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What is the standard pick that you should use for most locks? I’ll tell you now, it doesn’t really matter about the brand.

There are a lot of different manufacturers out there, but they will all have a thing called a standard short hook, and that’s the Sparrows one. It comes in three different thicknesses, and that’s really important because what you want to be able to do is get good with that particular shape and then have that apply to different locks with different sized key ways. I’ve got it here in the 25/1000ths and the 15/1000ths. There’s a 20/1000 one in the middle there. Those two picks, I would say, would get you into literally 95% of locks that you are ever going to see.

Those are the go-tos for me. Down below here is the Sparrows steep hook. This is the cousin to the short hook, and you can see that the hook, as its name implies, is a little bit steeper. You use this one for getting up underpins and seating something in the back of the lock. For difficult combinations of betting, these are the ones you need. For 95% of locks you’re ever going to see, this is the one you use. Potted summary there, guys, find a short hook that you are comfortable with, make sure it comes in at least two, and hopefully three thicknesses, and get good with just that one hook. Don’t use a scattergun approach. Pick one, and use it well.

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