Can I open a lock without key?

We’ve all been locked out a time or two—for the married folk maybe more. But worse than being locked out is not having a crafty way to get back in. There are various ways to unlock a door without a key. You can pick the lock with lock picks, bobby pins, and paperclips.

How do you open a locked door without a pick?

In this tutorial, the instructor shows us how to open up a door with a screwdriver. For this to work you will need a locked door and a screw driver. You first will need to take the screw driver and push it under the two latches on the side of the door on the lock. Keep pulling back on the latches with the screwdriver until the door pops open, this can take a few minutes or a few seconds depending on the lock strength. This will work on most normal door locks. Be careful because this will leave marks on the wall and a dent in the door. Want to master Microsoft Excel and take your work-from-home job prospects to the next level? Jump-start your career with our Premium A-to-Z Microsoft Excel Training Bundle from the new Gadget Hacks Shop and get lifetime access to more than 40 hours of Basic to Advanced instruction on functions, formula, tools, and more. Buy Now (97% off) > Other worthwhile deals to check out:

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Does picking a lock ruin it?

1. Damaging Your Springs – The first and most common way to ruin a lock from lock picking is by damaging the springs. The springs in a lock are designed to withstand the simple and gentle forces of the key lifting pins. While lock picking is relatively gentle, it can still be rough enough to push the springs past their limits causing them to deform or even break. Two common things that can increase your chance of damaging springs are raking and oversetting pins.

  1. Raking, by its very nature, is an erratic and somewhat forceful style of lock picking that can stress components in the lock– the springs most of all.
  2. While this stress is minimal, you never know what a component’s breaking point truly is.
  3. Now, this doesn’t mean single pin picking has a cake-free face.

Oversetting pins can overcompress the springs, causing them to permanently deform and shorten them. Both breaking and deformation of the springs can cause serious issues to the lock’s functionality– including the use of the key. If the springs can’t fully push the driver pins into the plug, the driver pins could get stuck at the shear line.

Are all locks easy to pick?

Pick Any Lock The question we receive the most often is: Can all locks be picked? The short answer is “no”. There are several reasons that you might be unsuccessful even if you are a top notch technician. The most obvious reason is that a lock must be in operating condition in order to be picked.

  1. If the mechanism doesn’t work (frozen tumblers, broken inner parts, etc) no amount of effort will bring success.
  2. Also, there are certain specific types of high security locks on the market that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be picked (virtually un-pickable).
  3. Medeco is a prime example of this.
  4. The design simply prevents the use of lock picking tools.

There are easier ways to break open a lock anyway. Thieves rarely use lock picking. Why? It takes too long. A well pinned, high quality lock can require up to an hour for a professional to open – even longer under difficult circumstances. No thief would spend one hour with lockpicks.

  • He is interested in a fast, easy, silent breakin if possible.
  • Even the most advanced hardware, with security spools and hundreds of pins, can be opened in another way.
  • You could cut it.
  • You could drill it.
  • You could cut the fence, break the door or open the window.
  • Nothing is funnier to a locksmith than to see a $500 residental lock on a glass door.

Anyone can break or cut the glass without a single noise and open the lock from the inside! That being said, there are in fact locks that are almost impossible to lock pick, locks that would require years and years of training, locks that no one in their right mind would try to lock pick, locks that are picked only in the toughest competitions in the world.

  1. Locks that requires hours to pick sometimes.
  2. Why isn’t every lock one of these? For two reasons: first because it’s expensive, second because the lock can STILL be opened in other ways.
  3. Very advanced Medeco locks can be bumped, for example.
  4. You could also rake or try to jiggle the lock.
  5. It’s that simple.
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I had a friend who specialized in alarm systems. He told me that businesses paid thousands of dollars to buy and install their system and that thieves would simply cut the electricity before entering. When he added a security system that would trigger an alarm at the police station if the electricity was cut, theives would wait until the whole town was in blackout to break in.

When he added batteries, theives quickly removed them – or the owner would simply forget to replace them. There is no perfect solution. There is no unbreakable lock. Many locks have labelled themselves as pick-proof. Most of the time they’ve been proved wrong. The newest Primus, or the advanced ASSA locks for example, are two examples of locks with more security than you can imagine and that are insanely hard to open.

Yet, many people have been filmed lockpickign them successfully. In conclusion, every lock can be lockpicked. However, keep in mind most you will encounter (90%) are low security, and that with training you will be able to open 90% of the locks you see within a minute, usually within fifteen seconds, and that you will be able to open 95% of the locks without five.

What is the best thing to pick a lock with?

Download Article Use this step-by-step tutorial to make a lock pick set out of paper clips, hair pins, credit cards, and other common tools Download Article Whether your 5-year-old locks themselves in the bathroom or you walk out of the locked garage only to realize that your keys are still inside, chances are good that you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of a locked door at some point.

  • For pin tumbler locks, including deadbolts and entry doors, make a pick set out of 2 bobby pins or paper clips. Stick them into the lock and wiggle them until the lock opens.
  • Use an unbent paper clip or a hairpin for locks on privacy door knobs. Poke the item into the door knob’s keyhole to release the push button mechanism.
  • Unlock a slanted latch-style hook or a spring knob by sliding a credit card into the gap between the door and the jamb. Wiggle it until it presses the latch and opens the door.
  1. 1 Fashion a lock-pick using a long, thin item. Unbent bobby pins or hair pins work best for picking a pin tumbler lock, but you can also use unbent heavy-duty paper clips or other stiff bits of wire. Create your pick by opening one of the bobby pins or paper clips until it’s bent in half. Then bend the last 1 ⁄ 8 inch (0.32 cm) of the pick up at a 20-degree angle.
    • If you’re using a hairpin with plastic-dipped ends, scrape the plastic from the end of the pick first using a pair of pliers, the ground, or even your teeth in a pinch.
    • Pin tumbler locks, including deadbolts and entry door knobs, are one of the most secure locks you can get, but with enough patience and care, you can pick them.
    • Pin tumbler locks are constructed of a plug, a row of pins (including driver pins and uneven key pins) that sit in the plug, a housing, and a shear line, which separates the plug from the housing.
    • The driver pins sit atop the key pins inside the lock. The plug (where the key pins sit when the door is locked) is located below the housing (where a key or a pick pushes or “binds” the pins to unlock the door).
  2. 2 Make a tension wrench by bending a long piece of wire or metal into an L. The tension wrench needs to be fairly sturdy, so use a heavy-duty paper clip or hairpin. Unbend the clip or pin and fold it into an L shape.
    • You can also use a small flat-head screwdriver or similar item that fits into the bottom of the keyhole as a tension wrench.


  3. 3 Put the wrench in the keyhole and turn to locate the binding pin. Turn the wrench in the direction you’d turn a key. Apply only soft pressure here: the goal isn’t to lift all the pins at this stage but to locate the binding pin, or the first pin that moves to unlock the door. The binding pin will be the stiffest pin to move.
    • On a perfectly constructed plug, the holes that hold the rows of pins would be precisely aligned with one another, but due to machine error, there are always a couple of holes that are centimeters off the plug’s centerline.
    • This means that when you turn the plug to raise the pins and unlock the door, the pins will bind in a certain order, starting with the pins farthest from the plug’s centerline. The farthest pin—the first to bind—is known as the binding pin.
  4. 4 Turn the plug to separate the binding driver pin from its key pin. This is known as “setting a pin.” Once you’ve figured out which of the pins is the binding pin, gently push it up with your tension wrench so that the driver pin is in the housing, and slowly twist to turn the plug.
    • Make sure to maintain the same amount of tension to keep the pins separated: if you move the plug moves back into its starting position, the driver pin will slide out of the housing, below the shear line, and back onto the key pin again.
  5. 5 Insert the pick to find the next binding pin. The second binding pin will now be the stiffest pin to move. Keep your tension wrench in place, and maintain the same tension so that your first binding driver pin doesn’t fall out. Use your pick to locate the next binding pin, and then use your wrench to twist the plug to set the pin, separating the driver and key pins again.
    • When using a key, you lift all the key pins, keeping them together with their respective driver pins, but when picking the lock, you separate the key pins from the driver pins.
    • This means that as you locate and set your binding pins, you might hear the separated key pins jiggling around inside the plug. Don’t be alarmed!
  6. 6 Turn the plug to set the second binding pin, and repeat for all pins. Keep wiggling your pick to locate the next binding pins, but make sure not to let your already separated driver pins fall out of the housing.
  7. 7 Use the wrench to turn the plug once you’ve set all the pins. If you’ve successfully identified your binding order and set all your pins, nudging the drivers above the shear line, the plug will rotate, and the lock will disengage. Your door is now unlocked!
    • This process can take a lot of time and patience. If you don’t unlock the door immediately, don’t be discouraged!
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  1. 1 Find a long, thin object for picking the lock. To pick the lock, choose an object that’s small enough to fit into the hole, but sturdy enough to put pressure on the locking mechanism. Ideal choices include a small screwdriver or hex wrench, a hairpin, or a heavy-duty paper clip.
    • If you’re using a hairpin or paper clip, first bend it open so you have a long, straight bit of metal.
    • If you’re having trouble finding a suitable object, get creative! Open up a ballpoint pen and use the ink cartridge, or check the bottom of your purse for a toothpick. You can almost always find something that will work.
  2. 2 Insert the item into the knob’s hole to pick the lock. The outside door knob will have a small round hole in the center, which is intended to allow for emergency access. If the lock has a push button mechanism, just insert the tool straight into the hole until you feel some resistance, and push.
    • When opening a twist-lock, try sweeping the tool both counterclockwise and clockwise until the lock releases.
    • If the outside door knob has a keyhole instead of a hole, it’s not a privacy door knob, but an entry door knob, which uses a pin tumbler lock.
  3. 3 Remove the door knob if you can’t pick the lock. Most privacy door knobs are held together with 2 visible screws. Find a screwdriver that fits, and undo these screws, alternating back and forth between the screws as you go. Within a few minutes, both door knobs will come off. Simply pull any remaining locking mechanism out of the hole and open the door.
    • You may have to apply some tension to the door knob by pulling on it as the screws loosen.
    • The screws may be hidden under a decorative collar. If so, remove the collar by either inserting a paperclip into a small hole on the collar that releases it (if there is a hole) or gently prying up the collar with a flathead screwdriver.
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  1. 1 Find a stiff but flexible plastic card. Make sure the card can bend without breaking but is firm enough to pick the lock, A grocery store loyalty card or a laminated library card works great. Even a stiff business card will work on some locks.
    • Note that you can’t use a credit card to unlock a pin tumbler lock. Cards can only be used to unlock slanted latch-style hook locks or spring-loaded knobs.
    • Though many people talk about ” picking a lock with a credit card,” avoid using your actual credit or debit card, as it might get damaged in the process!
  2. 2 Slide the card in between the door and door jamb. Begin just above the door handle, and slide the card down at a downward angle. Keep sliding it in until you hit the catch. The latch is located parallel to the door handle, in between the door and the jamb.
  3. 3 Wiggle the card to unlock the door. Be gentle, and don’t force it—this could cause the card to break. Wiggling the card will cause it to press against the latch assembly and allow you to open the door.
    • Some doors open almost instantly using this technique, whereas others require more effort. Experiment with different cards, and different angles.
    • Remember that this technique only circumvents the lock; it doesn’t actually unlock the door. If you let the door close before you go in, you could end up locked out all over again!
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Add New Question

  • Question Is it better to pick a lock or kick down the door in an emergency? In an emergency, it usually will be better to kick down the door instead. The door can be replaced, but lives can’t.
  • Question How do I open a locked glove compartment? Using the third method, with the bobby pins, would probably be your best bet.
  • Question How can I pick a lock from a locker that is built into a door? In some cases, the front of the knob can be taken off to reveal a key hole. Otherwise, call a locksmith.

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  • If you have privacy door knobs in your home, it’s a good idea to keep an item suitable for opening them on the door jamb above the door or in another readily accessible place so you aren’t scrambling in an emergency.
  • Avoid using toothpicks or other breakable materials. The wood may snap inside the lock and get stuck, and you may have to remove the knob entirely.


  • Bathrooms contain many drowning and other potentially lethal hazards. If a small child locks themselves in a bathroom, treat this as an emergency. If you cannot get the door open immediately, call emergency services, The fire department handles this sort of thing all the time, and it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
  • Picking an exterior lock looks extremely suspicious, and is likely to result in your neighbors calling the police. If you’re a kid locked out of your house, call your parents and let them know what’s going on before you start, and be prepared to show the police proof that you’re breaking into your own property.
  • Using this to break into other people’s property, especially residential buildings, like their homes, is illegal.

Advertisement Article Summary X To pick a privacy lock using only household items, you will need a long, thin object like a hairpin, heavy-duty paperclip, or a small screwdriver. Insert the object into the hole on the outside of the doorknob. If the lock is a push-button, just push the tool straight in and push.

Is lock picking a useful skill?

It’s a useful survival skill for not only yourself but for others who may need help. Get yourself out of hairy situations. Live or work in a sketchy area? The last thing you need is to be stuck outside of safe shelter at night.

Is lock picking a hobby?

These 13 secret ways let you open any lock

“Tension wrench” redirects here. For the automotive tool, see Torque wrench, A set of lock picks and tension wrenches for pin/tumbler locks Picking while tensioning Lock picking is the practice of unlocking a lock by manipulating the components of the lock device without the original key. Although lock-picking can be associated with criminal intent, it is an essential skill for the legitimate profession of locksmithing, and is also pursued by law-abiding citizens as a useful skill to learn, or simply as a hobby ( locksport ).

How long does it take to pick a lock?

How long does it take a locksmith to open a door? – It can take anywhere from 7 seconds to 45 minutes for a locksmith to pick open a lock. Generally a locksmith should be able to unlock most doors in about 10 minutes. Of course this is effected by the type of lock.