Tag Archives: Lishi Tools

Mr. Li and His Original Tools, Some Key Facts You Never Know

Mr. Li, or Li Zhiqin in full, is the master locksmith who invented, designed, and manufactured Lishi tools. When originated in early 2000s, Mr. Li named his tools “Lishi Tools”, and over the next decades, Lishi have won great reputation among locksmiths all over the globe.

Although you’re using Lishi tools daily, there’re some key facts you never known about Mr. Li himself, his company, and his original tools. Also living in China, I can get more information and resources than you, so in this article I’ll tell you some key facts that I know.

Correct Pronunciation of “Lishi”

When I watch Lishi tools review videos on YouTube, all the westerners pronounce “Lishi tools” as “leeshy tools” [‘liːʃi], it’s not correct according to its pronunciation in Chinese, I personally pronounce it as “leash tools” [liːʃ], which is more similar to, without tones, the standard Chinese pronunciation.

Mr. Li, Father of Lishi Tools

Mr. Li is a Chinese master locksmith living in Hebei Province, China. And his factory is located in Qinhuangdao, a city of Hebei, near Tangshan and Tianjin City. Mr. Li is about 65 years old, and during all of his life, he never lived outside of China, and he never worked for any foreign companies.

Li Zhiqin is Mr. Li’s full name (中文:李志勤), someone writes his name as “Zhiqin Li”, which is also incorrect. Based on the new Chinese-to-English writing standard, we put family name “Li” first. For example, all western media call Chinese president “Xi Jinping” with “Xi” (A Chinese last name) at the beginning.

Legacy Lishi Logo

“Lishi Tools”, is the Legacy Name of Mr. Li’s Original Tools, Actually

When originated in early 2000s, Mr. Li named his tools “Lishi Tools” (中文:李氏工具) which come with an oval “Lishi” logo, and his ex-business partner UAP Limited was marketing his original tools under the name “Genuine Lishi”. When broken up with UAP Limited in 2014, he renamed his business name to “Lizhiqin Tools” (中文:李志勤工具), and his face and his name as the new trademark.

UAP Limited has no relationship with Mr. Li or his company today, and Genuine Lishi is still selling their own line of Lishi lock picks, with their factory located in Shenzhen. Genuine Lishi comes with a unique logo on each tool, and it’s easy to be identified. In China, nobody sells Genuine Lishi tools.

The Lishi Logo

Almost at the same time when Mr. Li waived the “Lishi” trademark, someone from Australia registered a new trademark known as “Original Lishi” and became Mr. Li’s new business partner. Mr. Li is a good locksmith and tools inventor, but obviously he’s not good at marketing, I’m very confused about his business strategy, which made his new trademark very hard to spread outside of China.

On one hand, the new name “Lizhiqin” is very hard to be pronounced for westerners, on the other hand, because of existence of two similar brands, both “Genuine Lishi” and “Original Lishi”, people are hard to accept his new brand name.

And in fact, all Mr. Li’s distributors from China still call his tools “Lishi Tools”, but people always confused if tools supplied are original, because both Mr. Li’s original tools, and Original Lishi branded tools share the same logo, only the verification labels are different.

Please remember that Original Lishi is not the only distributor authorized by Mr. Li or his company, where you can buy Mr. Li’s original tools. Mr. Li’s original tools are being sold by many Chinese vendors as well. This is a legal question, and the differences of sales channels.

Today, besides Original Lishi, Mr. Li has many other distributors from China and Europe. In Europe, people call Mr. Li’s original tools “Mr. Li Tools”, but that’s not saying tools supplied directly by Mr. Li and his own distributors are not GENUINE or ORIGINAL.

We advertise and promote Mr. Li’s original tools as “Classic Lishi”, to distinguish from both “Genuine Lishi” and “Original Lishi”. We’re not an Original Lishi vendor, we don’t sell Original Lishi tools either. All tools we’re supplying are from Mr. Li’s factory, come with a green verification label.

Here’s a short summary of the 3 “Lishi”s:

  • Genuine Lishi, an independent company, a trademark belongs to the UAP Limited. All of the Genuine Lishi Tools come with an square logo, different than the other 2 Lishis.
  • Original Lishi, an independent company, a trademark belongs to James Chen who runs his business in Australia. Original Lishi Tools are made by Mr. Li, but they comes with James Chen’s own verification label.
  • Classic Lishi, we’re just a distributor of Mr. Li. After Mr. Li changed his trademark to “Lizhiqin”, James Chen used its former name and registered the “Original Lishi” trademark. We also use the former name, and all Classic Lishi Tools come with green verification label, and can be verified on Mr. Li’s official website.

Lishi Laser Picks, Mr. Li’s First Product Line

Lishi laser picks

In early 2000s, Mr. Li started his line of lockpicks at his backyard factory, with other locksmiths and his trainees. Lishi laser picks were his first creations, until these tools were stopped production and replaced by Lishi 2-in-1 tools in the middle of 2010s, when new improved, and revolutionary design was introduced.

Qinhuangdao Li Zhiqin Tools Co., Ltd, Mr. Li’s Official Business Name

Nobody knows Mr. Li’s official business name, until you see this post.

According to Qinhuangdao ETDZ Administration Bureau for Industry and Commerce public query system, Mr. Li’s company name is Qinhuangdao Li Zhiqin Tools Co., Ltd, with Ms. Li Jing (probably Mr. Li’s daughter) as the executive director, and Mr. Li Zhiqin the supervisor. The Unified Social Credit Identifier is 911303010872863114.

In China, every person or company registers a domain name and hosts a website at any ISP as long as its server located in China, must register for a record at MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology), and from the MIIT public query system, Mr. Li’s official website is www.lizhiqintool.com on which runs the verification query system, where you can verify to make sure your tools are not illegal copied or distributed.

Lishi, a Chinese Lockpicks Brand We’re Proud Of

All generations before 90s, born and lived in the years before China being “the world’s factory”, always consider foreign brands their first choices, but Lishi, the brand of lockpicks, is an exception.

The classic Lishi tools are well establish as some of the best lock pick tools, the leader of vehicle opening tools in the world today, trusted by both Chinese locksmiths and lock pickers all over the globe.

This incredible reputation is thanks to Mr. Li Zhiqin, who takes the pride in creating the best locksmith tools on the market, and puts a lot of effort to ensure his tools are durable and accurate with his high-quality control standards.

Mr. Li, being the inventor of the classic Lishi tools, means that innovation and product improvement never stops. Qinhuangdao Li Zhiqin Tools Co., Ltd is always dedicated to producing lock picks of the best possible quality.

Lishi, never a foreign brand. Lishi tools, proudly made in China.

Which Lishi Pick Is Best? (Among 3 Lishi Brands)

I found a video on YouTube by DeviantOllam, who’s talking about the differences among 3 Lishi SC4 picks. A very good video introducing some key facts about “Original Lishi” and Mr. Li’s original tools to the western locksmiths community. It’s a pity because of my limited English vocabulary I couldn’t fully understand the video, but I did find some errors, on the first half of the video.

As you can see from the video cover, Deviant has 3 Lishi picks brands reviewed: one red label “Original Lishi”, one green label, and the third one without label. He said the green label Lishi tool is Genuine Lishi, and the one without label but with Mr. Li’s face logo is not made by Mr. Li’s factory, that’s NOT right.

Red Label Lishi Tools

Red Label Lishi Tools

Red label Lishi tools are “Original Lishi” branded, a separate company, operated by a Taiwanese people named James Chen, who runs his business in Australia. “Original Lishi” firstly introduced Lishi residential tools to the market, based on the agreement with Mr. Li.

James Chen has a partnership with Mr. Li and/or his company, who’s marketing and promoting Mr. Li original tools in the west. “Original Lishi” tools are made by Mr. Li’s factory, and all come with a red label verification system by James Chen’s company.

“Original Lishi” is not the only distribution or sales channel of Mr. Li and/or his company. Mr. Li has many authorized resellers in China, and some Europen dealers also purchase tools directly from Mr. Li as well. So obviously not only “Original Lishi” tools are original, all Lishi tools come from Mr. Li’s own supply chains are original as well.

Green Label Lishi Tools

In the video, Deviant said that these green label Lishi tools are “Genuine Lishi”, this isn’t true. These’re genuine Lishi tools, but they’re not “Genuine Lishi” branded. The green label was introduced by Mr. Li in 2021, which can be found on 2-in-1 tools, key readers, residential tools, to make sure you’re not buying fake or knock-offs.

Genuine Lishi

This is the “Genuine Lishi” logo, all Genuine Lishi tools come with this square logo.

Genuine Lishi is made by Mr. Li’s ex-business partner Tradelocks (aka. UAP Limited) that essentially stole the concept from Mr. Li and patented it state side or some nonsense. It’s said that “Genuine Lishi” is made by a factory in Shenzhen, but it has no relationship with Mr. Li at all.

Green label Lishi tools are the original tools made by Mr. Li’s factory in Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province, China (Near Tianjin). All tools come with the green label, are from Mr. Li direct selling, or sold by Mr. Li’s own distributors.

So actually, all the 3 Lishi SC4 Schlage Pick appeared in the video, are from the same manufacturer, but made in a different time period, with different brand names and from different supply lines. For the price differences, the red label “Original LIshi” tools are the highest, and the green label classic Lishi tools are more reasonable. Yes, tools sold by Mr. Li’s Chinese distributors are more cheaper, the best option for you.

Green Label Lishi Tools

Please always look for the Mr. Li face logo, and his Chinese name as the trademark, for a guaranteed original Mr. Li pick. You can verify the serial code from the newly-introduced green verification sticker on back of each tool, to be sure every Lishi tool you purchased here at Classic Lishi, are not illegally copied or distributed.

All tools directly from Mr. Li’s factory now come with the green verification label. A Lishi pick comes with Mr. Li’s face logo, but without the green label, is not recommended, probably a fake one. It’s also in a situation that the tool has been made for more than 2 years, although not fake, but also not recommended in any ways but it’s up to your own decision.

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