I didn't manage to buy one of these when they were first released, but after hearing and reading so many positive things I couldn't turn down the chance to pick one up when I had the chance a couple of weeks ago.
Once again we have a design fully machined from solid brass and stainless steel, the T9 is certainly another puzzle that can be classed under the 'heavy metal' category. Weighing in at just over a whopping 1kg you really don't want to drop this one on your foot by accident!
Craftsmanship -as we have come to expect- is second to none. Rainer really knows his stuff, and I cannot fault a single piece of his manufacturing on this lock.
You'll notice as well that we have now returned to a design that has a separate key, which we haven't seen since the release of the T6. The key is also great quality, and I didn't have any fear of breaking it (like I might've done with the original key for the T2).
While it looks great and is made well, these aspects are dwarfed by the sheer genius and complexity of the solving process. And when I say 'complex' I really mean it. There is a lot going on inside the shell of this thing, which you can only truly appreciate when you check out the exploded diagrams in the booklet after solving it. Or physically take it apart. Which I know at least one (clearly unhinged) fellow puzzler has done, although unless you are particularly skilled, brave, mad or all of the above, I wouldn't recommend.
I did manage to solve the lock within about half an hour or so, but I think I may have gotten a lucky bit of inspiration. It easily could've taken me days had I not noticed some incredibly subtle details.
When it comes to replay value this is potentially one of the best locks in the series. I have re-solved it many times over the last couple of weeks, and I reckon I'll keep on doing so. It is a complex and highly enjoyable solve. Plus, this is probably the only Popplock that has a reset that is almost as satisfying as the solve! I won't elaborate on that because you really have to see it for yourself.
All in all another excellent lock in a truly brilliant series. Sadly since I'm late to write this post all regular retailers of this design have long since sold out. But keep an eye open long enough and you'll find one.
Now I'll just sit here and patiently wait for the T10...