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  • Basic Tool Kit

    Hello,

    I will be hanging out in Lockpicking Village this summer. I was wondering if you could recommend a basic lock pick tool set and geared especially toward Best locks.

    Thank you,

    Seramai

  • #2
    Re: Basic Tool Kit

    I only just dabble in lockpicking, but a quick google search makes me think that these are standard locks that you should have no problem picking with a standard lockpick kit. I picked up a kit at my local army/navy store for like $15, a quick google search yields over 9000 results.
    "As Arthur C Clarke puts it, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Here is my corollary: "Any sufficiently technical expert is indistinguishable from a witch"."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Basic Tool Kit

      Originally posted by seramai View Post
      Hello,

      I will be hanging out in Lockpicking Village this summer. I was wondering if you could recommend a basic lock pick tool set and geared especially toward Best locks.

      Thank you,

      Seramai
      Most Best locks that I have encountered are of the SFIC (Small Format Interchangeable Core) format. That type of cylinder has two shear lines (google for more details). There exists a type of tension wrench which can in some cases aid in picking a Best SFIC lock. Special tension wrench or not all you really need tool-wise is a good short hook that you are comfortable with.

      Have fun,
      wsbpress

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Basic Tool Kit

        Originally posted by g3k_ View Post
        I only just dabble in lockpicking, but a quick google search makes me think that these are standard locks that you should have no problem picking with a standard lockpick kit. I picked up a kit at my local army/navy store for like $15, a quick google search yields over 9000 results.


        I am aware of Google. I wanted the preferences of experts. I take it from your response there isn't a super duper standout among tool sets.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Basic Tool Kit

          Deviant Ollam helped me out getting started. He recommended and now I do too picks from SouthOrd. I picked up the PXS-14. I have been able to pick and rake a lot with it. It is great set to learn with.
          -=FireWalker=-

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Basic Tool Kit

            Everyone's premise and thoughts are a bit different on the matter. As for "which" tools you need, there's at least some good consensus there from people who are recognized in the picking community. At a minimum, a basic kit should contain the following...

            The Standard Hook - what southord and others call a "short hook"

            One Other Hook - sadly southord's only other hook, that they call the "long hook," is not super useful. i recommend that people trim down about 2mm off the tip, making the edges a bit rounded in the process, in order to create what is known to the european pickers as a "gonzo" (named for the muppet's nose, not the remarkable journalist)

            A Half Diamond - this is one of the most indispensable tools, really... you can lift with it, rake with it, shovel with it, and even try to use it as a dimple pick in a pinch. it's small enough to shim a handcuff and the flat rear side can even be used to tell you how many pin stacks are in an unfamiliar lock the first time you encounter it.

            if i had only two tools available to me, i'd want a gonzo and a half-diamond. heh, that's probably why we chose to put them together on the same double-sided pick when making the newest TOOOL pickset. (for extra credit... note that, like many other picks with nicknames, a double-sided tool featuring a gonzo and a half diamond is known as a "panty buster")

            Simple Rakes - the two most common rakes (deemed respectively the "C" rake and "S" rake by SouthOrd, but known as the "snake" and the "batarang" in the community) are good to have. they're easy to use, and if someone borrows your kit they'll be familiar with what you've got.

            Advanced Rakes - while not essential in a kit, i like to also see at least one advanced rake. if you know what you're doing, having either a Bogota rake (the lower one in this photo) or a "long rimple" (the John Falle "hump rake"... third one down in this photo) is a nice thing.

            Tensioners - having two of three tensioners is a good bet... at least one that isn't a standard "bottom of the keyway" tensioner is helpful. either a flat euro style or wishbone style tensioner can fill that need.

            The real debate between price and function comes up when you get into what type of metal to use. Spring steel is great because it's inexpensive and also forgiving if you're too rough with your picks. Harder metals are, however, much more suited to giving you precise handling and good tactile feedback if you're a person of greater skill. Good metal costs more, and it's a cost that you don't often want or need to bear if you're just starting out. The spring steel will treat you better and not sock you as hard in the wallet.

            To give you an idea of the cost breakdown, a cheap SouthOrd kit outfitted with the items above made from spring steel usually runs between $15 and $20.

            SouthOrd's same kit with their "max yield" steel costs close to $100.

            Peterson Tools and their "government steel" is a $100+ item.

            In the Lockpick Village when TOOOL sells items at cons, we have spring steel sets for $20 but our double-ended TOOOL-branded picks made from surgical steel (or other steels... we constantly attempt to experiment and refine the metals used... something we have long called "project TOOOLtanium") is the $50 set. (likely that will be $40 at coming events, due to a new steel supplier we've found)

            In a talk by valanx this year at NotACon, i got up and did a short segment... kind of a preview of what we may call "lockpick alchemy" as a future talk. (that segment begins at the 20 minute mark.) I discussed the ways in which you can take inexpensive spring steel and heat-treat it yourself in order to change the temper and make it much harder and more useful.

            Hope that helps!
            Last edited by Deviant Ollam; May 7th, 2009, 09:04.
            "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
            - Trent Reznor

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            • #7
              Re: Basic Tool Kit

              Thank you.

              Let me ask this. Would it be wiser to hold off on any purchases until the conference with the idea that the tool selection and pricing would be more favorable?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Basic Tool Kit

                Originally posted by seramai View Post
                Thank you.

                Let me ask this. Would it be wiser to hold off on any purchases until the conference with the idea that the tool selection and pricing would be more favorable?
                Here is what you do. Go get some hacksaw blades and some files and/or bench grinder and make some picks. Yeah, it isn't always going to be perfect or pretty, but you will get something and start learning which shapes you work best with. You can then polish the picks to make them pretty good. If you just want to buy something to beat on, buy a cheap starter set from wherever. The TOOOL picks are precision tools, and you may want something else to start with and then get those, especially if you intend to experiment on a lock. I really like to make my own or otherwise customize my stuff. Everyone has their own thing. I shot video of my last pick project, but we aren't finished with the editing. Check the FOOLS site now and again for info. Or just come and find me at defcon.

                For best locks in particular, look at Matt Blaze's site. He has a good set of info there, and you can make similar tools. Last year I gave a few demos on making picks in the village, and while not perfect they will do the job on a fair number of locks. Also, I have about 80 best sfic's sitting in a box. I hadn't planned on it but I can bring some out if you want to work on picking best locks specifically.

                Unless, of course, you want to learn about those because you want to pick some locks you shouldn't be picking.
                ----------------------------------------
                Fraternal Order of Locksport

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Basic Tool Kit

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                  In a talk by valanx this year at NotACon, i got up and did a short segment... kind of a preview of what we may call "lockpick alchemy" as a future talk. (that segment begins at the 20 minute mark.)
                  Hope that helps!
                  Is that the fight club edit? Also, I'd be happy to contribute to the pick alchemy.




                  (Its FOOLS with two o's btw.)
                  ----------------------------------------
                  Fraternal Order of Locksport

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Basic Tool Kit

                    Originally posted by g3k_ View Post
                    I only just dabble in lockpicking, but a quick google search makes me think that these are standard locks that you should have no problem picking with a standard lockpick kit. I picked up a kit at my local army/navy store for like $15, a quick google search yields over 9000 results.
                    Like other locks, you may or may not be able to pick one. It depends on security pins, how the bitting is set, the master system, and how that specific core was machined. Because a lock is seen regularly doesn't immediately mean you can pick it like a kwikset.

                    I see lots of ASSAs around here too, but I'd wager nobody is going to try picking one.
                    ----------------------------------------
                    Fraternal Order of Locksport

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Basic Tool Kit

                      Originally posted by valanx View Post
                      Is that the fight club edit?
                      heh, it is indeed.

                      Originally posted by valanx View Post
                      Also, I'd be happy to contribute to the pick alchemy.
                      i was actually planning on asking if you'd like to submit a talk like that with me at some point... or just do it in the village. your material would be essential to such a talk, not a mere contribution. we could cover the merits of different metal properties for different people, modding inexpensive factory picks with a grinder, heat-treating and tempering the steel, and your large array of finishing techniques from agitation polishing to budget powdercoating. heh, and there's of course my own love of kynar heat-shrink tubing. that could make for a half-hour talk easily.

                      Originally posted by valanx View Post
                      (Its FOOLS with two o's btw.)
                      fixed. sorry... that was a typo. i had it right further down in the video description.
                      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                      - Trent Reznor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Basic Tool Kit

                        At the Layer1 Afterparty in southern california on May 24th/25th we'll have everything you need to make your own pick set. Feel free to make use of our facilities!

                        http://layerone.info
                        http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/23b_Shop

                        Kallahar
                        --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Basic Tool Kit

                          Thank you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Basic Tool Kit

                            I recently spent a Saturday morning wandering around picking up street sweeper bristles. Now I have about 200 of them.
                            They are tough to shape into picks without a Dremel, but they make fair enough tension bars.

                            I figure I'll just give them away at the village...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Basic Tool Kit

                              Originally posted by Rhenium View Post
                              I recently spent a Saturday morning wandering around picking up street sweeper bristles. Now I have about 200 of them.
                              They are tough to shape into picks without a Dremel, but they make fair enough tension bars.

                              I figure I'll just give them away at the village...
                              You can use some hand files as well, I have a bunch of files that I'll probably be bringing if you want to give it a go.
                              ----------------------------------------
                              Fraternal Order of Locksport

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