A popular method for securing small concealable lock pick sets is to insert them into the spring from a retractable ball-point pen. A safety pin is then added to secure the set in place. Although this is a great method, I have had a few issues with it:
- The picks fall out if there is too much movement, and it’s not kept upright.
- It can be difficult to quickly deploy the picks.
- It can be difficult to quickly conceal the picks after use.
- This setup doesn’t have a slim profile
- Irritates your skin if put in a place where it can rub too much
In our training classes and presentations, you’ll hear Tim and I refer to our covert entry kits, and the research to conceal our entry tools in such a way that they are minimal and hidden in our clothes, not requiring a “tacticool” backpack. Through this research, I have developed an every-day-carry (EDC) covert entry wallet that conceals a few of these entry tools which are easy to quickly deploy or put away. Also, no bleeding fingers from the safety pins. 🙂
I present to you, the full breakdown of the “EDC Covert Entry Wallet“.
The EDC Covert Entry Wallet
For this project, I wanted something that is very slim, and low-profile. Using a low-cost item such as this “traveler’s wallet“, I’ve found that it’s possible to conceal many covert entry tools, all while keeping the profile of the wallet very slim. I don’t want it to draw any attention, or to be uncomfortable.
Contents of the EDC wallet:
- Small triple bogata and single pick (Mace Picks)
- Flat tension tool (this is from a separate pick set)
- Quick Stick
- Plastic shim that is cut to fit and folded in half
- Sparrows Hall Pass tool
- RFID Testing Card from Dangerous Things (not pictured)
- A blank CAC card
In order to conceal the pick set, the configuration of the picks need to be flat.
At first I just had them stuffed down into one of the side openings. However, it was difficult to retrieve them. To fix this issue, I decided to give the mini vinyl case that quick sticks often come with a try.
Mini vinyl case for $2.50 (2 pack) from Vigilant Gear:It works great! This inexpensive case provides a slim profile that contours easily to picks, shims, etc. Because of the profile, it’s easier to retrieve from the wallet without having to dig around or remove all other contents first. It’s much easier to slide the tools out quickly, and all together. Also, the dark color aids in hiding it against prying eyes inside of the wallet.
The flexibility allows for many different configurations.
Another plus is that you can easily and quickly remove or insert the tools, which is not as easy with the well-known safety pin and spring setup. This also allows the use of higher quality lock picks as opposed to the cheap, very sharp metal business card-sized pick sets that are often sold for wallet storage.
Placement of the tools is pretty simple, and with a few more items such as business cards, they are quickly and easily hidden.
Assemble the wallet:
There are three (3) “side” slots in this wallet. Each one will contain different tools.
The first slot contains the Sparrows Hall Pass.
Because the tool is metal and shiny, I colored the edges with a black permanent marker to darken it. I also put a business card on both sides of the tool, making sure they are slightly higher than the tool inside of the wallet to conceal the tool.
The middle slot contains the plastic shim.
There is more room in the middle slot, which is why I decided to place the plastic shim here. The size that I cut my shim to is longer than the wallet, which requires it to be folded in order to fit. It is easily covered with money.
The third slot contains the lock picks, quick stick, and blank CAC card.
The vinyl case, plus the slim profile of the tools makes it very easy to retrieve from inside of the wallet. These are also very easy to hide with any type of cards. In this case, I use my blank CAC card.
The End Result
I knew the go-to tools that I rely on and wanted an easy and convenient way to carry them daily. Once I found the right versions of these tools and the right wallet, the rest of it was pretty simple to put together. I have a very slim, unassuming traveler’s wallet with covert entry tools that are not easily seen during inspection. Another huge benefit is that with the materials used, I can quickly access and hide the tools as well.
For those who want to continue to use the spring and safety pin combination to conceal your picks in other locations, adding the vinyl case adds a comfort level by adding a layer between the tools and your skin. The vinyl case can also be used for storing and concealing your anti-restraint devices such as diamond grit saws, Tungsten Carbide saws, ceramic blades, or whatever else you have as part of your escape/evasion toolkit.
Additional lock pick concealment ideas:
There are infinite options for concealing lock picks. Another great idea we’ve seen is to use a ball-point ink pen. Using common items such as an ink pen is simple and effective. It easily blends in and is easy to access the picks. The ink pen shown below was created by and a gift from, Billy Boatright (@fuzzy_l0gic). Thanks man!
You’ll noticed that I have added a few inches of black gaffers tape to the lid, as there are many good uses for maintaining access during physical assessments. That’s a whole different topic. 🙂
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your ideas for lock pick and tool concealment.
Reach me on Twitter @brentwdesign for questions and comments.