Torque/Tension related questions:
What torque wrench should I buy?
The glib answer is "The one that will fit the lock". Most likely though, it would be best to start with two wrenches. Select a light and medium double sided tension wrench. Each end will be a different size. This effectively gives 4 wrenches. Consider a tulip handle style wrench if you have some of these locks. Well made wrenches are available from many suppliers.
I have seen different Torque tools why would I use these?
With the exception of the "feather touch" wrench, most other types of tension tools are gimicks. The round tension tools can assist you in learning the proper amount of tension, but will replace the feel you get from learning the proper amount with a normal tool.
Specialty tools exist for certain applications, and will be dealt with below.
Use a heavy, or very heavy bar type tension tool on damaged, seized, or very strong locks that require a lot of turning in order to open.
How much torque do I need to use?
I made mention of the feather touch wrench, and for good reason. The proper amount of tension for picking is the absolute minimum required to bind the pins. After the plug has successfully been picked, you may require more tension to turn the latching mechanism.
Here is a list of different torque tools and their pros and cons
Spring or feather touch
: Used to cope with multiple security pins such as mushroom and spool pins.
SouthOrd's feather touch wrench:
Pros: Excellent light tension on security type pins.
Cons: Difficult to apply more than the minimum amount of tension.
I-Core tension tool
: Tension tools designed to fit into the bottom holes of different types of interchangable core format cylinders. The purpose is to remove the core while picking the lock.
This link is lockpicks.com, and shows the I-Core tools:
http://www.lockpicks.com/index.asp?Page ... ProdID=318
This link is Perterson International's I-Core tools page. Some excellent examples:
Pros: The ability to remove the I-Core
Cons: Sometimes difficult to keep in place. Some newer I-Core systems have modified the holes.
2-Finger (normal and adjustable)
: Commonly used in wafer type locks.
HPC's fixed 2 finger wrench:
Adjustable 2 finger tool at lockpicks.com:
http://www.lockpicks.com/index.asp?Page ... &ProdID=56
Pros: Stable tension in wafer style locks.
Cons: Can sometimes impeed access to the wafers.
Round tension tools
: A variable tension tool designed to provide an exact metered amount of tension. Equipted with two fingers for stabilization in the lock plug.
This link is for HPC's variable round tension tools:
Pros: Allows user to exert an exact amount of tension.
Cons: Bulky, can slip, and sometimes impeeds the pins.
Also usable on wafer style locks.
Flat bar tension tool
: These tools are the most common tension tool found in lock pick sets. They offer the most usablity of any tool, and are most likely the best method for tensioning a lock. There are a few variations such as, half twist, double twist, and tulip profile.
This link shows a collection of HPC's standard flat bar tension tools:
This is a closer look at the tulip tension tool:
SouthOrd's tulip tension tool:
These are SouthOrd's standard tension tools:
Pros: Excellent selection, control, and feedback. Abilty to manually adjust amount of tension by simply pressing harder or easing off.
Cons: Can bend tool, can sometimes slip out of lock. Requires practice to use effectively.
Perterson's Schlage Everest tension tool
Pros: Engages the locking pin in the Everst lock.
Cons: Expensive, and can sometimes impeed picking.
Schlage wafer lock tools
http://www.lockpicks.com/index.asp?Page ... &ProdID=37
Pros: Provides excellent picking and turning of this mechansim.
Cons: The Schlage wafer is no longer a common lock.
: The last thing I am going to mention here is the plug spinner. While you are picking, you may discover that you have opened the lock in the wrong direction. IE: You are turning in the locking direction. Also, you may discover that it is easier to pick the lock in the wrong direction. For whatever reason, you now have an open lock cylinder, and you need to turn it the other way. Either you can relock the cylinder, or you can use the plug spinner. Wind it up, insert the blade, and let it go. It should spin the plug so fast that it flips to the other direction without allowing it to lock. Here is a picture of a spinner:
Pros: Allows user to correct an improper turning direction.
Cons: Is sometimes not fast enough. Wind the puppy up!
I have heard of jigglers what are they?
These are normally sets for specific locks that you place in the keyway and "jiggle", similar to a raking technique. Sometimes they work sometimes they do not.
The are most commonly found in automotive lockout kits. Because of the complexity of normal door locks, and the huge variety of keyways and pinning arangements, "jigglers" are not commonly used for building style locks. If you do have a non automotive set, they are most effective in wafer style locks as found in desks, and filing cabinets.
This link is for a wafer "jiggler" set.
http://www.lockpicks.com/index.asp?Page ... &ProdID=36
How do I make jigglers?
Jiggler patterns are available on the internet, and in several books. I do not feel that they are useful because of their limited use.