Gear Review

Gear Review: Perseverance Survival Lock Pick Set

Today I am reviewing the Perseverance Survival Lock Pick Set by the veteran owned and operated company, Perseverance Survival.

This set comes with 4 picks in stainless steel and features spot welded stainless steel handles. The steel used is 304 stainless and came spotless with an almost a mirror like finish right out of the package. The owner of Perseverance Survival, James Keeling, has recently made a name for himself by offering a large array of SERE (Survival-Evasion-Resistance-Escape) tools for the online market. This is very befitting since Mr. Keeling is a full-time SERE Instructor for the United States Marine Corps.

The company first made its name in the Survival/Bushcraft scene with its world renowned (and I really mean that) Perseverance Survival Knife — aka The PSK. This is how I came across these lock picks. I recently ventured into Bushcraft and was looking for my first legit survival knife. After joining several online forums, I found that the masses were flocking to the PSK by Perseverance Survival. However, within a matter of a few short months, the company had completely sold out, and any knives left on the market for trade were already considered highly prized tools with an extraordinarily large markup on even the used ones.

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So with tools that hot, I had to get my hands on this stainless steel lock pick set to see what all the fuss was about. The owner replied to me personally via Facebook (as he does with all online transactions) in a very timely manner and offered to send me a few other SERE tools for Urban Survival that were currently selling like hotcakes through several online retailers. The following review, however, is based on products I personally bought with my own money because I 100% believe in supporting a veteran owned business!

However, keep an eye out for a Part 2 to this review as I take Perseverance Survival’s Urban SERE Tools, and pit them against the toughest tools found on the internet in a head-to-head comparison. So let’s dig in and see what I bought!

Perseverance Survival Tools

As I stated before, the Perseverance Survival Lock Pick Kit comes with 4 stainless steel lock picks, with very comfortable stainless steel handles that have been spot welded to the picks themselves. These picks are not strung together with rivets or set screws. These hefty suckers are literally spot welded together at the fore and aft of each pick so there is nothing abrasive rubbing against your fingers as you’re picking a lock. The set comes with a standard half twist tension wrench, a nylon case, and 2 plastic laminates as an added bonus for bypassing pesky privacy locks at no extra cost to the buyer. The lock picks in the set I received are the following…

1 Half Diamond

1 City Rake

1 S-Rake

1 Half Snowman

Perseverance Survival Lock Picks

Each of these picks are very stout and offer very little flex as they are not made of cheap spring steel. I tried to get a reading from my Starrett Micrometer but digital measuring tools never gave me consistent feedback, so I will be to leaving the measurements out of this review for now. (Note to self, buy a real micrometer!) But if I had to guess, they are on par with the thickness and strength of any of my HPC lock picks, which usually come in .021-.023 depending upon the batch of metal during the time of manufacturing. And if you’re a fan of HPC picks, you’re going to love these even more.

Which leads us to the following question: What demographic are these picks manufactured for? If you take a look at the picture below you will see a wide assortment of half diamond picks, with Perseverance Survival’s half diamond at the very top.

Lock Pick Comparison

As you can see, I specifically wanted to point out its current major competitors, which are Sparrows and Southern Specialties. Perseverance Survival’s half diamond clearly has all 6 different major manufacturers beat out in this side-by-side comparison. It is also HANDS DOWN a better option over the Sparrows half diamond, and the Southern Specialties half diamond in my opinion. Why? COST and COMFORT. The Sparrows half diamond with no handle retails for exactly $4.75, and the Southern Specialties half diamond with no handle retails for $2.25. Since the Perseverance Survival half diamond cannot be purchased separately, I will just subtract it from the cost of the entire pick set with a retail value of $18.49 (or $19.95 with shipping and tax). Without assuming the cost of the tension wrench, the 2 plastic laminates, and the nylon pouch, we come to the price of $4.62 for each lock pick.

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However, there are of course other costs the company has made to provide you with the pouch, wrench, and plastic laminate, so I will give this pick a conservative value of $3.00 even for each pick. That estimate is almost $2 under the Sparrows pick that doesn’t even come with a handle! And as for Southern Specialties lock picks? Sure you can purchase a half diamond for $0.75 cheaper than Perseverance Survival’s pick, but you’re doing so at the cost of comfort. Of all the lock picks I own (just under a thousand picks by now), Southern Specialties’ “Plain Ripple Handle” lock picks are by far the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE lock picks you can purchase on the open market!

That’s right, out of 25 lock pick manufacturers and counting, Southern Specialties is the worst to hold and actually function as a legitimate lock pick in my opinion. Outside of those two competitors, NOTHING even remotely comes close to the Perseverance Survival half diamond in this current comparison. HPC and Majestic almost look like a close match if it wasn’t for 3 disqualifying factors.

  1. HPC and Majestic are made with spring steel, not stainless. In an urban survival situation, spring steel will undoubtedly rust from sweat, leaving a trace on your body or in your pocket that you are indeed carrying survival tools. You can also forget about taking them under water or into the rain. Spring steel will also bend and break long before 304 stainless steel — any day of the week.
  2. HPC and Majestic have riveted handles. Not a huge disqualifier, but if I’m going to buy a tool that will provide me hours of entertainment and functionality, it might as well be comfortable. Also, those rivets have a tendency to come loose, either from use or improper quality control from the factory.
  3. WHERE DO YOU FIND THEM? HPC is pretty much the go-to lock pick set for most beginners and even seasoned locksmiths. They are even carried by every major security hardware distributor in the US. However they are nearly impossible to get ahold of individually by civilians, and they cost an arm and a leg to buy a complete set. Seriously have you seen the outrageous prices the HPC lock pick sets are going for on the internet? We’re talking $30 just to start out with 3 handled spring steel lock picks, and $60 for 8 handled picks! At that price, you might as well invest your money into a set of Peterson lock picks or just buy a complete set from Sparrows.

Which leads us to the next question: Who are these picks not for? If you’re a beginning lock picker, or you want to invest in a high quality all stainless steel lock pick set that won’t break your bank, then this set from Perseverance Survival is your ticket! However, if you’re into burning a hole in your pocket, and enjoy the feel of rubber and plastic handles, then you’ll probably be more attracted to the Peterson and Sparrows variety. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE AND OWN every Peterson lock pick, and every Sparrows lock pick (reviews coming soon), and both are in constant battle for my go-to professional field kit. But now that I own a Perseverance Survival pick set, I have a new back up kit to go with my EDC, as well as to keep in my car when I’m not carrying a pick set. Previously I had stored a few Peterson “Seconds” (as in second rate spring steel lock picks that didn’t pass quality inspection). But I have since removed those and replaced them with my new all stainless steel set from Perseverance Survival.

The Cons…

If you prefer a rubber grip or plastic grip in lieu of stainless steel handles, then Sparrows and Peterson are again what you want to invest into. However, be prepared to pay a pretty penny for each pick as Peterson picks with rubber handles start at $15 per lock pick! That’s a $12 mark up for a tool that does the same thing as my new Perseverance Survival picks!

The Pros…

As mentioned several times before in this review, the quality, the stainless steel construction, the branding, the cost, the comfort, and who the manufacturer is all contributing to this pick set as my new suggested entry-level kit. For anyone looking for an EDC lock pick set, or just wanting to try popping open their very first Master #3 padlock, this is the set for them!

If you want to get your hands on a Perseverance Survival Lock Pick Set, you can contact the owner directly at the following email address.

[email protected]

Or you can contact Perseverance Survival via Facebook at the following URL…


Be sure to tell the owner Big Jesse says hi!

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