2 - Raking Beginner Tips

TLP Course 1 - Lesson 2

Raking Tips

Some of the most common coaching I have to give to my students when they are struggling with their raking attacks:

  • 90% of the time students apply too much tension with their tension wrench.
  • You can slowly wave your tension in and out.
  • Are you spinning the correct direction? If stuck and unsure, try spending some time checking both directions.
  • You can switch to other tools of the same type for a possible better feel or better fit.
  • Find your tension "sweet spot". To find this, if you are raking for a long time, pause and hold that exact tension. Bring your ear to the lock, and then slowly release your tension wrench a little bit at a time. Somewhere in between the time between when your first pin stack releases and your last pin stack releases is going to be your sweet spot.
  • If people are breathing over your shoulder, give them a task, or just tell them to go the hell away, to give you a different environment.
  • Move the locked obstacle to make it easier for you to reach it or easier to be more comfortable while picking. And/or move your BODY around so that your hands are more comfortable.
  • The lock might be opened and you might not know it. Occasionally push that tension wrench much harder just to see if the keyway (the "plug") will spin open.


  1. "Bogota Pi Titanium" set: $45. Seen in one of the first overhead shots. A credit card sized black vinyl case with three rakes, one hook pick, and one tension wrench. Fantastic tool I've carried for years.
  2. "Bogata Titan Mini Flats" set: $35. Seen taped to the back of a credit card in one of the fist overhead views. Bogota-style rakes are very smooth and just have a generally overwhelmingly effective design. These "flat" bogotas have no twists or bends in them making them a great option to store in your wallet at almost no added weight or bulk.
  3. "Mace Picks" $12. Seen at minute 3:11, the small triple peak rake with the small handle that has a cross-pattern on it. I ALWAYS recommend the Mace pick set AND almost any selection of Bogota-Style picks as a "two-set combo" that people should start their toolbox with. Great shot of how I carry them at minute 10:43.

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