How to Pick Open a Lock with Paper Clip

by Robert Fox

So you know how to pick a lock using a rake and a tension wrench. This is a very valuable talent since it will enable you to get into your home without having to hire a locksmith if you are locked out, and it will also allow you to assist others who are locked out. You may even be required to pick the lock of a door behind which someone is unconscious and in need of immediate assistance.

But what if you need to pick a lock but don't have your lock picks with you?

How to Pick Open a Lock with Paper Clip
How to Pick Open a Lock with Paper Clip

Contrary to popular belief, picking a lock requires the use of two separate tools: a tension wrench and a lock pick.

The purpose of using paper clips to pick locks is to imitate both of these tools. This implies we'll need two paperclips, since it's impossible to pick a lock with only one unless you split it in half.

A pair of needle-nose pliers, or any other instrument that can bend paperclips, is also strongly recommended.

To say the least, being trapped in your own home is inconvenient. What if in case you need to go inside right away and can't wait to look for a locksmith? Locks may be unlocked in a flash with a paper clip, which seems to be a lie created to move the narrative ahead. Is it possible for something as little as a key to have such power?

How to Pick Open a Lock with Paper Clip
How to Pick Open a Lock with Paper Clip

Being a daughter of a locksmith, I've learnt several things as a kid. One amongst them is that the tumbler lock method is used in the majority of home locks or padlocks. Such types of locks are the easiest to pick, and all you need are a few paperclips and pliers to deform them into the right form.

Items Required:

  • Two metal paperclips (i.e., the more powerful, the better). There is no size restriction. Just make sure the diameter of the paperclip must not exceed the lock's internal diameter.
  • A set of pliers, either ordinary or needle nose, will suffice.
  • To pick, you'll need a lock, such as a standard residential front or back door lock. Practice the process on your back door as you won't want to give the incorrect impression to anybody going by on the street in front of your house. I did the same as I didn't want to deal with a visit from the police who wanted to see proof that I owned the house.

Let's bend our materials into picks and slaughter some locks now that we have them!

How To Pick a Lock With a Paper Clip in 3 Easy Steps!

1. Make a Wrench for Tension

One of your paper clips should be straightened, while one end should remain bent. Combine the two halves by squeezing them together. This is the piece that will be inserted into the lock. Bend the long, straight end of the paper clip 90 degrees with your pliers to make the tension wrench handle.

Make a Wrench for Tension
Make a Wrench for Tension

2. Create a Rake

Remove the second paper clip and straighten it out. To make the 1st ridge in the rake, pinch the end of the paper clip with the pliers and bend the long portion 90 degrees. Grasp the long half of the paper clip with the pliers and bend it at a 90-degree angle. Continue doing so until the paper clip has three ridges.

Create a Rake
Create a Rake

3. Provide Torque to Open

When all of the pins are aligned, tighten the tension wrench to the proper torque and the lock will unlock. Once you've gained admission or unlocked the padlock, remove the paperclips.

Provide Torque to Open
Provide Torque to Open

It's Possible That a Paper Clip May Break Within Your Lock

Provide Torque to Open
Provide Torque to Open

Paper clips aren't very strong, and they may break while inside your lock. This occurred to me when I was working on one of my house's doors. I'll have to change the lock now. Because of this susceptibility, picking a lock with a paper clip should only be used as a last option. Keep an actual lock pick set on you at all times.

Troubleshooting and Advice

Picking a lock is a kind of art in certain ways. Although the procedure is basic, there are a few problems that may prevent this activity from being completed effectively. I am going to share a few tips to help you improve yourself in lock picking talents so you never get locked out again.

  • Get It Done Gently

If you apply too much force to the tension wrench, it is possible that the paper clip may shatter, leaving a piece within the lock.

  • Take Cautious Not to Do..

Paperclips are known for being difficult to remove if caught within a lock. Unfortunately, this usually renders the lock damaged, necessitating its replacement. Use of paperclips in lock picking may not be a good idea, if you have a hefty hand. If you are particularly prone to misplacing your keys, more durable materials or the purchase of a machine-tooled lock picking kit may be a better solution.

Just like the movies make us think; Lock picking isn't as simple for an average person.

Unfortunately, although picking locks is simple once you understand what you're doing. During the process of doing your first few attempts you may waste hours fumble about with paperclips? To develop the expertise and get a feel for the method, use some outdated locks. It will also give you the courage to attack your own home lock or a padlock if the necessity arises in the future.

  • Cleaning the Lock After the Process

Most paperclips are coated with plastic, and after picking the lock, you'll find shards of this coating inside the lock. Even if you use non-coated paperclips, metallic fragments will remain within the lock. Friction between the paperclips and the interior components of the locks deposits these.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is It Illegal To Pick Locks?

A: The majority of states use their own set of laws. They do, meanwhile, fall into one of two types.

1. Lock picking is not considered a criminal act in most places as long as you are not attempting to obtain unauthorized entrance. As a result, carrying lock picking tools is lawful.

2. Rules in the other states, on the other hand, are far stricter. Carrying locking picking equipment is prima facie proof that you plan to or have done anything illegal. It is your job to establish that you had no illegal intent under these statutes.

Before acquiring or owning lock picking equipment, make sure you are aware of the regulations in your area.

Q: Are There Any Locks That You Can't Pick?

A: Tumbler locks are limited in their complexity, hence "unbreakable" locks are ones that are not dependent on this assumption and are inventive.

Smart locks are becoming more prominent as technology advances and our smartphones become the center of our lives. While smart locks aren't mechanical, which means they can't be picked, they could be hacked.

Magnetic locks, as well as combination locks, may cause problems for inexperienced users. Skilled lock pickers, on the other hand, will be able to pick these locks as well. The thief's skill level rises as a result of his inventiveness. As a result, there is a saying: "There is no such thing as an unpickable lock; just locks that haven't been picked yet."

If you want to keep ahead of the lock pickers, buy locks that are at the cutting edge of technology and replace them with newer models.

Last Thoughts

In an emergency situation, you may be forced to choose a padlock. The ability to pick locks is a crucial talent to have, whether it is for a long-forgotten locking system in your back yard or for your front door. It may be less expensive and time-consuming than employing a professional locksmith, especially when compared to the alternative. The process of picking a lock, on the other hand, is a creative one that takes patience, practice, and a fundamental grasp of how the lock works.

Fortunately, the tumbler form, which employs pins of varying heights to regulate the locking system, is utilized in most locks, residences, and office buildings. When the right key is inserted, the pins will adjust to the proper height, allowing the lock to revolve. As a result, you may control the lock by lifting each of the pins individually with a handful of metal paper clips.

It is indeed a simple technique to learn, but it's difficult to perfect. It takes the correct amount of torque from the tension wrench and the precise movement of the rake to raise the pins. Yet, once you've learned how to use this simple household item, you'll be able to open most locks in a matter of minutes.


About Robert Fox

Rob Fox is a former hydro worker, who used to teach self defence in Miami for 10 years. His hobbies include cribbage, golf, locksmithing, and cooking.

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