Introduction: Open a Padlock With One Paperclip, Nothing Else

Make a wrench and pick with one paper clip, with no tools, for opening cheap padlocks.

Materials:

1 paper clip

Step 1: One Paperclip Is Actually Two Tools

Break your paper clip in the middle, and bend those two pieces open. You should have two similar looking "L"s.

Step 2: Ram It in There!

right about now you're probably thinking... "what am I supposed to do with these?".
well. One of those "L"s is your pick, and one is your torsion wrench. Now your torsion wrench, in reality, is just a broken paperclip... so well have to use our heads. If you force your wrench, hook end up, about a 1/2 inch into the lower part of the keyway, NOT where the pins are, it should be fairly tight.

...now (next picture) if you bend it down, you'll get some torque (3rd pic)

If the tension wrench slides outs when you apply slight pressure, try again, try different positions or areas in the lower keyway. you can bend and un-bend the paperclip tip in the keyway if you mess it up.

note that you will most likely have to make a different tension wrench for every lock you want to pick, the wire will be bent differently depending on the size of the keyway.

Step 3: Now Lets Look at Your Precisely Machined Lock Pick.

You may notice this lock pick is better than most lock picks out there, 100% better actually, because it's a DOUBLE ended lock pick, the straight end acts as a jiggler pick which can open only the most horrible quality of locks, any lock under $5, and all the lower end master locks (especially ones that are poorly pinned)

The other end I won't be using. It is a basic large hook lock pick. If you bend it straighter in the lock's keyway, you can make a short hook pick, a very useful pick for picking most locks, but this is still a paperclip, and it's extremely hard to pick with. Lockpick "pros" can have fun with this side.

Step 4: Insert

slide the straight end into your lock, right under the pins.

At this point, make sure the torsion wrench in the lower part on the keyway is not getting in the way of your pick, the pick should slide in and out freely, without moving the pins much.

If your wrench is in the way, don't worry, for your wrench is double sided as well! the other end is straight though... just bend it a little in the keyway and make it work. You're trying to turn the keyway clockwise, but without interfering with the pins, thats the pick's job... just make it work, if you don't, you may have to saw your leg off.

Step 5: Lets Get Picking :D

just a minute, just hold on... If you haven't picked a lock before, I really wouldn't recommend learning like this. Jiggling with a straight paper clip is easy, it works on lots of cheap padlocks, but it's just horrible style, and learning with a paper clip torsion wrench is simply insanity. This instructable was made to prove it is in fact possible to pick locks with just one paperclip, and show people how to if they are ever stuck without any real picks.

assuming you've done everything correctly so far, just hold the lock and tools like shown, and rapidly, but gently giggle up and down on the pick, holding it right at the rounded bend, JUST AFTER you apply a light, but slowly increasing clockwise pressure on the torsion wrench...

again, I hope this isn't your first time picking locks, you may have no idea what I'm talking about...

Step 6: Here's Some Videos...






Step 7: Comment!

picking locks is not easy to do, and using just a paper clip to open a padlock can be extremely frustrating. but DON'T GIVE UP, it took me almost 20 paper clips to make this instructable, and Iv'e been doing this for a long time! post and questions, comments, suggestions, or tips.


~thanks

Comments

author
FNAF IS EPIC (author)2016-10-15

So, if I'm helping my lil sis pick her diary lock (which is small) should we use a small paperclip?

author
dragonblue24 (author)2016-08-13

Thanks for the instructable! I've always been intrigued by this but now realized I will need waaay more paperclips...
And for the "don't teach criminals" crowd, two things:
1.) Go ahead and try to pick a lock. Seriously. I know the theory but I find it's actually not quite as easy. Or fast. So watch out for the guy with a box of paperclips standing in front of your lock for like 30 minutes while continously cussing and the walking away frustrated.
2.) Most homes or locks can be broken into much easier using destructive methods. Break a window, use a bolt cutter or just drive your pick-up truck through the wall. If someone really wants to get in they will get in. Ask your local police officer, 9 out of 10 timed thats how burglars get in, not by picking locks, because that actually takes skill and time. Even the locksmith I once had to call just busted my lock, the lazy bastard.
Lastly if you have to cut your favorite padlock always do it on the top of the horseshoe that way you can weld and reuse it...


author
THEFIRSTBDC (author)dragonblue242016-08-14

3.) To those would-be criminals...please stop by...there is yet another mechanical device with a trigger waiting on the other side of MY door... ;)

author
RickD72 (author)2016-08-13

This does work. It helps to know how they are constructed and then visualize what you are doing.

author
RickD72 (author)2016-08-13

Quick way I would get into video and vending machine I owned that had the locks buggered. Drive a flat screwdriver into the key hole . Use a crescent wrench to turn the screwdriver. Might take a couple of tries but all cheap and some better locks if you break the pins the lock opens. Some have cheap wafers and they are even easier.

author
HelenS73 (author)2016-08-07

thanks for letting every criminal know how to break the lock on my back yard and get in my windows!!!!!!!

author
DW1029FD (author)HelenS732016-08-13

You don't have to worry about criminals using this to get through your locks. This takes too much time and some talent/practice to get. Criminals find it much faster and easier to just pry or cut the lock. I have been in law enforcement for over 20 years and have never run across a lock that has been picked by a would-be thief. The lock are always cut/damaged.

author
chris.gaines.71 (author)HelenS732016-08-13

My dear Helen, please be aware that lock picking has been around as long as there have been locks. I figured all of this tutorial out when I was 11. I am now 65. I have never abused my knowledge, though one friend did go behind my back, questioning my integrity after I unlocked her house for her and showed her how to fix her vulnerability. People!.

author
ynneb (author)HelenS732016-08-07

Enter stage left, the mandatory, pseudo moralist. Every group has at least one.
Pretty sure that this tutoial is old news to any would be crim.

author
PhilippeB15 (author)HelenS732016-08-07

Yo Helen S73. Be grateful someone woke you up to the fact. Get solid window locks, and remember that most fences are not impregnable. As in ladder over and out.

author
pfsullivan (author)HelenS732016-08-07

There have been lock picking instructions since the days when usenet started and the World Wide Web was text based. Criminals already know how to do it. Also Google "bump keys" and see how they get in your front door.

author
Diy_kitty (author)2015-04-03

hopefully I will be able to open my safe

author
WarrenW14 (author)Diy_kitty2016-08-13

I already did. There's nothing there...

author
WilliamR136 (author)2016-08-13

The videos in step 6 do not appear.

author
HelenS73 (author)2016-08-08

Thanks PhillippeB15, it sure sent me to Home Depot to get some extra sliding locks for my downstairs windows. And as for you, ynneb, someone in this country has to have some morality, they're disappearing by the thousands :-)

author
casemill (author)2016-08-08

I tried it with a paperclip. It didn't work, (sorry). Then I tried it with another paperclip. It didn't work (sorry). Then I tried it with a different paperclip and it didn't work.

author
casemill (author)2016-08-08

Don't worry, paperclips can't pick locks.

author
RobertA2 (author)2016-08-07

I don't bother with picking a lock. Bolt Cutter does a quick job and no time wasted. Don't misunderstand me, I use bolt cutters when the key was lost.

author
Wellsey1 (author)2016-08-07

Calm down, its not really practical, just for fun. Like the maker of the Instructable said, it took him nearly twenty paper clips to do it and likely hours of time. Who would spend hours trying to pick a lock when they can just break a window?

author
MurrayS (author)2016-08-07

The videos do not exist

author
majids16 (author)2016-06-25

tank you ...mr majid iran

author
lonelyBlobby (author)2016-06-23

the videos dont work

author
Smoochy1 (author)lonelyBlobby2016-06-24

Maybe you should try again & not give up so easily. Unless you've gone thru an entire box of paper clips already. Just Sayin. Have a blessed day.

author
lonelyBlobby (author)2016-06-23

sorry but it was kind of hard to understand

(nothing mean) i was really hoping the videos would help but they dont work on my device

thanks anyways

ill eventually make it !
author
I_boom5245 (author)2016-06-23

Haven't tried this yet but I know this works. This is a very efficient way to make a lock picker. Nice job!

author
tpirt (author)2016-06-23

Awesome deffinately works. I once picked my door lock with a bump key cause i foregot my house key on my other key ring.

author
ShilpaAtwaal (author)2016-05-27

your great ideas

author
RedKing9132 (author)2016-05-08

This question isn't related to picking locks, but how do you, like, tag your pictures?

author
Trf39 (author)2015-12-14

Been picking locks since I was about 5. This is nothing new to me. I usually use paper clips, metal hangers, and pieces of metal.

author
GggfgPickens bvggh (author)2015-10-16

This is my first time picking locks and I did it twice already

author
Binte MZ (author)2015-09-07

this is crazy

author
steeke10 (author)2015-06-21

author
steeke10 (author)2015-06-21

author
AyeshaM1 (author)2015-06-08

I cant open it :'(

author
ChrisI2 (author)2015-02-25

cool hahahah

author
searswilliams (author)2014-11-26

You are brilliant! Thank you! Made it on the first attempt. YEAH!

author
sszorin. (author)2014-10-27

Baloney,

It is very unclear what he [presumably] says.

You push the pin up or left or right ? You turn it at an angled position or from straight position ?

author
JohnnyObnoxious (author)2014-07-22

Got this to work on my second try using my first paperclip. The tension wrench must be as close to the bottom of the lock as you can get it, with medium-high pressure (as much as you can use to not bend the paperclip). After that it is trial and error to get the pins up (I found more pressure = better).

Thank you so much, I just saved my coworker $10 on buying a new lock

author
reddevved (author)2011-09-13

"just make it work, if you don't, you may have to saw your leg off."
Or you could saw the lock off.

author
slegary (author)reddevved2014-05-18

"Whoosh"

Foghorn-Leghorn-Thats-a-joke-son-You-missed-it-Flew-right-by-ya.jpg
author
ladieslilman98 (author)reddevved2012-01-27

it was humorous...i dont actually think he seriously suggested that

author
botstarter (author)2013-03-11

I picked the all the doors and windows in the classrooms starting third grade

author
slegary (author)botstarter2014-05-18

... But window locks don't need picking...

author
patbking (author)botstarter2014-04-23

hahaha

author
slipperyben (author)2014-05-08

i picked the doors of the classrooms at lunch lol

evil B)

author
JacobPi (author)2014-04-21

Cool!

author
dprosser1 (author)2013-10-03

Does anyone know what locks were used in the vids?

author
BlackMaple (author)2012-10-04

Guess what, I broke into the Teacher's personal cabinet under her desk in about 17 seconds using only a paperclip....Im a naural lock-picker :)

So evil. -_-

author
nkonidare (author)2012-09-10

bros and bras i found out how on my own and not by an instructable and i found out when i was 3 yrs. old

author
coolo52 (author)2012-04-09

i can now pick a padlock i have using raking and a poor excuse for a w rake made of a paperclip

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