Lock-picking is the skill of unlocking a lock, via the manipulation of the various parts of the mechanism, without use of the original key or damaging the lock. Normally associated with criminal intent, rarely is this skill used by a common thief as it is much easier and quicker to bypass most locks using other methods, such as a drill, bolt cutters, padlock shims, a bump key, etc. This skill set is far more useful to a professional locksmith often called upon to bypass the lock without destroying it. In addition to the locksmith many people learn this trade as a recreational hobby.
A set of picks can have as few as five picks or as many as 32 picks along with a pick gun, these sets vary in size and price greatly. However, average lock pickers state for average locks a basic set of five picks will do.