Southord ST-23 Lock Pick Kit Review

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Updated July 6, 2022
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80 Expert Rating

Believe it or not, but lock picking isn’t all that difficult. Seriously. And the best way to find out is by trying. Which is exactly what the Southord ST-23 lock pick set does. And best of all it negates that sticky part; jail (or a variation thereof depending on your record). If you’re looking to play the ultimate prank on a friend, test out your lockpicking skills, and use the SlideRider to turn their stairs into a slide. This gadget is one of the best gadgets for men.

So keep reading my Southord ST-23 review to learn more. For a piece of tech that will upgrade your room aesthetic, you should also read the Winscape virtual window gives your home a real-time view of the San Francisco bay from any perspective (video).


Summary: The ST-23 makes it easy to learn how to pick a lock sans sentencing time.

Price: $99
Available: Now
Model: ST-23

What We Liked:

  • Easy to setup and start using without much education
  • Tools are included
  • 5 difficulty levels to ensure progression

What We Didn’t:

  • Base wouldn’t stay secure
  • Zero storage for the included tools

Design and Build

The ST-23 arrives in two wooden pieces. Assembly is simple. Just use the included screw, washer, and bolt (plus a Philips screwdriver) to attach the base to the stand. Unfortunately, the washer does little to keep the tension in place, and due to the type of wood (particle board) and the laminate finish, no amount of tightening will prevent the top piece from spinning. But nevertheless, the tighter the better as I found during my testing. And if you love the combination of technology and privacy in your home, read our review of the SONTE Film Q&A: Everything you need to know about the film that turns glass into a shade.

Also included in the box are 4 picks, 1 tension tool, 1 key, and 5 lock cylinders each numbered based on their difficulty. 1 is the easiest (1 pin) whereas 5 (5 pins) is the hardest. The cylinders quickly and easily slip into place and remain secure during lock picking thanks to a screw, which can be tightened or loosened by hand thanks to a plastic grip. You won’t have to apply too much tension here, unlike the base, thanks to the plastic housing that holds the cylinder. And if you’re looking to stash your cash and valuables at home safely, take a look at these top 7 secret safes even the most skilled thief will never suspect. On the flip side, if you want to get the perfect keychain the organizes your keys perfectly, read our Keyport slide 2 0 review.

Frustratingly, there are no slots to store the key, tension tool, or the 4 picks. Moreover, the holes that are designed to hold each cylinder aren’t milled deep enough to prevent them from tipping over, largely negating their usefulness. Why they didn’t just drill clean through the base is beyond me. Check out something even weirder that was invented, by reading our review on the hay fever hat: Another bizarre Japanese gadget.

Learning to Pick a Lock

Now, you’d think that lock picking was some sort of esoteric skill. And if you thought so, you wouldn’t be too far from the truth. But the reality is, it’s something you can pick up and learn in a matter of minutes, provided of course you understand the core functions of a lock. Some of this information is detailed inside what looks like a photocopied handbook, but plenty (and better) info can be found on the web. A quick search of YouTube will cue you into the process, as well. Are you an adventurous person who loves to rock a great outdoor sports watch when you are hiking or doing other sporting activities? Check out our Suunto core all black military mens outdoor sports watch review.

In short, inside of a lock are pins. Without a key in place, the pins sit unevenly inside the lock and thus prevent you from turning the lock. Insert a key, and its grooves move the pins just enough to make them all evenly match and slide uninterrupted inside the lock. So when you’re picking a lock, you’re attempting to both turn (tension tool) the lock and slightly move the pin until it slips into place. You continuously perform the same function to each subsequent pin starting from the back and moving to the front.

The Southord ST-23 makes it easy to learn the above process, as the first cylinder includes just one pin. #2 isn’t too difficult, but helps build confidence and helps you understand that you need to start with the back pin and move forward (ideally). #3 is when things become more difficult and separate those that just started and those that understand how a lock works. #4 and #5 aren’t for the timid, and anyone who is able to solve them in a matter of minutes should be awarded with the status of proficient.

Southord ST-23 Review Final Thoughts

At $100, the Southord ST-23 is arguably a bit on the expensive side given the issues I found with the base. But at least one of those can be probably be solved with the right type of washer. Perhaps a future version could include a few slots for the tools, or at the very least a storage bag. Nevertheless, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better gift for men for those that link to tinker, or understand how our modern world works.  To that end, it will be interesting to see what happens to the traditional lock as more and more smart locks begin to trickle into people’s smart homes.

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