Well, having a few extra dollars kicking around in the paypal account, I decided to splurge and take a look at some equipment from an unknown supplier, found at: http://www.newsparkling.com.sg/locksmith.htm
My initial contact with the site owner, Mr. ho yoon wah (glad I don't actually have to pronounce that) was in regards to questions about some of the various kits and tools on his site.
This query of course led to questions about pricing, shipping, quality, etc.
Having satisfied myself that he appeared to be a legitimate dealer, I chose the model #4041 kit.
To be perfectly honest, the price of $55USD seemed reasonable to me, but the shipping cost of $30 did not. That is, until it arrived a week later by DHL Worldwide express.
So yeah, it was a piece of expensive kit that I really didn't need...anyways, continuing the review.
As mentioned previously, the kit arrived very quickly from Hong Kong in my opinion, and that made me happy.
The kit consts of no less than 27 pick/extractor tools, 6 "standard" tension wrenches, and some heavy duty thing that I assume must be a double-pronged tension wrench for automotive (haven't tried it yet.)
The case is a thin leather-like zippered affair similar in design (but not quality) to that of HPC with "fold out" tabs.
My particular case was nowhere near the proper size, and when I opened the case tools fell out all over the place. The handles are reminiscent of Rytan's hard blue plastic, and again show signs of being unfinished.
Oh...I should also mention that also unfortunately, the picks had been stamped with numbers right at the spot where the handle ends and the pick shaft bares...
Here's the unofficial breakdown of what was in my kit:
#1-9 All hooks. Average shaft varied in thickness from a massive .038 near the handle to .029 at the tip...not sure why the tapered design...strength I would assume.
#10 A deforest-style hook.
#11 I'm guessing an extractor since it has an extremely thin shaft.
#12 A real nasty hook.
#13 A very thin hook.
#14 A hook with flat tip.
#15 Some kind of wild long rake of interesting design.
#16 Perhaps the oddest rake I've ever seen. Has a "V" shape with an indent on the "bottom" of the "V"
#17 A shallow wavy long rake.
#18 Closer to a standard 3/4 rake with more of an "offset".
#19 Standard double half-ball.
#20 Like #17 but even more shallow.
#21 Like a standard 3/4 rake but wayyy oversize.
#22 An exotic double half-ball with a larger space between the balls. (no jokes please.)
#23 A long rake with a couple of positions deeper than the others..kind of an interesting pattern.
#24-25 Dimple picks (I have no dimple locks at present so no idea if they work or not.)
#26 Standard "snowman" pick
#27 A more standard double hook extractor tool.
The six double sided tension wrenches are interesting in that each end is a different thickness, allowing for some experimentation to find the right fit in the keyway of a lock.
And, of course, do not forget the double prong tension tool which I think might be a little stout for the purpose.
Interesting and innovative pick tip designs
Reasonably comfortable handles
Good variety of tension wrenches
Good Service and prompt reply to queries
Pick case not large enough for full set
wayyyy too many hooks (unless you like lots of spares)
Pick shafts and tips need extensive polishing
Stamping not necessary and I believe weakens the material
Handles require better finishing
tips are still too thick for small/restrictive keyways (should be .025 or .022)
need less expensive and more reasonable shipping options
I would definitely NOT recommend this as a beginner set.