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How to Break Into a Sliding Door Lock

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

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How to Break Into a Sliding Door Lock – In this blog post, we’ll show you how to break into a sliding door lock quickly and easily.


There are many types of door locks on the market and one of the most popular is the sliding door lock. These locks rely on a locking bolt that slides across when you close a door and help to prevent unauthorized access. The lock is typically strong and hard to pick, however in some cases they can be opened without any special tools or training in lockpicking. In this guide, we will discuss how to break into a sliding door lock as well as best practices for using them after gaining entry.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Breaking into a sliding door lock can be a challenging task. To make it easier, it helps to have the right tools and materials at your disposal. Knowing what tools you need, and gathering them ahead of time, can make the process go much faster and smoother. Let’s go over the tools and materials you will need for breaking into a sliding door lock.

Lock pick set

A lock pick set is an essential tool when it comes to breaking into a sliding door lock. Depending on the type of lock you need to break into, you may need different pieces in your set. Here are some of the pieces commonly included in a lock pick kit:

-Tension Wrench: Similar to a screwdriver, this tool is used to adjust the tension on the cylinder pins while picking
-Pin Tumblers: These tools come in various shapes and sizes and are used to manipulate and lift pins of varying heights inside the lock
-Lock Picks: Lock picks come in different styles and shapes. These tools are used for manipulating specific components of locks such as levers, wards, and disc tumblers
-Rake/Slim Jim: These slim tools are inserted into the keyway of locks to move internal parts such as pins or levers
-Pick Gun: This electrical tool rapidly strikes pin tumblers with blunt force which can open certain types of locks

In addition to these tools, there are many more specialized pieces available for more advanced locksmiths. To maximize your ability to break into a sliding door lock, make sure you have all the necessary tools before attempting any lockout job.

Tension wrench

When attempting to pick a sliding door, it is necessary to have a tension wrench. A tension wrench is an essential tool for lockpicking. It works by providing the minimal torque needed to move pins up or down in the cylinder of the lock. It helps you determine when each pin is set and can be used to open the lock once all of the pins are set. There are many different sizes and shapes of tension wrenches, but for this type of lock, it is best to use one that provides a consistent amount of torque with minimal movement from your hand. Be sure to select one that fits snugly in your grip so it won’t slip while picking.


Breaking into a sliding door lock using a paperclip is relatively straightforward, once you have gathered all of the necessary tools. You will need a flat head and Phillips head screwdriver, as well as two small paperclips. To begin, remove the screws on either side of the door handle with the flat head and Phillips head screwdrivers. Then, straighten out one paperclip, leaving about an inch at the end for leverage. Use this tool to gently insert it into the gap on the outside of your door handle and carefully press down on one end of the lock, removing it from its slot in your sliding door. Once you have done this, use your second piece of paperclip to gently insert it into the exposed gap from inside or outside your sliding door (depending on which is more accessible) and press down lightly to disengage the second lock. Then, slide open your door!

Understand the Lock

Breaking into a sliding door lock can be tricky. In order to do it safely and efficiently, you need to understand exactly how the lock works. Knowing the type of lock and the components of the lock is important so that you can determine the best way to break in. Additionally, understanding the mechanics of the lock will help you be more prepared to break into the sliding door.

Identify the pins

Knowing what types of pins are in the lock you are attempting to open can be very helpful in figuring out a plan. The two most common pins used in sliding door locks are spool and standard pins. The spool pin has a spool-shaped end that sits further away from the shear line as compared to standard pins. This creates a false sense of security as it is easier for an experienced locksmith to manipulate these than standard pins which sit flush against the shear line. It is important to note that these can come in various sizes, depending on your particular model of lock. It is recommended that if you are attempting to open a lock with spool or standard pins, you should disassemble them as much as possible before making any further attempts.

Understand the lock mechanism

Before attempting to break into a sliding door lock, it is important to understand the mechanism on which it operates. The most common type of sliding door lock is known as a mortise lock, which is typically seen on residential doors. This type of lock features a cylindrical body that houses an internal spring-loaded locking bolt; when the door is closed and the latch activated, the bolt extends into a steel strike plate in the jamb, thus fastening and securing the door in place. Other types of locks may alternate between styles of deadbolts and keyed doorknobs with either single or double throw operations. Understanding which elements make up your certain sliding door lock can help you identify any weaknesses or vulnerabilities and ensure your success when attempting to break in.

Apply the Tools

Breaking into a sliding door lock is a delicate procedure that requires the correct tools in order to be successful. Some of the tools needed include a tension wrench, a slim jim, and a rake pick. Each tool has its own purpose and is necessary to complete the task at hand. In this section, we will discuss how to apply these tools to break into a sliding door lock.

Insert the tension wrench

Once you have located the lock on the sliding door and gathered the necessary tools, it is time to begin the process of opening it. To start, insert a tension wrench into the bottom part of the lock. Take special care to make sure that it is fully inserted before proceeding. The tension wrench should point in the direction that you think that you would turn a key to open the lock, counter-clockwise in most cases. Start turning gently but steadily in this direction, creating pressure on an internal pin within the lock mechanism. At this stage, use only a minimal amount of force as too much can damage delicate components within the lock.

Manipulate the pins

Once you have determined the type of lock and its brand, it is time to manipulate the pins. You need two different tools for this task – a tension wrench and a pick. Insert the tension wrench into the bottom of the keyhole. This will allow you to turn it in both directions and apply varying amounts of pressure that will affect how much you can move the pins around with your pick.

Use your picking tool to manipulate each pin, starting from top to bottom. When manipulating individual pins, always work on one at a time by applying slight pressure in different directions and angles until you hear or feel each pin click into place as it passes its binding shear line. If a particular pin refuses to budge, try reversing the direction you are pushing until it aligns with all other pins, then try pushing again – consistency is key here! As each pin clears its binding shear line, there should be an audible click sound confirming that it has been done correctly. At this stage all pins should be cleared for your lock to open freely!

Apply pressure

Applying pressure to the sliding door lock is usually enough to unlock it. This should be done by rotating the lock cylinder with a tension wrench in one hand and a slim jim, lock pick, or pick gun in the other. Gently apply pressure to the cylinder while manipulating the instrument in your other hand back and forth. When the cylinder moves slightly, release some of the pressure and apply more as needed until it opens completely. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, however; you could damage or break the lock if you push too hard.


Breaking into a locked sliding door without damaging the door or the lock is often possible. It depends on the kind of lock installed, the tools and materials available, and your ability to perform any necessary repairs or replacements. There are many ways to tackle this problem, but using a professional locksmith is often one of the safest and most effective solutions.

If you attempt this task on your own, you should always work as quickly and safely as possible. Make sure you have all of the proper tools ahead of time, and take care not to cause any unnecessary damage in the process. Following these guidelines should help ensure an efficient, successful outcome when endeavoring to open a locked sliding door.

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