I've had sisterlocks for 6 years and I have been self maintaining the last 3 years and installing a set of interlocks for my husband. Over the years I have found the following three tools to be most helpful:

  1. Yarn Needle ($1) - The first is a blue yarn needle shortened and treated with heat to make the eye hole wider. I use this needle when starting locs and on my larger locs in the back and center of my head. I usually start the loc by hand and make the final rotations with this needle.
  2. Nappyloc Tool ($20) - (Pictured in the the center) I use this tool on occasion and many swear by it. They sell it in different sizings on the nappyloc website. The only drawback is that it is made of a thin metal and it can occasionally bend out of shape if you use too much force. I've never used the sisterlock official tool, but I've heard that those that use that tool also like the nappyloc tool just as much and actually find it easier to use. Update:The folks over at Nappy N Happy sent me a sample of their thicker gauge loc tool and it exactly what I needed to not only reti my own hair but also my husband's thicker interlocks.
  3. Metal Tapestry Needle ($2) - This is by far my favorite and go-to needle for my retigtenings. Very sturdy and affordable. The perfect length for longer and above the shoulder locks.