Know How to Pick a Wafer Lock Step by Step

June 11, 2023

A wafer lock is a type of lock that operates using a series of flat wafers that interact with a locking mechanism to secure the lock. Wafers are small, flat pieces of metal that are similar in shape to a thin wafer biscuit. They are arranged in a circular or rectangular pattern within the lock's keyway.

Wafer locks are commonly found in low-security applications, such as filing cabinets, desks, and interior doors. They are generally easier to pick than other types of locks, such as pin tumbler locks, because they have fewer moving parts and do not require as much precision to manipulate. People can get Lock Pick Sets and solve the lock problems well by themselves at home.

There are several reasons why a wafer lock may need to be picked. For example, if you have lost the key to a cabinet or drawer that uses a wafer lock, you may need to pick the lock to gain access. Similarly, if you are a locksmith or security professional, you may need to pick a wafer lock as part of your job. However, it's important to note that picking a lock without proper authorization is illegal and can result in criminal charges. It's always best to seek professional assistance or obtain proper authorization before attempting to pick a lock.

The Structure of A Wafer Lock

A wafer lock is a type of lock that operates using a series of flat wafers that interact with a locking mechanism to secure the lock. The structure of a wafer lock typically consists of the following components:

Keyway: This is the opening in the lock that the key is inserted into. The keyway of a wafer lock is typically wider and flatter than the keyway of a pin tumbler lock.

Wafers: These are flat, rectangular or circular pieces of metal that are stacked inside the lock's keyway. The wafers have notches cut out of them that correspond to the pattern of the key. When the correct key is inserted into the lock, the notches in the wafers align, allowing the lock to be turned and unlocked.

Driver: This is the mechanism that holds the wafers in place. The driver applies pressure to the wafers, causing them to rest against a spring.

Spring: This is the component that applies pressure to the wafers, holding them in place when the correct key is not inserted.

When the correct key is inserted into the lock, the notches on the key align with the notches on the wafers, allowing the wafers to move up and down freely. This movement releases the pressure on the driver, which allows the lock to be turned and unlocked. When an incorrect key or a pick is inserted into the lock, the notches on the key or pick will not align with the notches on the wafers, causing the wafers to bind and preventing the lock from turning.

How to Pick A Wafer Lock Step By Step

Insert the tension wrench

Insert the tension wrench into the bottom of the keyway and apply gentle tension in the direction that the lock would normally turn. This tension will hold the driver and the wafers in place while you pick the lock.

Feel for binding wafers

Insert your pick into the keyway above the tension wrench and gently move it up and down. As you move the pick, pay attention to the feeling of the wafers. Binding wafers will feel stiffer or harder to move than non-binding wafers.

Set the binding wafers

Once you have identified a binding wafer, use your pick to apply pressure to it in the direction that it would move if the correct key was inserted. This pressure will lift the wafer to the correct height so that it is flush with the shear line, allowing the driver to move freely.

Rotate the lock

Once all of the binding wafers have been set, apply more tension to the tension wrench and use it to rotate the lock. If the wafers have been set correctly, the lock should turn and open.

Repeat the process

If the lock does not open, release the tension on the tension wrench and start the process again, feeling for binding wafers and setting them one by one until the lock opens.
It's important to note that picking a wafer lock can be a delicate process, and it may take some practice to get the hang of it. It's also important to use the right tools and to be patient and methodical when picking the lock. Remember to always pick locks legally and ethically, and seek professional help if needed. Locksmiths can find good lock picks at and add these useful tools to your locksmiths tools bag.

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