This is the 12 piece lockpick set offered by the TOOOL organization, designed by their members to open as many locks possible with the least amount of effort. I have been testing this set for nearly a week now and I will share my findings with you. Upon initial inspection I found the picks themselves to be very thick, so thick that I wondered if they would even fit in most euro keyways. But as I was testing them, I found they fit in nearly every keyway I tried (exotic keyways being the exception) but I did find it difficult to maneuver in curvy keyways.
The pick thickness made it difficult to make the turns inside the keyway. Also during my initial inspection I noticed these picks are very hard. They are strong, as in my fingers could not bend the metal at all. There was no flex at all.
These picks are made from 301 Full Hard which I have worked with in the past and I assume the strength of these picks comes from their thickness. As a result of not having any flex and being made from 301 Full Hard steel, they will bend over normal use. I bent the hook pick in a master 140 padlock. I had not even gotten to testing the strength, I was just picking security pins. Because the metal had no flex, it did not bend back to shape, and I could not do it with my fingers.
The feedback from these picks was solid. The design is also great. The shafts were designed short so they did not get in your way. The added handles are quite comfortable. Overall the picks are well made, just of the wrong material and thickness. I assume that using a subpar metal made the picks thicker, if they were made of 301 High Yield they could be far thinner without bending.
The tension wrench selection is good, 6 wrenches for 6 picks, that’s a fair amount. But the delivery left something to be desired. There are 2 widths of tensors. One width is very small, allowing for top of keyway tension, this smaller width has a small tip (perfect for TOK(Top of Keyway) tension) and it comes in 3 different thicknesses which are designed to fit snugly in various keyways. The second width tensor is much larger and also has a longer tip, this is designed for bottom of keyway tension. They also have 3 different thicknesses and are designed to fit snugly in various keyways.
These tensors all work great, when they fit… but I find them limiting. Imagine a keyway that is too small to fit wide tensors, this forces the picker to use the TOK wrenches. If the picker does not like TOK tension then they may not be able to open the lock. Here is an example:
This lock is a very simple Corbin keyway that should be easy to pick with bottom or top tension. But none of these wrenches fit in the bottom, the wide ones are too wide and the narrow ones are too narrow. End result, these tools need a middle ground width tensor to appease more pickers. Personally I like TOK tension so I was not hindered.I did notice one more thing about the tensors, the lengths of the tips were cut unevenly. I don’t know why, it may have been on purpose. But I can’t imagine why, and it was not a problem while picking either.
In the end I have to rate them a 3.5 out of 5. The thickness of the picks is bothersome and the strength of the metal is an issue. The tensors need a middle ground as well. But the design is perfect and the feedback is great. If the company is concerned about the quality of their product instead the bottom dollar, they can fix these issues easily and have a top notch product.