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How to Break Into a Regular Door Lock

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.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

A step-by-step guide on how to break into a regular door lock using a paperclip.

Gather the Right Tools

Breaking into a regular door lock is a task that requires the right tools and a bit of know-how to accomplish. The most important tool for doing this is a lock pick set. This set typically consists of a selection of small, flat metal tools designed to manipulate the internal components of a standard lock. Additionally, a tension wrench may be needed to apply pressure to the lock while picking it. With the right tools in hand, let’s get into the specifics of how to break into a regular door lock.

Get a tension wrench

Before getting started, make sure you have the right set of tools. The best tool to have when dealing with a door lock is a tension wrench, also known as a torque wrench. This type of wrench will allow you to apply intended torque against the lock pick. Every quality lock pick set should come with one or more tension wrenches but if you don’t have them, they can be easily purchased online or in any hardware store.

Tension wrenches are usually marked for desired range of torque that can be adjusted and it’s important to apply an even pressure against the lock’s pins. It’s best if you use less torque than too much so that there is no chance of damaging the internal components of the lock, like springs and levers. The correct amount of pressure should be just enough to keep the pins unlocked while picking each one after another until all pins are unlocked, guaranteeing smooth operation when opening the door.

Get a lock pick

One of the most essential tools for breaking into a regular door lock is a form of lockout tool called a lock pick. This small and handy tool is often used by locksmiths to bypass normal secure locking mechanisms, as it does not destroy the lock or require any special drilling. Lock picks are typically made from metal and come in various types and shapes that fit any basic type of key cylinder or wafer tumbler locks. While it can be tricky to use at first, learning how to use a lock pick will give you the ability to quickly open locks without damaging them. It’s important to choose the correct pick type for your situation – there are separate picks designed for different kinds of locks. Many high-quality lock picks come in kits with several options, allowing you to select the tools you need for each task.

Understand the Lock

Before attempting to break into a Types of Door lock, it is important to understand how it functions. Understanding the mechanisms behind a Types of Door lock can help determine which method of assessment would be the best approach. Furthermore, understanding the internal components of a lock can help a person determine the best tools to use for the task. In this section, we will discuss the parts of a Types of Door lock and how each component works together to secure a door.

Identify the type of lock

Before you can learn how to break into a regular door lock, you need to identify the type of lock being used. Without knowing this information, it will be impossible for you to select the right tool for the job. Typically, a residential door lock is either a mortise lock or a cylindrical. Mortise locks are usually found on older doors, while cylindrical locks are more common on modern doors.

Mortise locks are easily identifiable due to their elongated shape and distinctive metal frame that partially shows through the door when installed. These locks use what is known as a “rim cylinder” key which may require special tools like an “undercut saw” in order to unlock without damaging the cylinder itself.

Cylindrical locks have a tubular shape and attach directly into the edge of the door with no additional metal frame showing through. These types of locks rely on what’s called a “pin tumbler system” and generally require some form of special hook pick in order to open without damaging any of the internal components.

Examine the pins inside the lock

The keyhole of the lock is a cylinder that’s composed of two main parts: the plug, which is the innermost part, and the shell, which is the outer housing. The plug has several small metal pins in it that correspond with cuts made in a key. When you insert the correct key into a doorknob or padlock, these pins are pushed up so that their length is level with each other. This allows you to turn the plug and open the lock.

In order to break into a regular door lock you need to examine the pins inside and try to determine what type of pin configuration your lock has. There are three types of pins used in locks – supporting pins, driver pins, and keys. Supporting pins are designed to be slightly larger than driver pins and help hold all of them at their respective heights until they can be pushed up by a key. Driver pins come in different sizes depending on make/model/brand of locks being used as well as how many cuts there are along a given key. Lastly, keys themselves are cut down to size so that when inserted they push up all of these components simultaneously so they’re flush with each other – allowing it open just like it would if it had the right key inserted into it!

Apply the Tools

Breaking into a regular door lock requires special tools to do so. You will need a tension wrench, a lockpick, and a lockpick gun. You can usually purchase these tools at a locksmith, or you can buy them online. Knowing how to properly use the tools is important because they can be dangerous if used incorrectly. This section will provide a step-by-step guide on how to use these tools to break into a regular door lock.

Insert the tension wrench

Inserting the tension wrench is the first step of the process. This is a thin metal tool that is inserted into the empty end of the keyhole. The end should be no thicker than a pencil, otherwise it will be difficult to fit into the lock. Once inside, apply enough pressure to hold firmly in place. Turning in either direction should create some resistance – this pressure is what we call “tension” and it will help unlock the door. There are different types of picks and tension wrenches available so make sure you have what you need before getting started.

Insert the lock pick

Once you have gathered the necessary tools, it’s time to insert the lock pick into the keyhole of your door. It’s not recommended to use a tool such as a screwdriver or bottle opener, as it may cause irreparable damage to the internal components of your lock.

First, turn the tension wrench counter-clockwise and thereby put pressure on the pins located on the interior cylinder.

You will then insert the thin metal pick into the hole on top of your lock. Gently apply pressure to each pin by touching them lightly with your pick and pushing them back up into their slots. As you reach each pin in succession, they should all click into place, which indicates that they have been properly aligned with one another.

Continue until all pins are held evenly at a raised position before turning and removing tension from the wrench – when done correctly, you should be able to open the door with ease! With practice, understanding and patience, anyone can master this problem-solving skill set in no time!

Manipulate the pins

One of the most important tools for breaking into a regular door lock is manipulation. Lock manipulation is simply the art of applying pressure to a set of lock pins in order to move them (just enough) and allow for unlocking without resorting to drilling or other invasive methods. It takes skill, both manual and mental, but with a few simple tips you can learn how to use classical manipulations correctly and accurately.

The goal of manipulation is to lift each pin one at a time using tension from a locksmith tool that looks like an oversized paperclip, known as tension wrench or torque wrench . Once lifted, each pin’s potential for keeping your lock closed or open lowers until all are at the same level. You must have the correct amount of torque on the plug when manipulating it; if too little torque is applied, it will be difficult succeed, while too much may bind up the cylinder making it impossible to unlock.

In order to manipulate a standard keyway cylinder lock successfully by hand, you must keep in mind where every single pin is within particular depths. This allows you to quickly adjust your technique based on what seems to be working and what isn’t. The practice requires tensing pins lighter than others or combining tension with light rapping sounds against your torsion wrench when trying different depths at once for quicker results. With some experimentation you can learn how each depth affects both positive and negative feedback from attempted rotation in order to make any necessary adjustments until you’ve cleared an entire lockpicking set with consistent feedback throughout each barrel part that moves towards unlocking position.

Finishing Touches

The final step in breaking into a regular door lock is making sure all of the pins are reset properly. Resetting the pins correctly is essential to ensure the lock will open easily and stay operational. In this section, we’ll go over the importance of resetting the pins and how to do it correctly.

Remove the tension wrench

Once the pins in a lock have been set, it’s time to remove the tension wrench from the cylinder. To do this, you’ll need to apply some torque. This is an important step, as you must be sure that you are carefully extracting the wrench without disturbing the alignment of any of the pins. Over-turning can cause them to reset and require starting over again

If you feel you have reached a point where further turning of the wrench won’t accomplish anything, then carefully back off your grip on it and steadily pull it out at a constant angle. This will ensure that none of the pins are disturbed and maintain their set position within the lock.

Once all tension has been released, then gently rotate your pick with a light pressure until more resistance is felt when turning it clockwise or counter clockwise – whichever way you determined would open your particular lock earlier – also referred to as locating your bite point. This results in successfully unlocking your desired door!

Pull the lock open

Once the pins within the lock have been set to the correct position, it’s time to open the door. To do this, you will have to apply a slight amount of pressure and rotate the cylinder in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. This is where your spacer and pick come into play.

If you’re using a straight spacer, insert it just past the cylinder of the lock and then use your pick to press down on each pin as you move them back into their slots. For a hooked spacer, insert it inside the key opening, move it around until all of the pins are depressed and then pull back gently on its handle.

Continue rotating the lock cylinder in either direction until you hear a click or feel resistance being relieved indicating that you have successfully unlocked your door. With practice, this process can be accomplished in seconds!

Re-lock the door

Re-locking the door is an important step to ensure that your newly unlocked door remains secure. To properly re-lock your door:

1. Insert the edge of a plastic card, such as a credit card, between the outside edge of the locked door and its frame. Push the card up along the edge of the door until it contacts both sides of the lock.
2. Twist and push down on either side of the latch with some force while slowly pushing in on your credit card until you feel resistance – this means that you have pushed back in both sides of your lock all at once and it is now secure again.
3. Check that both pieces of metal fit securely into one another and then gently remove your plastic credit card from between them after making sure that they are fully locked together again.
4. Test the lock by turning and pulling on it to make sure that it has been completely re-locked before leaving or closing this freshly unlocked door behind you!


If you’ve tried opening a regular door lock without success, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem. The first step is to make sure you have the correct key. If the key fits in the lock but the door won’t open, then the problem might be with the lock itself. In this section, we’ll discuss the best troubleshooting techniques for dealing with a regular door lock.

Check the tension wrench

To open a regular door lock, the first step is checking the tension wrench. A tension wrench is a thin tool that is inserted into the bottom part of the keyhole to put pressure on either one or both sides of the keyway. When turning your key, this will apply pressure to ensure it’s able to move freely and turn properly in the lock.

The tension wrench should be positioned to apply pressure on whichever side unlocks the lock. To do this, insert it first and determine which way it has to rotate in order for you to successfully unlock the door. If it won’t rotate in a certain direction at all, then that direction is locked and not where you should be applying tension with your wrench.

Once you’ve determined which direction needs more pressure, use your tension wrench to apply steady force on that side while using your key pick set or other tools such as an eyeball pick to manipulate your pins up and down. Make sure to maintain constant pressure with your tension wrench as you work through each pin until all pins are lifted at their respective heights and you’re able to turn your key in one smooth motion.

Check the lock pick

When attempting to break into a regular door lock, it is important to begin by checking your lock pick. Ensure that the pick is properly molded for the specific type of lock you are trying to open and that the sides match up correctly. In addition, feel out any leverage points in order to get a better idea of what movements need to be made in order to open the lock successfully. With a well-crafted pick, it should be possible to easily apply tension while manipulating the pins until they line up in a row so that the plug can be turned with minimal effort. Without a properly-crafted pick, you may find yourself applying too much force and damaging or breaking your tool or the lock itself.

Re-examine the lock

Before attempting to break into a regular door lock, it is important to re-examine the lock for any signs of tampering. Check for damage, forced entry marks, or signs of a break-in attempt. If the lock appears to have been tampered with, it is best to call a professional locksmith rather than attempting to open the lock yourself.

Once you have verified that the lock appears in good condition, generally you will want to start by trying some basic entry methods such as bumping or picking. Bumping involves inserting a special key and then striking or tapping it with a hammer or other tool in order to raise the pins inside and free the mechanism so that it turns and opens. Picking involves inserting special tools such as tension wrenches and picks into the keyhole in order to manually lift each of the pins inside until all of them are at their appropriate height and allow for entry.

Although both bumping and picking can be successful in breaking into regular door locks more often than not they do not yield results. If these traditional methods do not work then usually your last resort will be drilling out the lockset. This should only be done by an experienced professional locksmith as serious damage can be caused depending on what type of material you are drilling through (wood, metal, composite etc.). Hiring an experienced professional is essential when drilling as they will know exactly what drills and techniques are necessary to safely access your property without causing further damage.

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