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Bogota Lock Picks

Three humps are better than one!

The Bogota Lock Pick: How and When to Use The "King of Rakes"

The Bogota lock pick is the "King of Rakes" in the world of lock picking. This tool's versatile design and unique attributes make it a popular choice among professionals and hobbyists alike.

Whether you're a seasoned locksmith or a beginner, understanding the Bogota lock pick---its use case, strengths, weaknesses, and history---can significantly enhance your lock-picking skills.

Named after the Colombian city where its creator first conceived the idea, the Bogota lock pick, also known as "Pagoda" by SouthOrd or "Bogie" by Peterson, is an intriguing and fun tool that brings a blend of simplicity, effectiveness, and joy to lock picking.

What is a Bogota Lock Pick

Peterson GSP Bogie 1 - Black Handle Lock Pick

The Bogota is a rake-type pick and is considered one of the most popular and effective lock picks in use today.

This cleverly crafted tool gets its name from the city of Bogota, Colombia where its creator Raimundo first had the idea for its design.

One of the unique aspects of the Bogota Lock Pick is its three rounded peaks, resembling the Andes mountain range. These peaks allow the pick to manipulate multiple pins in a lock at once, with each pass having the potential to set each pin three times, except for the rearmost pins.

The Bogota is usually made of highly polished stainless steel or titanium, which helps it glide smoothly through a lock.

Bogota Strengths and Weaknesses

Every tool has its strengths and weaknesses, and the Bogota lock pick is no exception.

Its triple-peak design is incredibly adept at tackling locks with high-low-high-low pin cuts, an advantage that sets it apart from many other rakes. Wide keyways are Bogota's playground, allowing it to manipulate several pins effectively.

However, due to its relatively tall profile, the Bogota lock pick may face some difficulty with tight or paracentric keyways. And, similar to all rakes, it is nearly useless against most security pins (anti-bump pins).

If you're looking for an alternative, consider rakes with more peaks, like a quad rake (4 peaks) or a quint rake (5 peaks). More peaks mean more chances to set pins on every pass, but this comes at the expense of compactness and pick durability.

Best Ways to Use the Bogota Lock Pick

Lock Picking With A Bogota Rake

To make the most of this tool, use it in a scrubbing manner and change the angle while raking. This strategy sets short cut pins in the front or back with ease. The Bogota can also be used effectively in a rocking manner.

Here are four few tips, tricks, and techniques to use the Bogota lock pick effectively:

1. Change angles: Try gently rocking the pick back and forth while scrubbing.
2. Raking techniques: Don't stick to just one raking technique. Experiment to find the most effective method.
3. Use light tension: When using a Bogota lock pick, less is more. Apply as little tension as possible to your tension tool.
4. Speed picking: Run your Bogota through the lock a few times and then finish it off with single pin picking.

Bogota Training Exercises

Here are two simple exercises to improve your skills with the Bogota Lock Pick:

  • Training #1: The goal of this training is to apply the least amount of tension possible to set a pin. Start by applying as little tension as possible to your tension tool and rake the lock a few times. Remove the tool, release your tension, and count how many pins drop. If you hear more than one, you're using too much tension.
  • Training #2: Another useful exercise is to slow down the process. Rock and scrub the lock slowly and try to feel when a pin sets.

Bogota History

The birth of the Bogota lock pick is a tale of ingenuity, passion, and community spirit. At the heart of this story is a locksmith and lock picking enthusiast named Raimundo, also known as Ray Connors.

Raimundo was a regular contributor to the Lockpicking 101 forum, a once-bustling digital marketplace of ideas for lock picking enthusiasts. It was here that he first unfurled his brainchild, the Bogota lock pick, to a captivated audience.

The pick was named "Bogota" after the city in Colombia, where the idea was first kindled in Raimundo's mind. But the name was more than just a geographic marker. The Bogota's design—with its three peaks and two valleys—was a symbolic nod to the majestic Andes mountains as they split into three cordilleras through Colombia.

Creating a Bogota pick was no walk in the park. It took a lot of elbow grease, especially in the early days. Raimundo started sharing instructions on making the pick around 2004. He crafted the first versions from thin metal bristles, sometimes sourced from humble objects like street sweeper brushes or windshield wiper blades. As time went by, the picks evolved. Thanks to a company called SerePick, enthusiasts could get their hands on sleek stainless steel and titanium versions.

Raimundo's Bogota pick became so popular that manufacturers began to take notice. SouthOrd, a major manufacturer, was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon, producing a version of the Bogota pick they called the Pagoda. Peterson also released variations of the Bogota (called the Bogie 1, Bogie 2, and Bogie 3).

Ever the innovator, Raimundo didn't stop at the Bogota. He went on to create other variations of his original design, including the Monserrate, Arch, and Sabana.

The exact year Raimundo first brought the Bogota pick to life is still a mystery. Details about Raimundo's life are sparse, but his impact on the lock picking community is undeniable. His active participation in online forums and the valuable tutorials he shared have helped countless enthusiasts make their own lock picks. In fact, Raimundo was so dedicated to his craft that he only stopped producing his own picks when the weather turned too cold where he lived.

In the end, Raimundo's story is not just about the birth of the Bogota pick but also about the power of a community brought together by a shared passion. It's about the enduring legacy of a humble locksmith who chose to share his innovation freely with the world.

Peterson Bogota: Bogie 1 vs. Bogie 2 vs. Bogie 3

peterson bogie comparison (bogotas)

Peterson offers a lineup of three different types of Bogota rakes called Bogies.

The main difference between each of the three Peterson Bogies is a slight difference in the length and sharpness of the peaks.

  • The Bogie 1 has shallower and more rounded peaks than the Bogie 2—which allows it to slide within the keyway more smoothly. It is also and is 0.1mm shorter than the Bogie 3.
  • The Bogie 2 has a slightly more radical tip on each peak which gives it an excellent balance between friction-free raking and extreme "bumping" force on the pins. Because pins are thrown more violently at the shear line, the Bogie 2 does very well against high-low-high-low pin cuts.
  • The Bogie 3 has the same shallow and rounded peak as the Bogie 1 but is 0.1 mm longer.

As a beginner, I would recommend starting with a Bogie 1 or Bogie 3 as they will be much less likely to snag and break.

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Built to last, versatile enough to handle any lock, and designed for professional-grade performance, it's the ultimate choice for both seasoned lock pickers and aspiring enthusiasts.
Get yours