How to Pick a Lock (works With Paperclips)




Introduction: How to Pick a Lock (works With Paperclips)

About: I have always loved woodworking and inventing. I will try to post an instructable about everything that I think is good. Visit my website to see instruction videos about home improvements with general contra...
In this instructable I will describe how to pick a common pin-and-tumbler design lock. I will describe all of the important information needed to pick a lock. Here is a video of me picking a lock.

Step 1: Supplies and Important Information

Probably the most important thing to know, when picking a lock, is how the lock works. The common pin-and-tumbler has 3 main parts- a hollow, outer cylinder- - the tumbler (the inner cylinder) – and a set of pins. The pins are varying lengths and each pin sits in a shaft, running through the tumbler and the outer cylinder, to prevent the tumbler from turning. All of the pins are in two pieces, a top and bottom section, when the key is inserted the seam between the top and bottom pins align with the seam between the outer cylinder and the tumbler. When the seams are aligned the tumbler can be turned and the lock is opened. When picking a lock you have to use a pick to move all of the pins into the correct position while keeping tension on the lock with a tension wrench.

Step 2: Step 1

The first step is to insert the tension wrench into the lock and turn it the same direction that you would turn the key. There are two ways to pick a lock-- you can move each pin into place one at a time or you can use the technique called raking, raking a lock is not as precise and usually requires finishing by picking the last of the pins that do not fall into place-- when raking the lock you insert the pick to the back of the lock then pull it quickly out pushing all of the pins up while applying tension (this is the technique I started with in the video).

Step 3: Step 2

When you move all of the pins into place the tumbler will turn unlocking the lock. The concept of picking a lock is simple but it is difficult to actually do. I hope you enjoyed this instrutable, if you have any questions just comment below.

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    6 Discussions

    Hueys GoodO
    Hueys GoodO

    3 years ago

    if you want to see how to actually pick a lock with just bobby / hair pin check this out


    4 years ago

    great i'ble,, thanks for sharing... looks quite easy, i suppose is far easier said than done though...:)

    My friend left his keys in his locker and I used this technique before the next class! Great 'ible, by the way.

    long storey about pickin locks every one got locked out of my house on thanksgiving so I asked my sister in law for a bobby pin picked the lock (hardest lock eva) it took about 10 1\2 minuets but got there good times iam 13 yrs of age and my mum gav me 20 bucks and I learn't it from a website on here!! good old days!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I think I watched to much MacGyver as a kid because somehow I knew how to do this, I shocked a few people last summer when I was able to pick a lock open when they had lost their keys. I also am pretty good about popping the lock on a car who's keys are left inside. Long story short, I think you make a great instructable on the basics of getting into a lock, some great locks for people to try out the skill and get used to it before trying a harder lock is something with two prongs. Like cheap cash boxes. Well done and good luck in the contest!