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Sparrows...

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barbarian

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Post Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:34 am

Sparrows...

I got a set of Sparrows lock picks a few days ago and I must say I like them. The website is well designed and they have better pictures than I can take, so get a look at them on the website.

http://www.sparrowslockpicks.com/

I think there are a couple of reasons why the picks are a good choice for anyone, but especially for someone starting out.

First, the sets are designed so that someone can start with the basic picks and learn the hobby without spending a lot of money. I guess credit for the pick designs and grouping of the sets goes to Wizwazzle. If you are unsure of what picks to buy when starting out, the sets are well organized. Just start with the "Kick start" set and then move up as your skills increase. You won't get any duplication or useless picks in these sets.

Second, there seems to be just the right combination of different pick shapes and the metal used seems to be good quality stainless steel. There are two thicknesses of picks so that as someone learns more about picking and wants to try tighter keyways and security pins they will be able to. The beginner picks are a bit thicker and should take some rough handling.

Third, the variety and quantity of tension wrenches included is amazing. I’ve seen expensive sets of picks that come with three lousy wrenches. These sets total 18 tension wrenches, all different. Very nice.

Another thing I like about the picks is that they leave room for the user to customize (sand and polish) them a bit. Unless you buy a set of handmade custom picks from one of the highly skilled makers, all mass produced picks I’ve seen could benefit from some amount of polishing. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s not like the picks need to be polished, just that they could be if you wanted to. I’m not planning on polishing my set, they seem to function quite well as they are. You could also get the picks without the slip-on foamies and do your own thing with tool dip or heat shrink handles. For me the slip-on foamies are fine and I have no plans to change them.

What about experienced pickers? For those guys I see a nice everyday use set that includes a couple of pick shapes you might not have. They are nice and slender too so they won’t get jammed in tight keyways, almost like a Euro pick you might get from another manufacturer. This smaller size does have a potential downside and a heavy handed picker may find that they need to use a thicker pick for their technique. The picks are intentionally made slender to fit small keyways. This is always going to be a tradeoff between strength and size.

Someone is going to ask if this is the strongest steel in the universe. There is a section on the website that talks about the steel used in the picks. For a hobbyist, I would say that it is more that strong enough for a pick. I mean really, you are trying to lift one pin against a little spring. If you are bending the picks then simply getting a stronger pick might be the wrong solution to the problem. For a working locksmith that has to pick locks full of crud and can’t stop to clean them, maybe a different story.

I also wish they had a nice little case to put the picks in, and perhaps a few more tools I could lust after like maybe disc picks or maybe something for multilocks…. :cool:
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jruther2

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Post Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:47 pm

Re: Sparrows...

Thanks for the informative review Barbarian. I wish these had been around when I started out...could have saved a good bit of time and money.
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LocksmithArmy

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Post Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:32 pm

Re: Sparrows...

I love sparrows wrenches
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gibbling666

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Post Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:17 pm

Re: Sparrows...

So are any of the t/w's for top of the keyway tension?
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LocksmithArmy

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Post Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:32 pm

Re: Sparrows...

Awol said they were designed to be clipped to desired length...
but even un clipped some will fit happily in tok tension
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awol70

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Post Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:08 pm

Re: Sparrows...

gibbling666 wrote:So are any of the t/w's for top of the keyway tension?

yes, three(different sizes) i designed specifically for TOK tension.
they are left unbent,in case you want to pitch your TW to the left,if the application calls for such, and as lsa mentioned they are left a bit long,so you can trim to your specific desired depth

DSC05116.JPG


DSC05118.JPG


DSC05119.JPG


(thank you barbarian for the review...)
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the lockpickkid

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Post Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:36 pm

Re: Sparrows...

I think these picks look great, someday I am going to buy some and use them, I really like the fact that you can get a lower priced set of these and they are better than Southord, I dislike Southord and I would really like to see more new pickers using these Sparrows
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LocksmithArmy

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Post Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:42 pm

Re: Sparrows...

the cheapest sparrows set is great
its got my favorite picks... hook and 2 hump boga
and 6 great tensors of my personal favorite variety...

and for 20 bucks... best value ive seen in a set imho
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gibbling666

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Post Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:12 am

Re: Sparrows...

awol70 wrote:
gibbling666 wrote:So are any of the t/w's for top of the keyway tension?

yes, three(different sizes) i designed specifically for TOK tension.
they are left unbent,in case you want to pitch your TW to the left,if the application calls for such, and as lsa mentioned they are left a bit long,so you can trim to your specific desired depth

DSC05116.JPG


DSC05118.JPG


DSC05119.JPG


(thank you barbarian for the review...)



I'm going to pick up a set then. I have been working on this brass brinks for a while and I have gotten the whole false set then set the spools down until I touch pin 1 and out comes my improvised tok wrench. A proper one cut to size might do the trick.
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awol70

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Post Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:15 am

Re: Sparrows...

gibbling666 wrote:
awol70 wrote:
gibbling666 wrote:So are any of the t/w's for top of the keyway tension?

yes, three(different sizes) i designed specifically for TOK tension.
they are left unbent,in case you want to pitch your TW to the left,if the application calls for such, and as lsa mentioned they are left a bit long,so you can trim to your specific desired depth

DSC05116.JPG


DSC05118.JPG


DSC05119.JPG


(thank you barbarian for the review...)



I'm going to pick up a set then. I have been working on this brass brinks for a while and I have gotten the whole false set then set the spools down until I touch pin 1 and out comes my improvised tok wrench. A proper one cut to size might do the trick.

another FANTASTIC secret i have never really shared is to drag the part of the TW toward yourself that contacts the plug on some medium emery cloth ..
DSC05120.JPG

this effecively creates "micro serrations)
DSC05121.JPG

in the steel,causing the wrench,being harder than the brass plug,to actually "bite" into the brass,on a microscopic level.
this is an amazingly effective method to end TOK tension tools slipping and growing wings
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gibbling666

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Post Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:02 pm

Re: Sparrows...

awol70 wrote:
gibbling666 wrote:
awol70 wrote:
gibbling666 wrote:So are any of the t/w's for top of the keyway tension?

yes, three(different sizes) i designed specifically for TOK tension.
they are left unbent,in case you want to pitch your TW to the left,if the application calls for such, and as lsa mentioned they are left a bit long,so you can trim to your specific desired depth

DSC05116.JPG


DSC05118.JPG


DSC05119.JPG


(thank you barbarian for the review...)



I'm going to pick up a set then. I have been working on this brass brinks for a while and I have gotten the whole false set then set the spools down until I touch pin 1 and out comes my improvised tok wrench. A proper one cut to size might do the trick.

another FANTASTIC secret i have never really shared is to drag the part of the TW toward yourself that contacts the plug on some medium emery cloth ..
DSC05120.JPG

this effecively creates "micro serrations)
DSC05121.JPG

in the steel,causing the wrench,being harder than the brass plug,to actually "bite" into the brass,on a microscopic level.
this is an amazingly effective method to end TOK tension tools slipping and growing wings


This worked like a charm. Got the brinks open at 3:31pm est and again at 3:58. It seems when I was actually able to set pin one without the wrench flying out, I was actually not setting it enough. I'd get the slight click of getting over the lip of the spool but I needed to nudge it just a tiny bit more and thats all she wrote. Thanks man.

As a side not that actually pertains to this thread :P I will be ordering the kick start set come monday. I wanna see how the best buster fairs.
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awol70

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Post Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:35 pm

Re: Sparrows...

gibbling666 wrote:
awol70 wrote:
gibbling666 wrote:
awol70 wrote:
gibbling666 wrote:So are any of the t/w's for top of the keyway tension?

yes, three(different sizes) i designed specifically for TOK tension.
they are left unbent,in case you want to pitch your TW to the left,if the application calls for such, and as lsa mentioned they are left a bit long,so you can trim to your specific desired depth

DSC05116.JPG


DSC05118.JPG


DSC05119.JPG


(thank you barbarian for the review...)



I'm going to pick up a set then. I have been working on this brass brinks for a while and I have gotten the whole false set then set the spools down until I touch pin 1 and out comes my improvised tok wrench. A proper one cut to size might do the trick.

another FANTASTIC secret i have never really shared is to drag the part of the TW toward yourself that contacts the plug on some medium emery cloth ..
DSC05120.JPG

this effecively creates "micro serrations)
DSC05121.JPG

in the steel,causing the wrench,being harder than the brass plug,to actually "bite" into the brass,on a microscopic level.
this is an amazingly effective method to end TOK tension tools slipping and growing wings


This worked like a charm. Got the brinks open at 3:31pm est and again at 3:58. It seems when I was actually able to set pin one without the wrench flying out, I was actually not setting it enough. I'd get the slight click of getting over the lip of the spool but I needed to nudge it just a tiny bit more and thats all she wrote. Thanks man.

As a side not that actually pertains to this thread :P I will be ordering the kick start set come monday. I wanna see how the best buster fairs.

yeah,it does work amazingly well doesn't it?
on yet another sidenote, here is the first prototype of the "bestbuster" i call it an inverted snake here, but this was before i actually realized just how effective it is on ™Best locks.
incidentally,that pin in the #1 position is more than likely a regular pin...(i have gutted a few...)
also for top performance on the bestbuster thin it out a bit, by dragging it toward yourself on med. emery cloth...they are intentionally made thicker than needed ...
(more than enough is better than not enough,any day.)
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elbowmacaroni

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Post Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:05 pm

Re: Sparrows...

awol70 wrote:
gibbling666 wrote:
awol70 wrote:
gibbling666 wrote:So are any of the t/w's for top of the keyway tension?

yes, three(different sizes) i designed specifically for TOK tension.
they are left unbent,in case you want to pitch your TW to the left,if the application calls for such, and as lsa mentioned they are left a bit long,so you can trim to your specific desired depth

DSC05116.JPG


DSC05118.JPG


DSC05119.JPG


(thank you barbarian for the review...)



I'm going to pick up a set then. I have been working on this brass brinks for a while and I have gotten the whole false set then set the spools down until I touch pin 1 and out comes my improvised tok wrench. A proper one cut to size might do the trick.

another FANTASTIC secret i have never really shared is to drag the part of the TW toward yourself that contacts the plug on some medium emery cloth ..
DSC05120.JPG

this effecively creates "micro serrations)
DSC05121.JPG

in the steel,causing the wrench,being harder than the brass plug,to actually "bite" into the brass,on a microscopic level.
this is an amazingly effective method to end TOK tension tools slipping and growing wings



Damn dude! AWESOME TIP!

Between the original review and some of the pics and tips in this thread, I'm making this one sticky!

Also, AWOL, what grit of emery cloth are you considering to be "medium"?

Thanks!
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awol70

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Post Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:09 pm

Re: Sparrows...

400 is just great. works really well
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isepic

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Post Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:33 pm

Re: Sparrows...

I ordered the "Hooker" set, as well as the Sherman case a little while ago. Received them just yesterday as a matter of fact.

The case is amazing, feels very durable and you can pack it full with no pick distortion. Definitely worth the money.

The picks themselves, I have to admit I was a little dissapointed. After hearing everyone talk so positively, I had my hopes up pretty high. I don't know if the finisher took the day off when mine were made, but they were very rough, discolored, and one of the hooks had some sort of black staining on it that looked and felt like some of the handle dipping had dripped on it, but I couldn't scrape it off with a fingernail. The handles themselves were comfortable, but ugly. Anyone who has used plasi-dip has ended up with a blob at the end of one of their pieces, and most of the ones in that little set had that same blob. The handle also extended quite a ways up the pick shaft too. After cutting about a half to a quarter inch off the turtleneck, and a bit more sanding and polishing than I've had to do to other purchased picks, they turned out really nice. Really good feedback and comfortable to hold.
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