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2 Questions regarding direction of tension and plug spinners

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Bogota Var

Newbie

Posts: 1

Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:54 am

Post Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:53 pm

2 Questions regarding direction of tension and plug spinners

Hello all, I am new to this forum and would like to start off a conversation with the following;

I am sure we have all found that for some reason it is easier to open a lock in the wrong direction and then have to either use a plug spinner and or repick the lock.

So my question is this; is there a general rule or way of telling for the most part the direction to turn the plug when picking a lock for the first time that any of you know of.

I have heard a few suggestions but when taken these suggestions have found it to be no better than a 50/50 chance. Some say to place the tension wrench into the plug and turn lightly left and then right and most plugs will turn slightly more one way left or right because they have been worn down over time and whichever it slightly moves is the direction to try picking at first. Others have said to look at which side the lock is installed in the door way; meaning, if the lock is installed on the right side of the door against the frame pick it to the left away from the door frame and vice versa.

Any suggestions for definitively knowing?

Which brings me to my next question of PLUG SPINNERS.

How many of you own a plug spinner and what brand is it and how would you rate its usefulness and accuracy and overall build quality?

Currently I am looking at the Brockhage Plug Spinner for a moderately priced $55. It is 50% cheaper than most other Plug Spinners and alot less bulky which I must admit one of the reasons I am attracted to it.
http://www.lockpicks.com/hand-held-blue-plug-spinner.html

Also, I am looking at the HPC Flip-It plug spinner which is also $55 and seems to be alot less bulky than pricier ones as well such as what SouthOrd offers.
https://www.uhs-hardware.com/product/hpc-fit-2-flip-it-plug-spinner/

What do you all think?

Thanks in advance!
Bogota-Var
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GWiens2001

User avatar

Lock-Goblin-Gordon
Lock-Goblin-Gordon

Posts: 3475

Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:05 am

Location: Arizona, United States

Post Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:10 am

Re: 2 Questions regarding direction of tension and plug spin

Have a few of them, but don't use them much. Here is one that used to stay in my pick kit and always seems to work for me...

Image

Made it from a mousetrap spring, a wiper insert and some aluminum tubing. That one was the second model I made. The first one I made using a spring from a truck brake spring. Kind of overkill for strength on that one. Think it could have sheared the pins if I tried using it at full strength. :twisted:

The plug spinners can be useful and quite handy. Just don't have a lot of need for them at this point.

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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greengrowlocks

Familiar Face

Posts: 51

Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:51 am

Post Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:52 am

Re: 2 Questions regarding direction of tension and plug spin

I own a single plug spinner, it was one of the inexpensive ones from dhGate. I don't remember the brand off the top of my head. It functions as expected but I wouldn't say that it is an extremely useful tool. I have used it twice, and have needed it only once (Medeco handcuffs). All the locks I pick are my own so I don't run into the issue of "picking in the wrong direction". That being said a locksmith or someone picking locks in use may find a plug spinner as a more useful tool.

I don't think you need to spend $55, as mentioned you can build your own, or probably find one equally as useful in the $15-$25 range. Size of the spinner might be of consideration if your gonna be carrying it around with you.
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WestCoastPicks

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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:45 am

Location: British Columbia, Canada

Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:06 am

Re: 2 Questions regarding direction of tension and plug spin

I think in general, testing to see what direction offers more play will be a good indication, but not always. The best way I found is to try picking it in both directions. Personally I switch it up all the time. Since I don't find much of a difference between the two. One way might be slightly easier than the next, but I've found the difference isn't that great and the time you spend determining what way is easier can be spend just picking it one way or the other and you save time.

As for owning a plug spinner, I don't see the point. I am hobby picker, not a locksmith. I never need to open it in any particular direction. The odd time I open a lock for a friend, I have no problem picking it in the proper direction.

Unless you are a locksmith, and for some reason can't pick a lock in the correct direction, spinners are a waste of money. IMHO.
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whizdumb

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Posts: 381

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:28 am

Location: NJ, USA

Post Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:02 am

Re: 2 Questions regarding direction of tension and plug spin

WestCoastPicks wrote:I think in general, testing to see what direction offers more play will be a good indication, but not always. The best way I found is to try picking it in both directions. Personally I switch it up all the time. Since I don't find much of a difference between the two. One way might be slightly easier than the next, but I've found the difference isn't that great and the time you spend determining what way is easier can be spend just picking it one way or the other and you save time.

As for owning a plug spinner, I don't see the point. I am hobby picker, not a locksmith. I never need to open it in any particular direction. The odd time I open a lock for a friend, I have no problem picking it in the proper direction.

Unless you are a locksmith, and for some reason can't pick a lock in the correct direction, spinners are a waste of money. IMHO.


Respectfully, I have to disagree with your thoughts on not needing to pick a lock in the wrong direction. I have on numerous occasions felt it was easier to pick a padlock in the wrong direction and needed to plug spin it to get an actual open. It's not often but it does happen. As for being a waste of money, that's subjective. I feel that any useful tool is an excellent addition to a pickers toolkit. I don't know, maybe I'm trying to justify the fact that I own 2 spinners. LOL
Image
Whizdumb81 wrote:You can't handle the DCAP
xe0 wrote:how about a peterson gov steel baseball bat so i can thwap motherfuckers
ecksdee wrote:To learn to pick locks is to learn how to speak a language spoken only in whispers and riddles.

http://www.youtube.com/user/HobbyPicker
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WestCoastPicks

Familiar Face

Posts: 187

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:45 am

Location: British Columbia, Canada

Post Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:20 am

Re: 2 Questions regarding direction of tension and plug spin

whizdumb wrote:
WestCoastPicks wrote:I think in general, testing to see what direction offers more play will be a good indication, but not always. The best way I found is to try picking it in both directions. Personally I switch it up all the time. Since I don't find much of a difference between the two. One way might be slightly easier than the next, but I've found the difference isn't that great and the time you spend determining what way is easier can be spend just picking it one way or the other and you save time.

As for owning a plug spinner, I don't see the point. I am hobby picker, not a locksmith. I never need to open it in any particular direction. The odd time I open a lock for a friend, I have no problem picking it in the proper direction.

Unless you are a locksmith, and for some reason can't pick a lock in the correct direction, spinners are a waste of money. IMHO.


Respectfully, I have to disagree with your thoughts on not needing to pick a lock in the wrong direction. I have on numerous occasions felt it was easier to pick a padlock in the wrong direction and needed to plug spin it to get an actual open. It's not often but it does happen. As for being a waste of money, that's subjective. I feel that any useful tool is an excellent addition to a pickers toolkit. I don't know, maybe I'm trying to justify the fact that I own 2 spinners. LOL


Fair enough, if you find it that much easier to sometimes pick a lock in reverse to the point where you're willing to spend money on a plug spinner, it's totally up to you.

Maybe it's a skill thing or just the way I work, but I've never had a lock that picked significantly different in either direction. They both take about the same amount of time for me, if there is a difference it can be measured in seconds.

As it is a hobby, I don't see the point of spending money on something that might save me a few seconds very seldom. My guess is a little practice would eliminate the "need" of a plug spinner.
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DIY Dave

Familiar Face

Posts: 210

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:26 am

Location: Indiana

Post Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:48 am

Re: 2 Questions regarding direction of tension and plug spin

Working as a locksmith, a plug spinner is necessary. (I learned that in 0 degree weather a few winters ago)

I can usually remember the standard way locks turn, but it is often easier turning the wrong way. I always try the way I think it goes for a minute then switch. I rotate back and forth until I get it.

I've got several plug spinners, my favorite is the A1 spinner with red grips

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