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How to Pick a Door Lock Without 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.

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How to Pick a Door Lock Without a Bobby Pin- If you’re ever in a bind and need to get into a locked door without a bobby pin, this blog post is for you!


Trying to open a locked door without a key can be a difficult task. In order to pick a standard lock, one must have the right tools and know-how. Fortunately, there are several techniques that can be used to unlock almost any door-without needing a bobby pin. Many of these methods require no specialized tools and can be accomplished with items you likely have on hand.

This guide provides several easy-to-follow steps that show you how to pick most door locks with simple items like credit cards, paperclips and shims. With some patience, anyone can become an expert in picking locks! Read on to learn more about these unique techniques and discover how to successfully pick your first lock-without the aid of a bobby pin!

Tools You’ll Need

Learning how to pick a door lock without a bobby pin is a useful skill to have. But before you can learn how to do it, you’ll need to gather the right tools. The most essential tools you’ll need are some flathead screwdrivers, a rake pick, and a tension wrench. With these tools, you’ll be able to pick a variety of door locks. Let’s take a closer look.

Tension wrench

A tension wrench is the most important tool when it comes to picking locks. It’s simply a thin metal tool that you insert into the lock and twist to apply pressure on the pins inside the mechanism. As you apply pressure, you must also manipulate individual pins with a pick in order to unlock the door. You can purchase specialized tension wrenches or use any thin piece of metal, such as an unfolded paper clip or even a safety pin.


An effective method of picking a door lock without a bobby pin is to use a specialized “pick” designed specifically for the purpose. This tool, while generally inexpensive and small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, will make short work of most standard pin-tumbler locks. It consists of two elements – the tension wrench and the pick itself. The wrench is used to apply a gentle pressure on the lock’s internal pins, allowing for the pick to slide in and manipulate the pins into their respective grooves, thus unlocking the door without leaving any evidence that you have been there.

Using a pick on a pin-tumbler lock is often just as fast or faster than using a bobby pin or other improvised tools; however it requires some practice first. Learning how to use a specialized pick correctly can take time and it’s best if you can find someone knowledgeable to show you step by step how they work before attempting this technique yourself.

Steps to Pick a Lock

Picking a lock without a bobby pin is possible with the right tools and technique. This can be a useful skill to have in certain scenarios, such as when you have lost your keys or locked them inside. Although it may seem daunting, it is actually quite easy to learn. Let’s go through the steps to pick a lock without a bobby pin.

Insert the tension wrench

Inserting the tension wrench is an important step for successfully picking a door lock without a bobby pin. A tension wrench is an L-shaped tool that is inserted into the bottom of the key way and held in place while carefully turning it clockwise. When turned, this tool puts pressure on the inner pin stacks, pushing them up against the cylinder plug so when a pick is inserted, it will be able to lift the pins upwards. It’s essential to insert and turn the wrench with very little pressure: too much pressure will jam up the lock, while too little will make it impossible to detect which pins have been properly aligned. Be sure to take your time and continue to apply slight pressure until you feel each individual pin lift into place before moving onto the next step.

Apply tension

Applying constant tension with a torque wrench or other tool is the most essential step in lock picking. A torque wrench is a lock picking tool that will help you apply uniform and consistent tension to your lock. You’ll need to carefully apply enough pressure with the wrench in order for the pins to properly fit the keyway. As you insert and remove the tension wrench, you’ll be able to assess if too little or too much pressure is being applied by paying attention to how smoothly your tension wrench slides into and out of the keyway. Once you’ve achieved optimal torque, you’ll be ready to begin picking pins.

Insert the pick

Once you’ve chosen your pick, the first step in picking a lock is to insert the pick into the keyhole. As you look into the keyhole, align the lip of your pick with one of the two pins inside. Position your pick so that it presses against that pin and holds it back while you apply gentle pressure toward that side of the lock. Then, using a firm twisting motion, work your way around in circles while keeping pressure on that pin until it reaches its correct unlock position. Repeat this process with the second pin and then apply pressure to retract the lock’s latch.

Feel for the pins

When attempting to pick a door lock without a bobby pin, the first step is to insert a tension wrench into the keyhole. A tension wrench applies torque to the inner cylinder, allowing access to the lock’s pins. Once the tension wrench has been inserted and is applying consistent pressure on the inner cylinder, feel for the pins within the outer cylinder. When it comes to lockpicking without a tool, manipulating each pin in sequence is necessary.

The pins found inside most locks range in size from small to large and their shape creates various levels of resistance when pressure is applied. Before pressing down on any of them with your pick, take some time exploring each one separately with your fingers in order to determine their size and relative position in relation to one another. By mapping out the position and size of each pin you can better understand how much pressure you need for proper unlocking technique.

It may take some practice before mastering an appropriate amount of pressure for selecting each individual pin correctly during lock-picking session but staying patient will eventually lead to success in opening any door lock without using any bobbypins or other tools.

Manipulate the pins

The next step in picking the lock is manipulating the pins. To do this, you will need a tension wrench, or torsion wrench, which can be easily obtained from any hardware store. The main purpose of this tool is to apply a small outward pressure to the keyhole. This will engage the pins and allow them to be manipulated by your pick.

Once you have inserted the tension wrench into the key hole, turn it ever so slightly towards your direction to apply pressure on the pins. Make sure not to turn it too much as this could cause too much tension and either stop you from picking the lock or even break it beyond repair.

With your pick in hand, begin searching for pins to lift. There will usually be five or more pin pairs which consist of one upper pin and one lower pin. Insert your pick next one at a time into each of the pins until you find a pair that lifts slightly when pressure is applied\Using only small amounts of downwards pressure on each pair as excessive force may render locks unresponsive and lead back to square one.

Continue until all pins are lifted correctly then use gentle twisting motion with various degrees of pressure on your tension wrench until feel that its stuck or stops rotating then switch direction until you feel resistance and can finally open your door!


In conclusion, it is possible to pick a door lock without a bobby pin. While it is more difficult than picking it with a bobby pin, there are many other methods available, such as using a tension wrench and rake, raking multiple pins at the same time, or using lock picks designed specifically for this purpose.

It is important to understand the mechanics of the lock before attempting to pick it. Knowing how locks work and having knowledge of different techniques can help increase your chances of successfully picking the lock. Also, consider investing in quality lock picks and educational material that provide detailed instructions on how to properly use them. With enough practice, anyone can become experienced with picking locks without a bobby pin.

How to Pick a Door Lock Without a Bobby PinCheckout this video:

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