My HPC electric pick gun is always my first tool of choice for cylinder picking, admittedly it doesn’t always work and I might end up hand picking or bumping but I would like to think I’m pretty competent with my epg and I would say I usually get at least 75% – 80% of cylinders open with just a pick gun and tension tool.  I had been thinking about getting the Doodle Bug upgrade from Nigel Tolley at Discreet Security Solutions for quite a long time but I had always put it off because I was a little apprehensive about the upgrade. How much better could it be? Would it have the opposite effect and make my EPG worse with a lesser success rate?

A couple of weeks ago I got a GEGE British standard anti snap euro lock to open on a warrant and it would not budge, I tried everything, Klom epg, HPC epg, hand picking, manual pick gun and the thing would not budge! I ended up drilling the hell out of it and was really annoyed with myself because it was the first lock change on a warrant I had done for over 6 months! That was the final straw I came home and immediately went on the Island locks forum to ask if anybody was already using the Doodle bug upgraded Hpc. Simon from St Locks responded saying the power was unbelievable and the battery life was amazing! I got straight on to Nigel contacting him through his website and after a few emails backwards and forwards it was a done deal.

I posted my epg off to Nigel via Royal Mail special delivery. Nigel quoted a turn around time of 4 working days and he was spot on, the pick gun arrived back in my possession exactly in the time frame stated. It also came back really well packaged, when I shipped it to Nigel I just threw it in a special delivery bag with no packaging at all. When I got it sent back from Nigel it was really well packaged and was fully protected around the whole pick gun. In the package were also a new charger for the LI ion battery and a set of charging instructions.

So what do you get in the upgrade?

Firstly the motor is upgraded to a more powerful unit, when I say more powerful I mean a lot more powerful! I would say that it’s at least double the power of the original motor! Then there’s the battery and battery life. The battery is upgraded to lithium/Li-lon and in my opinion the upgrade is worth it for the battery alone. The most annoying thing about my standard HPC was the life of the battery. I used to give it an 8 hour charge as stated in the instructions but after a couple of days of it been sat unused in the van it would be nearly empty when I actually wanted to use it which meant you could never have confidence in it been ready to use when you needed it. When it was new the battery would last longer but still wasn’t great but after 2 years the battery life was shocking.  The epg also came back with a different fastener on the part where the pick blades go. I’m not sure if this normally comes as standard or if mine was changed because the screw head on my standard one was completely knackered. Now it has a wing nut and Allen headed bolt through it which is also a lot easier to tighten the pick blades in than the flat head screw supplied as standard.

HPC Pick Gun

LI-ion HPC

What’s it like to use?

In one word BRILLIANT! As soon as I pressed the trigger the first time I could instantly feel the power difference , so much so that after a short practice my fingertips where tingling from the added vibration. After an hour of on and off practice there was no difference in the amount of power being output which I would defiantly not of had before the upgrade. After an hour with the old version the battery would have been completely done in making the gun feel weak.  I don’t know if this is completely in my head or not but it also feels stronger. I think this is due to the motor being more powerful and the battery lasting longer it makes it seem as if the epg is tougher than before. (It’s hard to explain lol) One thing to watch out for though is the actual pick blades, the epg will snap pick blades like they’re going out of fashion if you are using the type that are supplied with a Klom pick gun or similar. To be fair though it does say in the instructions that you need to use the slighter thicker and tougher HPC blades. So far it’s opened a hell of a lot of cylinders in my used cylinder box but not had chance to use it on a GEGE British standard which originally made me get the upgrade done because it’s on loan to another locksmith to try and pick it but as soon as I have it back I will have a practice and update this post.

You can get you HPC upgraded by Nigel Tolley here, HPC Doodlebug upgrade

Or check out Nigels blog here http://www.safeplaces.co.uk/blog/

For tips using your EPG visit Electric pick gun tips



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