How To Pick A Lock With A Paper Clip?

How To Pick A Lock With A Paper Clip?

Being locked outside of your own home is annoying. What if you require entry immediately and are unable to wait for a locksmith? In order to pick a lock, you can use a paper clip. Similar to how a lock can be opened with a traditional tension wrench and rake, paper clips can be used to open locks. You just need to turn two paper clips into those two very same tools, and then pick the lock with them as you’d normally do. Please keep reading.

What Kinds Of Locks Can I Open With A Paperclip?

Simple master lock padlocks, deadbolts, the majority of less expensive Kwikset locks, Schlage locks, and most other basic and less expensive locks can all be picked. These locks all have wide-open keyways.

More complex keyways and security features are often found in locks with higher levels of sophistication, making paperclip attacks unlikely. Paperclips have no chance against peculiar lock characteristics, but lock picks are specifically made to deal with them.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 Large Paperclips
  • Pliers (recommended)

Steps To Picking A Lock With Paperclips

Make A Tension Wrench

Use one of your paper clips to completely straighten the first two bends. Your L-shaped piece should now have an additional loop serving as the handle. To make the paperclip as straight as possible, use your pliers. It is crucial to take your time with this step because it must sit as flush with the bottom of the lock as possible. You can use your fingers if you don’t have pliers.

Make A Rake

This is the stage where you transform a paperclip into something that resembles the key’s edge.

  • The second paperclip should first be completely straightened.
  • Using the pliers, bend the clip at this point 45 degrees to create the first ridge in the rake.
  • Bend the paperclip repeatedly until you have three bends close together. When you’re done, it should resemble a zigzag with three points.
How To Pick A Lock With A Paper Clip?

Insert The Tension Wrench

The keyhole’s bottom is where you should insert the tension wrench. The tension wrench should be gently squeezed in the lock-opening direction.

If you don’t know which way the lock opens, then try using the sense of resistance as you turn the wrench clockwise, then counterclockwise. There will be slightly less resistance in the opening direction.

If you can’t feel the difference, pick a direction, and switch if the lock isn’t opening. Throughout the lock-picking process, maintain the applied tension on the wrench. As you lift each pin with the rake, this component will cause the lock to turn.

Insert The Rake

The internal key pins are raised individually by the rake so that, when each is raised to the proper height, the tension wrench can slightly twist the lock. Completely insert the rake so that it is at the back of the lock. It ought to be perched atop the tension wrench.

Scrub The Rake

The tension wrench should start to twist as you raise and lower the rake. When this occurs, you are holding the driver pin on the plug while the key pin drops. basically what the key does by default.

You want to move the rake in a smooth motion. At the same time, you don’t want to yank the paperclip out, so don’t be too slow while doing this. Here, some trial and error will be needed.

Scrub And Apply Tension

As you move the rake along the pins, keep lightly applying pressure to the tension wrench. To raise the pins, you should raise and lower the rake.

Be sure not to apply too much pressure from the tension wrench as the driver pins will not align correctly. You will feel a slight reduction in resistance as each of the pins is unpicked. In some locks, you may hear a clicking sound as well as feel a resistance change.

As necessary, repeat this action. Make this motion until all the pins are set. The majority of locks have five or six pins. You may need to apply slightly more tension as more pins become unlocked.

Torque To Open

With the correct torque applied to the tension wrench after all the pins are in place, the lock will unlock. Once you have opened the padlock or gained entry, remove the paper clips.

What Happens If The Lock Won’t Open?

There are a few things you can try if the steps above don’t work.

  • Firstly, reset the pins by releasing tension and once again apply it with more or less force than before. Lock picking relies heavily on tension, and sometimes you have to experiment with it to get it just right. Attempt raking your lock with several different levels of tension.
  • Next, alter the speed at which you pick by accelerating and decelerating. Attempt both slowing down and speeding up the process.
  • Last but not least, try using your lock pick in a rocking motion rather than raking.


In dire times you may need to pick a lock. Lock picking is a useful skill to have, whether it’s for a padlock on your front door or a garden shed that you’ve forgotten about.

A paper clip should only be used as a last resort to pick locks due to their vulnerability. Keep a real lock pick set close at hand; it’s far preferable.

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