Picking in with a storm: fun with @StormLockPicks

Experience

Prior to owning this set of Storm picks, I’ve used a Sparrows Sentry set, and had a lot of fun with my Bogota Titan Entry Toolset that I picked up at Defcon in 2011. Not seriously experienced, but a bit around the block: my pet hate was the wafer lock, and it was with Storm picks that I got a good technique and moved passed them. After going to to London Hackspace’s Lock Sport evening, I was introduced to Storm. Initially I bought a 5B Snowman, and more recently an Entry-09.

Photos are available here.

Case

The picks arrived in a slim cordura pouch that unobtrusively holds all nine of my Storm picks and five tension tools. It only has a single compartment, but that helps keep it modest. The only branding on it is a small Storm logo on the pull-tab that opens the case.

Finish

The first thing I noticed about the Storm picks is the finish: each pick is well finished, with no burrs or irregularities on the surface of the tool. They are ready to use out of the box. The Storm logo is present, as is the model of the pick (useful when you can’t remember if it’s a 3 or a 5B for later reference).

Handles

Comparing with the Sparrows picks, the handles are wider and longer, and more comfortable to work with. What I do find is that over an extended picking session, they can become uncomfortable, but this is remedied by adding heat shrink plastic, or Storm sell aluminium handles that bolt on. Given the cost differential of heat shrink plastic and aluminium, I’ve only used the former, but I’ve found it to be perfect.

The grip on the handle is acceptable, with the etched Storm logo adding to the grip, but the road is definitely paved for one’s own modification.

Tension strips

The supplied tension strips are lovely, 13cm/5" pieces of light metal that provide a wonderful amount of feedback, much more so than my chubbier, stouter Sparrows tension tools. I have a habit of being heavy with the tensioner, and having much a lighter tool immediately made me more attentive to the torque I was applying. This made me aware of how much feedback I had missed: a six-pin tumbler with safety pins that had been troubling me popped in a lot less time.

Cost

Initially, I was put off by the cost of the Storm tools, but compared to the cheaper Sparrows, I can understand the difference: these are genuinely a more precise tool. It’s also fun that they’re from a UK company, which saves tremendously on importing from the US.

Storm Lock Picks, a set on Flickr.

Ze Stuart

Ze Stuart