Question regarding lockpicks and children

No, I haven’t locked the children in the basement.

I have an ongoing deal with my kids that I will teach them ‘spy skills’ as they grow up, that is to say, skills that they may find useful should they find themselves in a James Bond type situation, or simply useful in life. So far this has included things like: rock climbing, archery, karate and piano - okay, so I’m pushing it with music, but you never know, it may be part of the back story some day - and will someday include firearms, but this is a little more difficult to set up in Canada. This scheme is likely partly derived from my eldest brother teaching me how to leap from a moving car when I was a child, ‘just in case I needed it’.

However, I was interested in something a bit more ‘classic spy’ for them. I was considering getting lockpicks, and learning how to pick locks. This raises a couple of questions:

-Legality- my current understanding is that it is legal to possess lockpicks, and to learn how to use them, however, having them on you out in the world would potentially constitute burglary tools. Is this correct?

  • Practicality - How hard is this to learn? Does one start with door locks and move to padlocks or the other way?

  • Apparatus- you can spend $15 for a book and some picks, or $100 for a ‘lockpicking course in a box’, or zillions on videos. What’s the best point of entry (:D) for an amateur.

Please note, I am explicitly asking about the legalities, and I have absolutely zero intention of committing any illegal acts. I am not interested in any discussion of illegal activities, except discussions of where the line would be.

Looks like it depends on your province:


A discussion board herehas some more provincial info.

Thanks for the speedy input. I like the username/topic combo.

There are actually groups that make it a sport to lockpick. You can google them I bet. Apparently, it’s a big hobby and people go around competing to see how fast they can pick a particular lock.

There are times when I come home with my hands full carrying boxes or bags, and I think to myself, “Times like this, it would really be convenient if I could teach the dog to open the front door for me.” Then I get inside, and I think about it further, “Wait a minute, I don’t want the dog coming and going as she pleases.”

Are you sure you want your kids being able to break into anything you might prefer to keep locked up? :stuck_out_tongue:

There was a guy in our college fraternity who was into picking locks. With a single 10 minute lesson/demonstration, he got fumble-fingered me to the point where I could pick an “easy” padlock within a few minutes. You usually start with padlocks I think, simply because you can sit down and work on it for a while.

Teach the paperclip method on simple locks and call it done. It just takes a paperclip and a simple door lock - and its legal to own a paperclip, even in Saskatoon. (At least, I’m assuming it is).

Maybe even a “little bit West of Saskatoon”.

They’re pretty good kids. I think the benefit of “I know cool stuff” outweighs the risk of them rummaging around. I don’t have much stuff locked up anyway. Attacklass is extremely sensible, and **Attacklad **is lawfully aligned, so I’m okay with them learning these skills. Plus I’m doubtful that their attention spans would allow them to gain real expertise - They’d be ecstatic to pick a single simple lock once.

The dog, however, I keep a close eye on.

Hi Attack, we seem to have a lot in common. I sent you an email on this topic so we can compare notes.

As far as I can tell from Wikipedia and the other links above, it would be legal to own and use lock picks in your own home in BC, but one shouldn’t take one’s tools for walkies. This keeps reminding me of the Amsterdam scene in Pulp Fiction.

The suggestions regarding paper clips are not bad ideas. Maybe I should just buy a book onimprovised lockpicking and start with that. Would that be the best way to learn I wonder?

I can easily picture an elegant superspy using piano skills as a way to impress and distract the ladies or gentlemen (as the case may be) who have the information that the spy needs in order to accomplish his or her mission. :wink:

You da man.

Exactly- Attacklad is going to be shocked when he learns how to waltz for just this reason

Hijack: That reminds me of an episode of the humorous crime drama “Psych,” in which the lead character escaped from the trunk of a car, a skill taught to him by his father as a child.

OP, you sound like a damn cool parent.

The only lock I ever picked was, perhaps, the one that might scare your kids the most – it was on my friend’s diary. Just had to poke something thin in there and wiggle a bit.

Don’t neglect “How to pick handcuffs” in their lessons.

MIT Lockpicking guide, google it.

Thanks. Looks cool.

The book you will likely get is the one I linked to.

You can make your own lock picks if you have a dremel type tool and some aptitude. I myself have none.