Hacked electric toothbrush undoes locks with ease
The cinematic version of lockpicking tends to emphasize the meticulous and delicate image of the craft. The hero or villain pulls out a thin wallet of fine tools, applies them skillfully and precisely, and quickly unlocks the lock. They make it look easy, and although the picture is not far from the real thing, there are other ways to pick a lock.
This handy electric toothbrush hook is a surprisingly effective example of the more brutal approach to lockpicking. As [Jolly Peanut] explains, pin locks work by aligning each pin with the cylinder’s shear line, allowing the lock to turn. This can be accomplished one pin at a time with picks, or en masse by vibrating the pins until they randomly align with the shear line just long enough for the lock to turn. A locksmith might use a tool specifically designed for the job, but a simple battery-powered electric toothbrush also works in a pinch. [Jolly Peanut] removed the usual commercial end of the brush to reveal a metal drive rod that vibrates at high frequency. The rod has been thinned by a bit of grinding to fit into a keyway in a lock, and with the application of a little torque, the vibration is enough to put the pins in the correct position. He tries it on several locks in the video below, and it only takes a few seconds each time.
Such brute force methods of course have their drawbacks. They are not really subtle and the noise they create can attract unwanted attention. In that case, hone your manual lockpicking skills with a giant transparent lock printed in 3D.
Thanks for the advice, [Net Imp].