If you are interested in lockpicking, you may from time to time see the disclaimer on a website that certain lock picking items will only be sold to “bona fide” locksmiths. The United States Postal Service, for example, considers lock picking tools non-mailable except when they are being shipped to a bona fide locksmith. The question then arises- what does “bona fide” even mean?


    “Bona fide” is a Latin term that literally means “good faith”. In the context of law it essentially means “the real thing, without the intention of defrauding”. A bona fide locksmith is, therefore, a real locksmith. The implication here is that the locksmith in question is certified to the fullest extent required by their jurisdiction. You may quickly find that this is still not enough information, however. The term “bona fide locksmith” is hazy and less specific than it could be, because not every state requires a license to practice as a locksmith. There is a wide variety of voluntary professional certifications available, particularly through Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). (Voluntary professional certifications like those provided by ALOA are not required by law to practice as a locksmith; rather they work to establish credibility among customers and professional peers.)


    The states that currently require licensing prior to operating as a locksmith are Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York City, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Please do not consider this list exhaustive or authoritative, and do your own research before purchasing lock picking tools.


    It is worth noting that most states allow possession of lock picking tools by anyone. The issue of being a “bona fide locksmith” most often comes into play when discussing the transfer of said tools using the United States Postal Service. If you buy the tools in person or without using USPS in most states, you are not required to provide proof that you are a bona fide locksmith. Similarly, most online stores will not require you to furnish proof. Some require you to check a box agreeing that you are a bona fide locksmith before they will ship to you for purposes of their own liability. We recommend telling the truth and paying close attention to whether you can legally be considered a “bona fide locksmith” in your state, but among the recreational locksmithing community it’s agreed that there is a lot of wiggle room in this area when it comes to ordering products online for your own personal, legal use.

Questions to Consider As You Build the Perfect Everyday Carry


The items you choose to carry on your person every day are an extension of your identity and can reveal a lot about who you are, whether you’re a Type-A killer of to-do lists or you’ve locked yourself out of your car three times this month. Although the prepping/survival communities are especially fond of good EDC, you’ll benefit from putting some careful thought into your everyday carry no matter who you are. Read on for some thoughts to consider as you choose the best everyday carry for yourself.

 

What Can’t You Live Without?

While some items are nearly universal (wallet, keys, phone), the everyday essentials can also vary wildly from person to person. Do you reach for your chapstick twenty times a day? Maybe you live somewhere sunny and can’t imagine stepping outside without sunglasses. It could be an inhaler, a bottle opener, or a well-loved pocketknife. The core of your essential everyday carry is made up of whatever items you can’t get through the day without using. Greatest hits include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Keys
  • Cellphone
  • Watch
  • Wallet
  • Chapstick
  • Flashlight
  • Multitool
  • Pen

What Do You Do For a Living?

What does your occupation require you to keep on your person at all times? Obviously some materials won’t make it off the jobsite with you, but your job may still manage to influence your everyday carry. A paramedic, for instance, is much more likely to have an emergency CPR pocket mask on their keychain. Think about how your job influences the way that you view the world, and what you personally find is important to carry with you.

What is Your Fashion Style?

Do you require bling, or do you hate to attract attention? Maybe you pride yourself on a clean and understated look that screams sophistication. There’s no reason why your essential everyday carry- your wallet, your phone case, your watch- can’t reflect the vibe you’re trying to give off.

What is Your Philosophy of ‘Stuff’?

A minimalist and a, shall we say collector of things both need to carry a wallet, but the similarities end there. Some people won’t feel secure if they don’t keep every receipt from the past three months in their back pocket, while others don’t want their wallet to take up a width greater than a single credit card. Think about how much “stuff” you’re comfortable carrying with you everywhere you go and assemble your EDC accordingly.

What Do You Need to be Prepared For?

How does your job, your lifestyle and your personality influence the potential situations you could find yourself in? Individuals who travel frequently or often find themselves in seedy areas may feel much more comfortable with a hidden handcuff key on their person. Perhaps you work swing shift in an urban area and need to carry some form of self-defense, perhaps a can of pepper spray or even a kubotan. Maybe you’re a parent to small children and your pockets are just filled with wet wipes. Think about the situations that are likely to arise in your day-to-day life and consider how you can best prepare for them.


Need ideas? Check out the TIHK product line for high-quality everyday carry for urban survival.

For lock picking enthusiasts and survivalists alike, the legality of lock picks is a tricky subject. The good news is that in most of the United States and many countries around the world, the sale, transfer, and possession of lock picking tools is not illegal.

The Language of Legality

The language we use to discuss the legality of lock picking can be a breeding ground for misunderstanding, so let’s take a moment to clarify what we mean by some of the phrases we use.

Not illegal: There are no specific laws rendering illegal the sale, transfer, and/or possession of lock picking tools.

Prima facie evidence: The mere possession of lock picking tools is considered intent to break the law. It is illegal to possess lock picking tools in these states.

Must show intent: The mere possession of lock picking tools is legal; intent to break the law with the tools must be shown before possession of lock picking tools can be considered a crime.

A Note About Lock Picking

It is legal to pick any lock that you have received permission from the lock’s owner to pick. It is also legal to pick any lock that belongs to you. Picking locks that do not belong to you and/or that you do not have permission to pick is illegal.

Down to Brass Tacks

So let’s get down to it: where can and can’t you legally possess lock picking tools? The following states have laws that explicitly consider possession of lock picks prima facie evidence:

  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

If you possess lock picking tools in any of these states, you can be charged with intent to commit a crime. Whether you actually do intend to break the law is irrelevant.

West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Indiana have no specific laws about possession of lock picking tools. Therefore in those states possession is not illegal. The remaining 41 states all have laws rendering the possession of lock picking tools legal, with the inclusion that intent to break the law must be shown before the possessor can be charged with a crime. The language here regarding “intent” is deliberately murky, to allow for a lot of wiggle room among a wide range of possible scenarios. Your local law enforcement and governing body will have the final say on what constitutes intent.

The best ways to avoid running into a snag with the law are:

  • Only pick locks you are legally permitted to pick
  • Educate yourself on the specifics of the laws in your state
  • Abide by those laws

For links and further information please visit our Guidelines page.

If you're a professional who travels abroad often or otherwise find yourself in dicey situations, you need a rod saw.

What other device allows you to cut through almost any material with nothing but a small thin rod and as much time and patience as you can manage? A small rod saw, easily concealable on your person, and a little know-how is all you need to be sure that you can escape just about any restraint- from rope, to cord, to metal chain.

There are two primary types of rod saw available- carbide and diamond.

A diamond wire blade is simply a wire impregnated with diamond dust of various sizes, but don't underestimate its strength. The diamond dust enables the wire saw to cut through nearly any material: rope, cord, metal bars, chain-link, etc. Any material softer than the ultra-hard diamond surface can eventually be cut through with time and patience. A diamond wire blade will be more expensive for obvious reasons, but is more brittle and, with a thinner diameter, may snap.

What a carbide rod saw may lack (compared to diamond) in hardness, it makes up for with its overall strength. In addition to greater affordability, a carbide rod saw is thicker in diameter than a diamond saw, and much less brittle and less likely to break during use: a crucial attribute if you find yourself in a life-or-death situation.

For less-dense materials like rope and cord, a cord saw is your best friend. Quicker to use for lighter materials than a rod saw, a cord saw is equally small and concealable.

The keys to successfully using survival saws are practice and persistence. Get a feel for how they works with different materials and the best stroke speed and length for each before you find yourself in a survival situation, and we guarantee you won't regret keeping one of each with your everyday carry.

The world of lock-picking is complex. For the novice hoping to jump in, figuring out where to begin can be a daunting task. Let us make it a bit easier for you with this handy and simple guide to the 6 most common lock picks! Among them are the two most popular tools that no lock picking enthusiast should ever be caught without.

First Things First: Get Thyself a Tension Wrench.

This one is so essential it's not even part of the actual list. If you hope to use any other other popular lock picks, a tension wrench is necessary. The tension wrench is inserted into the keyway like a normal key, and is used to apply torque and hold the pins in place once they’ve been properly aligned.

1. Half-Diamond (Triangle) Pick

Fourth from left in the above picture, the half diamond can be used on both wafer and disc locks, for working individual pins and for raking. The wide variety of ways you can use a triangle pick makes it the most versatile pick; it's a must-have in every lock picking kit. If your kit has nothing but a tension wrench and a triangle, you have an excellent start.

2. Hook Pick

The hook is the most basic of picks, used only for working individual pins.

3. Ball (Round) Pick

The ball (also known as a round) pick has a full- or half-circle shape at the end, and is commonly used on wafer locks.

4. Rake Pick

The rake pick, also often called the snake, is the most essential pick next to the half-diamond. Rake picks are literally raked across all pins to bounce them up until they reach the sheer line. Raking is also known as scrubbing, and is performed by inserting the rake into the keyway to push up all pins at once; the rake is then removed quickly while turning the plug with the tension wrench, causing some or all of the pins to land in the correct position.

5. Wafer Pick

A wafer pick is a special picks made specifically for wafer locks, although depending on who you ask within the lock-picking community, some will argue that a wafer lock can be picked with a regular pick and doesn't need one that's been specially designed. Wafer tumbler locks are generally considered easier to pick than pin tumbler locks because the keyhole is wider, and the wafers can't be pushed too far in like pins can.

6. Warded Pick

You may know a warded pick by it's more common name- the skeleton key. A warded pick is used for opening warded locks, which use a very simple design: a set of obstructions (wards) prevents the lock from opening without the correct key. A warded pick has been pared down to its most essential parts (thus the term skeleton). opening without the correct key.

Disclaimer: All recommendations and links listed here are for reference only. TIHK products are intended for use in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws. Improper or illegal use of TIHK products or other products obtained through links provided here is not endorsed or encouraged. Use of all products is at your own personal risk and discretion.

When it comes to everyday carry, your real estate is precious and limited. Make the most of your wallet space, with very little added bulk, with these 5 super-slim EDC items.

Readyman Wilderness Survival Card (Violent Little Machine Shop)

You may not need fishing hooks every day (or maybe you do!), but a dual-sided saw, tweezers, and sewing needles could come in handy no matter where you are. This little powerhouse is stainless steel, lightweight, and strong enough to cut through rope and wood.

Folding Credit Card Knife with Ultra Sharp Blade (ACE Hackware)

Is the bulk of an ordinary pocket knife too much for your minimalist lifestyle? This super-slim pocket knife transforms from a card to an ultra sharp functional tool in seconds.

Credit Card Lightbulb (Dragon Impact)

How are you going to grope about in the dark for the keys you dropped on the ground when your phone battery is dead? With one of these clever little beauties you never have to wonder.

Urban SlimTool (TIHK)

Biased? Us? What are you talking about?

Tighten a bolt, loosen a screw, crack open a beer... and when the sh*t really hits the fan, break out the lock picks.

Searching for the ideal self-defense item for everyday carry can be daunting. A handgun isn't always ideal, not to mention requiring extra training and certification to conceal. Pepper spray is all too easy to fumble and requires frequent testing to make sure it's in working condition. For a lightweight, easily concealable, highly effective self defense weapon, why not try a blunt-force tool?

Blunt-force tools are intended to enhance self-defense tactics by strengthening the force of a punch. They also often concentrate the impact into a smaller area to increase damage done. There is a wide variety of blunt force self defense tools on the market, typically made of aluminum or high-impact plastic. Many double as a bottle opener and keychain. There are a couple of broad groups to choose from, including:

Knuckles and Punchrings

Imagine brass knuckles you've seen in movies, then dial it down a notch or two (and a finger or two) and you've got a good idea of what's available. Many of the tools are shaped with a hole or two in the center to fit over one or more fingers, with the back end held in the palm and the impact side pointing outward to be directed at an attacker.

The word "punchring" tells you everything you need to know about what it is and what it does: they are made to fit over one finger just like a ring and used to very effectively increase the impact of a punch.

Some knuckles and punchrings have sharp corners to maximize damage, but the sharpened tip isn't necessary to cause a lot of pain and give you time to get away.

Kubotans and Tactical Pens

Kubotans, kappo sticks, tactical pens, and similar blunt force tools are intended to be held in the hand like a weapon. The term kubotan (sometimes mistakenly spelled kubaton) is a trademarked term that has been genericized to refer to a wider variety of similar products (like Band-Aid or Kleenex). The original kubotan is truly blunt, but many other items on the market being sold under the same name have a tapered tip.

Kubotans, tactical pens, and pressure point control devices can be used to strengthen the force of a punch, concentrate impact into a smaller area to increase damage done, gain leverage on wrists, fingers and joints, and increase pressure to pressure points.

A Kappo stick is like a kubaton, with a strap that keeps it against your palm for open-hand strikes and applying pressure without dropping it.

Why Choose a Blunt-Force Tool?

A blunt-force tool incorporates seamlessly into your everyday carry- many double as keychains and can serve other purposes aside from self defense. Most are highly inconspicuous and some (such as tactical pens) are disguised as everyday objects to further avoid detection. An item like this, if you practice with it regularly and have developed the muscle memory to render it effective in an emergency, give you a serious edge should you find yourself in a sticky situation.

While physical fitness is helpful for general health and well-being, in a survival situation your fitness level becomes a matter of life and death. Making targeted decisions about the types of training you do will give you the advantage when the pressure is on and increase your overall odds of survival. The key to choosing the right kind of self defense training is to choose efficient programs that promote a balance between strength, power, endurance, and mobility.

Read on for a few of our favorite methods and choose the one that's right for you.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga is the well-regarded method of defense training used by the Israeli Defense Forces and U.S. Law Enforcement agencies. Krav Maga means, literally, “contact combat”. Krav Maga places an emphasis on easy-to-learn techniques that have been battle-tested and refined. It lacks unnecessary flourish and requires no previous martial arts training.

 

            TZAHAL / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain


Learn More: http://www.kravmaga.com/


Systema

Systema is a Russian martial art (literally The System), which emphasizes mental focus, endurance, and pressure point application. Systema’s prioritization of a relaxed, focused state of mind free from anger and toxic thought makes it an excellent addition to the personal defense arsenal of anyone who wants to be prepared for the worst.


Learn More: http://www.russianmartialart.com/

                    http://www.systema.us/


Mixed Martial Arts

MMA uses a wide variety of striking and grappling techniques gleaned from other combat sports and martial arts including Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Karate, and Taekwondo. The benefit of learning MMA is that the parts from various disciplines that are incorporated are those that are most practically applicable to real-world self defense scenarios.


Learn More: http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/

                    http://www.mma121.com/

It’s a simple little piece of gear, so it’s easy to overlook the value in a paracord bracelet. The intricate braiding brings to mind something a pair of BFFs might fashion at summer camp rather than a serious survival tool. But don’t let looks fool you: a paracord bracelet can be a lifesaver.

Paracord 101

The strong yet compact nylon rope is used in the suspension lines of parachutes, from whence comes the name paracord, but it is widely used for other purposes, especially survival gear. The most commonly used cord for this purpose is mil-spec 550 cord, which has a tensile strength of 550 lbs.

Why is it So Strong?

Nylon is powerfully strong at a molecular level: hydrogen forms strong bonds between polyamide chains. The heating and cooling that takes place during the production process allows the bonds to settle and bond further.

Nylon is actually a word used to identify an entire sub-group of synthetic plastics. When stretched into filaments they can be used for products like paracord, toothbrush bristles, and fabrics (including the women’s stockings by the same name). It’s an excellent choice for survival gear because it’s resistant to the mold, fungi, and insects that may wreak havoc on natural materials, given enough time.

What Can I Do With It?

Paracord is perfect for virtually anything that you need to tie, secure, fasten, connect, lash together, etc. Its’ uses are limited only by your imagination.

  • The tremendous tensile strength means you can rely on it to serve you as a tripwire or snare without snapping (just make sure you know how to tie a good knot)
  • Separate the strands and use it as fishing line or dental floss- no better way to maintain your morale in an emergency than with good dental hygiene, right?
  • Use it to secure an emergency splint or tourniquet
  • Fasten together a quick shelter
  • Secure your emergency gear together for easier carrying

Make Your Paracord Bracelet Work Even Harder

Clearly, paracord is extremely useful. Because a significant length of the lightweight cord can be compacted down into a very small space, there is virtually no excuse for not including it in your EDC and/or bug out bag. But it can do even more for you: a survival bracelet like the Superesse strap bracelet includes not only paracord but multiple built-in survival tools, enabling you to carry an entire survival kit on your wrist. Shop now!

Case Study

Lars was an avid traveler: he embraced the challenge and excitement of traveling alone, usually with little more than the clothes he was wearing and a small backpack. In spite of his few possessions, he considered himself pretty well prepared. He carried a small handcuff key in his back pocket along with a good pocket knife. He got pretty chummy with a fellow drifter he befriended in a hostel in Central America. Unfortunately, he let down his guard after a few drinks one night and let it slip during the lighthearted conversation that he was carrying quite a bit of cash on his person. In his bleary half-drunken state Lars thought it was still a joke when his new friend suddenly produced a pair of handcuffs and cuffed his hands behind his back, but he sobered up quickly when he realized that his acquaintance was going through his meager possessions and pocketing everything of value.

He reached for the handcuff key in his back pocket and managed to fish it out despite his trembling fingers, but having never actually practiced with it his fingers had no muscle memory. He fumbled with it behind his back, unable to find the keyhole. His shaking hand dropped the key after a moment, and a crack on the head made him black out.

The Common Mistake

If you are a frequent foreign traveler, a law enforcement or security officer, in the military, or otherwise determined to be prepared for anything, a handcuff key should have a place in your everyday carry. This is an excellent first step, but just like any other specialized gear, a handcuff key is worthless to you in an emergency situation if you have no experience using it. Lars’ story is an all-too-common one, about an individual who considers himself well-prepared because of the gear he carries. His huge and potentially deadly mistake was in not cultivating the skill to actually use his handcuff key. His lack of applicable skill rendered the key useless.

The Solution

The answer to this problem of false preparedness is simple practice. Just as you can tie your shoes in just about any circumstance without thinking about it, your goal is to develop the muscle memory to be able to use a handcuff key in a variety of situations- in the dark, while distracted, with your hands behind you, etc. An excellent tool to assist you in this is a handcuff trainer. A handcuff trainer is a real working handcuff with a cutaway side so you can see the movement of the inner mechanism as you work on the lock. Practice with a trainer will increase your overall understanding of how handcuffs work,  increasing your effectiveness at escaping and thus your overall chances of survival. The real question is not why you need a handcuff trainer, but why don’t you have one yet?

Get prepared now with our handcuff trainer kit -- Check it out!


TERMS OF SERVICE

Last Updated:  October 10, 2017

Welcome to http://tihk.co/, owned and operated by Quampton LLC (“TIHK”, “we”, “us” or “our”). We are makers of urban survival products, designed and manufactured in the USA. Please read these Terms of Service (“Terms”) carefully because they govern your use of the website http://tihk.co/ (the “Site”), and the content, services, and products available at or through the Site and associated social media profiles. If you have any questions, please contact us. To make these Terms easier to read, the Site, and our products and services and are collectively called the “Services.”

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1941 1st Ave S #3E

Seattle, WA 98134

 

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We prefer to resolve things amiably when possible therefore, you agree to the following dispute resolution policy in connection with any potential claims or disputes arising from your use of the Application. Start by notifying us of your dispute by sending a notice via our contact form.

  1. Informal Negotiations: Parties to a dispute concerning the Terms, the Privacy Policy, or the use of the Services will attempt to informally negotiate a potential settlement or resolution to the dispute;
  2. Arbitration: In the event that informal negotiations are unsuccessful, the parties agree to follow the arbitration procedures set forth by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to resolve the dispute.
  3. Binding Arbitration: If for any reason arbitration is unsuccessful or unavailable to the parties, parties agree to submit to binding arbitration in the State of Washington. Each of us is responsible for paying our own filing, administrative and arbitrator fees. Judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.

 

Entire Agreement

These Terms, and any future updates we make, constitute the entire and exclusive understanding and agreement between you and TIHK. If for any reason a court of competent jurisdiction finds any provision of these Terms invalid or unenforceable, that provision will be enforced to the maximum extent permissible and the other provisions of these Terms will remain in full force and effect. You may not assign or transfer these Terms, by operation of law or otherwise, without our prior written consent. Any attempt by you to assign or transfer these Terms, without such consent, will be null and of no effect. If we provide certain notices or other communications to you, we will place the information on the Site. 

TIHK’s failure to enforce any right or provision of these Terms will not be considered a waiver of those rights. The waiver of any such right or provision will be effective only if in writing and signed by a duly authorized representative TIHK. Except as expressly set forth in these Terms, the exercise by either party of any of its remedies under these Terms will be without prejudice to its other remedies under these Terms or otherwise.

 

Questions & contact information

If you have any questions regarding these Terms, please contact us.