What Common Objects Can You Use to Make Your Own Lock Picks?


Quick Answer

Common objects that people can use to make lock picks include small screwdrivers, hair pins and paper clips. For some types of locks, they can use ink cartridges from ballpoint pens, toothpicks, the ends of cotton swabs or bamboo skewers. They can also use credit cards or other plastic cards to press on latch assemblies and force doors open.

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Full Answer

People can use almost any long thin item to pick the lock on a privacy doorknob. These usually have twist buttons or push buttons on the interior knobs and a small hole on the outside knobs. The lock picker inserts the improvised tool into the hole until it meets resistance and applies pressure. If the interior doorknob has a twist button, the person picking the lock may have to sweep the tool clockwise and then counterclockwise until he hears the release of the lock.

If the locked doorknob has a keyhole, the lock picker inserts a sturdy paper clip, hair pin or screwdriver into the bottom of the keyhole to use as a tension wrench. He then inserts a hair pin or paper clip with its tip bent at a 20-degree angle above the other tool. He rotates the tension wrench in the direction a key would go and at the same time wiggles the pick until the pins in the lock raise.

Because the lock-picking process may damage plastic cards, it is better to use a library card or grocery store card rather than a credit card. To force a door open with a plastic card, the lock picker inserts the card between the doorjamb and knob or handle and slides downward. The picker may have to wiggle the card or adjust its angle.

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