Have you ever been locked outside your house? Did you lose your keys somewhere, or the door just won’t open? In any case, a locked door can be a nightmare.
But you don’t need to call a locksmith every time a door gets locked. The expert might save you time, but he will also charge a good amount for this small problem. So why not learn the trick yourself?
In today’s post, we will teach you how to open a locked door in detail. From interior doors to car doors, there’s a way to open every type of locked door. Read more!
11 Ways to Open a Locked Door
The difficulty level of opening locked doors increases down the list. So, we recommend using the methods listed at the top first. If they don’t work, move down until the door clicks open!
1. Bobby Pin
Using bobby pins to open locks is the most traditional and classic method. We’ve all seen those movies where the main character heroically escapes the trap with one bobby pin. Let’s see how this works!
- First, bend the bobby pin at a 90-degrees angle. It should make a straight L shape. Then, remove the round rubber tip of one pin. Leave the step if the tip is already straight enough to enter the keyhole.
- Now, place 1cm of the straightened tip inside the keyhole and bend the rest against the door knob. Remove it from the keyhole and bend the other tip at 30 degrees to create a handle. The pick is ready.
- To create the tension lever, take another bobby pin and bend ⅓ of its ends. This will make a hook. Put it in the bottom of the lock and turn it clockwise until you feel some tension. While doing so, insert the pick in the top of the lock and feel for the pins.
- There are 5 to 6 pins in most types of locks. Once you feel each, push the pick upwards till you hear a clicking sound. This means the pin is unlocked. After you hear 5 to 6 clicks, turn the door knob to open the door!
If you don’t have bobby pins at hand, you can do the same procedure with two paper clips. One paperclip will act as a pick and the other as a tension lever.
A simple butter knife or putty knife is an excellent tool to unlock a door. Just make sure you’re not using a sharp knife, as it can injure your hand with one slip. Also, you need to identify the locking mechanism of the door.
- If it’s a tumbler lock, the knife will be your torque wrench or the key. Just insert the thin blade inside the keyhole and wiggle it until you feel the pins move.
- In a spring-loaded lock, slip the knife between the door frame and the strike plate. Force the knife in until you can push the latch inwards. This will cause a clicking sound, and the door will open.
Most ordinary locks in the bathroom and bedroom doors can be opened using scissors.
- First, push one of the blades deeply inside the lock.
- Then, turn it in a clockwise direction and wiggle until you hear the clicking from the door handle.
But be very careful in this procedure. The slightest mishandling can cause the scissors to fly from your hands or cut your skin. It’s advisable to use a small cuticle or manicuring scissors for better control.
4. Flat-head Screwdriver
You can’t open a door lock using a screwdriver alone. For this to work, you will need another tool to act as the rake (pick). You can use a bent bobby pin or paperclip.
- Once the rake is prepared, push a flathead screwdriver into the bottom of the keyhole and turn it clockwise.
- Hold it to maintain pressure, and then use the pick to click open the pins inside the lock.
5. Bump Key
If you have a spare key that fits into the tumbler lock, turn it into a bump key. To do so, find metalworking tools and file the key to the lowest acceptable depths. You may come across some premade bump keys online.
- Fit the bump key inside the keyhole unless you hear the clicking sounds.
- When one or two pins are left, use a hammer to apply gentle force on the key and turn it immediately. This should open all the pins inside the lock.
6. Lock Picking Set
Lock-picking sets have tools that can pick all kinds of locks. These are professional tools and may be issued only to people with credentials. If you’ve one lying around in the house or at a friend’s place, you can use it to open the door lock.
- You’ll typically need a tension wrench and a pick from the set. Insert the tension wrench in the keyhole and twist in a clockwise direction.
- Once done, push the pick into the top of the keyhole and wiggle it until the pins inside move and make way.
7. Credit Card (Works for Door without Keyhole)
If the door has a simple lock or no keyhole, you can use a simple plastic card to open it. But make sure the credit or debit card is an old one. The process may damage it to an extent where it can become unusable.
A better option is to use a gift card, loyalty card, or any other made from hard plastic. If you don’t have any other card, laminate the credit or debit card to secure it from damage.
- Once the card is arranged, slip it into the side so it is between the door frame and the locking side.
- Then, angle the card downwards and position it behind the bolt. Now, slowly move the card towards yourself and turn the handle at the same time.
This should cause the card to move between the door frame and the bolt. So, when you pull out the card, the door opens automatically. However, if the door has a deadbolt, it’s impossible to open it from the outside.
8. Use a Hex Wrench (Only for Interior Doors)
Most interior door locks have a round, small hole in the center. If your door has one like that, you can use a hex wrench to unlock it. Also called an Allen wrench, a hex wrench is an L-shaped tool that is easily available in the market.
- Insert the straight side of the wrench into the lock. While doing so, move it slightly back and forth. You should feel as if it’s catching onto something.
- Now, turn the wrench in a clockwise direction, and the door will open!
9. Jimmying (Only for Car Doors)
It’s surprising how often we forget our car keys inside the vehicle or somewhere else. You can open these locks using a special tool called slim jim. But, since they enabled people to gain easy access to others’ cars, the law has declared them illegal.
Instead, you can make a similar tool using a coat hanger. Start by straightening out one side of the hanger until it looks like a long metal tool with a hook end. Then, pull the weather stripping a little and slip in the hanger.
- When it’s inside, scrape the hanger around the car door until you find the lock.
- Now, feel for the latch and hook the hanger around it. Push the handle towards the inside of the car so that the door opens.
- For cars with an electric push-button, repeat the whole procedure with the straight end of the hanger going in. This straight end will act as a button and push it down.
10. Remove the Doorknob
If you don’t want to pick locks and just wish the door to be open, get rid of the doorknob using one screwdriver.
- Just unscrew any screws you find on the doorknob and push it out. This will open the door but will need some after work too.
- You’ll have to fix the doorknob back in place when the goal is achieved. So, make sure to store the screws safely while removing them.
11. Remove Hinges
If the door knob removal doesn’t do the trick, make use of the screwdriver to remove the hinges and seals on the other side of the door. Although this will take some time, you won’t have to worry about the types of locks or picking them.
What If Nothing Works?
When none of the above methods work, do not despair because there is one last way to resolve the problem without an expert.
First, stand at a distance from the door (at least the distance from your shoulders).
Then, bring the knee of your dominant leg up and kick where the locking system of the door is present. Don’t use shoulders or anything else, as this would put too much pressure. Your shoulders might even get dislocated.
Continue to kick the door unless the door gives way. Please note this will damage the door and should only be chosen as the last resort. If you don’t want to do that, call a professional locksmith to help you out!