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Review - SouthOrd and Southern Specialties Folding Lock Picks.

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by bruner, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Here are the two models that I have recently aquired. On top is the Southern Specialties "FPS-7 Folding Pocket Pickset". On bottom is the SouthOrd "JPXS-6F Featherweight Jacknife Lock Pick Set". Please note that neither came with the 1/2" split ring shown in the photo.
    [​IMG]


    The Southern Specialties FPS-7 was purchased from www.lockpicktools.com for about $38. It is about 3" long (when closed) x about 3/4" wide x about 1/4" thick (not includind pocket clip). It has 7 tools not including the tension tool. The body is solid machined aluminum and is very light. The tension tool holds itself in place by the spring-action of it's body and it must be removed before folding out any of the other tools. The other tools are held in the closed/open position by the locking lever (show in the front view below). There is a handy pocket clip on the reverse side, which can be removed, if not needed.
    [​IMG]


    The SouthORd JPXS-6F was purchased from www.southord.com for about $22. It is about 3-1/2" long (when closed) x about 3/4" wide x about 1/4" thick. It has 5 tools not including the tension tool. The body is a type of plastic and is very light. Not unlike the Southern Specialties FPS-7, the tension tool holds itself in place by the spring-action of it's body. The other tools are held in the closed/open position by a knurled thumb screw.
    [​IMG]


    Here are some comparative photos...


    Back View:
    [​IMG]


    Tool Side View:
    [​IMG]


    Locking Mechanism Side View:
    [​IMG]


    The SouthOrd JPXS-6F was my first purchase. I chose it becuase of my lack of experience with picking locks. I didn't want to spend too much on something that I wasn't sure I would be able to use. To my surprise, It turns out I'm pretty good at it. For that matter, I think that just about anyone else could be good at it too, with just a little practice.

    SouthOrd makes a metal body version of the JPXS-6F which is called the JPXS-6. It costs much more than the plastic body with a price tag of about $38. Again, I wasn't willing to spend that kind of money on something that I wasn't sure I could use...

    Anyhow, I found myself 3 locks to play with. From left to right, an old American Lock Co. model, a new (but still old) American Lock Co. model and a brand new cheap $3 chinese brand pad lock. The two combo locks are the kind you used to have in school. On the front is the combination wheel, but on the back is a key slot for a universal key that would open any of the locks for inspection by the police.
    [​IMG]


    With a bit of patience, I was able to pick them all. The hardest one being that newer combo lock, as it had a smaller key way. I then moved on to picking the front door to my house and then the door on my shed in the back yard.

    With this new confindence under my belt, I wanted to check out the Southern Specialties FPS-7. I'm gonna make a long story short here and just say that I was blown away by the FPS-7. The designer of this tool is very clever. The locking lever works much better than the knurled thumb screw on the SouthOrd. It's got 7 tools on it as opposed to the 5 tools. A removable pocket clip is a very nice feature, if I don't want to carry it on my keychain. I can also say that I found the tools on this model to open locks much faster than the tools on the SouthOrd. Another great feature of the Southern Specialties FPS-7 is that if you break or loose any part of it, you can get replacements from the www.lockpicktools.com website. You can also choose from up to 8 other different shaped picks and rakes, which are available for only about $2 each. If you break something on your SouthOrd, you're stuck with it.

    All in all, if it's just a passing curiousity for you, or your're not sure about your skill level, you should probably consider the less expensive SouthOrd JPXS-6F. If you think this might become a hobby for you or you simply want the best, you should spend a few more bucks and the the Southern Specialties FPS-7.

    Please keep in mind that I'm not a criminal, nor do I intend to become one. This is strictly for fun. Did you know that there are lock picking clubs in Germany where people get together and have competitions?

    Please also be aware that, depending on where you live, it may be illegal for you to carry or even own a lock pick.

    If anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to try and answer them.

    Thanks for looking,
    Dan
     
  2. alwilliam

    alwilliam Loaded Pockets

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    Re: SouthOrd and Southern Specialties Folding Lock Picks Mini-Review.

    I am sold my next pick is a Southern Specialties FPS-7...THANKS O0 for the info.
     
  3. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    Re: SouthOrd and Southern Specialties Folding Lock Picks Mini-Review.

    I have the SouthOrd Jackknife pick and the Kwik-Pik contraption mentioned in the other thread as well. At least the Kwik-Pick will lock in place. The SouthOrd Jackknife is totally abysmal, it was the only one on the market after Majestic stopped manufacturing the Pick-EZE and when you consider that HPC's Jackknife Pick is a real stinker...the SouthOrd was nice for some time.

    All of the changed slowly, the original tool from Southern Specialties I obtained was the Slide-6 tool and it is bulkier than the SouthOrd Jackknife pick, but 50X better! Then I had some input on the newer one from Southern Specialties that you have now reviewed and it's the best I've ever tried.

    Nice mini-review.

    Just a word of correction, replacement parts are available for the SouthOrd Jackknife but you are going to have one hell of a time replacing them!
     
  4. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Re: SouthOrd and Southern Specialties Folding Lock Picks Mini-Review.

    Mister Hobbs ,

    Can you tell me more about the Slide-6 tool that Southern Specialties makes. I keep looking at the picture of it on thier website and just can't figure out how it works. I'd love to see other pictures of it in action or perhaps a size comparison. I'm tempted to get my hands on one, but not without knowing more about it.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  5. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    Re: SouthOrd and Southern Specialties Folding Lock Picks Mini-Review.

    Dan,

    It's a cool little tool and if you like the other little Jackknife pickset, you will probably like it as well. I'll have to take a couple of side by side shots for you so you can see.

    It's a little bit thicker, a little bit longer and still not too large to be handy, it's a bit different and in a way, a little more versatile...

    If you're holding turning force on the plug, commonly referred to as "tension" or "torque," and for whatever reason, you want to use another pick, all you have to do is slide the one pick back into the body and slide another pick out where it will lock into position.

    The two topside projections of metal are the "buttons," for lack of a better word, that actuate the picks. You push down on one of them slightly and then slide it forward like many razor knives in the past. And it locks into place very well. The Slide-6 has two picks in each end and one tension wrench in each end, so you have a little bit of variety and incredible ease if you want to do a pick change in the middle of holding pressure on a particularly stubborn lock, etc.

    R.S. at Southern Specialties is quite a Gent and I have really enjoyed working with him on a few things and as a Machinist, he has an incredible eye with great attention to detail. He is one of the greatest kept secrets in this field, he really is. No one is being innovative in this field at all except him. Just look at his work, it speaks for itself.

    Further, my disparaging remarks towards LP101 come from the knowledge that sometimes nice remarks about his work are disappeared over there. That's because it's a commercial site without screaming commercialism.

    It's really nice to see people who believe in quality, speaking of the words in this thread and the other thread, instead of pumping the SouthOrd dog, you can see that anywhere. Having the ability to flood a market with product does not necessarily mean the product is superior.
     
  6. luigi

    luigi Loaded Pockets

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    Re: SouthOrd and Southern Specialties Folding Lock Picks Mini-Review.

    Thanks for the outstanding review, I think I may try something it may be fun to learn how to pick some locks.
    I will let you know my progress in some weeks I guess. Thanks!