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Souber Tools MLA Expo Launch

Souber Tools decided to use the MLA Expo as the launch reveal for a new Lock Opening Tool. They had originally hoped to launch the product at the 2019 Expo, but the date and R&D requirements proved far too optimistic.

Anyway, for Souber Tools, 2021 Expo was the big reveal. The new tool was a special burr, which was designed to fit in a Dremel type machine, and the team thought that the best way to explain it to visitors was with live demonstrations and training on the stand.

The original roots of the idea were based on German locksmiths who were using Die Grinders. However, it was pretty evident to Paul Souber, Souber Tools’ Managing Director that their method was not really an ideal tool for lock opening. More and more locks had protection and so Die Grinders were too heavy for precise work. The Die Grinders normally worked with 6mm Burrs and 6mm Collets; factor in the hardened barrier pins in the cylinders and 6mm Burr Diameter and this was a real problem.

Souber Tools had done some trials and testing , more than eight years ago and decided to step away from Die Grinders. However, a couple of chance meetings with locksmiths in Germany and Sweden created an idea based on a Dremel Tool. However, those ideas quickly showed that regular 3mm Burrs available in the marketplace presented issues with snagging and snatching. The snagging and snatching would also cause breakages.


So, the question was: Why do those burrs Snag, Snatch or break?

Paul Souber felt that the current burrs available did not suit the application. But, still why did they behave that way? Furthermore, how could it be prevented?

There seemed not one factor creating this problem but perhaps as many as three or four.

What was required was an Anti-Snag, Anti-Snatch design. What was to follow was, over a year of tests, trials, samples then more and more samples. Souber Tools, don’t want to give away their little secrets as to how they arrived at their final product, but the performance of the little Burr is quite stunning.

Wind the clock forward 12 months and Souber Tools now had working products, but the factory who claimed they could make it were failing to meet the exact required product specifications. This was a quality issue and Souber Tools had a high-grade carbide and very specific tooth shape. Many factories had turned down the job, because it required a lot of grinding even before a working blank could be used.

Luckily, a factory was found and turned out a high-quality product. The new Burr performed well, had good longevity, and had all the qualities required.

Then, Souber Tools chose some locksmiths to do field trials and see how they performed in real-life opening conditions. Initially, they chose Mark Robinson of John Richard Security Products based on the Wirral and Niall Fitzpatrick of TLS Locks in Cheshire. Mark decided to use his own back door to try out a TS007 Protected handle and opening this proved successful as hoped.

Once those field trials were completed Souber Tools decided to start on testing a whole range of different brands with all sorts of deterrents. To do this, they chose three respected and experienced testing locksmiths:

Terry Watts of Market Lock and MLA fame

Shane Hales of Hales Locks and MLA Trainer

Fernando Romero of London and Barcelona who had previously worked with Keyprint and the Wendt company.

All three carried out their own trials and tests and also filmed their efforts using more than 25 different Cylinders. Souber Tools are grateful to all 3 gentlemen for their efforts.

A PATENT APPLICATION was filed in September 2019, which was even before a working prototype had been tested.

Souber Tools knew they had a different product to anything else on the market and so they needed a product trade name. Unfortunately, many were considered and most discounted because they simply weren’t available. Luckily, a supplier in the industry threw the name “Magi-Burr” at the company as a “Tongue-in-Cheek” idea. The word “Magi” has Biblical origins and could mean “Wise Men”. So, in a way the product name could be Wise Mens’ Burr. How novel is that?

The name was registered as Magi-Burr in Europe and elsewhere.

The team were made aware of issues regarding six-pin locks and also those with protected hardened Escutcheons and TS007 handle protection. This required a longer Burr, so the 60mm long version was ordered for launch.

As the MLA Expo got closer, Souber Tools had been trying to develop other Burrs to add into the range. These included:

Safe End Burr

A Safe End or Flat Bottom burr for Lever Lock opening which enable finishing holes that don’t damage the levers or internal lock case.

Plain Burr

A Plain Burr for other Lock rectification work. This has proved useful for correcting Euro Profile  Shape holes in Wood and Aluminium doors. Also, useful for quickly removing steel on strike plates when bolts are binding during damp winter weather. The great advantage of both of these is the speed of the modification. Removing a small amount of wood, steel or Aluminium is quick and easy when you are working at 20,000 rpm.

Prior to the show, Souber Tools told the locksmiths on social media and gave some clues as to what was going to happen; and dropped some hints about the new product.

Souber Tools had already made a video on Euro Lock Opening many months prior to the MLA Expo. This was not to train locksmiths per se but also those who train them. So, when they sent the samples to the main testers they had a reference point from the beginning. It has both live views of lock opening and also animation to show what happens inside the lock.  That video was shown on continuous loop on Souber Tools stand at the show.

At Telford, Souber Tools decided to have two experienced Locksmiths ‘demonstrate’ the Magi Burr to visitors. But, they decided not to demonstrate themselves, rather use “Hands-on” teach other locksmiths how to do it. They had a bench type arrangement with practice stations using Dremels, locks and vices.

This activity drew huge numbers with many occasions being crowded by 15+ onlookers. This was not a good Covid situation! They insisted that anyone wanting to have a go should watch the demo video first before being helped to open a lock. By the end of the each day, the floor was covered with brass filings and hundreds of lock pins.

Eventually, by the end of the show, 130 locks had been opened by visiting locksmiths and the same questions were being asked again and again.

These were “Where can I get them ?” or “How many locks will each burr open?”. The answers were always the same: 1) Souber Tools distributors and 2) that depends on how you use it. We can only base our answers on the year or so that Niall Fitzpatrick and others used the product. We believe it should open between 10 and 30 locks. After that, the burrs will wear and lose their cutting edge and cutting rates start to slow. As time is money, we also suggest cleaning the burrs with the Souber Wire Brush which has Stainless Steel bristles.


  • Watch the Video online
  • Use a suitable machine with 3mm collet running at 20,000 rpm
  • Dremel and Milwaukee are preferred options
  • Keep a spare battery charged to hand (non Genuine can be OK)
  • Have a small Torch handy
  • Use the Souber Tools Stainless Brush to keep Burrs perfectly clean from debris
  • Have a large Screwdriver and pick to engage clutch/cam