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How to Pick a Garage Door Lock

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

How to pick a garage door lock with a bobby pin. This is a step by step guide on how to pick a garage door lock.


A garage door lock can provide an added layer of security to your home and is generally considered a deterrent to burglars or other unwelcome visitors. Before attempting to unlock your garage door, be sure that you have the proper tools, know the correct technique, and that you understand any potential risks. In this article, we will discuss how to pick a garage door lock safely and quickly so you can gain access to your space again.

We will begin by discussing some of the most common types of locks found in residential garages. We will then walk through some of the tools needed for picking a lock and demonstrate how it’s done step-by-step. Finally, we will analyze other methods for gaining access to your garage if picking a lock isn’t an option.


If you’re trying to pick a garage door lock, it’s important to be properly prepared. Before attempting to pick a garage door lock, you’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment and knowledge. You’ll need to gather the right tools, plan out your strategy, and familiarize yourself with the different types of locks . In this section, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to ensure you’re properly prepared.

Gather necessary tools

Before attempting to pick a garage door lock, it is important to make sure that you have the right tools and understand how they work. There are two common types of tools that are used in picking locks-lock picks and bump keys. Lock picks simply require inserting into the keyhole of the lock and using pressure along with other hand motions to manipulate tumblers within the lock allowing for it to be opened. Bump keys, however, use a different method by applying pressure to each individual key pins with a specially made key allowing them all to fall at once into an unlocked position. Therefore, it is important to identify which type of tool is more applicable for your situation and have them on-hand before attempting the process.

Research the type of lock

Before attempting to pick a garage door lock, it is essential to research the type of lock you are dealing with. Different locks have different locking mechanisms, and in some cases the model and brand of the lock might prevent you from succeeding in picking the lock. Knowing what kind of lock you are trying to pick will greatly help in ensuring that your efforts are successful.

A straightforward approach for researching locks is identifying the components that make up a garage door lock and then finding out if those components are unique or standard across particular models. Locks typically consist of a long stem and end pieces at each end, called ‘keeps’ or anchors. In some cases, these elements may be interchangeable across different models and brands, while in other cases they may be special order elements that need to be ordered specific to your door manufacturer.

You can also search online for product information about particular locks. If you can identify where your contacts are located within your current configuration (for example, 3 screws) then that can often lead you to a more specific item page where you can find more detailed information about criteria such as re-keying methods, number of pins per cylinder and individual key tumbler sizes. This sort of detailed information can help you determine whether picking the lock will be successful based on an identification process rather than a trial-and-error approach.

Methods of Lock Picking

Lock picking is the art of opening locks without using the original keys. This skill can come in handy in case you lose your keys or if you need to gain access to a lock without a key. To ensure security, it is important to Put the lock in place properly. There are many techniques and tools used in lock picking, such as a tension wrench and a pick, or even a key cutting machine. We’ll go over some of the more popular methods of lock picking and discuss their pros and cons.

Using a tension wrench

Using a tension wrench is one of the most common methods of lock picking. A tension wrench is a thin, specially-made tool used to provide the correct amount of torque when picking a lock. Once inserted into the keyhole, it can be used to ensure that enough pressure is applied in order to shift the pins and manipulate the lock. It is important to note that too much pressure can lead to significant damage on your lock or worse, a complete breakage. To avoid such issues, practice with the tension wrench before picking your actual garage door locks.

When done correctly, you should notice some give in your lock’s core as each pin presses up against it instead of being pushed down altogether. With this feedback, you will be able to adjust your torque pressure until all pins are drawn up and released. At this point, you should be able to turn and disengage the lock with relative ease using your tension wrench tool and another set of picks or a single hook pick.

Using a pick

Picking a lock is a delicate process that requires special tools and skills. If done improperly, it can cause long-term damage and even complicate the ability to open the lock. One method of lock-picking is using a pick, which is a specialized tool used to manipulate the different parts of a lock. The basic principle of this technique is to apply tension to the plug (the inner cylinder in the center of the lock), using an appropriate tool, such as an allen key. By lifting and rotating different tumbler pins one by one-starting at the back-you can give yourself space needed to turn over any obstructions preventing you from turning over the plug. Certain sizes and shapes of picks are designed for specific types of locks, so make sure you choose one that fits your needs. To use this technique, insert your pick into the top or bottom of your keyway, then apply pressure until you feel resistance from each individual tumbler pin. Work each pin until you are able to turn your pick slightly and then move onto working on each tumbler until none remains unaligned with their respective shear line (the separation between plug and cylinder). With that done, all that’s left for you to do is apply tension and turn over your plug!

Using a bump key

Using a bump key, or a ripple key, is one of the most efficient and low-cost methods of lock picking. A bump key is a special type of key that has been modified to allow it to be used in many different types of locks. It works by having serrated teeth cut into its edges which allows the key to be “bumped” into the lock while turning. This method relies on force and inertia; when the key is bumped into the pins inside the lock, often times it will cause them to fly and unlock the door without any further effort. As with any form of lock picking, practice makes perfect when using a bump key, so don’t expect immediate results when you first try it out.

Safety Considerations

Picking a garage door lock can be a risky endeavor, so it is important to consider safety before attempting to do so. Not only can picking a garage door lock be dangerous, but it could also lead to criminal charges if you are caught. Therefore, it is important to take the necessary precautions and measures before trying to pick the lock. By following the right guidelines and protocols, you can stay safe while picking your garage door lock.

Wear protective eyewear

It’s important to keep safety top-of-mind when performing any type of garage door lock picking. As such, you should always wear protective eyewear before attempting to pick a lock. This is especially important if you are attempting to do so with a drill or other power tool, as the metal shavings and debris can fly back at you and potentially cause an eye injury. It’s also recommended to use gloves and other protective clothing in case of potential contact with sharp objects during the process.

Be aware of your surroundings

When attempting to pick a garage door lock, it is important to make sure you are safely and securely in a private area before attempting to unlock. Look for open gates or unlocked windows that can provide easy access to your home or garage. Be aware of your environment and do not proceed if any suspicious individuals or activities are present.

Furthermore, familiarize yourself with the tools needed for lock picking before actually attempting anything. Make sure you have proper lighting, a screwdriver and any other necessary tools readily available. It is important to take measures such as these in order to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you while garage door lock picking takes place. Safety should always be the priority; therefore, it is essential that caution and attentiveness are employed during any lock pick attempts.

Be aware of locksmith laws

When selecting the best garage door lock for your residential property, it is important to be aware of locksmith laws in the United States. Each state may have different regulations or restrictions on who can provide locksmith services, so it is important to research these laws prior to attempting any work yourself.

The applicable laws vary by state, so check with a local locksmith or city official in your area before hiring one. Some states require certification or licenses for individuals to offer certain types of lock installation services, and some require that a bond is posted with the local authorities to demonstrate that the company can financially comply with consumer complaints and other issues. Local government bodies such as police departments may offer resources for consumer safety and protection from unlawful locksmiths.

In addition to being knowledgeable about local laws governing locksmiths, it is also important to familiarize yourself with any safety considerations related to installing a garage door lock. This includes inspecting existing hardware on your garage door and ensuring that all components are properly functioning and secure before installation commences. If you plan on using an electronic garage door opener, be sure that you are familiar with its basic operation prior to taking on any projects yourself. Lastly, if possible, take measurements of the existing locking hardware so you can purchase new components that are compatible with your current system.


Learning how to pick a garage door lock can be a simple process for those who understand the necessary steps. The most important thing to remember is to use the correct tools for the job-locking picks and tension wrenches. With practice and patience, you can learn how to pick a garage door lock and gain access to your garage with minimal disruption. When you do not have the required tools on hand or don’t feel comfortable attempting to pick your lock, it’s best to contact an experienced locksmith who can help you regain access safely and securely.

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