Have you ever experienced being locked out? Knowing how to pick a lock can be an invaluable life skill if this ever happens to you! With just a few household items at hand, most pin tumbler locks (deadbolts and door locks alike) can be opened easily using pin tumbler picking techniques.
Professional picking tools will make the task simpler, but simple items such as hairpins or paper clips will suffice as starting points.
1. Pencil Lead
If you ever find yourself locked out of your home, if may be possible to open it with items found around the house. One such item might not have crossed your mind: pencil lead. Fortunately, this trick can be easily performed using only two items: your key and pencil lead. Rub the head of your key against it until graphite covers its entirety to help it fit more easily into its lock.
Next, insert and turn the key in the lock to deposit graphite into it, making its sliding easier. It is wise to lubricate the lock beforehand in order to prevent its pins from becoming frozen and making use of your pick easier.
Once the key is inside, picking can begin. Your aim should be to set all key pins at roughly equal height using either your pick or raking technique – either is faster and more precise; practice on other locks first to increase chances of success before trying this one.
If a lock is difficult to pick, increasing torque or pressure may help. But keep in mind that more force could jam more pins into the shear line – so reduce pressure until all key pins move to it and scrub until all key pins have moved to that shear line.
This trick may be unsettling to some people, but it is an effective way to gain entry to any home you find yourself stuck in. This technique may come in especially handy if your elderly parents live in nursing home and you cannot reach them to call for help; also useful in quickly accessing hotel rooms if you forget your key; potentially saving lives by using this strategy if someone unconscious and unable to respond is unconscious and unconscious when calling for assistance!
2. Paper Clips
If you find yourself without lock picks or keys, and cannot gain entry through a locked door or padlock using paper clips alone as an emergency measure. While not as convenient or quick than real set of picks, paperclips still work in an emergency situation to gain entry. Having this skill on hand is invaluable and could allow you to gain entry back into your own house in case of being locked out, or assist those in need.
Start by gathering two paper clips – both should be large and made from metal to ensure they can withstand pressure of being used as lock picks. Use pliers to shape them to match how locks operate.
Start by straightening one of the paper clips so it has large, flat edges and is much wider than standard paperclips; this will serve as your “pick.” Next, using pliers bend the long end into a 90-degree angle – this will become your tension wrench.
Once both tools are in place, insert the chosen piece of paper clip into the lock and gently twist it until all pins have been pushed upward. If necessary, apply additional pressure with either your tension wrench or rake until all pins have been moved and the lock turns.
Once the lock has turned, remove your paper clip and unlock the door – now is your moment of freedom! Or use what you know to help others who find themselves locked out of their homes or vehicles – be discrete when picking other people’s locks to avoid being mistaken as criminals.
3. Credit Card
Credit cards can be an easy, fast, and non-destructive way to gain entry to someone else’s house without them knowing. Their use makes gaining entry easier while not damaging locks or doors. You can use any type of credit card including store cards; thin ones with less value may work best. If all else fails you could also try paper clips or strips from soda bottles.
Before using a credit card to pick a lock, it is vitally important that the door can be unlocked this way. You must know whether the slant of the lock enters from the top or bottom jamb; additionally, no barriers should exist between latch and lock which prevent the credit card from sliding between them – such as metal plates or excessive molding that might limit its reach of reaching its target lock.
Once you’ve determined that a lock can be opened using a credit card, insert it in the slit between the door and door frame and press upward or downward until you feel or see that the latch has moved. Continue this process until it becomes apparent.
This lifehack can come in handy if you find yourself locked out of your house with children or animals inside, or need access to something immediately. It could even save the day if you find yourself locked out of your car – in one instance it even helped someone gain entry! ITS Tactical has seen cases in which people picked their parents’ locks in an emergency situation so as to get help for their family member!
Lock picking isn’t as difficult or mysterious as it might seem; anyone can learn it with patience and practice. There are countless courses online to teach the fundamentals of lock picking; once practice is underway, anyone can become an accomplished lockpicker!
Learning how to pick locks can be an invaluable life skill – not only is it quiet and simple, but with the appropriate tools it could allow access to locked doors without drawing unwanted attention from law enforcement!
Though you could get by with just a few basic items, professional lock picking tools should always be purchased or made yourself. Although you could buy these directly, crafting one yourself using unbent bobby pins or hairpins, heavy-duty paper clips, or stiff bits of wire may also work just as effectively.
Start off by gathering a tension wrench and an object which can be formed into a pick, such as an unbent bobby pin; however, paper clips or hairpins with plastic-dipped ends will work too. Bend one end until it reaches near the back of the lock; this end serves as your pick – helping push up its internal pins known as shear lines.
Applying light rotating pressure with the tension wrench causes a single pin known as a binding pin to become lodged between the lock core and housing, providing resistance when pressed with a lock pick. Finding this pin may take trial-and-error; lock picking itself is usually described as “scrubbing” or “raking.”
Once you’ve cleaned thoroughly, you should experience a slight resistance when trying to insert your pick into the hole. This resistance is the binding pin and once removed with an impact wrench you should be able to turn over the lock cylinder and open your door.
Utilizing this technique will teach you about various pin types, their tolerances and heights as well as how to apply appropriate tension. Over time, you will become adept at picking locks faster and easier – for now though just focus on mastering the basics! Once this step has become second nature to you, more advanced techniques may become possible.