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Find out How to Pick a Lock with a Paperclip Easily

how to pick a lock with a paperclip

In this cool guide, we’ll teach you how to pick a lock with a paperclip simply. Learning to pick locks with paper clips is like a tricky puzzle. Knowledge is key, and with great knowledge comes great responsibility. 

So, strap in, and let’s figure out how to pick a lock with a paperclip.

Tools Needed to Prepare How to Pick a Lock with a Paperclip

  1. Grab some paper clips, any size works, but bigger ones are sturdier. 
  2. Transform these into nifty lock picks and tension wrenches. Be cautious, as smaller clips might snap in the lock.
  3. Next up, get a pair of needle nose pliers. These will help you shape the paper clips. If you lack pliers, flex those muscles to bend the clips, or use a door frame’s hard corner. 

Highlights of Picking a Lock with a Paperclip

  • Make a tension wrench from a clip.
  • Shape another clip into a rake.
  • Position the tension wrench low in the lock.
  • Insert the rake above it.
  • Move the rake back and forth, lifting the key pins one by one.
  • Apply pressure, torque the wrench, and turn the lock. Easy, right?

How to Pick a Lock with a Paperclip: Step by Step Guide

Now, let’s get into creating each tool, ensuring you’re prepared to conquer this lock.

Step 1

household tools
Image Credit: Instructables

Straighten the paperclip entirely, leaving only one loop at the bottom. Bend it at a 90-degree angle, ensuring the bent part measures around 2-2.5cm. This is crucial; if it’s too short, it won’t fully fit in the lock. Apply gentle pressure; no need to go all “Hulk” on it. 

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Step 2 

how to pick a lock with a paperclip
Image Credit: Art of Lock Picking

For the first, create a RAKE. Straighten a paperclip, leaving a small handle. Use pliers for 45-degree bends every 2-3mm. Make 2 to 5 bends. Trial and error may be needed; 3 is a good middle ground for most locks.

Step 3

tension wrench
Image Credit: Art of Lock Picking

Start picking with just a paperclip. Insert the tension wrench at the lock’s base, then slide the rake at the top, swiftly moving it in and out while applying pressure on the tension wrench, mimicking key turns. If not perfect initially, no worries. 

Step 4

how to pick a lock with a paperclip
Image Credit: wikiHow

Glide the rake smoothly, moving it up and down until you sense a slight twist in the tension wrench. This signals you’re holding the driver pin on the plug while the key pin drops, mimicking the key’s action.

Maintain a steady, not too slow, motion. Avoid abrupt; some trial and error is expected.

Step 5 

how to unlock the lock without using keys
Image Credit: wikiHow

Apply gentle pressure on the tension wrench while moving the rake along the pins. Move it up and back to lift the pins. You’ll feel resistance reduced as each pin is unpicked, potentially accompanied by a clicking sound.

Repeat until all pins are set, adjusting tension for more unlocked pins. Once all pins align, the correct torque on the tension wrench will unlock the lock. Remove paper clips upon successful entry.

Other “homemade” tools include bobby pins, hairpins, credit cards, and knives. Never stress about finding random household items; stay prepared for the next paperclip lock challenge.

You know how to pick a lock with a paperclip, ensuring house re-entry in seconds. Of course, the key is the best option. Don’t lose it! 

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Tips and Troubleshooting:

Lock picking is a bit like an art; it’s easy, but there are tricks. Here are some tricks to get good at using a paperclip to unlock stuff and not get stuck.

  • Don’t press too hard with your twisty thing; too much force can snap your paperclip, leaving bits inside. Be careful to avoid this mess.
  • Paperclips are famously hard to yank out once they’re stuck in a lock.
  • If you’re heavy-handed, go for stronger stuff or get a fancy lock-picking kit. 
  • Pro Tip: Watch the twisty thing; if it bends more than 20 degrees, you’re pushing too much.
  • First tries with paperclips might take a while. Practice on old locks to get good and figure out how it works. That way, you won’t panic when you face a real lock challenge.
  • Knowing exactly how a basic lock works isn’t a must, but it helps. 
  • Using the wrong key or not lifting pins right makes them cross and fail.
  • When picking a lock, you’re using tools, not a key, matching pin and driver pin spaces with the line where they split. Super simple.
  • As I said, lock picking is more art than science. The best way to learn is by doing. Get different locks, practice during breaks, or when you’re just chilling.


If you find yourself stuck in the middle of opening a door then how to pick a lock with a paperclip involves very easy and simple steps to do it in minutes and avoid any hassle. So use the easy handy tool called paperclip to ease picking locks.

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