This is How to Unlock a Door with A Bobby Pin


Getting locked out of your room or home can be stressful if you don’t have a spare key handy. Luckily, you can avoid hefty fees from a locksmith by learning how to pick a lock yourself. To pick a lock on a door, you need 2 bobby pins and some patience. One pin acts as a pickaxe and the other bobby pin acts as a lever, which you use to turn the lock. Below are details on how to unlock a door with a bobby pin

How to make a lock from a hairpin 

Before you can try to unlock a door with a bobby pin, you need to prepare the tool. You need to reshape the hairpin into certain form to make the lockpicking easier. Here are the steps to make a lock from bobby pin.

Step 1

Unclip a bobby pin and bend it at a 90 degree angle. Spread apart the wavy and straight ends of the bobby pin so that it bends in the middle and looks like an L. This hairpin serves as a pickaxe, which you use to unlock the door. 

Step 2

Remove the tip from the bobby pin’s straight end. Use razor blade or a knife to take out the rounded rubber tip on the bobby pin. This is the end you put in the lock to pick it. If you don’t have a tool, use your fingernail or teeth to remove the rubber tip.

Step 3

Put in the pin’s flat end of into the lock and bend it. Insert the pin about 1/2 inch in and then fold the rest of the bobby pin until it is flush against the front of the doorknob. This bends the tip at an angle. You use the bent end of the pin to loosen the pins in the lock.

Step 4

Bend the bobby pin’s wavy end into a lever for more control. Take the scalloped end of the pick and bend it up at a 30-degree angle to form the handle. This step is not necessary but will make opening the lock easier and more comfortable for your hands. Once you’re done creating the handle, the selection is complete. The curvy end of the bobby pin will look like a coffee mug handle when you’re done bending.

Step 5

Bend the tip of another bobby pin to make the cocking lever. Take a separate bobby pin and bend the top 1/3 of the pin so it forms a hook. Don’t spread both sides of the bobby pin apart like you did with the pick. Bend both sides of it in the same direction together instead. You will use the cocking lever to turn the lock once you’ve picked it.

How to open a locked door with a hairpin 

Once you have the hairpin, now it’s time to learn how to unlock a door with it. Below are the steps you can follow.

Step 1

Insert the cocking lever into the bottom of the lock. Take the shorter, curved end of the cocking lever and insert it into the bottom hole of your door lock. The cocking lever hangs from the front of your doorknob. You use the lever to hold tension on the lock while you open it and to turn the doorknob after you open the lock.

Step 2

Push the lever counterclockwise to apply the tension. When the lever stays cocked, the barrel rotates in the lock, which allows you to raise each individual pin. Squeeze the lever until you feel some tension without using a lot of force. 

Keep the lock cocked as you pick it. This tension is necessary or the pins will simply fall back into the barrel and keep the knob locked.

Step 3

Insert the pickaxe into the lock and feel for the pins. Insert the slightly curved end of the pick into the lock with the tip pointing up. The pins sit on the top part inside the keyhole. Feel the pins with your pick by pressing down on the pick handle while it is in the hole. Push the pick handle down to push the pins up. 

Most traditional doorknobs have 5 or 6 pins. A key pushes the pins into the exact position they need to align with the barrel, thus unlocking the door.

Step 4

Push your selection down until you hear a click. Some of the pins slide up easily when you press down on them with your pick, while others have some resistance. Pins with resistance are referred to as stuck pins. Focus on the pins with a lot of resistance first. Find a pin that’s hard to push up, and slowly press down on the handle of your pick until you hear a click. 

The click is the sound of the pin adjustment on the barrel. You must first set the seized pins before setting the other pins.

Step 5

Lift the remaining pins in the door lock. Keep feeling the pins with your pick and squeeze the pick handle to lift each pin. Once each pin is seated on top of the barrel, the door will unlock. 

Step 6

Turn the cocking lever counterclockwise to open the door. Grab the end of the cocking lever and turn it like a key until the door unlocks. Your door is now unlocked! 

Most doors require you to turn the cocking handle counter-clockwise to open the door, but some door handles may vary. The cocking lever will only rotate fully when the pins are properly seated on the lock cylinder.


As you can see, it’s devastatingly easy to get back into the house or apartment when you’ve locked yourself out. We hope that you are now prepared should the door accidentally slam shut. 

So, there are things to consider to save you from getting into this situation in the first place. If you just want to get something out of the car, run to the mailbox or have a chat with the passing neighbor, we advise you to put a wedge in the door. That way it can’t accidentally fall shut and you save yourself the excitement of being locked out.

The tricks for opening doors without a key also show that you should definitely lock the door when you leave the house. And make sure all the windows are closed beforehand!

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