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Mini pick recommendations

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rohare

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Posts: 34

Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:56 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Sat May 14, 2016 6:56 am

Mini pick recommendations

Over the years many of my friends and co-workers have discovered my hobby and have asked for help with opening this or that from time to time. Usually the lock in question is something like a mini-padlock, desk drawer, etc. My problem is that I usually only carry around a normal sized bogata entry set and so I sometimes fail with these cheap tiny locks, which is both disappointing and faintly embarrassing. I've been asked to help with locks so tiny that you cant even fit a pick and a tension wrench into the keyway at the same time! Are there any recommendations for miniature picks? Bonus points for a matched set like the bogatas. Thanks much!
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escher7

Active Member

Posts: 696

Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:20 am

Location: Canada

Post Sat May 14, 2016 7:32 am

Re: Mini pick recommendations

The kind of locks you are talking about are usually warded locks for which Bogotas are useless. If you are a picker you should know that.
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Josephus

Active Member

Posts: 267

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Sat May 14, 2016 7:36 am

Re: Mini pick recommendations

Half-diamond or snake rake. No tension wrench. Use them like jigglers.

On small padlocks you can often bypass. Get to the lock dog by flipping the diamond over and angling past and above the last pin. You will know when you found it by the springiness. Firmly slide the tip towards the center to disengage and open the lock.

Mind antique furniture and jewelry boxes. In my area they are usually warded locks or basic lever locks. Then a bent wire or a set of common profiles is best. Those can be found in many antique stores or restoration supply dealers. Those warded picks everyone sells work for me but need TLC with a file.
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MBI

User avatar

Site Owner

Posts: 1545

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:25 am

Location: Utah, USA

Post Sat May 14, 2016 7:42 am

Re: Mini pick recommendations

I could have sworn that Serepick made a set of Bogota minis, but I can't find it on their site right now. Might be out of stock or something, they've had quite a run on Bogotas lately.

Rytan makes some picks that are about 10 or 20 percent smaller than their regular picks, but most people have a hard time finding any vendor who carries those and has them in stock. Plus I doubt they'd be small enough for the kinds of keyways you're talking about.

I'd recommend just making your own mini picks. Get some saw blades, windshield wiper inserts or street sweeper bristles, a couple of metal files and crank out a set the exact size and profile that you want. Remember to sand them when finished so they glide in the keyway better.
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rohare

Familiar Face

Posts: 34

Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:56 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Sat May 14, 2016 7:46 am

Re: Mini pick recommendations

Josephus wrote:Half-diamond or snake rake. No tension wrench. Use them like jigglers.


Well heck. I wonder why I never thought of that. Probably would have worked in a few of those situations.
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WestCoastPicks

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Posts: 189

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:45 am

Location: British Columbia, Canada

Post Sat May 14, 2016 8:48 am

Re: Mini pick recommendations

I have no problems with standard picks. If you're raking locks open, you're not really picking them. I suggest packing actual picks, that way you won't get stumped by a single spool pin or a bit of variation in the bitting. I have yet to find a lock I couldn't fit a short hook in. I keep a 65/15 on my slick pick keychain. It's the smallest keyway I've seen and a short hook works great. I don't even carry rakes for EDC. There are WAY too many locks they just can't open. A little bit of variation in the bitting or a security pin or two, and you're hosed. I carry a short hook and a medium hook, with some skill they get me in to everything.

Raking as a primary means of "picking", is not reliable. Try some hooks. That's my Recommendation :)

6515.jpg
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norwoodgolf

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Posts: 69

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:55 pm

Location: Arizona

Post Sat May 14, 2016 8:56 am

Re: Mini pick recommendations

The SerePick minis are normal sized at the working end, it's just the handle part that's smaller. The Rytan mini picks are smaller at the working end and they work pretty good in smaller padlocks.
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xeo

User avatar

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Posts: 2168

Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:30 am

Location: East Coast, USA

Post Sat May 14, 2016 3:15 pm

Re: Mini pick recommendations

Just buy or make regular picks and chop the handle down so you can fit your thumb and index finger on it and stick them in your wallet.
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