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Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

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Papa Gleb

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:22 pm

Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

About a year ago, after easily braking a pick from my first ever set, I decided to invest in some better picks and got a bunch from Peterson. They arrived as perfect as expect and as priced. After some use, I feel in love as many of you have. At that time, Peterson even took a step further, most picks are laser cut so the cuts are flat but Peterson somehow cut his in a V shape so the cuts came out with a litter triangle on them which partly removed the sharp edges and completely removed the flats. This V cutting not only made the picks usable out the package but it also cut down the final finish time significantly not to mention required less material to be sanded away. If I’m not making this clear, hopefully some of the vet guys can better explain what I’m trying to describe.

Today, I received my most recent order and I could not believe my eyes. I am so disappointed to the point that it is upsetting and worry that my favorite pick company, which I viewed as being on top of the market, is going to the bottom.

I will start with the handles, looks like either the mold is very old or they stopped handle finishing because it has extra plastic all around which will need to be cut and risk cutting into the handle. The gem and hook in govt steel that I got, have handles that feel like someone grabbed them hot out the mold with their fingers and squeezed them. There are indents on both sides. Perhaps they started to use less plastic hoping the space would be filled with air but when it cooled the air did too. The molding also has extra plastic all around which will need to be cut off.

Moving on to the metal, you can forget the V finish I described above, just hope the cuts come out straight. One of them feels like waves. The final finish is now exactly like all of the other picks on the market and require lots of sanding and material removal to break the sharp edges. I’m hoping with all of the budget cuts, they have not changed their formula for the "govt steel".

These discoveries were insult to injury because I ordered them 11/23, 2 day shipping meant they would arrive 11/27 when my office is closed due to Holiday. Both Friday and Saturday I went on a mission to hunting down my mail carrier but that was time wasted. Order arrived today and guess what… they also messed up and sent me the wrong pick.

Very upsetting but the customer service didn’t get cut. Just called about the wrong pick. Turns out it was a bad/wrong batch and they are shipping me the right pick and let me keep the wrong one.
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xeo

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:26 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

I've witnessed Peterson's quality decline over the years to the point where I no longer buy anything from them. This is exactly why I invested about $300 in a ton of Peterson's old style picks that he no longer makes... the purple plastic dipped .018" gov steel slender hook and gem. Hands down the best mainstream pick I've ever used. Very sad he no longer produces this. I've had conversations with Ken Persson himself on the phone about it and he just doesn't care. There are all kinds of sloppy variations in Peterson's manufacturing process from pick width to handle quality to pick shape. The only consistent product for pure picking that he has are the prybars ( :prybar: ) . As far as an alternative goes... I don't think there is one. Nothing will ever beat a .018" width government steel short hook and gem in my opinion aside from a kick ass homebrew.
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ith

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:34 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

That's a shame. I'd call them up and have them replaced. I just got a reach, gem, and a dcap hook1, and all are the same quality I've always expected from Petersons. Maybe just a bad run or something, but they should never have been sent out, so maybe it is the QA that is slipping. It is never fun to get anything new and expecting something and getting something different. Hope it can get worked out for you though. :)
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Papa Gleb

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:18 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

Xeo you are so right man. If I would have only known this a year ago I would have stocked up for a very long time. I do have possible plan in mind but its a long shot. Im with you tho, dont think anything out there can compare to Peterson (old) picks. Very upsetting.

Ith, When was the first time you ordered picks from Peterson? Im having doubts its a bad batch but even if it is, chance are Ill get the same or worse picks and having to ship and return and again and again doesnt seem worth it. Bills review video confirmed that they dont do that V cuts anymore so thats not a bad batch for sure.

Im honestly hoping more people to give their thoughts here so I can better understand whats going on in the company. If there are more people saying they ordered and got same good stuff then ill call and raise hell demanding they run a full QC on each of my ordered pick. Perhaps they know this and that is why they gave me a free pick. Thinking wow a guy called with no complaints but a mistake we made? Heck let him keep the mistake and make him happy because the other route is more time intense.

The over all company quality is pretty shitty if you think about it. How many mistake batches have they made that they can offer discounted product rejects 3x a year not to mention is prime example is their most recent blank handles which have the stamp made in RSA not USA. I also ordered some stuff from the last reject batch and I received 2 picks with a baby blue handle and another blue handle which now makes a total of 3 different color blue handles they have but we know 25 is blank, 18 is pink/purple and 15 is dark blue, carbon steel is gray so what are the other ones? I also have 2 green handles picked.
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just1pick+open

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:38 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

Papa I have to say iv'e noticed the downhill in Quality and all I keep hearing is that peterson could care less...Bad batch or not I have either broken or bent quite a few of the gems and bogies so I have already said on here that i'm done with them...I would rather just use HPC picks, they seem to be the best for me over the years. And have been very reliable.
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jeffmoss26

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:24 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

I sent you a picture of my broken rake. That says it all.
The .015 picks are flimsy in my eyes and bend as soon as you look at them. Maybe it's just me...but the dipped handle .025 were worlds better.
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twenglish 1

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Post Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

I dont have much to say on petersons previous quality, but recently purchased a few picks from them because I've always heard how nice the were, and I must say I wasn't impressed, I got a gem and a no 7 in 0.015 and a 7 slender in 0.025 I believe, the 0.015s were very nicely polished and smooth although bend very easily, but the one in 0.025 had a very rough finish with almost like waves in the shank, must say I love the prybar!
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Lauren

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:32 am

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

I know Ken personally, although I don't do business with him anymore, so there's no bias here. He's been fighting the cost to produce his product in a highly unfair market. The Chineese rip everyone off everything intellectually and undermine the abitlity to produce American made "anything" without the high cost. I really like what he did with the plastic handles. They are lighter and give great feedback. Yes, it's true that the metal doesn't run through the handle. But it shouldn't affect an individual with good picking skills. The design change was an effort to maximize profits I'm sure. I've been reading the remarks about picks breaking and handle deformities and I don't discount the possibilities as I know it has been one problem after another with manufacturing. What ever hurdle Ken is fighting now, I'm sure he'll make it right. The lockpicking industry is his life. We should all support his unwavering entrepreneurship to keep things American. Just my two cents.
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davesnothere11

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:06 am

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

I have only made a few purchases from Peterson's starting last summer and can confirm all my edges were sharp and needed finishing. One DCAP 1 and .015" Hook 7 were both not as they are pictured and needed significant shaping with a file to get the hook tips right. The S-rakes I've gotten in gov't steel .025" and .018" all had flat spots on the larger hump and overall were not smoothly cut and needed file shaping. It's a shame that the quality control is spotty because I do really think their standard hook and gem are some of my favorite picks, but I am hesitant to recommend Peterson's due to inconsistency.
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Papa Gleb

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:17 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

Sorry gents I had more to add but didnt have time. Let me set some things straight, as far as my histroy shows that V finish, rather the U, was only on their 25. I have never seen that finish on any of the thinner picks not now not a year ago but that makes sense because there isnt much material there. As for the most recent purchase, the handle deformity and finish were only noticeable on the 25.

I checked thickness of all the new picks yesterday and they are all on point. Its very hard to say the 15 or 18 wont bend because they are thin picks and because everyones hand and picking style are different. Some have a heavy hand so its expected that thin picks would bend. I have been using a 15 and 18 for close to a year now and I cant say anything about the metal being weak.

I had nor have no doubt that Peterson is in a very competitive market and that all of the changes are efforts to stay alive BUT if he continues to cut down the reasons we love his picks then how can that be good for business. I would reach out to the community to see what people are thinking/feeling before making such drastic changes after all we are about 80% of his customers if not more. We are all here on the 3 most popular boards so obtaining customer feedback couldnt be any easier than this. If not that then raise the price. I have no problem paying an extra $1 or 2 to get the quality I learned to love with Petersons picks.

At the end its just upsetting to see an American company who's product I love go down hill and with no warning.
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spandexwarrior

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:10 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

Papa Gleb wrote:I had nor have no doubt that Peterson is in a very competitive market and that all of the changes are efforts to stay alive BUT if he continues to cut down the reasons we love his picks then how can that be good for business. I would reach out to the community to see what people are thinking/feeling before making such drastic changes after all we are about 80% of his customers if not more. We are all here on the 3 most popular boards so obtaining customer feedback couldnt be any easier than this. If not that then raise the price. I have no problem paying an extra $1 or 2 to get the quality I learned to love with Petersons picks.


There's no way that locksport or hobby pickers are 80% of his customers. I bet we're a small part of his total business. Not to say that we shouldn't be vocal about concerns with QA or design changes, but we have to keep in mind that it's his business and he can do what he wants. I believe that Ken was at B-Sides in Las Vegas this year meeting with locksport folks. I've heard of him working with other folks as well. So I don't think we can say that he's not interested in locksport. If you look around on his site, picks are a small part of what he sells. He's got a lot of high dollar tools that locksmiths use and I would expect that locksmiths and government contracts are his primary focus. Anyway, I've never met or spoken to Ken and have no affiliation with the company. I've used their tools for 15 years and overall, have been happy with the changes. There are things I wish were still around, like the .018 Dipped Slenders but the new Slenders and Euro style picks are great. I've had a couple tools that shouldn't have passed QA and have been sent the wrong things twice, but all those situations were resolved quickly without any hassle. Anyway, This is just my 2 cents.

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aeporia

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Post Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:59 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

Context/background:

- fairly recent newcomer to the hobby;
- (therefore) have not purchased as many different tools over the years as some of you will/may have

Re. Peterson specifically:

- found their gear thus far, commercially up there as best/some of the best (having bought cheap nondescript Chinese stuff, SouthOrd, Sparrows, HPC, and Peterson). HPC and Peterson are, imho, commercially the the best that I’ve used (still find my TOOOL laser-cut pick the best though, to be honest).

I’d in part also like to echo spandexwarrior’s thoughts — After having a recent chat with a locksmith (ironically, due to a lockout; could not pick the LW in the apartment I moved into not too long ago… sad…): I very much got the feeling that to them lockpicking gear is a just another commodity of their trade — cheap as chips, and entirely expendable. The chap wasted 8 good quality HPC picks trying to fashion a hook with which to bypass the mortise; he didn’t seem bothered in the slightest at ‘wasting’ his tools. I was also told they rarely, if ever, SPP anything. It’s either a rake, a bypass, or a drill job. With this in mind, I get the feeling that the likely ‘consumers’ of high quality picking tools are folks who are doing very specific ops work (e.g. red-teaming), or hobbyists.

I asked if he/his colleagues sanded their picks from how they get them from the supplier: nope, and he looked at me quizzically.

That all said, I have noticed that the more recent Peterson gear I purchased required more sanding love than their gear from a year ago. I haven’t had any snapping as others have reported (even with Peterson rakes & bogies). If there is an objective decline in their quality, then, well… I’ll be a bit saddened. However — at least for me — it raises my interest in homebrew tools, and in the homebrews of others; and, conversely my willingness to spend good $$$ with a member of the community who is capable, and willing to make good tools. In fact, I’d be willing to spend multiple times the commercial rate.

(None of this is to disparage the idea that a decline in quality should just be accepted within these/our ciricles… but I do concur that we ain’t the likely target market.)

My 0.2¢. (:
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Papa Gleb

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Post Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:07 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

To give you guys an update. Based on everything I have read and personally experienced, Peterson has a shit load of picks in what feels like a huge create. Ill explain, I just received my correct pick (hook 7) in 0.018 and this is the first time i have ever seen that thickness come with the V finish. Not even a year ago the thin picks came with that. Which makes more and more sense to my create theory and at every order, picks are randomly selected to be shipped. This also brings me to another point, that they still have the good stuff, you just either need to call and order with specifics or order online and then process returns of the picks you dont like so they will run a QC check before shipping. I just ordered 4 more picks :)

At the end, as unfortunate as it is, the quality has declined so stock up now. I also learned that they send out the steel picks to have the handle be molded on so if you get a bad handle, its just a bad batch and they will replace it no problem.
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LocksportSouth

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Post Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:56 am

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

Aw man, of course I only sign up here and read this thread AFTER I put in a massive order with Peterson, hearing from everywhere that they are the best picks you can get >_<

Ah well.. I'll be reviewing them along with everything else I review. Hopefully the takeaway will be to either support the famed Peterson quality or warn anyone else thinking of purchasing...
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MrPicky

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Post Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:58 pm

Re: Peterson's Significant Down Grade (?)

I've always considered Peterson a top quality brand. I own quite a few myself.

What would you guys recommend as a commercially available alternative of equal or better quality? Southord Max? I heard they're replacing the plastic handles with metal in the new year as part of a product refresh.
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