The best beginner lock pick set is the one that allows you to focus on learning the skill, and not on whether or not your lock pick is the reason you haven’t cracked that lock open yet.
I know. You’re tempted to go for a cheap lock pick set on Amazon. The problem with that is you don’t have enough experience to know if the pick you get is a quality pick. Low quality lock picks can break while picking, and in the worst case scenario, jam themselves inside of the lock you’re working on.
Instead of grabbing a low quality lock pick set, find one that is good quality, but lower cost. You don’t need a full 100 pick professional kit, but you should have a variety of options in the kit to attack your lock.
In a rush? Just the facts:
What should the best beginner lock pick set contain?
First, if it’s really the best beginner lock pick set, it needs a hook and tension bar. These two things are necessary in any kit. But especially in a beginner kit.
Next, you need to have access to at least one rake. I suggest a Bogota because I find them to be the most versatile. Failing that, it should have a double Rake, “S” Rake, or “Snake” rake. These are all the same thing.
What else should it have?
Do you need more?
Really, though, you don’t. There are some things missing from this supposed “best beginner lock pick set” but they’re not really beginner level. They’re more intermediate.
Let’s say you’re not looking for the bare minimum. You want something that will transition from beginner kit to every day carry? And you’re willing to spend just a little bit more on it.
In that case, toss in a couple more hooks of various shapes and lengths, a more shallow Bogota, and a long ripple or “city” rake. While we’re at it, let’s toss in a bunch more tension tools. So we have a variety to fit any keyhole.
Is this the best beginner lock pick set? I guess that depends on how heavily you weigh price.
Is more expensive, higher quality?
This question is a tough one to answer without specific examples. Let’s say that we have two kits, each containing the same types of lock picks. One is less expensive than the other. Does that make it lower quality? Maybe, or maybe not.
What really goes into a quality lock pick set? What do you need to look for that will help you decide whether or not the set you’re grabbing is really the best lock pick set for beginners, or if it’s going to keep you frustrated long after you’ve given up trying to learn?
First, look at the steel. A good pick set needs to be strong, but flexible. The pick should hold up to tension for higher security pins, but if it has no flex it’s only a matter of time before it breaks. Find a pick with the right combination, and you’re part way to a quality pick.
Pick Head Finish
Next look at the finish. Cheap picks almost always have rough edges and rough finishes. You can smooth the edges after purchasing, but only if you know that you need to. If you’re looking for the a lock pick set for beginners, you’re unlikely to know this. Which means the best lock pick set for beginners is one with a smoothed finish already.
Why do you need smoothed edges? Because rough edges catch the pins when picking locks. This interrupts your ability to feel the pins, and hampers your learning.
Next look at the handle. Cheap picks will have bare metal handles, or handles that appear to have been glued on. Glued on handles aren’t necessarily a bad sign, but beware of sharp edges. That goes for bare metal, as well. A bare metal handle with edges that aren’t beveled is painful during a long session. Not good for learning.
Covered handles with bad glue jobs will eventually come unglued. What does that leave us with? Bare metal handles, or handles covered in sharp, dry, glue. Neither of which we want.
So, what is the best beginner lock pick set?
I have two, and it depends on price constraints. These are essentially the same kit, but the lower cost kit containing just the bare essentials. It’s the absolutely necessities to get you started, and will need to be upgraded before you start tackling locks of higher security.
But let’s stop gabbing and get on with the picks.
The absolute best lock pick set for beginners
If you’ve read any of my other content, this won’t be a surprise. I’ve been screaming the benefits of the Peterson Ghost Pick Set for years, and I won’t stop anytime soon. It has everything we need contained inside of the high quality nylon case, and can go from training lock pick set to professional lock pick set overnight.
If you already know you’re going to make a career, or long term hobby, of lock picking, you can’t go wrong with the Ghost Pick Set. Our normal price right now is $74.
The best lock pick set for beginners on a budget?
And like I said, I do have a budget option. If you can’t swing the full $74 for the Ghost Pick Set, you can still get started learning for just $29.99 with our Locksmith Training Kit.
This kit was hand curated to include only the essentials. It misses out on the extra Bogota, hooks, tension tools, and case, but all of those are nice to haves anyway.
The Locksmith Training Kit is the perfect beginner lock pick set for hobbyists, or people thinking of getting started as a locksmith apprentice.
The best lock pick set for beginners for the least amount possible?
Okay. I don’t like even mentioning this. I really think if you’re going to start, you should start with a lock pick set that is professional quality. It’s like playing guitar. If you start trying to learn on a lower quality guitar, you’re never going to be sure if you’re struggling because you’re not learning, or if the guitar is the problem. The same holds true for lock picks.
But, if you really can’t afford the extra $12, you can always pick up the TOMTOP Lockpick set. At $17.24, it’s the lowest price you’re going to spend on a pick set. And it even comes with a case. I used this set a lot when I first started out, and they can be rough around the edges, but if you smooth them off with a bit of high grit sandpaper when you get them it does help. These are perfectly fine when you’re starting when combined with a clear plastic lock.