How To Pick A Lock With A Paperclip

If you’ve ever lost a key and found yourself in a desperate situation, don’t worry! With just a few paperclips and some creativity, you can MacGyver your way back in. It may not be the most elegant solution, but it’s usually effective. Check out to get started.

How to use a regular paperclip as a tool for lock picking

Here are some tips on how to use a regular paperclip as a tool for lock picking.

First, grab a pair of pliers and bend the paperclip into an “L” shape, making sure to fold it across the shorter side.

Next, insert the short, bent side of the paperclip into the bottom of the lock and turn it in the same direction that the lock turns.

Then, insert the paperclip into the upper “rake” and depress the lock’s pins. Finally, jiggle the paperclip until the lock unlocks.

Making Your Tools

Collect your materials

Gather all the necessary supplies. To successfully pick a lock with a paperclip, you will need three specific items: two paperclips, one to serve as a lock pick and another to act as a tension wrench, as well as a pair of pliers for shaping the paperclips.

To successfully pick a lock, you will need two large paperclips. One will serve as a tension wrench, while the other will act as the pick. It is important to choose paperclips that are not too slim to fit into the lock, but also tall enough to be inserted into the lock while still leaving enough length to turn them.

To shape the paperclips, it is recommended to use a pair of pliers for easier handling compared to using just your hands.

Unfold the first paperclip into the lock pick

To unlock the door, unfold the first paperclip and use it as a pick. Make sure to unfold the large edge twice to create a straight portion that sticks out.

Insert the straight part into the lock and use it to depress the pins inside. Some locksmiths add a small upward bend to the pick’s tip, but it’s not necessary.

Make your tension wrench

First, create your tension wrench by removing both bends from the jumbo paperclip, leaving behind two straight wires with a curved end. Use a wrench to push down on the curved end. Next, make a 90° bend in the curved end that is approximately 1 centimeter long.

Alternatively, you can unfold an edge of the paperclip until a straight portion protrudes at a 90° angle. Keep in mind that this is a basic tension wrench that is functional but not perfect.

Picking your lock

Insert the tension wrench into bottom of keyhole

Follow these steps to insert the tension wrench into the bottom of the keyhole. Make sure to apply pressure with the wrench in a rotational manner, following the direction the lock turns.

It may require practice to find the right amount of pressure. If you apply too much pressure, the paperclip will twist out of shape. If you apply too little, you won’t exert enough pressure to pick the lock.

Turn the wrench in the way that the lock turns

To turn the wrench in the correct direction, it is crucial to determine the way the lock turns. This may be challenging if you are uncertain, but there are various methods to test the lock and ascertain the right direction.

Firstly, if you are aware of the direction the lock opens, turn the tension wrench accordingly. If you are unsure, make an educated guess and choose one side; on the first attempt, you have a 50/50 chance of successfully unlocking the lock.

Additionally, if you possess a sensitive touch, you can feel the direction of the lock by turning the tension wrench. Begin by turning clockwise, then counter-clockwise. You will notice a slight decrease in pressure when the wrench is turned in the correct direction.

Insert the pick into upper part of keyhole and “rake.”

To pick a lock, insert the pick into the upper part of the keyhole and perform a raking motion. Raking involves quickly inserting the pick to the back of the keyhole and swiftly removing it while jiggling the pick upwards.

Repeat this process a few times to potentially set some pins. Remember to maintain pressure on the tension wrench throughout. It’s important not to yank the pick out, but to move quickly enough for a smooth motion.

Picking a lock takes practice and getting a feel for it, which is why most people can’t successfully pick a lock on their first try.

Locate the pins inside the lock

Find the pins inside the lock, and while applying pressure on the tension wrench, attempt to locate the pins inside the keyhole using your pick. It is common for American locks to have a minimum of five pins that must be set in order to unlock the lock. As you insert your lock pick, you will feel the pins against it, indicating where you need to depress them.

Depress the pins

First, depress the pins and remember to apply rotational pressure to your tension wrench as you do so. Keep in mind that you should feel a slight give when the pins are set to their unlocked position, and you may even hear a slight clicking sound. Expert lock pickers can accomplish this in one swift motion, but for those who are new to the technique, it is important to take more deliberate movements to set each pin accurately.

Jiggle picks until each pin unlocks

Okay, so what you got to do is jiggle those picks real good until every pin unlocks. Don’t forget to put some pressure on with that tension wrench and keep jiggling until you hear that satisfying snap or click. And then just give that tension wrench a twist and boom, lock unlocked.

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