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How to Pick a Door Lock with Just a Bobby Pin

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

It’s really easy to pick a door lock with just a bobby pin. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to do it in no time.


The act of picking a regular door lock with a bobby pin is not only feasible but can be done quickly and safely. Although it does require some skill and knowledge, once you understand the technique, it’s no longer difficult. With minimal tools and a little practice and patience, you can learn how to get into almost any door or cabinet with just a bobby pin.
This guide will show you how to unlock almost any door in minutes without having to resort to breaking it down or using more aggressive methods. We’ll walk you through the process in detail so that you can do it right the first time. So if you’re ready to learn how to pick a lock with just a bobby pin, let’s get started!

Gather Your Supplies

Picking a lock isn’t as hard as it may sound and the best part is, you don’t need to be a master locksmith to do it. All you need is a bobby pin and some patience and you’ll be able to open any door lock. Before you begin, it’s important to gather the necessary supplies. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need.

Bobby Pin

One of the most essential supplies for picking a door lock is a bobby pin. This simple item is actually made up of two different pieces. The head of the bobby pin is one solid piece while the other side has a small metal spring which you can move in and out. At the end of each side are two short pieces of plastic insulation which protect your fingers from any scratches or cuts when manipulating the spring.

To unlock a door with just a bobby pin, first open it and use one finger to pull back on the spring until you hear and feel it click into place. Then slide your other finger underneath the top edge to unhook it from the inside of the door knob mechanism itself. Once this has been done, rotate your wrist so that one arm is almost straight and insert the rest of your bobby pin into the keyhole at an angle about 45 degrees away from vertical. Slowly wiggle it around until you feel it catch onto something-it may take more than one try so be patient! If successful, use gentle pressure outward on the top piece to finally unlock your door!


When attempting to pick a lock with a bobby pin, it is important to find some way of lubricating the pin in order for it to work. This can be done by applying graphite powder or a small drop of mineral, vegetable, or machine oil directly onto the bobby pin. If you do not have access to these products, you can also use saliva as a natural lubricant. Whichever lubricant you choose to use should be applied sparingly and only where needed so that it does not impede your progress. It is also helpful to adjust the tension of the lock according to how much lubrication is needed – more friction requires more lubrication and vice versa.

Prepare the Bobby Pin

Picking a door lock with just a bobby pin can be tricky, but it is possible. Before attempting to pick a lock, you must appropriately prepare your bobby pin. You will need to shape the bobby pin so that the end of it is bent into an angle. Once you have the correct shape, you can begin attempting to pick the lock.

Bend the Bobby Pin

Bending the bobby pin is the most critical aspect of picking a door lock with a bobby pin. Start by taking the bobby pin and making sure that both ends of the pin are at 90 degree angles. You need to ensure that both ends have a sharp angle for proper insertion into the keyhole of the door. Once bent, you should have one end of the pin that is curved and one end pointed. Alternatively, if you are confident in your abilities, you can extend this angle to make a “hook” shape along one side which will allow you to use it as a pick once inserted in the keyway. If done properly, this technique would allow you to grip onto each individual pin in order to manipulate them towards opening position. Be sure not to bend it too far or else you may risk breaking it and rendering it useless!

Lubricate the Bobby Pin

Lubricating the bobby pin is an important step in trying to pick a lock open with just a bobby pin. To achieve effective lubrication, use a lubricant such as silicon-based spray, vegetable oil, or garden-hose ice. Lubricating the bobby pin helps reduce friction between the two pins as they move. This makes it easier for the pins to shift positions when you apply pressure and allows for easy sliding of the cylinder inside of the lock. It is also important to ensure that any lubricants used do not leave any residue that might damage the lock or ruin its internal components. If your locks have been sitting idle for a long time it might be a good idea to lightly dust them with WD40 or compressed air to remove any dirt and debris before applying lubricant.

Insert the Bobby Pin

Trying to pick a door lock with just a bobby pin is a skill that requires some patience, as well as some knowledge of how door locks work. If you have the right tools, and follow the instructions correctly, it is possible to pick a door lock with just a bobby pin! Before you begin, make sure you understand the steps involved in picking a lock with a bobby pin. This heading will discuss how to insert the bobby pin correctly.

Insert the Straight End

To start off your attempt at picking the lock, insert the straight end of the bobby pin into the keyway. Depending on the type of lock you are dealing with, the keyway will typically be located in either the top or bottom part of the outside of the lock. Apply some pressure to ensure that it is firmly inserted all the way in — stability is key as you do not want your pick to shake throughout this delicate process!

Once inserted, move on to jiggling and manipulating your bobby pin. Start by pushing down with your pick while gently twisting it back and forth. Many locks can be picked in a matter of seconds if you find that sweet spot where all pins become aligned. You’ll soon get a feel for when this ‘sweet spot’ has been reached as there will be a release on and around your pick, allowing it to easily turn within the keyway causing it to unlock!

Insert the Bent End

Once the tension wrench has created a working space in the lock, it’s time to insert the bobby pin. Start by determining which end of the pin is springier. You can do this by holding each end between your thumb and index fingers and gently putting pressure on each side to see which gives more easily.

The easier one is called the “bendable” or “springy” end – this is the end that will be used first when attempting to pick a lock with a bobby pin. Take this end and insert it into the keyhole above where you inserted the tension wrench, pushing it in roughly 1/2 inch if possible. This should feel like pushing an agitated spring against some resistance – finding the sweet spot may take some finesse and patience.

When you think you have found that sweet spot, start bending and twisting as you would with a regular key, trying different positions until you find one that gives. In most cases within two minutes of properly inserting your bobby pin into the right position, you will have successfully opened your door lock!

Manipulate the Lock

Picking a door lock with a bobby pin is an effective way to get into a locked room if you don’t have a key. The process of picking a lock is called manipulation and usually requires a special tool called a pick, but with a bit of patience it can be done with a bobby pin. There are two main steps to manipulating a lock with a bobby pin, which are inserting and raking. Let’s go over each of them in more detail.

Feel for the Tumblers

In order to manipulate the lock, you need to feel for the tumblers while inside of the lock. To do this, take one end of the bobby pin and bend it into a 45 degree angle. Then, insert this end of the bobby pin in between each of the pins that you feel inside of the lock. Make sure to move from one side of the door to the other as you do this so that you can accurately locate which pins are sticking out more than others. Once you feel a particularly high or low pin, make sure to lift these higher or lower pins with your bent bobby pin until they align with all other pins, allowing easy entry into the lock!

Push the Tumblers Up

In order to open a standard pin tumbler lock with a bobby pin, you must first push the tumblers up one by one until all of them are at the same height. To do this, insert the bobby pin with the end of it facing the direction that you want to turn the lock. Push lightly against each one of the tumblers until they are all aligned. This will help to give you space to insert your pick into the lock and manipulate it. If any of the tumblers do not move, run your bobby pin along their length and try again. Once all five or six tumblers are at their correct heights (which is usually indicated by a clicking sound), it’s time to move on to step two – inserting and manipulating your pick.


To summarize, picking a lock is clearly possible but requires patience and practice. The process of using a bobby pin will largely depend on the specific type and make of a door’s lock. Additionally, it is important to remain attentive while you are attempting to pick a lock with bobby pins as any mistake could cause damage to the locking mechanism. Lastly, please use this information responsibly and only attempt to pick locks you have proper authorization for.

In short, picking a door lock with just a bobby pin requires careful attention and proper technique. Once completed correctly, it can take no longer than 15 minutes in total. With practice, this skill might prove useful in the long run in times of emergency where key access is not an option.

How to Pick a Door Lock with Just a Bobby PinCheckout this video:

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