How to Pick a Wafer Lock

Wafer locks are widely used in padlocks, cabinets, and cash boxes. They offer a simple and inexpensive security solution for protecting assets and belongings. However, they can also be easily bypassed by a skilled lockpicker.

How to Pick a Wafer Lock

The main  advantage of picking a wafer lock is that it gives you access to locked spaces without having to rely on finding the key or damaging the lock. This skill can come in handy in a variety of situations, such as when you have lost your keys, want to get into an old or forgotten storage unit, or need to enter a room that is currently occupied. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to pick a wafer lock.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Pick a Wafer Lock

Step 1: Inspect  the Lock

Before you begin picking a wafer lock, inspect it to determine whether it’s a single-sided or double-sided lock. Single-sided locks have wafers only on one side of the keyway, while double-sided locks have wafers on both sides.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools

To successfully pick a wafer lock, you’ll need a tension wrench and a pick. You can purchase these tools from most hardware stores or online. Insert the tension wrench into the bottom of the keyway and apply slight pressure in the direction that would turn the key to unlock it. This will create tension on the lock and hold the wafers in place.

Step 3: Insert the Pick

Insert the pick into the top of the keyway. Wiggle it around to locate each wafer’s position and determine which direction they need to be pushed or pulled. Using your pick, locate each wafer and manipulate it to the correct position. This will require trial and error, so be patient.

Insert the Pick

Step 4: Use Light Pressure

When manipulating the wafers, apply light pressure in the direction that they need to move. Be gentle as applying too much force can damage the lock. Continue locating and manipulating each wafer until they are all in the correct position. Move them one by one, starting from the back of the lock and working your way forward.

Step 5: Feel for Pin Set

As you move each wafer into place, feel for a slight click or resistance that indicates it is set in the correct position. Once all wafers are in the correct position, use your tension wrench to turn the lock. If it doesn’t open on the first try, recheck the position of each wafer and try again.

Step 6: Practice Makes Perfect

Picking a wafer lock takes practice and patience. Keep practicing and you’ll soon become an expert at picking this type of lock. Remember to always use your new skill ethically and responsibly. Happy picking.

Picking a Wafer Lock Takes Practice

Safety Tips for How to Pick a Wafer Lock

  1. In most cases, it is illegal to pick a wafer lock without permission from the owner. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations before attempting to pick a wafer lock.
  2. Always use caution when picking a wafer lock as you may damage the lock or cause harm to yourself. If you are unsure or inexperienced in picking locks, it is best to seek assistance from a professional locksmith.
  3. Be aware that picking a wafer lock may void any warranty on the lock and may also cause damage to the lock itself. It is important to weigh the risks before attempting to pick a wafer lock.
  4. Make sure you have permission from the owner of the lock before attempting to pick it. Picking someone else’s lock without their consent is not only illegal, but it is also a violation of their privacy.
  5. Be patient when picking a wafer lock. It takes time and practice to develop the skills needed for successful lock picking. Rushing or using excessive force can lead to damage of the lock and may even result in injury.
  6. Use proper tools when picking a wafer lock. Using makeshift or improper tools can damage the lock and make it more difficult to pick. Invest in high-quality tools specifically designed for lock picking.
  7. Always use caution when handling a picked wafer lock. Even after successfully picking the lock, it is important to handle it carefully as any mishandling could cause the wafers to fall out of place and make re-locking difficult.
Always Use Caution

By  following these safety tips and precautions, you can effectively learn how to pick a wafer lock while minimizing the risks involved. Remember to always use caution, seek permission, and practice patience when attempting to pick any type of lock.

What Are the Common Mistakes When Picking a Wafer Lock?

Picking a wafer lock can be a challenging task, especially for beginners. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when attempting to pick a wafer lock:

  • Using excessive force: One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is using too much force when picking a wafer lock. This can damage the delicate wafers and make it more difficult to successfully pick the lock.
  • Not using proper tools: Using improper or makeshift tools can damage the lock and make it nearly impossible to pick. It is important to invest in high-quality, specialized lock picking tools for the best results.
  • Lacking patience: Lock picking requires time and practice. Rushing or becoming frustrated can lead to mistakes and ultimately make it more difficult to pick the lock.
  • Not obtaining permission: It is important to always obtain permission from the owner of the lock before attempting to pick it. Picking someone else’s lock without their consent is not only illegal, but it also goes against ethical principles.
  • Mishandling the picked lock: Even after successfully picking a wafer lock, it is important to handle it with care. Any mishandling can cause the wafers to fall out of place and make re-locking a difficult task.
Specialized Lock Picking Tools for the Best Results

By being aware of these common mistakes, you can avoid them and improve your chances of successfully picking a wafer lock. Remember to always approach lock picking with caution and patience, using proper tools and seeking permission when necessary.

Are There Any Special Techniques for Picking a Wafer Lock?

While picking a wafer lock may not be as common among locksmiths, it is still an important skill to possess. Wafer locks are typically found in file cabinets, desk drawers, and some older vehicles. They can also be seen in many padlocks used for low-security applications. When it comes to picking a wafer lock, there are a few techniques that can be used to make the process easier and more successful. Here are some tips for picking a wafer lock:

1. Use a Half-Diamond Pick

A half-diamond pick is a popular choice for picking wafer locks due to its ability to fit into the narrow slots of the lock and manipulate the wafers effectively. This type of pick is also commonly used for pin tumbler locks, making it a versatile tool for locksmiths.

2. Apply Light Tension

As with any lock picking technique, applying the right amount of tension is crucial. In the case of wafer locks, you want to apply light tension using your tension wrench while working on each wafer individually. You should feel a slight give in the lock when a wafer is set in place.

3. Rock the Pick

Another useful technique for picking a wafer lock is to use a rocking motion with your pick while applying tension. This can help you manipulate multiple wafers at once, making the process faster and more efficient. The key is to work gently and patiently, as rushing can lead to breaking off wafers inside the lock.

Use a Rocking Motion With Your Pick

4. Listen for Clicks

As you work on each wafer, listen for a clicking sound that indicates it has been set in place. This is similar to the “click” heard when picking a pin tumbler lock and can be a helpful cue that you are making progress with the wafer lock.

Remember, picking a wafer lock takes practice and patience. It may require some trial and error, but with the right tools and techniques, you can successfully pick a wafer lock.

Is It Possible to Damage the Lock While Attempting to Pick It?

When it comes to picking a wafer lock, one of the biggest concerns is whether or not attempting to pick it can cause damage to the lock itself. After all, no one wants to accidentally ruin their own locks in an attempt to learn how to pick them. The good news is that for most standard wafer locks, the risk of damaging the lock while trying to pick it is quite low. Unlike other types of locks, wafer locks are not prone to breaking or jamming during the picking process.

However, this does not mean that there is no risk at all. If you use excessive force or apply too much pressure while trying to manipulate the wafers in a wafer lock, there is a possibility that you may damage some of the internal components. This is especially true for cheaper, lower-quality locks that may not be as durable.

Wafer Locks Are Not Prone to Breaking

To minimize this risk, it is important to use gentle and precise movements when picking a wafer lock. It is also recommended to use high-quality tools specifically designed for picking wafer locks. These tools are made with materials that are less likely to cause damage to the lock, such as plastic or titanium.


In conclusion,  picking a wafer lock requires patience, practice and proper tools. The process may seem daunting at first but with some experience, it can become second nature. Understanding the basic principles of how a wafer lock works is crucial in successfully picking one.

If you are just starting out or struggling to pick a wafer lock, remember to start with simple locks and work your way up to more complex ones. Practice on different types of locks, and once you have mastered the technique, it will be easier to pick any wafer lock.

Furthermore, having the right tools is essential in picking a wafer lock efficiently. Invest in quality lockpicking tools such as tension wrenches and picks specifically designed for wafer locks. This will make the process smoother and prevent any damage to the lock. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to pick a wafer lock. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

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