There are several reasons why you might want to pick a lock. If you are picking for the challenge and entertainment then experimenting varied combinations of tensioner and pick is part of the fun. Alternately, there may be situations when you just want to get a lock open with the minimum of fuss.
In the latter case single pick picking (aka SPP) is a technique that you will avoid if possible. Generally SPP needs considerable skill, practice and time.
What are the alternatives? The first technique to attempt is “rocking”.
As a distinct technique rocking is relatively new to me. I first noticed references to it while writing the previous blog on this subject. I grabbed a tension tool, a couple of locks and a hook pick.
I applied a modicum of tension, inserted the hook upside down and seesawed the end. Both locks popped open in a few seconds. I will admit I was a little miffed by this. One of these locks had refused to open to any method for several days when I first started picking! All I’d needed to do was invert a hook and wiggle it? Obviously there is at least one moral to this story. The chief one is that you should not resort to complicated techniques if you have not tried simple ones first. On the subject of simplicity, always consider if there is an easier way to bypass a lock available before you start picking.
You can rock a lock with other sorts of picks too. I prefer to use a rocking action with jag rakes rather than the scrubbing, zipping or ripping. How effective this is depends a lot on the particular combination of rake and lock. One jag rake will quickly open a lock while another will have no effect on the same lock. If you favour jags (which I do not) you had best have a reasonable assortment handy when attempting to rock.
If you read my previous blog you will know the Bogotas are my “go to” picks, and that I am probably more likely to have these handy than a single hook or jags. After my success with an inverted hook I tried the technique with my single hump Bogota. I managed to open my more truculent lock once with the single-hump, and it was not particularly fast. My impression is that my single-hump is too straight to be a good rocker. Which way up you use it seems to make very little difference.
The triple-hump Bogota can be used to rock a lock. Because the Bogota is a shade thicker than some of my picks it helps if you really relax your arm so motion is more freely transmitted to the pick. By doing this you can get the pick moving quite fast, emulating the action of electric picks. Vary you rocking action. More importantly, vary the level of torque you are applying. If the lock will not rock open, try any other picks you have, or move on to other methods. Luckily the triple-hump Bogota also lends itself to jiggling, wiggling, scrubbing, zipping and rippling so you have some other options before resorting to single pin picking.