How to Open a Door Lock with a Bobby Pin | A Full Detail Guide


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Have you ever been locked in for not having keys to a door? If so, you should know that this experience is very frustrating; in addition, it can fill us with anxiety and helplessness because we do not know what to do. But don’t worry; you are in the right place. We have the solution on how to open a door lock with a bobby pin!

If, for some reason, you get locked in a room, don’t despair. You have to look for an alternative that helps you in such a situation. Considering the above, you should know that there are infinities of techniques to speed up and solve these types of incidents. So knowing how to open a door lock with a bobby pin, for example, helps as long as you have the right tools. Furthermore, this guide will adequately cover the pin tumbler lock, as it makes up nearly 90% of the locks used in the world today.

How to Open a Door Lock with a Bobby Pin

There are many types of bobby pins. They all have certain characteristics, and not all such products are suitable for the role of a master key. The most suitable is the so-called invisible bobby pin. They are made, as a rule, of metal strong enough to act on the lock cylinder. The bobby pin, hypothetically, can also act as a lock pick, but for this, its teeth must be metal, bendable, and thin enough to fit through the keyhole. After all, cylinder locks have a rather narrow keyhole. The master key should not only climb into it but also move freely inside.

To use the invisible bobby pin, you must unbend it. The tip, about 5 mm, should be bent at 90 ° or approximately at that angle. The second end of the improvised master key is bent so that it is comfortable to hold and does not slip out of the hands during operation. It will be much more difficult to open the lock with an inconvenient tool. That’s all; the master key is ready, you can proceed to the next stage of preparation for opening the locking device.

Next, study the secret of the lock before opening it with a bobby pin.

After figuring out the bobby pin for opening your locks, you can begin to investigate the secret of the locking device. You cannot do without this stage because not all “cylinders” are so simple that you can “bite through” them at a snap. Modern cylinder locking devices have multilevel protection against the intelligent and rude opening, but let’s hope that, in your case, the lock will be easier. 

Some types of doors which can be opened using bobby pins include:

On doors with a pin tumbler lock

In general, pin tumbler locks are much easier to force with this tool than other types of locks, and the reason is that these, or at least simple knob locks, deactivate their security with a button that releases the safety when triggered.

If this is the case, you should only:

  • Find bobby pins, the kind that women often use in their hair.
  • Once you have it, you must condition it for the procedure:
  • Remove the plastic pieces from the tips. This will prevent them from getting stuck inside the lock or making their entry impossible.
  • If you cannot remove them with your hands, you can use a set of pliers to do it with more security and force.
  • With the tool ready, insert it with the tips forward through the keyhole, as deep as possible.
  • Then, you must take the knob and turn it together with the fork pushing inwards. In this way, you will force the lock’s internal mechanism and also deactivate the safety. Allowing that, when turning the knob again, the door opens.

Another way to do it: If your pin tumbler lock has a hole around the eye, you can do the following:

  • Fold the bobby pin in half, creating a 90-degree angle. Keeping its original shape, that is to say: without disassembling it.
  • Insert the end opposite the ends of the fork through the keyhole, holding it by the bent end as if it were an L key.
  • Push the fork to the bottom of the hole; press and turn as you move the knob once it comes out.

This combination removes the lock and allows the door to be opened.

On doors with pin or piston locks

Suppose the door you want to open is of another type. In that case, the technique may vary slightly since its internal mechanism is made up of metal pins or pistons that secure the cylinder, preventing it from deactivating and opening.

So to open that door, you must:

  • Remove the plastic knots at the ends of the bobby pin to prevent them from getting in the way.
  • The first bobby pin will need to be stretched to become a long, flat piece of metal.
  • Then use tweezers to slightly bend one of the tips to form a hook of a few millimetres. This piece will be the one with which you will move the pins inside.
  • Bend the other end of the hook over itself to generate an L key. This would also shape it into a handle and thus allow you to hold it better.
  • You will have to open the next pin to form a 90-degree angle, but do not make a hook for this, as it will act as the pressure key that will help you press the mechanism during the process.
  • insert the bobby pin through the keyhole, as low as possible. You must introduce the curved part, leaving the tips outside.
  • Turn it as if you were opening it with the original key and hold it. The idea is to ensure that the cylinder turns while facilitating the next unlocking.
  • Insert the missing fork. Position it tip-up and feel out as many pistons as you can. This will help you get a mental picture of how many pins you should work with.
  • Make up and down movements according to the pins available. What is sought is to move them from their position to place them linearly and free the cylinder.
  • It would help if you sharpened your ear a bit to analyze the sound they make based on their behavior while you manipulate them. This will help you during the force.
  • Remember to keep light pressure with the lever to help you through the process. But don’t exceed the applied force.
  • When you have unlocked all the pins and make sure that none are resisting, take the fork you used to press and turn it as if you were opening a key.
  • Help a little with your shoulder and push the door open.

If you have managed to move all the cylinder pistons, there will be no problems with the opening. Otherwise, you will have to start the technique again from scratch. Some of the pins may not be unlocked or may be lowered by pressure and movement.

More tips on How to Open a Door Lock with a Bobby Pin

When working on how to open a door lock with a bobby pin, its best to consider the following tips:

  • It would help if you took your time while you work. The best way to avoid mistakes that force you to start over is to go slowly and regularly.
  • Every movement you make while manipulating the lock’s internal mechanism counts to speed up the process. If you manage to maneuver badly, you could damage it.
  • After the work is done, you should consider carefully checking the lock, as it could have incurred some damage in the process.
  • You must bear in mind that performing this type of technique on someone else’s door could bring you legal problems. So we advise you to use it only if you are in trouble with any of your properties.
  • Mishandling this technique can lead to damage to the lock.

How to Open a Door Lock with a Bobby Pin: FAQs

How do you pick a lock with a bobby pin easily?

To pick a lock with a bobby pin easy, do make use of the following steps:

  • Insert the bent end of the bobby pin into the keyhole, being careful to position the pick from top to bottom about the keyhole. If you can’t push the pin through the first time, gently wiggle it from side to side.
  • Now try to turn the lock in the direction of the opening and listen for a click. 
  • Pull the pinout of the keyhole, and then reinsert if the first attempt fails.
  • If these manipulations caused the lock to react, then you can proceed to open the door.

How do you open a locked door without a key with a bobby pin?

To open a locked door without using a key with a bobby pin, do make use of the following steps:

  • Take off the rubber or plastic coating on the end of the Bobby pin to form two sharp, fine dots. 
  • Separate the two points slightly. 
  • Insert the double points of the bobby pin into the lock. 
  • Push the bobby pin forward into the lock.
  • Finally, apply a simple forward pressure to open the lock.

How can I open a lock without the pin?

You can open a lock without the pin by gently pulling the shackle upward and securing it in place. Next, carefully turn the dial clockwise until you hear a clicking sound in the lock.


In conclusion, the bobby pin works great when working to open a door lock. And if you desire to learn how to do this, the steps highlighted above would be indispensable. 

Furthermore, while there are diverse locks, this guide is focused on the Pin Tumbler lock, as it makes up nearly 90% of the locks used in the world today.

Learn More: How To Fix A Sliding Glass Door Lock

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