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Tubular lock picks

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oldbiscuit

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Post Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:08 pm

Tubular lock picks

I recently picked up a Southord TPX 7 pin tubular pick. I can make it work by putting tension on it and slowly pushing the slide pins one at a time to open the lock. However, watching youtube videos of people actually using them I see that there are other ways to do it. One has the knurled lock ring fairly loose and he just pushes it in and wiggles the tool back and forth and the lock opens. Another has the knurled knob pretty snug and pushes it in and twists and it opens. I've tried several ways like in the vidios and I can't make either work. How tight do you guys make the tension via the knurled knob? should the sliders slide easily? I'de like to see a viseo from someone on here showing me how they make theirs work. Thanks, Mark
"It never fails - as soon as I find the key to success, somebody changes the lock!"
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huxleypig

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Post Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:11 pm

Re: Tubuler lock picks

Oh dude. I gotta run but I can fill you in ad nauseum on this subject! The easiest and quickest way is to 'self impression' but it depends on the lock. I'll be back later with more info.
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jailersmith

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Post Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:44 pm

Re: Tubular lock picks

My two cents worth: I tighten to slight resistance then back off a quarter turn. Then lightly tap tool with the heel of my hand while slight turning.
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Josephus

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Post Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:21 am

Re: Tubular lock picks

I tighten the ring until it feels 'about right' - just one more skilled feel. On my older HPC it takes about 1/3 of a turn after it starts giving resistance. After that I hold it lightly and rotate it slightly back and forth very fast, sort of a shaking motion, while pushing it gradually into the pins. The idea is to let the feelers become impressioned bit by bit as every little back and forth motion applies tension to the plug. It takes just a few seconds. If I bottom out in the lock and it does not open quickly, I adjust tension based on how the feelers have set. For instance if one didn't move its pin at all I generally assume that the pin has a stiffer spring so I reset just that feeler, tighten the ring a little more and try again. A more common scenario is all the feelers appearing quite low, which means my tension is probably too high.

Pushing the pick directly in and turning seems to work less often than this rotational shaking method. It could be that the way I do it is inferior, but is more forgiving and so works better for someone that rarely opens tubular locks.
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gnarus8429

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Post Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:28 am

Re: Tubular lock picks

Yup self impressioning is the way to go. I have had much more success with that technique than any other. I adjust the tension so that the feelers hold their position but, that they could easily be moved by pushing them with your finger ( about the same amount of pressure that you use on a tension wrench). I also regularly adjust the tension when picking just the slightest bit. I have used a techniques like Josephus describes up to this point. I have not tried the palm of the hand technique that jailersmith describes but, I will tonight. It seems that that would be a very viable technique and another great option to try on a lock.
I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.
-Albert Einstein
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oldbiscuit

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Post Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:59 pm

Re: Tubular lock picks

What do you meen by "self impressioning" ? Is that just pushing the pick straight in to set as many pins as possible or do you insert the pick and apply tension with a twist and work each pin to the shear line?. On several locks I've tried this on, I can't find a happy medium for the tension on the slide pins. It always seems that I always have 1 or 2 sliders that are loose and the others are snug. I've tried moving the pins around into different grooves and changing the o rings, but I still have the same results. Like I said in the first post, I can make it work to open the locks, but I am tensioning and working each clider pin one at a time. I'de like to find out how they do it in the videos. Mark
"It never fails - as soon as I find the key to success, somebody changes the lock!"
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rzr800

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Post Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:31 pm

Re: Tubular lock picks

You just have to play with the tensioner ring. If the pins don't set then your too loose. If they all push in past where they suppose to set then your too tight. I kinda messed mine up trying to turn a dummy lock on a coin op washer maxhine :(
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huxleypig

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Post Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:10 am

Re: Tubular lock picks

I love tubular picks, they're the closest pick that we have to a James Bond-type lock pick. When they work quickly they're absolutely awesome.

You have all the feelers set out to the maximum depth then tighten the collar a variable amount. Some picks have a 'quick reset' collar or button. The technique I use is to push the feelers out as far as they will go then use a flat surface to push them back down to the end of the pick tip. There are then several techniques at this point:

1) The Wiggle

You keep the pick in as far as it will go and wiggle from side to side. Hopefully the pins work their way up to their shear lines and pop.


2) The Slight Lift

Once fully in the lock the pick is withdrawn a very small amount (0.5mm ish). Tension is then applied and the pick pushed down as far as it will travel again. Repeat until open. A twisting/pumping motion, if you will.


3) Combination of above and/or SPP

You are effectively SPP'ing the lock. This will work just fine, as you have found out. It can take longer but it works.

Some locks tried to defeat the self impressioning attacks by changing the strength/metal of the springs. This meant that if even tension is applied across all the feelers then the stronger springs will push up before the others and go past their shear line. For these locks you can use method 3 or (as mentioned above) reset just the feelers that have travelled up the furthest, tighten the collar and go again. A final solution is to have variable tension on each feeler. It is a mod I am adding to my Southord 7 pin tubular pick. With this you can lock them into place (if you are happy they are in the right spot) and just work on the others. Only really necessary for the very best quality tubular locks out there (of which there are comparatively few due to the swamping of awful cheap imports (which open very easily with the tubular picks)). Another technique I have used to good effect on these 'anti-self impressioning' locks is to have the collar on very tight, almost locked (95%) and then apply tension as you insert the pick into the lock for the first time. If this does not set all the pins then it is usually only 1 or 2 out at the most and they can be SPP'd from here.

Another good tip to get a good impression of the lock once picked, is to rotate the lock so it is between pin stacks and the key pins are jammed from moving. Take your pick out and reset it as if you were approaching the lock for the first time. Slacken off the collar and push the pick into the lock (being careful not to rotate it). Now tighten to locked and you will have a clear impression that will now work as a key.

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