Locktoberfest logo

What the heck is Locktoberfest?

Locktoberfest is a party! First things first, we’re here to have fun. What’s fun for us? Lockpicking! Also: beer and brats and…. you! Locktoberfest is open to everyone, from world class lockpickers to those interested in learning for the first time.

Locktoberfest is a day of learning, teaching, and competitions (serious and frivolous) related to lockpicking.

The Chicago chapter of TOOOL has been getting together to play with locks for a while now and we decided that “October” is just as good an excuse for a party as any. Come on out and join us!

Details & Attending

Showing up is all you really need to do. People usually tell us they really enjoy the laid back format, so we’re not changing things too much.

That said, we’re asking everyone to register so that we have a good idea of who’s coming. We will have a registration website at some point.


There will be events going on throughout the day (Schedule), so feel free to drop in at any time. Events are roughly organized into two tracks: “Fun & Competitions” and “Intro to Locksport”, with some advanced workshops leading off the day before the general festivities start. If you’re a beginner, make sure to catch the intro presentations which run after 3pm (see schedule for exact times). If you’ve got some locks under your belt, plan to take part in the competitions, or attend the advanced workshops.

Lockpicking is a hobby?

Lockpicking for fun and curiosity (sometimes called “locksport”), is a pastime with a venerable history in Europe that has recently leapt in popularity in the US.

Different people enjoy it for many reasons, but most everyone gets hooked when they first have the undeniable James Bond thrill that comes from defeating a lock using only a couple pieces of metal and your skills.

Anyone can learn, and most are surprised at how easily they open their first lock. Come try it out!

Locksport Wizard 2012

Our sponsors

We are currently looking for sponsors. Let us know if you are interested.


Are under-21 attendees permitted?

Yes: Pumping Station One is open to the public, as are TOOOL events. We intend Locktoberfest to be a family-friendly event (and kids love lockpicking. Really!). However, due to the nature of the PS1 facility, no unaccompanied minors are allowed.

Yes, absolutely. In Illinois, lockpicks are legal to own, carry, and use provided you are not committing another crime while using them.

Do I need to already have tools?

No, we’ve got lots of loaners that you can use during the event. If you’d like to purchase your own, we humbly suggest the Beginner’s Blend pick kit available from the TOOOL.us store. It’s a great value, and proceeds go directly back to events like this.

You didn’t answer my question!

Technically, that’s not a question. But never fear: ask at Chicago TOOOL chapter or @TOOOLChicago and we’ll get you sorted.

lock stack