Open Locked Door With Zipties




Earlier today I was bored and tried to open a locked door with a card (like they do in the movies). It was easier then I thought (there is probably an indestructible on it somewhere, but here is the wikihow article, but it only works if your on the correct side of the door (with the sloping side of the latch facing you). So I tried to think of a way to open it from the other side and came up with this.

This tool like the card only works on one side of the door. But unlike the card it works on the side of the door that has the sloping side of the latch facing away from you.
This dose not work on doors with deadbolts.
This tool is made of a paperclip and 3 twist-ties.


On a side note, I apologize for any spelling errors/wrong use of words. Spelling and spell check are two things I can't seem to get a good grasp on.

Step 1: How It Works

How it works:

The wire loop is pulled down on the sloped part of the latch. The latch moves in order to allow the wire to move down. When the wire reaches the end of the latch the door can be opened but only in that instant.

Step 2: What You Will Need

To make this you will need:

(3) Twist ties - you can use any number you like but 3 is good for this length of twist tie. You can find these at any walmart or on some packages of bread, etc.)

(1) Paperclip - easy to find.

(1) Source of fire

(Optional) Pliers - not needed but makes the end product look better

Step 3: Preparing the Twist Ties

You will need to burn the paper/plastic part off the twist ties, you just want the metal wire.

When you burn the twistties try to hold them in the air (maybe with pliers), There is a plastic residue that falls off them as they burn and if you leave then on something while they burn it will stick to them.

Step 4: Tieing the Twist Ties

Next you will need to tie them together into one long wire. If you can find a long Twist tie to begin with this step is unnecessary.

Step 1:
Cross the wires as seen in the picture below

Step 2:
Wrap the end of the wire on the left back around and over the on on the right and vice versa.
(see picture)

Step 3:
Leave some wire untwisted. Bend the leftover wire up and back on top of the twist on both sides.

Step 4:
Repeat by attaching 3rd wire to the end of the second.

Step 5: Making the Handle

Next you need to make a handle. The handle isn't completely necessary but some doors require a bit of force and its hard to grip wire this thin.

Step 1:
Straighten paperclip

Step 2:
Curl ends of the paperclip as seen in picture blow to make hooks

Step 3:
Tie wire to one of the hooks. I tied it on by using a loop and then twisting it but there are many ways to do it.

Step 6: Using the Tool

The tool is very easy to use.

Step 1:
Orient the tool so the hook with the wire on it is facing up and bend the wire into a "U"

Step 2:
Put the wire in the crack between the door and its frame above the latch

Step 3:
Bring the wire around the back of the latch and out of the crack below it

Step 4:
Tie the wire to the other hook

Step 5:
Move the wire along the latch so it is as far toward the frame of the door as it can go

Step 6:
Pull on the wire while steadily pulling (or pushing if your door opens the other way for some reason) the door knob. You may need to move the wire around a bit until it seats.

Step 7:
Door opens.

It may require a lot of force on the wire to move the latch, but if the tool is about to break your putting to much force on it and should try to re-seat it instead.



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    23 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    isn't this the side of the door from which you lock in the 1st place? what you need is to be able to do this 'ible from the other side... also you have a chip on your doorframe which isn't normally present unless you chip it yourself... in any case, not credit cards, but a small x-ray sheet works well to open these kinda locks most of the time, esp if the door is a little loose i.e. you can pull the handle when the door is shut and the door is able to hit the frame


    6 years ago on Step 3

    Instead of going through all this can't you just use wire ?


    8 years ago on Step 4

    you could also add solder to that twist to make it stronger


    9 years ago on Step 6

    So let me get this straight...
    YOU are in the INSIDE of a room trying to UNLOCK the door when the little BUTTON is right there....
    Please explain to me the purpose/logic of this instructable?
    Everyone, if you really want to unlock a door, get a set of picks.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    this would work well school doors, any other door though is pointless

    mr. clean

    9 years ago on Introduction

    this will unfortunately only work with doors that swing out to go in the room.

    It would probably be easier for most people to just get a wire of the right gauge and length than burn and put together some twist ties. Related: why does the title say "zipties" when you're using twist ties?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    my friends and i used to use butter knives to do this


    9 years ago on Introduction

    something is wrong with your open a locked door your system should be design to use from out side.But this one is design to use from in side.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Some doors have the sloped side of the latch facing the inside and some have it facing the outside. I see both every day, in many places. The door to the front of my house would require the card while the one at the back would need this. The door in the pic is from the inside because it was raining and I didn't want to get my camera wet using the outside door.