I've had a set of the original Bogota Entry Tools for a couple years now, and have been well pleased with them. The design of the picks, the material and the smooth finish help them excel at the job--they glide right into the lock and give you the angles that you need to pop open a lock. I'm a mediocre lock picker in general, but I'm much better with the Bogotas.
When Vigilant Gear offered to let me try out the Entry Card - a credit card sized piece of titanium with cut out lock picks featuring the excellent Bogota pick designs, I was excited at the chance.
The entry card is credit card sized, designed to ride in your wallet until you need it. Fits perfectly in my wallet's credit card slots. Put it in one of the rearward slots and it looks like any metallic-tint credit/debit card.
The Entry Card's tools are cut out (laser?) of the titanium, with only two small tabs of metal keep each in place. If you need to use the picks, you just snap them out and you're ready to go.
The Entry Card's tools consist of a torsion wrench, Bogota Single, Bogota Double, Bogota Triple, Bogota Sabana and a Short Hook. Multiple picks give you a variety of options to work with on different kinds of locks - a full set of lock picks can run into the dozens of picks, but these designs should give you enough versatility to pick most any lock you're likely to face.
Before I held the Entry Card in hand, I was worried that the picks might be a bit flimsy, with potential for snapping in half while trying to separate them from the card. That's not the case at all - the material is thick and sturdy, with a little bit of spring to it. They snap out of the card without trouble.
The Entry Card also comes with a Tyvek sleeve to carry it in - some added concealment and a bit of protection from the unfinished edges.
Due to limitations of the design, the Entry Card's tools don't have the smooth finish and edges of the original Bogotas. Because of this, they don't move inside a lock as easily. The Entry Card's tools are also slightly thicker - and inside a lock, thicker is not better. That doesn't mean that they don't work, but they don't work as well or handle as easily as the originals. The finish differences between the original Bogotas and the Entry Card are unavoidable--you can't finish the edges until the tools have been popped out of the card.
|An original Bogota tool on the bottom, and an Entry Card tool on the top. Hard to see, but the edges on the|
original Bogota are rounded and polished, which helps in picking.
While they might not have the polish and refinement of the original Bogota picks, the Entry Card's tools will certainly do the job (if you're up to it). After a bit of practice, I was able to open up my practice locks without too much trouble - the Entry Card typically took a little bit longer, but the end result was the same. They're not just a gimmick - they're pretty solid picks.
|Entry Card and original Bogota picks.|
A quick tip on putting the card back together. I placed a piece of black gaffer tape, which naturally doesn't leave any residue behind, on one side of the card and placed the tools back in their cutouts. It holds perfectly and makes the card reusable many times over.
Jordan also recommends removing the picks and sanding/smoothing them up to get them polished like the standard Bogotas. The tape trick lets you stick 'em back in place, and the Tyvek sleeve should help, too.
The Entry Card's picks are also completely flat, making them easy to stash elsewhere if you did not want to use the full card.
So, a set of excellent set of lock picks that you can slip into your wallet and have on hand when you need 'em. I plan on doing the recommended finishing to the edges to help 'em glide, slip and slide inside locks.
Of course, you should be careful of your local laws when carrying lock picks in your wallet, though someone would really need to be doing a thorough search to find the Entry Card. Avoiding doing stupid stuff is usually a safe bet for avoiding a full body search, too.
Currently, Vigilant Gear is the only place to get the Entry Card - check it out right here and tell 'em T-Blog sent you.