SouthOrd Locksmith Tools: The Changes! (Part 2)

In our last blog, SouthOrd Locksmith Tools:  The Origins! (Part 1), we gave a peek at the beginnings of SouthOrd.  Before becoming a manufacturer of professional lock picks and locksmithing tools, we first sold brass knuckles, gentlemen’s sap gloves, Italian stiletto knifes, and other unique (and pretty cool!) self-defense products.

Promising to pick up the story where we left off, we combed through old catalogues from decades ago, and got to thinking about how our products have changed over the years, and we’d like to share some of these changes with you!

The JPXS-6 Jackknife Lock Pick Set, one of our most signature lockpicking tools, has had a number of makeovers.  Originally, the Jackknife handle was machined from raw aluminum, with no further finishing, so it was left pretty simple and industrial-looking.  But, it was the first Jackknife of its kind, so in our opinion, it was pretty cool!

The original SouthOrd Jackknife handle, 2000 

We then moved to an alloy metal handle, which had a bit more heft.  It was first introduced painted with a matte grey finish, then the matte grey was changed to a more durable chrome plating.  For a short time, we also made available a “Featherweight” Jackknife, the JPXS-6F, which was made from a fiberglass composite, in flat black, with white logo. 

From the Southern Ordnance Catalogue, Vol. 15, 2001              

And then, just in time for it’s 20th anniversary, we introduced our latest model JPXS-6 Jackknife, combining the best of features from all of our Jackknife productions, with a machined and refined aluminum handle, making it lightweight, durable and comfortable in the hand.  

The JPXS-6 Jackknife Lock Pick Set, current

Many of our other tools have been improved over the years.  We’ve, of course, made improvements in our production and designs, for durable, effective and smooth picking.  And you can see differences from our past productions of our lockpick sets.

In the PXS-17, for example, as it was produced around the mid-1990’s compared to it currently, you can see modifications in some pick designs as well as the improvement to the finishing of the picks themselves.  Also, the interchangeable handle included with the PXS-17 (the handle that inspired the design of our JPXS-6 Jackknife Set), was originally machined in brass.

PXS-17, original version, pictured from Southern Ordnance catalogue, vol. 15, circa mid-1990's



PXS-17, current

Another lock pick set, which probably had the biggest “makeover”, is the MPXS-62.  Originally, the set included 62 pieces of Standard lock picks, tension tools and warded picks, and the lock picks were duplicated between the plain-handled and metal-handled lock picks.  The current variation has been expanded to 69-pieces total, and includes a full array of plain-handle and metal-handled lock picks from both our Standard and Slimline picks, without the redundancy of picks in the old version.

 MPXS-62, pictured from Southern Ordnance catalogue, vol. 15, circa mid-1990's

MPXS-62, current

And for the last example of past variations of products, for a very limited time, the E100 Electric Picks (our very first model of electric lock picks), came in a handcrafted wooden box.  In true family-business fashion, these were crafted by our founder’s (Larry Newberry) Uncle Arlos, and I had the distinct pleasure of coming across Arlos’ own E100C, complete with box, last year (pictured below).



Thank you for reminiscing with us!  As with the few personal blogposts we've put out before, we hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as we've enjoyed going through our past...


Larry Newberry, with his uncle, Arlos Ledbetter, circa 1980's

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