How To Pick a Lock: Lishi Tool Basics

Light Tension

Be sure to follow this guide to properly prepare your lock for a lishi tool.

After your lock is prepped and your tool is inserted into the lock, the lishi tool is fairly easy to learn. First you want to take your left hand and apply light tension on the tension handle. Many people when starting off will use what I call Gorilla Hands and apply way too much force. In some cases, an increase of tension can be strategically used but in general keep the tension light. Tension should be applied throughout the whole procedure. If you let off tension, the wafers will reset and you will have to restart the picking process.

If It’s Stiff, It’s Ready to be Picked

Using your pick tabs, start at the first space. While applying tension, bounce the wafer as seen in the video to check for stiffness. If you feel nothing, it likely does not have a wafer there and you can disregard this space. If it’s springy, this means it is NOT ready to be picked. If it is stiff, you can slowly pull the tab setting it into the correct depth. After you set/pick the wafer, give it another spring test before moving onto the next space. If it is stiff, you either set the wafer too far or did not set it far enough. A correctly set/picked wafer will retract about one depth on the reader and spring back.

Continue Picking

After you set your first wafer, continue on to the next spaces until all wafers have been set. The lock will then turn and you have successfully picked the lock!

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