Best Locksmithing & Lockpicking Books 2020 [Updated]


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List of Best Locksmith & Best Lockpicking Books for Beginners & Experts 2020 [Updated]

Todd Huffman CC BY-SA

Although training to be a locksmith and practicing this art is a very hands-on activity, a lot of trade knowledge can be gleaned about this trade by simply reading and learning from the appropriate locksmithing books.

There is a wide range of locksmithing books available to suit your particular interests in the trade – whether you are trying to improve your skills or are seeking inspiration for your next project.

Most locksmithing books are written by people in the industry who have a solid foundation and experience in professional locksmithing. The information included in locksmithing books is often composed of lock-picking and lock-servicing, which are also important aspects of the trade.

The list of locksmithing books below includes select titles that can provide a solid foundation in the trade for beginners and help develop the technical skills of an advanced locksmith.


1) The Complete Book of Locks and Locksmithing

Sale
The Complete Book of Locks and Locksmithing, Seventh Edition
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • Phillips, Bill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner & Advanced Locksmiths

The Complete Book of Locks and Locksmithing by Bill Phillips is a great book about both the art of locksmithing and lockpicking for a variety of applications, including modern lock designs.

The author has a lot of credibility and knowledge of the trade due to his extensive experience as a master locksmith. This book is both very detailed and covers a breadth of locksmithing and even lockpicking information.

One of the other unique aspects of this book is how it includes valuable information about how to start your own locksmithing practice or simply learn how to be hired as a professional locksmith. This information can help a hobbyist locksmith take the next step into the industry.

Pros Cons
  • Comprehensive book
  • Master locksmith author
  • Information on starting your practice
  • Great for beginner to advanced locksmiths
  • Focuses on American style of locks
  • Not as much information on lockpicking as locksmithing if you are also interested in that

2) Locksmithing from Apprentice to Master

Sale
Locksmithing
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Rathjen, Joseph (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner Lockmsiths

Locksmithing from Apprentice to Master by Joseph Rathjen is another great book for beginner to advanced locksmiths. It truly teachers you the basics and ways to hone your locksmithing skills through different techniques and applications. This book also includes advice one how to set up your own locksmithing workshop to start practicing and applying your knowledge.

The information that his book covers is very detailed, but some aspects of it may be out of date. The book does not include information about lockpicking or impressioning, so if this is an area you would like to focus on, the book may not be suitable as a sole resource.

Pros Cons
  • Great foundation for beginner locksmiths
  • Useful techniques to learn
  • Inspiring for different locksmithing projects
  • Not enough information on master locksmithing
  • Does not cover lockpicking
  • Certain information is out of date

 


3) Master Locksmithing

Recommended for: Advanced Locksmiths

Master Locksmithing by Bill Phillips is another informative locksmithing book by the author. This book in particular contains information for advanced locksmiths who could use a refresher regarding certain topics in the trade.

The book covers a variety of hardware-related topics as well as electrical information for alarm systems, which may or may not be of interest to locksmiths who would like to focus on the mechanical aspect of the trade.

Due to the detailed information on re-keying, electrical symbol information, this book can be a very useful reference for seasoned locksmiths. However, it may not be well-suited for people who are just learning more about the trade and want to start off with basic projects.

Pros Cons
  • Great reference book
  • Experienced author
  • Wide variety of topics
  • Low-level to high-level information on select topics
  • Great for advanced locksmiths
  • Not intended for beginner locksmiths
  • Some of the reference information in the book can also be found from external sources

4) Locksmithing: Lock Picking & Lock Opening – Professional Training Manual

Locksmithing, Lock Picking & Lock Opening: Professional Training Manual
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Picket, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner & Intermediate Locksmiths

Locksmithing: Lock Picking & Lock Opening – Professional Training Manual by William Picket is a great book about the supplementary aspects of locksmithing, as stated in the title. This book is geared towards beginner to intermediate locksmiths who would like to be exposed to different parts of the trade.

Since the locksmithing trade goes hand-in-hand with lock-picking and lock-opening, it is important to understand the basics of these concepts and practices. Most professional locksmiths are either already versed in lock-picking and lock-opening or they are seeking to further improve their skills to level-up in the industry.

This book is formatted as a helpful and thorough training manual that discusses different types of locks, the tools needed to work on them, and helpful illustrations depicting how to service certain types of locks.

Pros Cons
  • Practical information
  • Great for beginner to intermediate locksmiths
  • Information about lock-picking and lock-opening
  • Great introduction to basic concepts
  • Discussion of tools and lock types
  • Easy to understand
  • Not a lot of information about locksmithing itself
  • Some illustrations or pictures may be difficult to see

 


5) Visual Guide to Lock Picking

Sale
Visual Guide to Lock Picking
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Mark McCloud (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner & Intermediate Locksmiths

The Visual Guide to Lock Picking from Mark Mcloud covers a wide range of in-depth information about locksmithing and lock servicing in particular, using a highly visual approach to learning.

Although there isn’t as much hard-theory as other books on the subject, there is still plenty of information to accompany the high-quality images which will be very beneficial to visual learners or those who like to learn with hands-on practice alongside reading. There is also quite a lot of information on the history of locks and locksmithing, which may be interesting to those wanting to know more about the historical evolution of the trade.

The book covers a huge amount of different locks and techniques, and would be a suitable purchase for both beginners and intermediate locksmiths alike.

Pros Cons
  • Great for intermediate to advanced locksmiths
  • Huge amount of high quality images to accompany text
  • Covers basic information about locksmithing and detailed information about lock servicing and professional
  • Good for visual learners
  • Historical information may not be for everyone
  • May be lacking in details for advanced and professional locksmiths
  • Relatively expensive to purchase

 


6) Locksmith: The Bible of Locksmith Training, Locksmith Kit, Locksmith Tools, Car Locksmith and More

Recommended for: Beginner Locksmiths

Locksmith: The Bible of Locksmith Training, Locksmith Kit, Locksmith Tools, Car Locksmith and More by Howard Niemi is a book that is geared towards beginner locksmiths who are trying to be introduced to the basic aspects of the trade.

This is a relatively short book and an easy read for someone who would like to quickly learn about general information of trade.

Pros Cons
  • Great for beginners
  • Quick read
  • Covers basic information about locksmithing
  • Not geared towards intermediate to advanced locksmiths
  • Not much in-depth information about the trade

 


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