Plug Spinner: Must Have for the Lock Picking Kit

A vital tool for Beginner and Professional Locksmiths is a plug spinner or lock flipper.  A plug spinner is used can if a cylinder is picked in the wrong direction, or if picking requires the plug to be rotated in one direction and then flipped. Sometimes the lock because of wear or manufacturing it will be be easier to pick in one direction. The plug spinner will spin the plug when picked and move the lower pins across shear line without having any drivers drop into lower chambers.

I have  several plug spinners in my lock picking kit that will flip the plug to the opposite or unlocked position and they all accomplish the same task, but in slightly different way.


My favorite or every day plug spinner is the A1 Plug Spinner.  It is durable and fits in my everyday pick case and I have a spare in my Lock Picking Kit.

My Favorite Plug Spinner
My Favorite Plug Spinner



Heavy Duty Plug Spinner (Note: I use this for BMW locks)
Heavy Duty Plug Spinner (Note: I use this for BMW locks)


In my Lock Picking Kit I have the Pistol of Gun Plug Spinner.  I like the larger blade for inserting into automotive locks and the higher tension when you flip the plug.  Specifically, I use this plug spinner for BMW locks.  You can pick a BMW lock to the locked position easier than the unlocked position.  I pick the BMW to the locked position then I use the Pistol Plug Spinner.  Note: be careful you can apply too much tension and damage the lock.




Rytan Plug Spinner
Rytan Plug Spinner


Rytan makes an excellent plug spinner and extra tension sprints are inexpensive and easy to replace.  I keep one in my Lock Picking Kit but I find it a little bulky for my everyday pick kit but an excellent plug spinner.


Peterson Plug Spinner

Peterson Plug Spinner

Various other styles and plug spinners are available.  You will need more than one type of plug spinner in your lockout kit.  Again, the plug spinner is a time saver, some locks will only pick one way or you just picked it to the locked position instead of the locked position.  Just adjust your tension and direction on the plug spinner, insert into the lock and depress the release and the plug will quickly flip to the opposite direction without locking.

In conclusion, the Plug Spinner or Lock Flipper is a vital tool for all locksmiths.




Terry Whin-Yates BA Hons (Criminology) 
3rd Generation Master Locksmith 
25+ Years Experience
BC Security Business License : B4227
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Mr. Locksmith Key Store 555 W Hastings Street, Harbour Centre Mall Vancouver, BC (Monday to Friday 10am-6pm)





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