Matt at SerePick.com graciously provided me a set of the Bogota Titan Entry Tools. My recent review of the Stainless Bogota Entry Tools turned into one of the most successful posts we have ever had here on Jerking the Trigger. That is due in large part with how impressive these tools are.
Lock Bypassing Simplified
How do you know when you have been successful at improving a tool? When you have simplified it without losing any function. Bogota Entry Tools do just that. These two small tools effectively replace an basic pick set and in my experience they are just as functional, if not more. This extreme functionality comes from the innovative design of the Bogota rake.
The Bogota rake is purpose built to bypass 5 pin locks. These are the type of locks that you typically find in an entry door or a padlock. The shape is reminiscent of the mountains in Bogota, Columbia for which the rake is named. That sounds cutesy but the shape is for good reason.
If you could see inside the lock that you are trying to bypass with the Bogota Entry Tools you would see the the rear most pin is sitting inside the first “peak” of the rake. The next pin would be sitting in the “valley” between the first and second “peak”. The middle pin would be centered on the middle “peak”. The fourth pin would be in the “valley” between the second and third “peak”. And finally, the last pin would be sitting just inside the last “peak”. All of that means that you can quickly move all pins through their full range of travel just by using small movements of the rake. These tools are very efficient.
The user has two options to bypass a lock using the Bogota Entry Tool Set – you can pick or use the Bogota rake. The Bogota rake is the main attraction to this set. Each of the two pieces of the set is two tools in one. The first piece is a feeler pick and a tension wrench. The second piece is a Bogota rake and a tension wrench. When you are using the rake to bypass the lock, you use the feeler pick as your tension device and vice-versa.
There is no shortage of information about how to use a feeler pick so I will focus on using the rake. The user simply sets the tension on the lock. I find that lighter tension is better though with older, dirty locks you may have to apply more tension. Developing a touch for setting the tension can be one of the most challenging parts of learning to bypass locks. After the tension is set, the Bogota rake is inserted and moved up/down and in/out quickly, almost as if you have had too much coffee. Eventually you will feel the lock core start to turn as the pins are pushed up to the sheer line. It sounds simple but it take practice.
If you already know how to bypass locks, you will be amazed at how simple and effective these tools are. The Bogota Entry Set won’t make you a lock picking wizard. These tools still require a practiced hand to be used most effectively. However, I am always amazed when I put the Bogota Entry Tool Set in the hands of someone who has never bypassed a lock and they are able bypass a 5 pin lock with minimal coaching.
These tools must be held if you want to truly understand their size. They are little longer than a house key (see the pictures HERE) yet they offer all of the grip you need in order to bypass a lock. In fact, their handles are very intuitively shaped. They lend themselves well to excellent feel and to the motion that is required to use the rake.
So far, everything I have written about can be said of both the Stainless and the Titanium (Ti) Entry Tool Set. So why would anyone spend extra for the Ti version? There is one BIG reason. Titanium is non-ferrous, which means that there is no iron content. The lack of iron makes them rust proof. It also makes them non-magnetic which can be useful for certain people.
The rust resistance is excellent news for those who plan to carry these using the safety pin method (shown in the pics). You can carry the Bogota Titan Entry Tool Set all day, close to your body, and sweat all over them. They will not rust. Even “stainless” steels are more accurately stain resistant. They can and do rust. These tools are designed to be discreet and being rust proof makes all the sense in the world for a tool that may be carried close to your skin.
Stainless Versus Titanium
The one thing that I really hoped to accomplish in this review was to determine if there was much of a difference in the feel of the steel sets versus the titanium set. I was afraid that the titanium set would lack some of the excellent flex and feel of the stainless steel version. Feel is everything when it comes to bypassing locks and I am happy to report that the Bogota Titans lack nothing in terms of feel. They have just a bit of spring or flex when used as a tension wrench which I like and you can easily feel the pins as you manipulate them. They feel remarkably like the stainless set that I already know and love.
If you start with something that is already excellent, like the stainless Bogota Entry Tool Set, and then add the unique functionality of titanium; you have created something really special. These tools work. Setting aside function for a moment, let’s just admit that anything made from titanium is automatically cool. I do not know of a more compact, easier to carry, or more effective set of lock bypass tools than the Bogota Entry Tool Set.
You can purchase your own Bogota Entry Tool Sets at SerePick.com.
Disclaimer – Jerking the Trigger does not advocate using these for anything illegal. Never bypass a lock that the owner has not given permission for you to bypass. Check your local laws before carrying these tools.
I have been into the hobby of picking locks for a little over a year now so I am considered an amateur in the world of Lock Sport; I started with bump keys then before I even bought a basic pick set I went straight for the Bogota Ti’s mini set. It took a few hours of getting the ‘feel’ for tension applied and taming my beginners habit of oversetting but the next morning I found myself like a kid at xmas at my basement door (equipped with a basic 5-pin Schlage knob lock) and my word is my bond within mere minutes the ‘feel’ just clicked for me and I successfully unlocked my first lock by method of raking (moreso than actual single pin picking tbh). I’ve been borderline obsessed with unlocking as many locks as I have access to; I even unlocked a 5 pin Schlage door knob lock with security pins (only thing is I picked it the wrong direction and had no plug spinner to correct). I don’t even use my front door key anymore, I test myself every night when I get home and I’m happy to say I haven’t had to bother my wife to let me in. Also, any sort of pad lock will literally melt open in your hands within seconds; NO exaggeration. I have both sizes of the titanium set and both glide effortlessly through the pins, very very minimal snagging. I’ve used them hundreds of times now and they still look brand new; no chipping of the coating at all. I love how discreet they are too. I have smaller hands for a man so they fit perfectly for me but may not be too easy to handle for larger men (stick with the regular size not the minis). They give excellent feedback and although they are flexible/bendy there is no worry they may snap inside the lock. The fact that each tool doubles as a tension wrench is brilliant and it fits perfectly inside the lock. (For perspective I have a traditional pick set and it came with literally 12 tension wrenches and not ONE of them fits/feels right). I always use the TW from the Bogota’s. The only negative feedback I can think of to remark upon is the feeler pick IMO best for just that, ‘feeling around’ to get a pin count and survey the space you have to work with, etc,. No matter how hard I try/practice to SPP I have yet to be successful, not even once. This is the one (and only) instance where the Bogota’s size restricts its use. This becomes evident when trying to use the feeler pick to SPP locks that have very tight pin movement due to age and/or overtly tight springs possibly caused by being open to the elements and not being sprayed with lock grease; when trying to push the springs upwards the pick bends too much under pressure and trying to hold onto it is no easy task.
Overall opinion: you deserve a pair for yourself. It is the best money you can spend when talking on the subject. Its my go-to pick EVERY time. These tools are simply the absolute best you can buy.