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FAQ: Dr. Dave on "How to use a tubular lock pick."

THE starting place for new members. FAQ's, instructions on how to pick a lock, valuable information like product reviews, links to lock picking related sites, forum rules, lockpicking tool vendors, and more. START HERE.

FAQ: Dr. Dave on "How to use a tubular lock pick."

Postby DrDave » Sun Oct 05, 2003 5:33 am

Tubular Lock Picking – DrDave-USA

It's really quite simple, and using the South-Ord 7-pin tool I can pick most Tubular Locks in less than 75 Seconds.

There are TWO (2) ways to do it. Both ways work pretty fast, however I’ll discuss my preferred method. First, pull all the feeler-Picks all the way to the Black Rubber handle (You were wondering WHY that rubber piece was included), then put the pick into the lock and hold it all the way down into the lock and place clockwise medium-tension on the tool. Then push each pick slowly down till it hits a "Stop". Do this to all 7 tumblers and PRESTO, The cylinder turns. Read the next paragraph first!

I’ve seen some locksmiths use rubber-bands to hold in the picks, I first use plastic tie-clips and place one around the upper section of the tool, the other just below the rubber O-Rings on the tool while pushing the brass “Holder” off. I then use either a piece of round plastic or another rubber O-Ring around the tool to hold the picks from FLYING ALL OVER!!! But it is VERY IMPORTANT to put the Right Size O-Rings or other rubber or plastic, They MUST loosen up the picks to move easily when they are placed on the edges AND tighten-Up the picks when they are moved toward the center "inside" two O-Rings in the tool!!!

NOTE: On the first Tubular Pick I opened, I made a LARGE ERROR; I removed the brass holder, while attempting to just move it toward the end… It came off and all 7 picking rods went flying… Then I had to figure out how to get all 7 back in place!!! The above paragraph details how I overcame that potential ERROR from happening again. It is probably a good idea to use at least one small rubber band around the Tubular Tool's Picking Rods BEFORE you attempt to remove the Brass ring.

Also, after I put on my small plastic rings (cut from a Flexible Plastic tubing, used for pluming and alike) I cut-off the Plastic tie-wraps. By doing this, the tool has only the two plastic rings, and the two Rubber O-Rings in the middle of the tool (Under the Rods). I also sometimes use O-Rings, but they hold the Picking Rods a bit tight.

There is a 85-Min Video where you can hear how it's done. It is discussed between: 57:15 thru: 59:17 Minutes in the Video. The link is:

I KNOW There is another Link on this site showing it done... I'll attempt to locate the link for that video. The title of the Video is:
It is a 60 Min Video and they show it being opened from: 32:20 thru: 35:25 of that file.
Picking locks since 1969....
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 1:47 am
Location: Las Vegas - USA

Video showing Tubular Picking

Postby DrDave » Sun Oct 05, 2003 7:50 am

MagicWhiteGuy had posted the Video where they SHOW Tubular Picking… His link is:
http://connectmedia.waag.org/toool/h2k2 ... ng-vcd.mpg

It is a 60 Min Video and they show Tubular Picking from: 32:20 thru: 35:25 of that file.


Picking locks since 1969....
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 1:47 am
Location: Las Vegas - USA

South-Ord Tubular Instructions

Postby DrDave » Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:56 pm

This is the way the Video in the above post picks Tubular Locks. I "scanned" it in with an OCR and will post below:

Instructions for South-Ord “TPXS” Tubular Manipulation Picks
1. Be sure that the lock is clean and all the tumblers are free.
2. Slide the picking needles back and forth several times to ensure that they move freely.
3. Push the picking needles slightly beyond the end of the pick. Press the end onto a hard, flat surface to line the needles with the end of the pick.
4. Insert the pick into the lock as far as it will go. Do not apply torque to the pick at this time. Inserting the pick into the lock raises all the pins in the lock to their individual shear lines.
5. Withdraw the pick a few thousands of an inch at a time. This allows the pins to move towards the shear line. At the same time, apply tension by torquing the pick left or right. This forces the fingers back until the pins reach the shear line. Once all the pins are trapped at the shear line, the lock is compromised.

1. Do not apply excessive force when torquing the lock.
2. Be certain that the pick is perpendicular to the lock at all times. If you find that the pick has moved off perpendicular, remove the pick
and begin the process again.
3. If any of the picking needles have moved all the way back to the cutaway at the end of the pick, you must start again. This is caused by moving the pick off perpendicular or by withdrawing the pick too far, initially.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice!
DrDave-USA / South-Ord
Picking locks since 1969....
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 1:47 am
Location: Las Vegas - USA

Picking "Offset" Tubular Locks

Postby DrDave » Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:06 pm

Picking "Offset" Tubular Locks - DrDave-USA

OK, You have a 7-pin tubular lock and a South-Ord 7-Pin Pick, however the Picking Rods DO NOT line up with the pins, but the tool "Fits" into the cylinder. Here is one way to picking that lock...

BUY an 8-Pin South-Ord Tubular Pick!!! This is basically the SAME tool with Picking Rods evenly space all the way around the Lock. Pull Back the Picking-Rod(s) that have no tumbler(s) in that area of the Lock. Still place the pick into the "Notch" and make sure you are unable to turn the tool in either (or at least ONE) direction. This allows for tension needed to open the lock.

Follow the Standard "Impression" or my "Preferred Method" posted above. Sell, give away, or keep the 7-Pin tool around.

Please POST your results!!!

Picking locks since 1969....
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 1:47 am
Location: Las Vegas - USA

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