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, 352 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 fully illustrated, 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 intricate full-color diagrams to learn to rake, pick, and crack. The book covers not just the art of lockpicking, but impressioning and safe manipulation too. You’ll understand the engineering behind various types of locks and the craft of hacking the machinery without damaging it.

You’ll first learn to pick familiar locks, like padlocks and those on your own front door, using tools like tension wrenches, hooks, and rakes. You’ll then learn about impressioning: the art of creating a working key from a blank by reading and recreating the subtle marks the lock leaves in the metal. Finally you’ll crack into safe locks by systematically dialling numbers, recording your observations, and repeating your experiments.

You’ll learn:

  • Innovative security techniques for locks, like abnormal pin shapes, magnetic parts, and movable components
  • The best ways to use your tools: how to hold your tension wrench, what to feel for in a lock, when to bother with a vice or flashlight, and when pen and paper are your strongest weapons
  • How to source locks, safe mechanisms, and cracking tools
  • How to find locksport competitions and navigate the competition environment

When you’re ready, the authors will fully prepare you for competition with thorough guidance, expert tips and tricks, and effective preparation methods.

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.