SouthOrd MAX Lock Picks: The Lowdown

I’ve been trying to remember when our first generation of MAX lock picks was introduced.  The closest record I can find is the date their photography was done, back in 2008, which frankly surprises me it was that long ago.  Time does fly!

So, years back, we wanted to come out with the best line of lock picks that we possibly could.  The Rolls Royce of lock picks:  That was our goal.  All of our lock picks except the MAX series, from our Standard and Slimline series, to our Jackknife and Pen Picks, are manufactured from U.S. Full Hard Spring Stainless Steel.  The exact details we don’t disclose, but it’s really good steel:  Stronger specs than the average full hard, and resilient.  For the MAX line though, we selected U.S. High Yield Stainless Steel.  With 270,000 PSI, High Yield is the strongest stainless we can manufacture lock picks from.  Much stronger than needed for lock picking-- But our goal was to make the best.

We were stoked when we first introduced the MAX series.  The picks were strong; the sets included over-sized leather cases…  The line really was an excellent quality for what we were able to do at the time, and it was well-received by our customers.  The problem we found during our mass production, however, was that we were manufacturing our MAX picks in the same way as our Full Hard picks.  Which works great for the Full Hard picks.  But the steel we use for the MAX line was too strong for our traditional production methods.  It was wearing down our tooling…  We weren’t able to produce them efficiently….  So something had to change.

First Generation M3000 MAX Lock Pick Set

With changes in production in the second generation, also came changes in the picks’ handles.  Whereas our first generation of MAX lock picks was introduced with our classic, rivetless stainless steel handles, we introduced our second generation of MAX picks with ergonomic ABS handles. HOLY SMOKES, I think that change in the handles brought the biggest and most immediate response that we’ve received from our customers: And not necessarily in the good way.  The initial response from our customers was that they much preferred the feedback that our rivetless stainless handles provide.  Also, we introduced the 2nd generation MAX picks in .031” high yield stainless, which was too thick for our friends across the pond.  We quickly followed the .031” MAX line with a thinner .023” MAX line, which was much more suitable for the small, narrow keyways our international customers encounter.  But, they too had the ergonomic ABS handles.

 

Second Generation M3000 MAX Lock Pick Set

As time passed, the 2nd generation MAX became better received.  Customers became accustomed to the ABS handles, and we began to get positive feedback from customers who felt that the handles were comfortable to use.  But, we were making improvements along the way to our Full Hard lock picks:  We invested in a polishing process that we’ve worked to perfect over time, which refined the finish of our Full Hard picks beautifully; we introduced new pick designs into our Slimline series; and we introduced a new series of tension tools.  So with the improved production method of our MAX picks, our new polishing process, and the incorporation of the new pick and tension tool designs we’d introduced, we were determined that we could bring this 3rd generation of MAX picks, if not to perfection, then pretty damn close.  And we are absolutely thrilled with the result!

Our newest generation of MAX picks is the culmination of our improvements in production and design of the MAX series over the years.  Though the ABS handles had become better received by customers than when they were first introduced, we agreed with customers’ initial feedback that our traditional rivetless stainless steel handles are both comfortable to use and provide excellent feedback in the locks.  We expanded the MAX series by introducing new pick designs to it, expanded the MAX lock pick sets, and included new tension tools in the MAX sets that are not available in our Full Hard sets.  And, most importantly, with our improved manufacturing and polishing processes, combined with the quality of our U.S. High Yield Stainless Steel, the finished picks in the 3rd generation MAX series outmatched anything we’d produced before.   

Third Generation M3000 MAX Lock Pick Set

If you haven’t had a chance to peruse our MAX Lock Picks series, they are available to purchase individually or as full lock pick sets.  If you decide to try one, we thank you, and we hope that you are just as pleased with them as we are!

 


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