Continuing with Loops on our Knot of the Week series in HD, today I’ll be going over the Handcuff Knot.... View ArticleView Article
SerePick continues to impress with their new offering of custom Bogota Entry Toolsets, which now include the use of Stainless Steel and Titanium.
These hand-crafted tools have been used by many locksmiths and covert entry specialists worldwide, for numerous reasons we’ll cover here.
We’ve been dirt diving a set of Bogota’s for a few months, and with the addition of the Stainless and Titanium we decided it was time to give them a proper review.
While distributed by SerePick, the Bogota Entry Tools are the brainchild and creation of Raimundo, a frequent contributor to a great forum called Lockpicking 101. The name of the tools is derived from his time in Bogota, Columbia where he first developed the idea.
The three peaks and two valley’s in the rake-like pick represent the Andes mountains as they split into three mountain cordillera through Colombia.
We were fairly familiar with these tools prior to Matt from SerePick sending over a set, but had not been hands-on with them. Raimundo has had instructions for making these yourself available since around 2004, but the ability to purchase them from SerePick is fantastic, especially in the new stainless and titanium versions.
They’re a labor intensive process to create, to say the least. Not to mention having to source the thin metal bristles from a street sweeper, or windshield wiper blades to create them. Obviously the Stainless and Titanium aren’t from a street sweeper.
With traditional lock picks, the weak points have always been at the tip, coupled with being so damn thin. Yes, thin is important when space is at a premium inside a keyway, but most cheap picks you can obtain will break sooner or later. The Bogota Entry Tools eliminate the traditional weak point, by one, using strong steel (and now Stainless and Titanium) and two, the undercutting creates a continuous thickness throughout the each pick.
This continuous thickness eliminates the possibility of a weak point building up to cause bending or breakage. With less material it also lightens and increases the agility of the picks in the keyway.
The most notable feature of these picks is the ergonomic design and their ability to pull double duty as a tension wrench using the handle side. With two bends in the body of each pick, they form a pistol grip, which is a welcome departure from the traditional popsicle-stick like picks you’re used to seeing.
This allows you to work with the picks in their natural state without requiring any additional padding to avoid blisters from an all-day picking session, and the ability to hold a lock pick as you would naturally hold an object that contoured to your hand. The feedback from these picks is amazing as well, which we believe is largely due to more surface area on your fingers as opposed to traditional picks
The overall length of the Bogota tools are not all exactly the same, due to their handcrafted nature, but from what we have they range from 3 1/4″ to 3 1/2″. Remember this is overall length, from the tip of the pick to the end of the handle.
As previously mentioned, the Bogota Entry Toolset not only comes in the traditional steel design, but also in Stainless Steel and Titanium. Why is this important? For starters, the steel picks do rust and corrode. This can be seen with our original set for testing, from being carried in a back pocket within a wallet (see photo to right).
The Stainless version provides a corrosion-resistant option to counter butt sweat and those in a maritime environment. Not to mention the hygienic properties, long term durability and inherent strength of Stainless Steel.
While we didn’t notice a weight savings between the traditional steel and Stainless, both weighing in at a tenth of an ounce, the Titanium set is noticeably lighter and we’d go as far as calling them featherweight. Their weight didn’t register on our scale, but it only measures tenths of an ounce (photo from top to bottom, Steel, Stainless, Titanium).
The largest benefit of the aircraft-grade Titanium set is their inherent lack of a magnetic signature. All these sets are lightweight though, and while you’re not going to feel the difference between a tenth of an ounce in a pocket, but there are those that need non-magnetic tools, specifically EOD and those that know who they are.
Aircraft-grade Titanium is as strong as it gets, there’s a reason it’s used in the aerospace industry. Titanium is extremely corrosion resistant, more so than the Stainless, but they’ll still bend just like the other versions if man handled.
Raimundo has made other variations on the design of these tools, including the Monserrate, Arch and Sabana.
The Bogota Entry Toolset is handmade as a matched pair, and should be used as such. Their design, as noted previously, lends them to double as tension wrenches, so no matter which you’re using to pick with, the other can be used as the tension wrench.
If you’re unfamiliar with lock picking as a skill-set, please take some time to review the past information we’ve released on the subject. We don’t ever advocate anything illegal, and believe that everyone should know how to pick locks. To not only be able to get back in the house after you lock yourself out, but to understand the illusion of security that locks represent and to learn how to properly protect you and your family.
Using the Bogota tools is best done in one of two fashions, either as a jiggler or in a raking/scrubbing motion. As demonstrated in our video below, we’ve found the raking/scrubbing motion to be superior on both pin-tumbler locks and wafer locks.
There is very little tension needed with these picks, and are not for the heavy-handed user. We’ve found that the tension needed is similar to that of a featherweight tension wrench.
With the proper development of lock picking as a skill-set, the Bogota tools are all you’ll need to carry in most cases (be sure to check with your local laws first before carrying lock picks around). While simply owning these picks isn’t going to make you a superstar lock picker, they are definitely some of the best picks we’ve ever used.
As noted, these are a matched pair, and have a unique twist to their design that allows them to overlap nicely on each other. Using a standard spring from a pen, these can be secured together and safety pinned to any location desired.
Of course they can also be carried in a wallet, or wherever you’d like, just beware of butt sweat and moisture if you have the standard steel set.
We’d like to thank SerePick for providing these Bogota Entry toolsets for testing, and you can believe these sets will be put through the ringer. Thus far with the standard set we’ve had for a few months, there hasn’t been a lock we’ve been unable to pick, including the tough-as-nails American 5200 Security Padlock.
We encourage everyone reading this article to get involved with lock picking as a skill set through various lock sport groups such as Toool and Lock Sport International. There’s a large community out there of people who understand the value of this skill-set and also like to have fun picking locks.
Update: The Bogota Toolsets are now available here in the ITS Tactical Store!
Here’s the Lock Sport code of ethics, which sums things up nicely:
“You may only pick locks you own or those you have been given explicit permission to pick.”
Lock sport is an honest, ethical, and legitimate hobby. Unfortunately, the whole world hasn’t figured that out yet (though we’re working on it!). Because the lay person has a tendency to perceive what we do as somehow nefarious, it is extra important that we commit to following a strict code of ethics. For this reason, the above credo is non-negotiable in the locksport community. Lockpicking should never, ever be used for illegal or even questionable purposes. Please do not misuse this information. We assume no responsibility for your actions, and in no way condone immoral activity. Help keep locksport fun for all by following strictly the one rule.
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Can someone explain the difference between the Stainless Steel and the Titanium versions? I know the Titanium is supposed to be nonmagnetic, but is one tougher than the other?
It will be my first set, so I'm pretty sure I don't need it to be nonmagnetic or anything, but I really just want to know if it's worth it to shell out the extra $5 for titanium or not?
Thanks to ITS for replacing my raker pick. I was so happy I decided to buy two more sets and FYI making your own out of old saw blades not so easy. These picks work great, so great its a little scary how fast I can defeat a master lock. Thanks again to Bryan.
Had the tip of the titanium come off in side a lock. Was not prying just moving it back and forth. Has anyone had this problem ? Had the kit for two and half weeks so they will not return it. I feel like titanium should not break so easily.
Extremely disappointed that the company will not stand behind there product.
I'm going to make a set out of a saws all blade see if it will last longer.
@Griffter240 Did you purchase your set through ITS?
Easy enough to make from spring steel, snip off a couple leaf rake tines, or pair of old headphones with the stainless steel in the head piece. dont be intimidated by anything it's really stupid simple.
The twist is too close to the working end. If it were farther back it would allow for the tool to be inserted further. As it stands, I've run into a few locks with the last tumbler too far back to reach. These were locks coming out of the Middle East. I haven't had a chance to try them on many different locks though. The twist definitely needs to be further back however.
So are these still restricted? the ITSTactical Store says they are out of stock, will that be permanently? Just looking for a quality set that wont break and these seem to be the way to go. On the serepick page it states only a few of there item being RESTRICTED, the titans how ever don't appear to be under that category. Any help appreciated, thanks guys.
Pitting these up against a Southord 17 piece lockpick set and the ultimate practise lock (google) next week. Will post back with results.
Well after getting in trouble with my RA for fooling around with my home made paper clip lockpicks in my dorm (thank you ITS Tactical lol) I'm looking to get some real ones. Would these be a good starting place for picks?
Matt has said that these picks are in the hands of operators all over the world, I wish he'd try to get anecdotes from some of these guys to put on his site. that could be interesting and good for sales. Rai
Matt has said that these picks are in the hands of operators all over the world,
I wish he'd try to get anecdotes from some of these guys to put on his site. that could be interesting and good for sales.
Just got a set of titans, my lady friend made a set the other day but we decided to buy a set to try copy off accurately, I'm sure I'll be happy.
That looks like a very nice tool!
I am from Europe and looking to purchase that toolset. When will it be back in stock? Unfortunately Serepick does not ship overseas, so you are my last hope.
Hello Everybody, That looks like a very nice tool! I am from Europe and looking to purchase that toolset. When will it be back in stock? Unfortunately Serepick does not ship overseas, so you are my last hope. Thank you
I received my set today, with no experience and about two minutes of trying I defeated my front door deadbolt! I need a better lock.
I just ordered my set yesterday, will post some videos after I get them and become a picking machine! :)
I've had a set for about half a year, and can say without reservation that these are fine tools. Easy to learn and use. No signs if wear after lots of locks. Easily worth the money.
Excellent post and video Bryan.
Picking has been on my list of things to learn; just sent my e-mail to SerePick for an Evasion Kit.
Excellent post and video Bryan. Picking has been on my list of things to learn; just sent my e-mail to SerePick for an Evasion Kit.
I don't know where Bryan got that stand from but I bet you can build one yourself without too much trouble. I found a different set of plans online but it uses a pretty small footprint. More portable but if you make it bigger, you can have more locks already on the board so you can keep practicing nonstop instead of swapping (which only takes a second anyway...).
See if this helps at all: http://selever.freeshell.org/projects/skills/build_practice_lock.shtml
Here is an example of a premade stand but not sure if the prices are good or not: http://www.lockpickersmall.com/practice-lock-stands.html
You've been able to pick disc padlocks with these?
I've been wanting to put the effort into learning to pick; might as well get the best equipment.
You've been able to pick disc padlocks with these? I've been wanting to put the effort into learning to pick; might as well get the best equipment.
This was a great post. I can't wait to get a set. I have wanted to pick this technique up. These picks look like a good way to start.
I understand the restrictions but one can pick up lock-picking sets about anywhere. They may not be the quality of these but...
plus, instructions for making your own are published also. So, really, restrictions seem a little out of place on this item. Good article though.
I understand the restrictions but one can pick up lock-picking sets about anywhere. They may not be the quality of these but... plus, instructions for making your own are published also. So, really, restrictions seem a little out of place on this item. Good article though.
Nice stuff, fortunately their business model doesn't include making money from average joes...I almost spent money with them but I guess I should have chosen to be LE/Mil when I grew up. Oh well, more money for rum!
Nice stuff, fortunately their business model doesn't include making money from average joes...I almost spent money with them but I guess I should have chosen to be LE/Mil when I grew up.
Oh well, more money for rum!
It's actually a load of BS these are available only to Mil/LE. The picks look like a damn fine product, why are law-abiding citizens restricted from purchasing them?
I am really starting to get into this sport and it's irritating they're restricted. I am more qualified to have them than the average LEO or Mil person.. lol.
Good picks though!
It's actually a load of BS these are available only to Mil/LE. The picks look like a damn fine product, why are law-abiding citizens restricted from purchasing them? I am really starting to get into this sport and it's irritating they're restricted. I am more qualified to have them than the average LEO or Mil person.. lol. Good picks though!
Great article as always! I've been meaning to pick up one of those practice sets for a long time now.
Awesome picks, but as an accomplished sport picker myself I am so sick of companies restricting these products.