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How to Open a Door Lock Without Breaking It

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

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you need to open a door lock without breaking it, then you know how frustrating it can be. Luckily, there are a few methods you can use to get the job done without damaging the lock. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to open a door lock without breaking it, using a few simple tools and techniques.


Opening a door lock without breaking it is a delicate process and requires some preparation. The first step is to make sure you have the tools and materials needed for the job. Gather a tension wrench, a lock pick, a light, and a pair of needle-nose pliers. Additionally, you may want to check the outside of the door for any screws or hinges that may be loose or missing. This can help in ensuring that the lock doesn’t break during the process.

Gather the necessary tools

Once you have gathered the necessary tools, you will be ready to begin the process of opening a door lock without breaking it. The key to successful lock picking is having the right type and size of tools for the job.

Make sure to check the thickness, length and type of your pick before beginning. If you are uncertain which tools you need, contact a qualified locksmith for help.

Tools that can be used for opening a door lock without breaking it include standard lock picks, tension wrenches and specially designed jigglers or picking guns. Pick guns are powerful tools that use gunpowder to create a shock wave that takes place within the body of a locking mechanism and can quickly unlock almost any door.

Tension wrenches are smaller pick-like tools used in conjunction with picks to apply torque needed for unpinning pins within the locking mechanism correctly so that they become wedged open until released by rotation from outside pressure applied through a key or pick set. When picking most standard locks at home, smaller tension wrenches measuring about 3 inches in length will typically suffice but locksmiths may need something longer depending on their task at hand.

Familiarize yourself with the lock

Before you begin attempting to open the lock without breaking it, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the type of lock you are dealing with so that you can choose the best technique. Generally, locks come in two varieties: traditional spring-bolt locks and deadbolts. Spring-bolt locks offer better security since they have an extra add-on to make sure that nothing else can slide into them from either end. Deadbolts are considered safer because of their design, which allows for a key to be inserted into one side only and cannot be jimmied open from either side.

Once you know the type of lock you are dealing with, there are several steps to take before attempting any manipulation technique:

1. Take notice of all visual differences between a standard key and the lock itself (are there raised or recessed bolts?)
2. Test out any “hidden” features if available (some locks will require special keys or buttons)
3. Examine all accessible pins on the inside edge of the lock (if applicable)
4. Check for picklines near the face of the door fixture – these can indicate further security features
5. Look for signs of tampering or damage on both sides of the door fixture

Pick the Lock

One way to open a door lock without breaking it is to pick the lock . This is a relatively simple process that will provide you with access to the lock without any damage to the lock or the door. All that is needed to pick a lock is a pick tool, some patience, and a bit of knowledge. Let’s look further into this method of opening a doorlock without breaking it.

Insert a tension wrench into the bottom of the keyhole

Once you have found the locking mechanism of your door lock, insert a tension wrench into the bottom of the keyhole. This small tool serves as an extra hand to help turn and apply pressure to the cylinder. Move and twist the lock pick in the opposite direction, inserting it into the top section of the keyhole. Gently press against that side of the plug while holding a slight tension on your tension wrench. As you apply pressure and turn simultaneously, you should feel some resistance. This is a sign that you are pushing up on each pin in succession, which releases the cylinder when all pins are free. Continue carefully pushing on each pin until it reaches its shear line before unlocking your door with ease!

Insert a pick into the top of the keyhole

The first step to picking a lock is to insert a pick into the top of the lock. To do this, use a tension wrench in your opposite hand and insert it into the bottom of the keyhole. Turn the tension wrench clockwise while at the same time inserting a lock pick (also called a torsion pick) into the top part of the keyhole.

You will then use an up-and-down movement with your hand over and over again until you feel all of the pins inside the lock have been set, or you hear and feel each one click as it passes through each notch in its corresponding slot. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as this could cause damage to your door lock. You may need to adjust or increase your grip on your tension wrench during this process.

Manipulate the pick until you feel the pins click

Insert the tension wrench into the keyhole, with the tension in the same direction as if you were trying to turn a key. This is commonly referred to as “engaging” the lock, and it places tension on the pin cylinders inside.

Using your pick, gently apply pressure and insert it into the keyhole next to the tension wrench. Working from one side of lock to the other, softly lift up each individual pin until you feel a click. You’ll know each pin has been set correctly when you can no longer feel resistance against your pick or tension wrench. Once all of these pins have been set correctly, rotate your tension wrench swiftly around in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise movement until it activates and opens with ease.

Other Methods

If you don’t have access to a key and don’t want to cause any damage to the lock or the door, there are a few other methods you can use to open a door lock without breaking it. These methods include lock picking, improvised lock picking tools, bumping, and using an existing key. We’ll look at some of these methods in more detail.

Use a bump key

Using a bump key is another method of opening a lock without breaking it. Bump keys are designed to work by ‘bumping’ the lock open with a gentle, but forceful rap on the key. Essentially, the purpose of bumping is to temporarily move pins inside the lock cylinder to a certain point where the door can be opened. It’s important to use caution when attempting this technique as applying too much force can make it difficult or impossible to open the door.

To use a bump key, insert it into the keyhole and slide it fully in place. Once inserted, turn the key slightly anticlockwise then firmly rap on its handle using either an object such as a hammer or your hand. This will send vibrations through to the pins inside the cylinder and should cause them to move back where they need to be for you to be able to unlock your door.

Use a lock-picking gun

Using a lock-picking gun is a common and effective way to open a door lock without breaking it. A lock-picking gun is shaped like a handgun and uses tension to turn the pins within the cylinder of the lock so it will open without any damage. This method requires some practice to be successful, so you may need some instructions or guidance from friends or family who have some experience in using locksmith tools.

The barrel of the lock-picking gun houses a cylindrical tool called an opener, which is attached to a trigger mechanism at the back of the gun. When you press down on the trigger it will force the opener into the keyhole, creating tension which prevents turning until all of the pins are set in place and pushed past each other. In order for this method to work correctly you must keep steady pressure on all sides of the barrel, as well as gently moving it up and down while pushing downwards slightly on the trigger – allowing only one pin at a time to move past its shear line until eventually all pins have been lifted high enough so that they can be turned simultaneously when pressure is applied around each pin using downward pressure on both sides while turning slowly left or right – depending upon what type of locking mechanism is being used.

It’s important to remember that when using any type of lock-picking tool, including a lock-picking gun, that you should always handle with caution; not practicing care can damage either your tools or locks, leading longer waiting times for help from professional services.

Use a credit card

Remember the movies where someone slides a credit card through the door jamb to open a locked door? If done delicately and skillfully, it’s possible to open a door lock without breaking it.

To do this, insert the thin edge of the card between the door jamb and latch. Apply gentle pressure on the card toward the latch and use slow, even upper-body strength to press against it. The pressure should release and ‘pop’ open the latch. With practice, adjusting where you position your weight can help you locate an angle that works best for you.

The challenge with this method is doing it in such a way that does not cause any damage to either door hinges or its frame. It is relatively easy for someone inexperienced at opening locks with this method to cause serious damage to their doorway or make noise that may alert others in the house or neighborhood of a break-in attempt. Therefore, if possible have an experienced friend guide you through it step-by-step while they stay out of sight.


One of the best ways to open a door lock without breaking it is to prevent the lock from getting stuck in the first place. Regular maintenance and lubrication of a door lock can help ensure that it is not stuck or jammed. In addition, keeping the key clean can also help prevent jams from occurring. It is also important to make sure that the door is properly aligned in the frame, as this can prevent the lock from jamming when trying to open it.

Secure your home with a reliable lock

Having a reliable lock is essential for any homeowner looking to ensure the safety of their home and personal property. You should always purchase a lock that is certified or recommended by both your local locksmith and local law enforcement. Make sure it has passed safety and security standards in order to protect you, your belongings, and your family from any kind of unwanted access.

There are several types of locking devices available in the market today, from physical locks such as knob locks, deadbolts, rim latch locks and more. Smartlocks are also becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience, allowing you to unlock and open your door with just the push of a button. Be sure to check out all the options available before selecting one for your home – different homes will have different needs and circumstances so it is important to choose a security system that works best for you.

In order to provide maximum protection when using these sorts of locks, pair them with additional security measures such as window latches or door chains that can be used in conjunction with the main lock itself. This will provide an extra layer of security when at home or away by preventing easy access into your living quarters without permission. Additionally searching online for tips on how to increase home security can also help in making sure no unwelcome guests enter into your private space.

Use a combination lock

Using a combination lock on your door can give you an extra layer of protection, as it is not easy to pick or break into. A combination lock is a flexible, low-cost solution for locking the door without requiring a physical key. Combination locks often come with up to four wheels mounted on the back of the lock, each wheel being numbered 0 – 9. Select a combination of numbers that will be easy for you to remember but difficult for an intruder to guess. Once all of the numbers are set, turn the knob clockwise until it clicks into place and your door is secure. If you do not have a combined number in place and need access quickly, then contact emergency locksmith services who specialize in opening and rekeying locks quickly and safely.

Consider using a smart lock

Smart locks are an increasingly popular choice when it comes to providing secure access control. Smart locks with electronic keypads eliminate the need to carry physical keys and allow homeowners to easily grant or deny access to their properties. These smart locks offer a range of features, including remote operation, multiple user codes, auto-lock/unlock scheduling and much more. Depending on the type of smart lock, they may be opened with a PIN code or biometric data such as a fingerprint scan. Although these types of locks are generally more expensive than traditional models, they provide much more convenience and security than other types of door lock systems. Smart lock technology is quickly becoming the go-to choice for modern homes and businesses looking for an upgrade in their door lock systems. With so many options available on the market today, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs perfectly.

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