Specialty Tools: The Locksmith’s Best Friend

Get the job done easily and quickly -- be it installing a mortise cylinder or peeking inside a lock to read the wafers -- with these specialty tools.

More Info: www.demanda1.com.


Keedex USB Wafer Reader

I turned 60 years old late last year, and I’ll be the first to tell you that my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I now find myself using all kinds of magnifying devices that I never needed in the past. Keedex has recently introduced a wafer reading tool that I would have loved to have had when I was 18. The USB-WR wafer reader (P/N USB-WR) combines a USB microscope with probes that allow you to use your computer to actually see inside a lock with amazing clarity.

The system uses an imaging head that is about the size of a screwdriver, connected to your computer with standard five-foot USB cable. Once the proper software has been installed on your computer, the tool takes digital photos of the inside of the lock so that you can decode it quickly. The imaging head includes four high-intensity LEDs and a light diffuser to provide even illumination inside the keyway. The level of the light can be easily adjusted by way of a control mounted on the cable. This control also houses a “shutter button” that lets you take digital snapshots of the inside of the lock when you use the Keedex software.

Included with the tool is a USB “thumb-drive” that contains the installation software and a wealth of additional information. A complete installation guide on the thumb-drive walks you through the installation of the software step by step. There are also videos of how to use the tool and lots of technical information and pdf document listing the bitting information for hundreds of vehicle locks so you will have a much better idea of what you are seeing inside the lock.

Using the tool requires a knowledge of wafer reading and a fair amount of practice. Basically, you use the probe on the tool to depress all of the wafers in the lock and then slowly walk the tool out of the lock, allowing the wafers to pop up one at a time. As each wafer pops up, you can click the shutter button to take a photo of the height of that wafer. Once you have all of the wafers photographed, you can then view your photos in a slideshow to decode the lock. A ruler program on the thumb-drive will allow you to measure the exact height of each tumbler if you need to.

In order to use the tool in the field, you will need a Windows™ computer equipped with a USB port, as well as your own understanding of the principals of wafer reading. The tool does not require any other power supply. Third-party software is also readily available online that will allow you to do a variety of different things with this tool. Regular updates for the software that comes with the tool are planned, and Keedex urges all owners to register their tools as soon as they get them so they won’t miss out on any updates.

This is a skill based tool, so it won’t do you a lot of good unless you understand wafer reading. However, the thumb-drive does contain a lot of valuable “how to” information. As you use the tool, you’ll learn how to adjust the light levels and how to hold the tool for the best view of the lock. It is essential to sit down and practice with this tool before you start using it in the field. Once you get the hang of using this tool, you’ll wonder how you got along without it!

More Info: www.keedex.com


KRD Key Retainer Devices

I debated about this item from Ultra Security, trying to decide if it was a specialty tool or a lock. In the end, I decided that it was both. These clever little gadgets are manufactured by Ultra Security and are available in a wide variety of configurations to accept virtually any type of Interchangeable Core (I/C) cylinder. When used properly, they can add an entirely new element to access control.

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