If you thought that Rainer Popp's puzzle locks could not get any bigger than the humongous T5, think again! Weighing in at a massive 1.1kg, Rainer's latest creation, the T7 is a behemoth. Measuring 12.6cm high, 6.4wide and 3cm thick, its taller and 200 grams heavier than the T5. The T7 has a rather unique octagonal cross-sectional shape with a steel button on one of the sides and a round knurled knob at the base of the lock.
The lock body is milled from a solid block of brass while the shackle is stainless steel. Like the rest of the Popplock family, build quality, fit and finish is first class. Once the lock is opened, you will also discover that the attention to detail in the construction of the inside is really incredible. From an aesthetic standpoint, both externally and internally, this is probably one of the most beautifully and intricately made puzzle locks I have come across.
From a puzzling perspective, I found the T7 much easier compared to its earlier cousins. I managed to release the shackle within minutes rather than hours. The solution to unlocking the lock has to do with manipulating the knurled knob at the bottom. Puzzlers who are familiar with the Revomaze would know exactly what I am talking about.
An additional feature, which I thought was rather clever and a real plus is that the T7 can be modified to make the solution varying degrees harder. The T7 comes equipped with all that is necessary for the owner to make it as easy or as hard to solve as he/she chooses. Oli has dealt with this much more extensively in his review of the T7 so I will not duplicate the details here. As always, Popplocks are not cheap, and the T7 is no exception.
The T7 is quite a radical departure from the earlier Popplocks. All the earlier models I have played with; the T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6 have one or more clever "tricks" involved. The T7 I felt, unfortunately lacked the typical Popplock surprises one has come to expect.
A number of puzzlers in the community also felt let down by the T7, especially given the very expensive price tag that it came with. However, I would like to mention that these puzzlers probably have been saturated and "spoilt" by the Revomaze and hence understandably consider the T7 not up to standard. My humble opinion is that if there were no Revomaze in existence today, I am pretty confident that the T7 would likely have been considered by many as one of Rainer's best creations. Despite the seemingly unavoidable T7-Revomaze comparison, I think most puzzlers would agree that the solution to the T7 (or any puzzle lock for that matter) is quite imaginative and unexpected.
Personally I have only one criticism of the T7, and that is perhaps Rainer could have made the lock a much harder solve to begin with; then at least there would have been a fair amount of challenge expected from a typical Popplock, never mind the lack of trick(s). Aside from this and notwithstanding the less than positive comments from some quarters, I still consider the T7 to rank up there with the rest of its brethren. Expensive? Yes. Worth the money? Yes. Collectible? Definitely.