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Plug Spinners

Occasionally you'll successfully pick a lock only to find the lock required you turn it the opposite way. From there you have two choices: Pick the lock again, or use a plug spinner. This is the ultimate nightmare for lock picking enthusiasts: having spent sometimes 20-30 minutes picking a particularly difficult lock only to turn out I was turning it in the wrong direction to open it, I think it's fair to say the latter would be preferable.

But don’t lose hope! You’re not sunk; not yet. Sure, you can try to spin that plug while holding the pins in place with your pick, but that’s not really the tool for the job. You can sort out your problem easily, though: all you need is the absolute brilliant tool known as a plug spinner. 

What Is a Plug Spinner?

What’s a plug spinner, you ask? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answer for you! Plug Spinners, which are sometimes also referred to as lock plug spinners, do exactly what they say on the tin. In other words, they spin the plug, i.e. the keyway of your lock.

However, they can do so with so much speed and power that you can change direction on the lock from the wrong way to the right way (from left to right, or right to left, depending on the lock-in-question) without allowing the pins to spring back into the plug and lock it again.

With most locks, it’s simply impossible to do this by hand. Instead, you can just wind up the spinner, insert it into the lock, and press the button. In a ping, the plug swaps sides, and you're free to continue turning the plug and opening the lock.

The Best Investment

A plug spinner might seem like a frivolous purchase on the surface. How many times are you going to end up in a situation where you’ve picked a lock before realizing you’re tensioning the wrong side? Sure, you can just pull your pick from the plug, re-tension in the proper direction, and get back to work, but let’s get to the point: some locks you really don’t want to have to pick more than once.

The bare truth of it is that plug spinners make your life easier. Either way, you’ve picked the lock successfully - it’s not your fault that the plug spins in a strange way. If you’re the sort who enjoys plugging away at that plug until you’re blue in the face, that’s fine - but the best investment you can make is a plug spinner to avoid this kind of problem in the future.