How to open a Deadbolt Lock Without a Key?

It’s that frustrating moment when you need to get inside your home or office for urgent work, and you realize that you are missing keys to the door. All hell seems to break loose. Don’t panic and stay calm; it happens with most of us someday or other.

Breathe easy as this article discusses multiple ways of unlocking the deadbolt door without using a key.

How to open a Deadbolt Lock without a key?

It’s the common and easiest method of unlocking the deadbolt door lock. Take two bobby pins. Insert the closed “loop” end of a bobby pin at the bottom of the deadbolt lock. Break the second bobby pin in half and insert it at the upper part of the lock. Move it forward and backwards a few times. Turn the first pin clockwise for setting the pins and unlocking the deadbolt.

What if you don’t have bobby pins available? No worries, you can use various other commonly available tools such as credit card or knife for unlocking the deadbolt lock. Read on as we will discuss these tools in detail in the upcoming sections of this article.

Before we explore other ways of unlocking the deadbolt lock, let’s discuss how easy or difficult it is to pick a deadbolt lock?

Can You Pick a Deadbolt Lock Easily?

The lock picking should ideally simulate the function of a working key. Apart from your lock picking skill levels, the other factor influencing lock picking is your lock’s quality. If you have a strong and highly secure lock, it will be harder to pick and vice-versa.

While it is possible to pick all types of locks, it is not easy to pick them without applying focused and deft efforts. With improvised picks like paper clips or bobby pins, you require more practice and a bit of luck to open the door quickly without using a key.

Unlocking with a Credit Card

The credit card is ideally suitable for unlocking fastener locks using a biased fastener bolt or come with a simple knob design with a slanted-latch or spring-latch mechanism.

Insert your card into the vertical crack by sliding it down between the doorknob and door frame. Now push your card far so that it makes a 90-degree angle to the door.

It’s better to push the door back with your other hand as far as possible so that you can view the location of the door frame easily. Once you have inserted the credit card, tilt it towards the doorknob. Also, tilt the side of the credit card till it touches the doorknob.

This will allow you to push the credit card further into the gap present between the doorknob and door frame. Now bend the credit card the opposite way for making it slip under the angled end of the slant-latch. This action forces the latch back into the door.

While you are bending your credit card back and forth, try leaning against the door. This creates more pressure on the latch and forces the door to unlock.

Unlocking with a Knife

Isn’t it surprising that you can also unlock your deadbolt door using a knife? A knife is a vital tool for picking up the locks. You need not use a thin knife with razor-sharp edges for the purpose, and even a dull knife works great as it reduces the chances of hurting yourself.

If you have the skills of opening up the basic entrance deadbolt without using a key, a minor knife edge comes in handy. In case you have an extra lock in addition to a deadbolt, the knife does not serve your purpose of unlocking the deadbolt lock.

Thus, you can use a knife for unlocking the pin tumbler deadbolt. It can be employed as a rotation wrench or used for wriggling it around for imitating the action of a key.

Unlocking With Bobby Pins

This section talks about the detailed steps of unlocking deadbolt locks using bobby pins. As discussed briefly above, you need two bobby pins for unlocking the door. While one bobby pin serves as the pick, the other pin functions as a lever for rotating the lock.

Creating the Pick and Tension Lever

Take a bobby pin and move its wavy and straight arms apart to bend it open and create a 90-degree angle so that the wavy and straight ends of the pin make up an L-shaped pin. This bobby pin will be used for picking the locks. Use a razor blade/knife for removing the rounded rubber tip on the straight end of the pin.

The straight end of the bobby pin is used for inserting into the lock for picking it. Stick this end about 1 cm into the top portion of the deadbolt lock and bend the pin at an angle against the doorknob face. This bent tip is used for disengaging the pins in the lock.

Take the wavy end of the pin and bend it at a 30-degree angle into a handle for ensuring more control and comfort while picking the lock. After bending, the curvy end of the pin should resemble a handle of the cup.

Take the other bobby pin and bend it up to 1/3rd of the pin for forming a hook. Ensure that you don’t bend both sides as done earlier with the pick. Bend both sides in the same direction for creating a tension lever. This tension lever turns the lock after picking it.

Picking the Lock

So far, you have created a pick and tension lever with the two bobby pins, and now it’s time to pick the locks. Insert the shorter bent end of the tension lever into the bottom part of the lock. This will leave the rest of the tension lever hanging down the doorknob’s front.

While picking the lock, this tension lever serves to maintain tension on the lock. Once you have picked the lock, it helps in rotating the doorknob. Push this lever in a counterclockwise direction for applying tension.

As you maintain tension on the lever, it rotates the barrel in the lock for lifting each pin. Ensure to keep the tension on the lock during picking. This tension is required for maintaining the pins lifted and preventing them from keeping the knob locked.

Now take the pick and stick its slightly bent end into the lock while keeping the tip facing upwards. Press down on the pick’s handle to push the pins up located on the upper part within the keyhole.

While using a key for opening the door, the key pushes the pins for lining them in the exact position with the barrel, resulting in unlocking the door.

Push the handle of the pick slowly until you hear a click. Begin with the pins with high resistance and work with pins that slide up easily. The click sound confirms the setting of the pin on the barrel. Set the seized pins with high resistance in their place, followed by other pins.

Keep lifting the pins in the door lock by pressing down on the handle of the pick. Once you have completed the setting of all the pins, you will have an unlocked door. Move the tension lever by grabbing its end in a clockwise direction like a key for opening the door.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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