Posted on August 25, 2013 by Shopify API
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.
Posted on July 16, 2013 by Shopify API
For a mere 96 pounds you could be the proud owner of what looks like a compact pickset - the German made Pick Set ZIEH-FIX Pick Needle Set “Novum” But upon further examination it turns out this pickset is not what it appears to be at all. This is a manual Electronic Pick Gun (EPG).
That is to say, it has 13 different interchangeable tips (3 of each) and one common handle, and ALL of these tips are designed for raking, strong up and down motions. NONE of these tips are designed for the slower techniques used with most manual lockpicks. Also, these 39 tips will likely fit into your EPG that you may currently own.
So what makes this different than your EPG, no batteries… It’s man powered, if you will. Other than the 39 pick tips (13 different types) you will receive 1 tension wrench, 1 allen wrench and 1 brass handle.
To use this tool, you loosen the knurled nut on the brass handle and insert one of the pick tips, then you must tighten the knurled nut as tight as you can and insert the tip into any lock you wish to open. And rapidly shake this tool, up and down until the lock succumbs to your tireless efforts. You should use quite a bit for force when shaking the tool, the tips may seem weak but they are made of Hardened stainless steel, so they can take a beating… Plus you have 3 of each so it’s ok to break one.
If you were to ask my personal opinion of this tool I would have to rate it a solid 3.5 out of 5. I don’t rake much so I would love to have a few normal hooks with the set, but when raking this tool does work great. It is quieter than an EPG or manual pick gun, also smaller and overall more covert but of course requires more effort from the user.
The picks are strong for what they are and you have the largest variety of rakes in any one set that I have ever seen. But my biggest complaint is that there is only ONE tension wrench. I always say the tensor is as important (if not more) than the pick, not every lock fits 1 tensor… So add yourself a couple more tensors and you have yourself a nice, quick, covert rake set.
These tools can be found at Amazon and a few other locksmith tool retailers.
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