How to Pick a Lock With Hairpins





Introduction: How to Pick a Lock With Hairpins

About: I like turning boring things into awesome things! Usually on video.

Lock picking is as old as locks themselves, and is enjoyed as a hobby and practical skill worldwide. While it has been tainted in many people's minds as something only done by criminals, it is in fact a skill that could very well save your life if kidnapped, as well as saving hundreds of dollars in locksmithing costs to open things for which the key has been lost. Criminals and thieves are far more likely to break a window and in other ways use force to open things rather than trouble with the delicate, and many times lengthy method of picking.

Practice locks such as the one used in this video can be found for sale online with little searching, but all that is really necessary to practice is a simple padlock. Practicing lock picking should only be done on a lock that is not essential to some purpose, as it is possible to damage a lock if done incorrectly. It of course should also not be done on a lock that does not belong to you, as doing so is likely illegal.



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    56 Discussions

    Very nice 'ible. And thanks for clearing the name of lock picking; it's a challenging, dexterity-requiring, practical skill, but tell anyone it's your hobby, and you're suddenly labeled as a deviant!

    2 replies

    Nah, wana be a devient? Pick your way out of handcuffs behind your back...while at a party. If a cop puts you in them...dont pick em. Might get a felony resisting arrest.

    Excellent video! It would be interesting to have another video that discusses how to do it for things like warded pins (like those shown at the end of this video), lever locks, or auto-jamming mechanisms (for instance a chubb lock).

    2 replies

    There are quite a few other videos out there for picking security pins and other types of locks, I just felt there wasn't a great example of an introduction using this particular method which is so popular to show in entertainment.

    I appreciate the transparent view... I have picked many locks before, but never really had the chance to see exactly what was going on the inside... Thanks for the informative video!!


    2 years ago

    Can you do an 'ible with images... I can't access video.

    Stupid family security settings

    That's a pretty good intro!

    If you want to add any content to your Instructable, we have some resources that might help.



    On the mobile app for andriod, why can't I see multiple strps? All I see is thr intro....

    Sweet instructable! Breaks down the basic concepts of lock picking perfectly. This article also provides a thorough overview:

    great video, explains everything in a easy to learn way keep up the good work. thanks of the great instructable

    This is great! I'm definitely taking this up as a hobby. Question though: how do you know how many pins there are? Or is it a standard 5?

    2 replies

    You don't know how many there are, you need to count them with your pick.

    You don't know how many there are, you need to count them with your pick.

    Oh hey, this reminds me about the time a locksmith services showed me how to do this. Although it was simple it sure looked somewhat challenging and that's because of how much time I was taking to unlock. I wonder though, what other type of tools besides a hair clip can you pick a door lock?

    Cool to know as even ive locked myself and kid out and waited mom to get home.and seen neighbors destroy door lock for same reason..I payed once and only once to get in new p/u and watched and learned as pro did

    This sounds like the Kip Kay guy. I used to watch all his how to videos.

    For most doors, i use a bump key. For padlocks i normally use a 15 dollar master-key aka bolt cutter. Sice attending survival school, i always keep a few bobby pins and berrets (handcuff shims) at all times in my wallet. The only way to get good is practice^3. Good ible for beginners. Thanks

    Nice 'ible but the "key" here is that it's a training lock so you can see what is happening. And, I challenge anyone to look around their shop and come up with a hair pin (bobbypin) let alone coming up with not one but two in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. I worked part time in a lock and key shop for a year and the owner was a good mentor. He gave me the pick tools and some locksets that were used and not in pristine shape to use as the practice lock. While I was able to pick the ones he gave me, I was never able to pick (under pressure) a lock brought in by a customer which, absent a key, is necessary in order to re-key a lock. So, dear readers, while this is a nicely presented 'ible, don't get your hopes up. Have a credit card ready and when you are confronted with the situation, call a locksmith. Go get a beer or a coffee and wait.