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Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:13 am
by LockpickPhoenix
Hello!

So while I do have a functional set of picks, they are pretty cheap. Anyone know where I can get a better set?

I've also been wondering what the best material for picks is, for future reference. I've heard stainless steel is alright, but I'm not sure what would make a good pick set.

I'm also not entirely sure it's worth it to carry a full set of picks around all the time, so is there a pocket version of lockpicks? Would be nice to impress my friends once I actually get good.
Any good practice locks would also be very appreciated.
Thank you.

I'll also be doing my own research, but I hardly know anything, so I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for.

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:09 am
by Riyame
Putting your location in your profile or posting it would help us pick somebody that is close to you.

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:18 am
by LockpickPhoenix
I live right next to Glendale AZ.

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:23 am
by MHM
Hi there mate, and welcome to the group.

First the caveat: Every single lockpicker has different ideas of what makes a good pick, and a what picks go together to make a good pickset. It's like asking "Which is the best SUV" and then hoping for consensus...you just won't get it, because it doesn't exist - there are lots of right answers.

But as a broad guideline: For God's sake stay away from the massive kits with dozens of picks and wrenches and rakes. Most are filler or are specialised beyond the skills of a beginner and are a waste of your resources.

You're better with a much smaller, robust kit in 25 thou that ticks a lot of boxes. For years the standard USA based set was the Southord C2010. That's still a good kit but is showing its age a little in the range of picks.

These days IMO you're better off with a Sparrows set and in particular the Spirit set https://www.sparrowslockpicks.com/product_p/sspirit.htm which is a stupidly good beginners kit for the money. Add their set of top of the keyway tension bars https://www.sparrowslockpicks.com/product_p/ft5k.htm and you're good to go.

Pick materials: Almost all commercially made picks these days are made of some flavour of stainless. 301 is the default. Peterson calls their very good material "Government steel" which is just yet another flavour of almost the same thing, stainless steel. Carbon steel picks are very cheap and have certain specific uses, mainly as testbeds for experimental picks, and for modding bespoke one-offs. Exotic stuff like titanium or carbon fibre...leave it to Hollywood.

Practice locks: Again Sparrows, if you can afford it, buy the Revolver. I personally don't like it but a MASSIVE number of new guys start out with this lock and they all seem to love it. There are other options but the Revolver gives you an awful lot of variety, in one package.

Carrying picks around: Don't. Unless you're a locksmith it's a dick move. I play guitar in my spare time and I sure as hell don't cart a Fender around with me. Trust me, impressing your friends with your picking skills while out and about is NOT what you want to do.

Lastly, one extra caveat: It ain't really the pick, it's how you use it. There's a current thread on here called "Happy New Year 2020" or some such where Femurat is happily picking many and varied locks with one filthy homemade half diamond that he shaped out of a street sweeper bristle. Choose a cheap set from a reputable brand (Southord / Peterson / Law Lock Tools / Multipick / whatever), and get busy with the short hook.

Best wishes,

Michael.

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:54 am
by LockpickPhoenix
Thanks you for all the advice. Much appreciated!

Happy picking!

Any other suggestions are also appreciated.

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:23 am
by Visitor
Hacksaw blades.

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:05 pm
by femurat
MHM wrote:...Femurat is happily picking many and varied locks with one filthy homemade half diamond that he shaped out of a street sweeper bristle...


Call my favorite pick FILTHY one more time :soldier:

Cheers :)

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:39 pm
by just1pick+open
femurat wrote:
MHM wrote:...Femurat is happily picking many and varied locks with one filthy homemade half diamond that he shaped out of a street sweeper bristle...


Call my favorite pick FILTHY one more time :soldier:

Cheers :)
:shock: :boxing: :lol:

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:06 pm
by GWiens2001
Filthy? I use one of his hand made picks, too!

/looks for a grenade emoticon

:D

Gordon

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:51 am
by MHM
#Pokes bear.#

#Runs away to pick locks with enormous range and variety of handmade and commercial picks, fails to pick anywhere near as many as Femurat can with just a half diamond.#

#Weeps quietly#

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:04 am
by edocdab
Nice summary :wink:

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:03 pm
by femurat
LOL thanks Michael, I do my best. I'm sure you can do the same.

Cheers :)

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:04 pm
by JoeTime
Really impress them and do it with a nail.

Re: Better lockpicks

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:21 pm
by awesome14
Don't learn to impress other people. If that's even a part of your intention, it can really backfire. Say your neighbor is locked out. She knocks on your door to use the phone, because hers is dead. You grab a few picks and offer to open her door. Wow, she is really grateful, and impressed too.

But she will shortly realize that you can open her lock at any time, and the other neighbors! And who knows what else! Seldom is there a legitimate need to manually pick a residential lock to open the door! Picking almost always involves disassembly of a cylinder for which there is no key available.

So, if you're manually picking anyone's deadbolt, anyone who knows better, like police, will know you are not a professional locksmith, that you cannot legally carry locksmithing tools, and your breaking into a house, even if you have permission, and even if it's your own house! It is still illegal to break in in most places.

A locksmith operates quite differently. He has a company van. He has tools to open most locks in seconds. And it is legally permitted for him to do so. I do not open locks with observers present. I'll find some excuse to divert the customer for 30 seconds or so. And if I'm asked after the fact, I just say there's a certain knack to it. It's in the fingers. Hard to really explain.