video How To Pick A Lock With Hairpins
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.
Mielameri1 year ago
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!

XD same thing goes when you tell them you can pick a lock in under 10 seconds...

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).

NightHawkInLight (author)  AJMansfield1 year ago

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!!

jam00037 months ago
Great vid! I actually haven't picked any locks before but now I can't wait to get started, thx!

Excellent !

deadpooltacos10 months ago

great! now when I get locked out of my house, or surprise a friend, I can just do this! if only it was normal for a boy to carry hairpins.....

gagegar1 year ago
Nighthawkinlight thank you your instructables are the best.
gagegar1 year ago
0zzy1 year ago

Nice one thanks

We've got a small cupboard that was built in to the wall of our bedroom that I found under the wallpaper about 2 weeks after we moved in and I've never been able to open as the door is made of metal and I can't see any hinges so I'm not able to knock out the pins to open it that way .

So thank you very much for sharing your video I am definitely try this today and I will let you know when I have got in

Thanks again

Any luck?

Hi there and thanks for your interest and sorry I took so long to reply as the lock was old rusty and very stiff but Yes I finally got it open today and I am so happy :-)
I had to keep spraying it with WD40 and I made a set of stronger picks out of stainless steel from an old windscreen wiper as thay have 2 nice fin stainless steel bands that run down each side of the rubber wiper blade.
And inside was a bunch of old rusty keys that fit all the old locks that are fitted to every door inside the house oh and one for the lock I have just picked yay arr no cash or gold but Yes Yes Yes I finally got it open and I did it
So big thank you for your help
Thanks ozzy

Nice, thanks for sharing...

yea. what happened? did you get in?

did it work?

I have wanted to learn this my whole life. why? I have no idea. I am 61 and where would I learn before the internet. I suppose I would have waited outside a prison for a cat burglar to be released. lol it's on my bucket list. I'm going to try it now. thank you for the video. Judy

Wow... Very descriptive, excellent video keep up the great work
eryl1 year ago

Good timing. My sister in law was just telling me that she'd lost the key to her bureau.

tasn10031 year ago
this is agreat iblw. very informative and helpful.

Sometimes after freeing a lock up you are able to dismantle it, and you are left with a non working lock.

If you find a key that fits the tumbler insert, then grind down protruding pins, this will make the lock usable with the different key you have found.Have Fun!

It worked really good
I don't even use keys any more

Great for someone like me who tends to loose one's keys more than often ! …

lucjoker1 year ago

verry nice but, no hairpin fits in any of my locks !

I have Yale and Iseo locks,top of the bill in Thailand (and Europe)

Hairpins are simply too thick to fit in .

Also "the bent " in the pick- pin ,is not easy (almost impossible ) to make .Unless your hairpins are not from steel?(but than it would make them lousy hairpins)

I will try with paperclips.

nfarrow1 year ago
makes me want to play Skyrim

This seems definitely easier than applying rotational pressure with a screwdriver... ;)

but may be impossible to do on smaller locks - no place to insert another hairpin.

BTW. I wonder how the hell did those Desert Rangers, as well as the Vault Dweller or Chosen One pick locks with their hands alone.

noel0leon1 year ago

Really well explained video - thanks!

kojak1 year ago

This had to be the best video I have ever seen at this site. Very professional. Very informative. Excellent work. Great job.

zawy1 year ago

surprisingly good video

This would have saved me the headache of busting a storm window to get inside the house several years ago. One of my kids locked it behind us and we had no way of getting inside because another door was dead bolted.

Very cool. Something I have thought would be cool to know but never having a use for it, never bothered to learn. Thanks :)

ffrisell1 year ago
Great instructable. Had to try it directly and after a few minutes I managed to open a fairly robust looking padlock (turns out it had only three pins and it was a cheap looking brand). Still... scary!
f.31 year ago
I wish this 'ible was available last summer! My Mrs. and I took a trip to see family. Upon return to our home, five states away from said family we realized that the key ring with our house keys was mistakenly swapped with a set that was not of anything ours! Being the middle of the night and with dieing phones we agreed to take the risk of trying to figure out how to pick our way in. It took me about an hour and a half with a few quick Web searches and a shoddy video or two I got us in and to our spare key set. Home owners should really know things like this going into purchasing a home along with a general list of things that should be updated at certain times in the life of the house.

Too late for me but I will keep this in mind. I just paid $15 for a cabinet key. I did not need a lock on the cabinet but when I bought it, it was locked with no key. I used the number on the lock to buy the key but if I could have picked it I would have been able to just disable it. Thanks for a great video.

Joe Bass1 year ago
Wow great job!!! This is an awesome Instructable! And your video was very professional!
MonkiMan1 year ago

i had to do this a couple of years ago when i lost the key to my luggage, took me a while but i got there :D

BayRatt1 year ago

Well done! Would like to give this a go sometime! :-D

DM5k1 year ago
So cool!
so trying this today!!thanks
SteelLegJ1 year ago

i love watching your videos! i cant wait till i can do what you have done.