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Commercial Picks & Tools – BosnianBill's LockLab

I think the best way to handle this subject is simply to show a picture of the pick, give a brief description of what it can be used for, and tell you what my experiences with its usefulness or gimmick factor.  From there, you can make your own decision.  I’ll try to use the most common name first, followed by any trade or manufacturer’s names.  In some ways, this can be like cryptography because some of the names are used on more than one tool…


Name: DeForest Diamond, Offset Diamond
Category: Hook
For: Single Pin Picking
My opinion: VERY Useful, a must have item.


W-RakesName: W-Rake, Zipper
Category: Rake
For: Kinetic attack, zipping
My opinion: Useful



Name: Bogota, Triple-Peak, Double-peak, Worm
Category: Rake
For:  Raking pin tumblers open or obtaining a false set.
My opinion:  The Triple peak and Worm are SUPER Useful.  Must-have items.


Ball-Type-PicksName: Double Ball (Snowman, 8-Rake), Ball and Half Ball
Category: Rake
For: Raking single and double-sided wafer locks.
Useful or Gimmick:  Gimmick.  Any rake works just as well as the ball rakes.


Half-DiamondName:  Small Half Diamond
Category: Rake, Improvised Hook, and Kinetic Attack tool
For:  The diamond can rake pins, replace a short hook, or be used as a zipping tool.  You can also use it to pick simple dimple locks.
My opinion: An old school tool created when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, but still a good general purpose pick.


Short-HookName: Standard Hook (Short Hook, Hook #1, H1)
Category:  Hook
For:  Everything.  SPP, raking, zipping, rocking, etc.
My opinion: A MUST HAVE pick.  Carry an extra just in case you break one.


S-RakesName:  S-Rake, Snake Rake
Category: Rake
For:  A great tool for raking either pin tumblers or wafer locks. Very effective on locks containing standard pins.  When used on spools, it’ll often give you a very fast false set, allowing you to continue SPPing with your hook.
My opinion: Very useful.


GemName: Medium Hook, Peterson Gem
Category:  Hook
For:  SPP, raking, zipping.
My opinion: Useful. Indispensable.  This is my go-to pick.  I carry both 0.025″ and 0.015″ thicknesses.


Postal-HookName: Deep Hook and Postal Hook
Category: Hook
For:  Single Pin Picking postal boxes.
My opinion: The profile is too tall to fit into most keyways.  I’m told it’s a necessary tool to pick postal boxes, but have never done it and probably never will, so don’t bother carrying one.


L-RakeName:  L-Rake, City Rake, C-Rake
Category: Rake
For:   Uses the rocking technique to simulate the key bitting.  Works well on standard pins.
My opinion: Useful.  A nice-to-have pick, but not critical.


SSDev-PicksName: SSDev Hooks (set of 3, increasing hook depth)
Category: Hook
For:  Accessing very deep cut pins in Euro locks.
My opinion: Very Useful.  Not used every day but indispensable when you need them.


LifterPickName:  Lifter Pick
Category: Hook
For:  Precise positioning of pick on the key pin.  I am told that this is a useful pick for picking Medeco pins.  I have picked on a lot of Medecos and tried this pick several times and see nothing advantageous to it.
My opinion: Gimmick.  Doesn’t do anything that your hook can’t do better.

Single-PeakName:  Single Peak
Category: Rake
For:  Raking pin tumblers
My opinion: Gimmick.  results no different than double or triple peak or the half diamond.


Offset-HybridName:  Offset Hybrid (Unique pick to Sparrows)
Category: Hook
For:  Single Pin Picking (SPP)
My opinion: Useful.  Slightly different feel than short hook and with the diamond shaped tip is easier to position on the key pin, so it is very popular with speed pickers.


Offset-half-ballName:  Offset Ball, Offset Half Ball, DeForest ball
Category: Hook
For:  Same as DeForest Diamond, for high lift of pins in the back of the lock.
My opinion: Useful, but most people choose only the diamond or ball tips, rarely both.


Bypass-KnifeName: Knife
Category:  Tool
For:  Bypassing unshielded locks.  The narrow blade is usually 3” and made from 0.030” material.
My opinion: Useful. Use this tool first when facing older padlocks that might not be shielded.  It might save you a LOT of work AND amaze onlookers wen you pop the lock open in about 3 seconds.


Mini-Knife-ShimName: Mini-Knife
Category:  Tool
For:  Shimming or decoding combination locks.  Blade is 2” and made from 0.012” material.
My opinion: Useful.  I carry one in my EDC and often use it on combination locks.


ProbeName: Probe
Category:  Tool
For: Picking finger pins.  Defeating bottom pin on Schlage Everest.
My opinion: Useful if you pick those types of locks.


ExtractorName: Extractor, Harpoon
Category: Tool
For:  Removing broken key fragments from the keyway.
My opinion: Useful. No other tool can substitute for this one.  Good for roasting marshmallows.


Slim-JimsName:  Slim Jim, Full size and mini
Category:  Bypass tool
For:  Quickly opening spring loaded doors, gates and latches.
My opinion: Useful, especially on “high  security” doors with shielding blocking the locking bolt.


Wafer-Lock-PicksName:  Wafer Lock Rakes/Jigglers
Category:  Tool
For:  Raking open single and double sided wafer locks.
My opinion: Useful


Warded-Lock-Bypass-KeysName: Warded Lock Bypass Keys
Category: Bypass Tools
For:  Opening all known warded locks
My opinion: Very useful.  No other tool can open warded locks as fast as these.  In my EDC add-on kit.


Jiggler-Key-SetName:  Jiggler Keys, Small and Large
Category:  Rake/Jiggler
For:  Opening wafer or pin tumbler locks.
My opinion: Useful


Cross-Jiggle-KeysName:  Cross Lock Tryout Keys
Category:  Rake/Jiggler
For:  Opening simple cross locks
My opinion: Gimmick.  I’ve tried these hundreds of times and have only gotten a few opens on the simplest of locks.