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Favorite sparrows lockpick

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ToolyMcgee

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Post Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:01 am

Favorite sparrows lockpick

There are alot of picks in the monstrum lineup that are different from other production offerings. I'm having high hopes for the Tron. What is your current favorite?
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xeo

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Post Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:04 am

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

.018 gem
Image
The code is hidden in the tumblers. One position opens the lock, another position opens one of these doors...
http://www.youtube.com/xeotech1

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MHM

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Post Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:16 am

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

Heh yeah I'm sure Sparrows wish they made the gem.

From the Sparrows range: The Tron is an absolutely excellent default short hook although it does need some height taken off the shank to get it working well. The other great pick in that range is the massively under-rated Lunatic. It's a strange looking beast and it's not a pick for a beginner because you need to be quite delicate with it but it's an absolute weapon for difficult bitting. The Atilla is a nice swoop-ish profile and that would be my third choice. It's tough as old boots and therefore excellent in the Lockwood C4 keyway in my part of the world.

Now if only Sparrows would make all these in 018...

Michael.
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ToolyMcgee

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Post Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:59 am

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

Lunatic? Really... what locks are notches in that handle?

The dipped reach is currently my favorite production pick. Between the attila and matador I hope to find one that works well for my style. The matador actually looks kinda like a well used heavy tension reach lol

I usually like most of my kit thick and I'll trim the fat, but definitely agree .018 one some of these profiles makes sense. Feel like the Tron is one of em for sure.
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MHM

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Post Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:18 am

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

Yeah you look at the picture and you wonder how the damned thing will ever work - and it looks even weirder in the flesh, believe me - but it's very useful. It'll go into any of your big open North American style keyways that you'd use a deForest diamond on - Schlage and Kwikset type stuff - but it's more accurate than the deF because the tip shape is better and you don't wind up picking two pins at once like you often do with the deF.

I use it a lot on Assas and Rukos when the keyway allows it, and believe it or not you can also sometimes get it down the back of skinnier and slightly more paracentric european style keyways to take care of high pins.

The other thing it's very good for is Den Brass style challenge locks where the MACS is blown to hell.

I think the reach is the one with the dimple on the end? If so, I never got on with that, just too many lumps and bumps to get clear feedback.
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ToolyMcgee

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Post Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:37 am

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

The reach is one of those picks where I appreciate the thoughtful design of it. I have all the versions of it, but have never found it useful even once. I meant the dipped handle gem.

If the lunatic has precision maybe I would find it useful. It is certainly interesting. Though if delicate... well I can appreciate the design lol. Possibly the reason i overlooked it is because it has that sharp angle to stress, but that must act as a point of articulation to help it fit into the keyway(?). I'll have to add it to the Christmas order.

I certainly wasn't expecting the lunatic to be on the top of anyone's list thats for sure. Whats your go to pick?
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MHM

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Post Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:40 pm

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

Tron by a country mile. It's a good pick straight out of the box but if you take a few thousandths off the top of the shaft it gets even better, you can get it in tighter spots and deal with more difficult bitting.

Second place would be the gem; I prefer the 015 version but it's just too flexible for a lot of locks and you lose feedback so I have it in both 018 and 015. Third and fourth (or fourth and fifth, depending on how you're counting) place would be the Lunatic and Atilla, particularly for the Lockwood C4 keyway.

I'd say I open 95% of locks with some combination of the above, after that it's a case of making or modifying specific picks for weird locks.
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ToolyMcgee

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Post Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:14 am

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

The Tron seems to be filling it's roll very well. I've only tested a dozen or so locks, but so far been very handy. The Attila has been my gem stand in and I gotta say I really like the extra sweep. The matador... I really like the control of that tip. Great design but it definitely is gonna require some fine tuning. Definitely would go for these in .018

Been sniping bench time to work with them where I can. Managed to make a video or two.
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madsamurai

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:57 pm

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

How's the strength/feel of the Sparrows .018 vs the Petersons? I like the sparrows designs but have stuck with peterson up to now because I prefer .018 for pretty much everything... I'd rather deal with Sparrows if they're equal or superior, but haven't had a chance to try their new .018 lineup.
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ToolyMcgee

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:32 pm

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

Not sure, only the standard lineup comes in .15 and .20. The profiles I like are all monstrum kit and those only come in .25 so far. Hopefully in the near future. What's your go to Peterson?
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MHM

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:24 pm

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

ToolyMcgee is right, the most useful Sparrows picks are only available in 025. I'm not a great fan of their 020 picks, they only come with undipped handles and thus the feel isn't great. Their 015 picks are a nice idea but for all practical purposes are useless. If you're picking mostly US locks then the Peterson stuff like gem / DeForest / #5 are a far better bet. The Sparrows are better in smaller keywayed, more paracentric stuff such as the bulk of european brands.
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madsamurai

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Post Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:17 pm

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

My general go-to's are the euro slender #1 and #7. 90% of the time, those two are all I need. I do sometimes use a #5 and I like the gem for American locks (all .018). The #4 is a useful size, but I've broken two of them - there's a critical weakness where the H4 is stamped, the crossbar of the H and the 4 create a straight line serration that snaps pretty easily, especially the .015.

All of my alternate picks are sparrows... I like their .015 picks better than the petersons, but I put my own handles on them (wood popsicle sticks glued on either side, sanded a bit roundish and then covered with heat shrink), and I keep a set of the SSDev hooks handy for special cases. I will occasionally use DeForests in tall open keyways, but prefer the southord over the petersons and usually .025 is fine in those circumstances.

Go-to rakes, the sparrows worm rake in .025 and .015 are near magic, as is the Southord triple-peak (especially for master locks). I've had very little reliable success with Peterson's wonder waves (except in a few 7-pin locks) or with sparrows triple-peaks.

I have the sparrows Mantis, and like the shape of it, but wish it was available in .018. Generally speaking, even when I can easily fit a .025 I prefer the feel and feedback I get from the .018 picks... they're very "crisp" for lack of a better word. The .025's just feel dull and lifeless to me after using the .018's.
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ToolyMcgee

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Post Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:09 am

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

Seems like they have known about that H4 for a decade.
The worm is magic? Ive never used mine. It rests in the collection kit with all the quad, city, L, snake etc rakes. I'll have to get it in the rotation. Works real well on padlocks right?

Interesting hearing everyones preference. I can't deny that a thinner tool translates sharper feedback through the pick, but I prefer thicker for general use. I actually find I polish the absolute crap out of a thicker pick so it will manuever a tight keyway. Just got done doing it to the sparrows three hook edc set (matador, Attila, Tron). Been too busy to do much testing to em post polish doh.
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madsamurai

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Post Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:56 pm

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

yeah, I get a lot of padlocks and residential KIKs to open quick with the worm. That'll be the first thing I try if I'm just trying to open something. Even if it won't rake open, it'll often get me to a false set and show me more about what I'm dealing with. The .015 worm is the only thing I've been able to rake Schlage keyways with reliably.
The Southord triple seems to work really well for me, too (if the keyway is big enough), but I have at least a dozen other bogata-style rakes that don't seem to be effective at all. I've often wondered what subtle difference is that is so critical to that one working better for me.
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MHM

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Post Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:43 am

Re: Favorite sparrows lockpick

madsamurai wrote: I've often wondered what subtle difference is that is so critical to that one working better for me.


Christina Palmer did a massively complex presentation on this at OzSecCon in 2016; she is the person who designed the Toool cycloid rakes. The maths was frankly impenetrable to me but it boiled down to waves and frequencies of pins bouncing up and down. She had a big algorithm for deciding which of the four designs to use in which lock first, and how to operate the rake itself once the choice had been made.

In my honest opinion though: I really do think there is an element of blind luck - sometimes one rake just suits the bitting and pin spacings of a particular lock.
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