There’s no worse feeling than getting locked out of your house, especially when you’re in a hurry. Though picking a lock can be tricky, it can definitely come in handy. Follow these tricks to get back into your house in a pinch.

Use Two Hairpins To Pick The Lock On Your Doorknob

  1. Bend open one hairpin until the ends are apart by ninety degrees. Make sure that you don’t bend the pin too much or it will crack the metal. The hairpin should stay intact – two separate pieces are not what you want. At that point, the hairpin should have an “L” shape.
  2. Take the plastic pieces off of the end. Usually, you can use your teeth to bite them off. You can also use pliers to remove the plastic, or a butter knife to scrape them away.
  3. Bend one tip at a forty-five-degree angle. You can do this by inserting the end of the pin into the actual lock. Next, bend the pin over to one side. That should make a small bend on the end that is around one inch in length. Don’t bend it too much. It isn’t a ninety-degree angle like the other one.
  4. Bend the other end of the pin into the handle. You should now have the pin in the form of an “L” shape and the tip on the flat end should slightly bend down. Fold the other end in half so that it is a small “V” shape (twenty-degree angle) so use as a handle.
  5. Grab the second hairpin. More than one is needed to insert into the lock so that it can help turn it.
  6. Take the second hairpin and bend the top to around a seventy-degree angle. Don’t unfold it like you did with the first one. Use pliers instead to bend the hairpin’s closed end at around seventy degrees.
  7. Take the closed end of your second hairpin (which is your lever) and insert it inside of the keyhole. This lever will be the guide for the lockpick and enable you to turn the lock after all of the pins have been pushed into place.
  8. Slightly turn the lever. Turn your lever firmly yet softly in the direction you would if you were turning the key to unlock your door. This will result in the lock catching on pins. You will feel some resistance. Continue putting pressure on the lock’s barrel as you start to pick the lock.
  9. Slide your lockpick (first hairpin) into your lock right above the lever. Point the arced end upward. This will allow the tip on the pick to work at pushing up the lock pins.
  10. Feeling around for the “seized” or stuck pin. Continue to apply pressure with your lever on the lock, and begin pushing your lockpick forward. Use an up and down motion to feel beyond the pins. Some pins might move fairly easily up and down. Push past them until you locate the “seized” pin.
  11. Continue working the seized pin until a click is heard. Keep working the lockpick in an up and down motion until the seized pin clicks into the barrel. That sound is the barrel slightly moving to the side which results in the break in the pin being separated to prevent the lock from being secured.
  12. Use the same method to work your other pins. After one pin is taken care of another one will become seized or stuck. Find that one and begin working it in the same manner.
  13. To open your lock, turn the lever. After you feel like all of the pins have been dealt with, place more pressure on the lever. This should open the lock. 

While it is possible to pick the lock on your door knob, it is a tricky and tedious process. In most cases, it is quicker and safer to hire a professional locksmith. For residential unlocking services, your local Pop-A-Lock is here to help!