vulnerable, get a guided tour through the tools of the trade, and follow step-by-step instructions and detailed  diagrams to learn to rake, pick, and crack. As you better understand the various types of lock mechanisms, you’ll become adept at the craft of nondestructive entry, or hacking the lock without damaging it.

Along the way, you’ll learn:

  • Basic lockpicking—using tools like tension wrenches, hooks, and rakes to pick padlocks and deadbolts 
  • Impressioning—the art of creating a working key from a blank by re-creating subtle marks the lock leaves in the metal
  • Safe manipulation—the process of systematically dialing numbers and recording your observations to discover the combination

You'll also find resources for locating locksport events near you, contest preparation strategies, and advice for navigating the competition environment. Whether you’re a beginning hobbyist looking to level up your skills or an advanced lockpicker eager to start competing, Locksport is the master class to get you there.

Author Bio 

Jos Weyers is a world-record holder in the field of lock impressioning, and a mainstay participant at LockSport events around the world. He is also president of TOOOL in the Netherlands and a key figure at the Hack42 hackerspace in Arnhem. Jos is the mastermind behind the beehive42.org initiative. Known to some as the "Dutch Kilt guy," he has been featured in the New York Times and was voted #2 in the category "Hackers and Security" of the 2015 Nerd101 list of VrijNederland.

Matt Burrough is a devoted locksport hobbyist, placing twice in the ShmooCon Lockpick Village competition, second in the 2019 TOOOL US LockFest safe manipulation competition, and getting first-round opens at every TOOOL NL LockCon since 2016. During the day, Matt is a professional red team operator, and is the author of Pentesting Azure Applications (2018, No Starch Press.) He holds a bachelor’s degree in networking, security, and system administration, a master’s degree in computer science, and a variety of industry certifications from GIAC (SANS), Microsoft, and Offensive Security.

Walter Belgers is an honorary member of TOOOL, the Open Organisation of Lockpickers and NLUUG, the Dutch UNIX Users Group. He has worked in IT security for all his life variously as a penetration tester, general hacker, and now security officer at Philips, and holds an M.Sc. in computing science. Belgers also co-invented a microcomputer without a microprocessor.

BandEAtoZ is a GSA-certified safe technician with years of experience opening safes around the world. He regularly publishes articles of interest in the locksmithing magazines Keynotes and Safe and Vault Technology. He is an active member in the Safe & Vault Technicians Association, the National Safeman’s Organization, and numerous professional forums.

Nigel K. Tolley was picking locks and subverting security as a schoolboy, long before he had ever heard of locksport. No, as a locksmith for over 17 years, Tolley has taught thousands to pick locks, including many other locksmiths. He has presented at everything from corporate ice-breaker events to lock meetups. He has also consulted with lock manufacturers and designers, and found many exploits for physical security devices. He is a dedicated maker of many things, especially tools.

Table of contents 

Part I: The Basics
Chapter 1: The World of Locksport
Chapter 2: Types of Locks and Cylinders
Chapter 3: Lock Mechanics
Chapter 4: High-Security Lock Elements
Chapter 5: Lock Maintenance for Locksporters
Part II: Pin Tumbler Lockpicking
Chapter 6: Pin Tumbler Lockpicking Tools
Chapter 7: Pin Tumbler Lockpicking Step-by-Step
Chapter 8: Pin Tumbler Lockpicking Competitions
Part III: Impressioning
Chapter 9: Impressioning Tools
Chapter 10: Impressioning Step-by-Step
Chapter 11: Impressioning Competitions
Part IV: Safe Lock Manipulation
Chapter 12: Safe Lock Manipulation Tools
Chapter 13: Safe Lock Manipulation Step-by-Step
Chapter 14: Safe Lock Manipulation Competitions
Part V: Lever Lockpicking
Chapter 15: Lever Lockpicking Tools
Chapter 16: Lever Lockpicking Step-by-Step
Chapter 17: Lever Lockpicking Competitions
Part VI: Appendixes
Appendix A: Other Locksport Games
Appendix B: Where to Get Equipment


The chapters in red are included in this Early Access PDF.


"A comprehensive overview of everything there is to know about the emerging hobby known as locksport, Locksport covers not only the mechanics and techniques for picking standard pin tumbler locks, but also more exotic lever locks, opening safes with dial manipulation, and using impressioning to make keys for locks without taking them apart. The authors do a masterful job of teaching these technical skills and guiding newcomers on how to connect with the locksport community at competitions and events. Readers will find that this book saves countless hours hunting down tips and tricks that took the experts years to acquire. Highly recommended!" 
—Anthony Thompson, The Lock Sportscast

“Locksport is an amazing and varied hobby that can be enjoyed by all. As much as locksport is the pursuit and attainment of lock manipulation skills, more so, locksport is a shared passion; a community of knowledge, collaboration and celebration of achievement. This fantastic book embodies that spirit, with some of the most influential and respected people in the locksport community coming together to share a priceless wealth of information, techniques, and experience with us all.” 
—Lock Noob, YouTube.com/locknoob

"How to succeed in Locksport 101.  This book provides an excellent path for getting into locksport, how to get into the competition mindset, and how to run your own competitions.  The authors' determination to provide information only relevant to the sport aspect of lockpicking shows. New and seasoned pickers alike will learn something new!"