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How to Break a Door Lock With a Screwdriver

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

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How to Break a Door Lock With a Screwdriver- In this blog post, we will show you how to break a door lock with a screwdriver.


Breaking a door lock with a screwdriver requires preparation and knowledge of the tools and techniques necessary. First and foremost, you should always use the correct tools for the task. A flat-head screwdriver will be necessary for this project and you should ensure that it is the right size for the lock. You’ll also want to make sure you have some proper protective gear such as eye protection and a respirator, as the process can generate a lot of dust. With these items in hand, you’re ready to get started.

Gather the necessary materials

Before you begin, make sure you have all the materials needed to complete the job at hand. Specifically, you will need a flathead or Phillips screwdriver of a size and type that fits your lockset and some pliers for extra leverage. Additionally, it is helpful to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes during this operation. Lastly, be sure you have access to a strong light source if needed. Once you have all the materials ready, move on to step two and prepare for the task of breaking the lock with a screwdriver.

Understand the type of lock you are trying to open

Before attempting to break a door lock with a screwdriver, it is important to understand what type of lock you are dealing with. Most locks on residential doors are either cylinder locks or pin tumbler locks. Cylinder locks feature a cylinder mechanism that must be turned in order for the lock to open. Pin tumbler locks have a series of pins that must be aligned in order for the lock to open. It is important to understand which type of lock you are dealing with in order to know the best approach for breaking it open.

In the case of a cylinder lock, the process involves partially removing the cylinder from its assembly, then using a large flathead screwdriver to turn it until it releases. For pin tumbler locks, inserting and gently turning a small flathead screwdriver will push out each pin as it moves up and down within its chamber, eventually allowing the plug which holds them all together to be turned away from its assembly and releasing the deadbolt.

Inserting the Screwdriver

Breaking a door lock can be a tricky process, but in most cases, it can be done with the help of a screwdriver. In this article, we will explain the step-by-step process of inserting the screwdriver into the lock and then using leverage to open the door. With the right techniques and tools, this can be done quickly and safely.

Locate the keyhole and insert the screwdriver

Once you locate the keyhole, it is time to insert the screwdriver. Take your flathead screwdriver and insert it into the keyhole as far as it will go. Depending on the type of lock, you may need to jiggle the screwdriver around a bit until you feel it catch or reach a certain part of the internal mechanism. Once it is in place, begin to turn the handle counterclockwise and press downwards slightly with your hand for added force. This should move any pieces of metal in front of or behind one another in order for you to slide them apart and open the door.

Keep turning the screwdriver until you feel a slight click and can hear that some parts of the lock have moved out of place. The pressure applied may have caused these components to shift freely inside, meaning that if all has gone well, they should now be aligned perfectly in such an order that they can be opened with minimal force if necessary.

Move the screwdriver around to find the pins

Once the screws are removed, it’s time to insert the screwdriver. As you insert the screwdriver into the lock, you will be using its flat edge to move around inside the lock until you hit all of the pins in the proper order. To get an idea of how this works, think about two pieces of paper touching each other with something like a matchbook wedged in between them. As you apply pressure on either one side or on one end of your matchbook wedge, it moves up and down within that space between those two pieces of paper.

In the same way, when inserting the screwdriver into a door lock, applying pressure from different sides causes the pins inside to move up and down until they line up according to their exact placement within that particular make and model of lock.

Just as it can take a few tries before lighting a matchstick through friction on a matchbook striker strip, so too can it take several attempts with different amounts of pressure being applied by your screwdriver in order to finally ignite that inner workings combination within your door lock.

Manipulating the Pins

Breaking into a door lock with a screwdriver can be tricky, but it can be done with a little bit of patience and finesse. The most common way to do this is to manipulate the pins inside of the lock. This involves using the screwdriver to manipulate the pins so that they all align together and the lock opens. Let’s dive into the details of this process.

Push the pins up until they are flush with the plug

Before you can open the lock, you must first use a screwdriver to turn and push the pins up until they are flush with the plug. There are five pins in a standard door lock: two spool pins, two driver pins, and a key pin. When inserting the screwdriver into the top of this cylinder-shaped plug, turn it slightly to one side as you press it downwards. This action helps to depress all of the locking pins at once.

Next, use your screwdriver to push each pin up until they are all flush with the plug’s surface. To do this, you’ll need to apply steady pressure and gently pry each one up until its top is level with the edge of the plug. The driver pins’ resistance should diminish as they reach their uppermost positions – in other words, when all five have been moved upwards so that their tops are even with or slightly above that of the key pin, you should be able to rotate your tool freely inside its chamber.

Turn the screwdriver to open the lock

For this type of lock-picking attempt to succeed, you will need to place the screwdriver into the keyhole and twist it until the pins inside the lock have been moved upward. This easy step requires minimal dexterity and even a novice can do it.

To determine how much you should turn your screwdriver each time, try turning it 180 degrees for every pin in the lock. Some professionals suggest turning counter-clockwise for righthand locks, while others advise clockwise. Experiment with different directions and you’ll find that some pins respond better to one way than another. As you go through this process, look carefully at how far each pin has become disengaged from its housing before proceeding with the next one. In other words, apply pressure to turn one pin at a time until all of them have been freed from their housings.

Since not every set of pins is equal, there may be times where you might need to change directions slightly as you work your way through manipulating each individual pin in order to achieve success with unlocking the door lock without a key. It’s important to remember that if at any point during this process, an excessive amount of force is being applied or there seems to be any resistance when turning your screwdriver within the keyhole, don’t push against it any further – cease activity immediately and reevaluate what direction should actually be used for unlocking success .


Breaking a door lock with a screwdriver is possible, but it can be an unpredictable approach. If done incorrectly, you could damage the lock or even break the screwdriver. It is important to understand the process and have the right tools in order to ensure the best possible outcome. In this section, we will discuss troubleshooting steps for breaking a door lock with a screwdriver.

Understand the common problems you may face

Before attempting to break a door lock with a screwdriver, it is important to understand the various issues that can arise. One of the most common problems is that the pins within the lock may become stuck, preventing you from being able to turn them. Another problem may be that the screws within the door frame become loose over time, causing the entire lock mechanism to come apart. In some cases, a component of the lock may have worn out or broken over time and require replacing. In extreme cases, rusting may have occurred inside of the locking mechanism and you may need to apply extra force in order to remove it from its frame. It is important to keep these potential issues in mind before attempting any type of door-breaking procedure with a screwdriver.

Learn how to properly adjust the pins

Adjusting the pins is a critical part of learning how to break a door lock with a screwdriver. The pins in the plug need to be aligned so that drive pins can be pushed down into them. This is done by lifting each pin until it reaches its “shear line” position. In other words, when all of the pins are lined up at the same level, they form a continuous shear line which allows the cylinder to rotate freely knowing that its security is not compromised.

To correctly adjust the pins you must first identify how many pin stacks are present in your lock and how many drive pins sit atop them. Counting the pin stacks can be done by inserting your screwdriver into the keyway and letting it settle slowly as you rotate its tip around inside of it gently. You will feel resistance as each pin stack passes underneath your tool and you should make note of when this happens so that you will know exactly how many stacks need to be adjusted afterwards.

It’s important to remember that adjusting each pin stack slightly incrementally will require time and patience on your part but if done correctly should yield an unlocked door in no time at all! It is imperative that each pin is carefully adjusted until its “shear line” is reached or else risk jamming up your lock while trying. Should this occur, extra force may not help in unlocking it-it’s best to resort back to square one and start over again with all of your adjustments!


Breaking a door lock with a screwdriver is a relatively easy and straightforward process. You can usually do it in a matter of minutes and it doesn’t require any special tools. However, it is not recommended to use this method as a means of entering a property without permission. We hope this article has helped you understand the basics of breaking a door lock with a screwdriver.

Summarize the steps you took to open the lock

This article provides a step-by-step guide to opening a door lock using a screwdriver. The first step is to insert the screwdriver into the keyhole and turn it counterclockwise, which will usually unlock the door if the lock is not a deadbolt. Then, use more force as needed if the lock is still not turning. For locks with larger pins or harder surfaces, a curved awl may be used to push against the pins until they are disengaged and rotate. Once the pins are disengaged, turning it clockwise should release the latch and open the door.

It is important to note that this method will only work on locks that have not been weakened or damaged from other attempts to open them, as it may cause them to break completely. Additionally, this technique should always be done cautiously and with care in order to avoid damaging either yourself or your property.

Offer tips on how to prevent lockouts in the future

Being locked out of your home or office can cause a lot of frustration and delay important activities. To help prevent future lockouts, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

-Make sure that all locks have working keys. If you have worn out or rusty key handles, it’s best to replace them immediately.
-It may be a good idea to keep a spare key outside of your home in case you ever lose your main set of keys. Make sure the spare is kept in a secure location that is known only to family members or close friends.
-If you plan on changing the locks of your door, consider buying high-security deadbolts or digital access locks that can be accessed remotely with your smartphone or computer.
-Talk with your local locksmith about additional ways to increase security at your home or business space and how their skills may be employed to help with any kind of lockout situation.

Remember these tips next time you find yourself in a lockout situation, so that you can avoid the hassle and inconvenience having to break open the door lock with a screwdriver.

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