I was lucky enough to get my hands on the new Island Locks LTC curtain pick set earlier this week. The curtain pick is made by Jay Dorner who is the owner of Island locks, The Locksmith training company and the Island locks forum. Jay is well known for making quality locksmith tools so I was hoping that the new pick would be no exception.

I also have the first generation of  the LTC curtain pick so I have something to compare the new one too. To be honest I could never really get on very well with the first generation pick, it was good for curtain control but I found that I didn’t get a lot of feeling through the pick stem. The tensioning bar was fixed to the pick stem with a grub screw meaning if you wanted to adjust the bar and your grip halfway through picking it was virtually impossible. I could still open locks with it but I just found it a little bit awkward.

So the new pick arrived earlier this week and as soon as I opened the packet I could instantly see some massive improvements! The pick stems feel lighter and better made and the pick stem now has a sliding tension handle like a multi gauge pick making it so much more comfortable to hold and use. The pick set comes with two pick stems, one pick handle, six wires, two replacement snibs and a little arm to help with basic decoding of lever heights in locks such as Era viscount and Era profit ect. All parts in the kit feel very well made and thought out, the pick wires are typical of what you would expect from Jay Dorner and are absolutely perfect. In my opinion Jay makes the best wires out of any body I know. The six wires supplied are made up of a short, medium and high left hand and a short medium and high right hand so you will be well covered for wires right from the start. The snip which grips to the curtain ring to allow the curtain to be turned can be replaced with one of the spares if needed and because it is made from brass its also very easy to file if it needs to be adjusted.

Curtain Pick Handle

Curtain Pick

Using the pick

I didnt want to jump into this post as soon as the pick arrived because I wanted to test it out properly in the field first. I’ve had a practice at home in the vice but I think the real test comes when using the tools out on site. I’ve had a busy week of warrants this week and I’ve used it a few times but typically most of the jobs I needed to gain entry have been cylinders! However I did get a right handed Era Profit dead lock and a BS union left handed sash lock to open. The profit deadlock was the first one I used it on out on site. I had already practiced a right and left hand viscount at home in the vice which is basically exactly the same as the profit but the non British Standard version so I was feeling pretty confident the new LTC would be up to the job. I used the new designed handle to do a basic decode before picking then I went in for the kill. I’m not kidding it took 5 minutes to decode and get the lock picked! Very very happy with that! There were a couple of low levers in there which I had to corkscrew underneath but the unique flat end of the LTC stem makes it really easy to get undereath the low levers because it allows more movement of the wire compared to a lot of other more restricted curtain picks. I managed to open the Union 2341 in about 6-7 minutes so was also very pleased with that as well. A friend of mine at locksmiths in Cannock had similar results as well!

Pick Snib

When practicing at home I managed to open a good variety of locks including a Legge/Asec,Era Viscount, Union 2341E, Eurospec and a few of the cheap nasty curtain locks like sterling ect.

To sum up this is a very well made and well thought out bit of kit. A huge improvement on the previous design and a pleasure to use! Please remember though this pick is not a magic solution to be instantly able to open all curtained mortice locks. In my opinion curtain picking is the hardest form of lock picking and takes a serious amount of practice to be competent! However if you are just starting out curtain picking this is one of the most user friendly picks out there!

To purchase a LTC curtain pick visit The Locksmith Shop

Subscribe to the Island Locks Youtube channel for picking videos, tips and tricks




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