Picture of Poor man's paperclip lockpicks
Using a squashed paperclip, and a tension wrench you can begin learning the art of lock picking!
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
You will need:
1. Fairly large paperclip
2. Hammer
3. Something to smash the paperclip on, anvil, rock, concrete
4. Tension wrench

Possiblities for tension wrenches:
1. Small screw driver with a bent tip
2. Another paperclip
3. Model rocket engine clip
4. An actual tension wrench out of a lock picking set

Step 2: Straighten the clip

Picture of Straighten the clip
Straighten out the paperclip as shown

Step 3: Flatten

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Flatten out the end of the clip thats poking out, this makes the paperclip rigid and flat enough to fit into the lock.

Step 4: Test out your new pick!

Picture of Test out your new pick!
Picking locks takes practice. Check out the basics on how stuff works , another good document is the "MIT Guide to Lockpicking"

If you really are interested, purchase a lockpick set (around $15 for a basic one from southord). Be sure to check your state laws reguarding lock picking tools and the legality of it all, its always a good idea to see how deep you are getting before you jump in!

Attached is a video of the paper clip lock pick in action. The first section is using a small paper clip as the tension wrench, the second section I used a tension wrench out of a normal lockpick set.

Video is taken with my "stick the camera halfway in your pants" method
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Wow !

Jake95282 years ago
I made a set awhile back and one of the best things for a tension wrench was cutting open an old windshield wiper blade and using the metal part.. It worked great!
Think you could use a vice tightened all the way?
nak (author)  Fried Potatoes2 years ago
no, I don't think so, a hammer works great
james42 years ago
I can't get the paper clip to get flattened.I tried using a vise and a pair of pliers but it own't work.As for the screwdriver tension wrench, I can only bend it like a millimeter.
I believe that the clip of a uni-ball pen can be bent and used as a tension wrench although I haven't tried...
I'd hate to bastardize such an amazing mechanical pencil, but the clip from a Zebra M-301 is also a pretty good tension wrench
blin23 years ago
there is no more "MIT Guide to Lockpicking" !

coolo52 blin22 years ago
there is i am on the website and using it right now
nak (author)  blin23 years ago

amelder3 years ago
i wanna hear more about these pranks. ;)
(removed by author or community request)
nak (author)  DELETED_zcbaker3 years ago
The video isn't necessary :)
so... how thick is the right thickness?
nak (author)  Madmartigan953 years ago
"flat enough to fit into the lock." depends on the lock, but if you have vernier calipers and like to be precise, I'd say no more than 1mm, probably closer to .7 or .8mm. However, what really matters is: "Does it fit into the lock?" and "Does it break when I try to use it?" if the latter occurs try again and don't smash it so hard ya goof! ;)
coolo523 years ago
i like using screwdrivers that are tiny enough for screws on toys to pick locks inside my house like the ones on bedroom doors

Pasit7 years ago
what did u use for a tension wrench in the video??
He used a paper clip the first part and i think a bent up mini screw driver the next. I use the mini screw driver
jinaiiiii6 years ago
LMAO stick the camera halfway in your pants. Interesting, I'll try it!
Are you trying the paperclips, or stuff halfway down your pants? o_0
camera down pants, DUH
haha, I can't believe you just saw this, that was 2 1/2 years ago.
make an instructable for the rocket I whant to make one
Just buy a kit at Walmart. They have all the supplies and instructions.

nak (author)  Virisenox4 years ago
Yeah I was confused at first, then I realised the rocket was in the picture :P
I don't want to make an instructable on that, it was too long ago, and I used a wood lathe (my grampapas for the nose)
Coranu5 years ago
Just thought I'd mention, it's illegal to own a lock pick in D.C., Illinois, New York State, Canada and New Jersey if it can be used on a motor vehicle. So no one gets in trouble with the law.
wat. Coranu4 years ago
It won't be legal in the UK!
And it's 100% legal to own one and use it in Canada if you're not caught using it with criminal intention as it is seen by the Canadian government in the same category as hammers and crowbars. And since they are legal to use unless you do something wrong with it, then they can't press charges against you for using it to get into your own house, for sport, or just for the luxury of knowing how to pick a lock.
would this work on a motor vehicle, then?
These? Probably not.
Javin007 Coranu5 years ago
To be technical, it's not illegal to OWN a kit in D.C., only illegal to carry it outside of your house.  :)
wat.4 years ago
Using in britain by crowbar if you don't use it as a weaponed, it's not an offence.
schwabie4 years ago
its considered a burgalry tool if ur caught unless u are a locksmith.i bought a starters lockpicking kit and a book for about 20 bucks.i can pick a masterlock in about 1 minute.and ive only had it for a week.
nak (author)  schwabie4 years ago
You're super awesome and smart!
adamthiede7 years ago
i went to youtube and got a great tutorial. uses hacksaw blades, bench grinder, dremel, and blowtorch. ALWAYS USE SAFETY!!!! I found the blowtorch wasnt needed if u have a lighter with a long neck and a creative imagination...
the only problem is wen ur parents only let u use a dremel, no grinder or flame
Which is odd, considering a dremel is just a grinder on a smaller scale. You can still kill yourself with it, so it's not like it's more safe.
Plus you really can't accidently stab yourself with a running grinder..... ...just a thought...
Heh. true.
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