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How to Pick a Door Lock with a Bobby Pin (Step by Step)

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’re looking for a quick and easy way to pick a door lock with a bobby pin, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll show you step-by-step how to do it.

Gathering Supplies

For the purpose of picking a door lock with a bobby pin, you will need certain supplies. The most important one is a bobby pin, which usually can be found at any local drug store. In addition to that, you will need a flashlight or a headlamp, screwdriver, and ruler. Having these materials on hand before starting the process is essential in order to ensure that you are able to pick the lock as efficiently as possible.

Choose the right bobby pin

Choosing the right bobby pin for lock picking is key for successful results. Most locks require two bobby pins, one to turn the mechanism and the other to push it down. A standard bobby pin with a thin shank will work best. Choose ones without rust and make sure they are uncoated and made of high quality metal. You may want to experiment before you start to find out which types of bobby pins work best with different types of locks. Once you have the right bobby pins, you can begin lock picking.

Get a tension wrench

A tension wrench is fully essential in the process of picking a lock with a bobby pin. It is used to apply torque along the bottom of the lock so that the pins inside can move up and down when needed. The tension wrench should have an L-shape, in which one end can get into the holes of the door lock. Most locksmiths often use a makeshift tension wrench fashioned from paper clips or other thin strips of metal. It is also possible to purchase ready-made tension wrenches from specialty stores or online retailers. Whichever type you decide to use, make sure its shape allows it to fit properly each hole at the base of a door lock, allowing it to apply pressure.

Preparing the Bobby Pin

Having the right tools is essential to picking a door lock with a bobby pin. You’ll want to start with two bobby pins, one to act as a tension wrench and the other to act as a pick. To prepare the bobby pin for use, straighten the pin out by bending it back and forth until it is straight. You may need to use a pair of pliers to help you get the curve out of the pin. Once the bobby pin has been straightened out, it’s time to begin picking the lock.

Bend the bobby pin to create a “L” shape

To begin picking a door lock with a bobby pin, you must first transform the bobby pin into an effective replica of a rudimentary tension wrench and pick. To do this, use your fingers to bend one end of the bobby pin upward until it creates an approximate “L” shape. The length of the bent part should be about 1/4 inch (6 mm) in order to fit adequately into the lock and apply proper torque. Use pliers if necessary if you cannot bend the metal with your hands. Having a longer or shorter length may make it more difficult to properly pick the lock, as too much torque will jam the pins, not enough torque does not allow for proper manipulation of pins, thus making it harder to open. Again, this process requires patience as unsuccessful attempts may cause pins to misalign and need realignment before further “jiggling” can be attempted.

Bend the tip of the bobby pin to form a hook

Before you start attempting to pick the lock, you need to modify your bobby pin. You’ll want the straight part of the bobby pin to be straight, but with a small hook at the tip. To do this, place the bobby pin on a flat surface and hold it in place with one hand, so that the ends of the bobby pin are pointing up. Take a pair of pliers or a hammer and carefully bend one end inwards so it forms a hook shape. It’s important to not use too much force when doing this; all you need is enough bend so that it helps grip into the pins inside your lock.

Inserting the Bobby Pin

Inserting a bobby pin into a lock is the first step to picking a lock. Before you insert the bobby pin, make sure that you have the right supplies such as a tension wrench and a bobby pin. After you have the necessary supplies, you need to insert the bobby pin into the keyhole. This can be done by bending the bobby pin so that it has a 90 degree angle. This makes it easier to insert the pin into the keyhole. Once the bobby pin has been inserted, you can begin to manipulate the pins inside the lock.

Insert the bobby pin into the keyhole

Once you have filed the bobby pin, you can start to insert it into the keyhole. When trying to unlock a door, it is important to try and ‘feel’ the interior of the lock. To do this, carefully twist, turn and maneuver the bobby pin while it is in the keyhole. As you are doing this, gently jiggle the door handle in an attempt to see if any movement can be felt inside of the lock barrel. By gently experimenting with different movements and positions of your bobby pin inside of the lock barrel, you may be able to figure out where certain pins may be located inside. Eventually, once all of these pins are released at exactly the same time during your manipulation with your pick, you will feel or hear a sudden click signifying that you have successfully opened your door!

Feel for the pins inside the lock

In order to successfully pick the lock, you must be able to feel the pins inside the lock. Insert your bobby pin into the keyhole, with your fingertip resting on top of it. Make sure you feel each one of the pins while you are doing this. Gently move your pin up and down until it touches all of them, being careful not to put too much pressure on them. If there is pressure on any of them, they will not move properly and you may have to start over. Once all of the pins have been touched and moved slightly, remove your bobby pin slowly from the keyhole and observe how far each pin has moved from its initial position. This will give you an indication as to where each of the pins is within the lock so that when you reinsert your bobby pin in a few steps’ time, it’ll hit just in the right places!

Manipulating the Pins

In order to pick a door lock with a bobby pin, you will need to learn how to manipulate the pins inside the lock. Manipulating the pins is the key to successful door lock picking. It involves inserting the bobby pin into the lock and applying pressure to the pins so that the door can be opened. In this section, we will discuss the steps involved in manipulating the pins correctly.

Apply pressure with the tension wrench

Before you manipulate the pins, you need to prepare your tension wrench by sliding it into the bottom of the lock and inserting it into the keyway. Apply gentle pressure to the wrench in order to gain leverage over the pins and turn them all to one side. Make sure you apply light pressure when manipulating pins so as not to force them too far in or onto other pins. Keep your wrist and grip steady, with downward force, for easier manipulation. You will want to maintain constant pressure as you manipulate each pin one at a time with a pick tool or bobby pin.

Use the bobby pin to lift and separate the pins

The next step is to use the bobby pin to lift and separate the pins inside the lock. You will need to apply pressure against the pins in order to slide them up and down. To do this, insert your bobby pin vertically into the keyhole, at about an inch down from the top edge. Move it around until it stops moving-this should tell you that you have touched a pin and can begin lifting a few of them until they click into place.

Keep in mind that some of the pins may be tenser than others, so applying more pressure may be necessary for them. As you move each pin until it clicks into place by pressing on it vertically with your bobby pin, start with the first pin (furthest from where you inserted your bobby pin) and work towards the middle one by one. The pressure required on each of these pins can also vary depending on how large they are, or what type of lock they are housed in.

Once all pins are lifted up, move your bobby pin upwards slightly – This should release tension from within, letting you turn and open it! If all goes well,the door should open once enough pins ‘click’into place!

Unlocking the Lock

If you need to pick a door lock with a bobby pin, you can do so using the standard “rake and pick” technique. This technique involves two steps: raking and picking. Raking is the process of pushing the pins of the lock up and down so that they can be manipulated. Then, picking is the process of pushing the pins up one by one until the lock is opened. Let’s take a look at the steps so you can learn how to pick a door lock with a bobby pin.

Continue manipulating the pins until the door unlocks

Once you have got the tension wrench turned in the right direction, it’s time to start manipulating the pins in order to unlock your door. Use the bobby pin tool as a makeshift pick and begin slowly and carefully pushing each of the pins inside the lock cylinder. Be sure to use gentle pressure-you don’t want to break off any of the pins in the process. As you move higher each pin, it will ripple towards the back of lock until eventually, you reach that sweet spot where all of them crash at once. At this point, if everything has worked correctly (and you have applied enough tension on your cylinder), turning your tension wrench should unlock your door.

If it doesn’t seem like it’s unlocking after you think have manipulated all pins correctly, apply a bit more pressure with your tension wrench and try again. If this fails multiple times or if you feel uncomfortable turning any further, stop and examine what has gone wrong before continuing. It may help to take some time away from picking before attempting again as this might help sharpen up those lock-picking skills and save both time and hassle in the process!

Remove the bobby pin and tension wrench

The first step in picking a lock with a bobby pin is to remove both pieces of the bobby pin from each other. Take care to note which of the two pieces – straight or curved – is which, as you’ll need both for the lock picking process.

Place the curved end of your tension wrench into the keyway at the bottom of your lock, using steady light pressure and pushing it up against the closest side. The tension wrench should fit perfectly in place while applying pressure. Be sure that you’re not pushing too hard, as this can cause damage to your lockset.

Now use your index finger of your dominant hand to hold down steady pressure on your tension wrench, while using your other hand to insert the straight part of your bobby pin into the same keyway at around a 45 degrees angle above it.

Gently rotate this part of the bobby pin until it reaches its furthest point inside and work with it very slowly – as though you’re feeling for something with it inside there – as you continue rotating it still further until both its ends hit against each side when you reach their outer limit inside. You should start feeling some resistance between bonnet or tailpiece and plug when performing this task correctly.

How to Pick a Door Lock with a Bobby Pin (Step by Step)Checkout this video:

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