How to Pick a Lock with a Knife – How to Pick a Lock With a Knife

If you’re like some people, you’ve been in a situation where you’ve needed to get into a locked door but didn’t have a key. Maybe you were locked out of your house or car. In any case, if you don’t have a key, the only way to get in is to pick the lock. And if you don’t know how to pick a lock, that can be pretty tricky. 

But not impossible! In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to pick a lock with just a knife. So next time you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry – you’ll be able to get inside in no time!


What is Lock Picking- How Does it Work?

Lock picking is the art of opening a lock without using a key. It can be done with various tools, but the most common tool used is a tension wrench. A tension wrench is inserted into the bottom of the keyway and used to apply torque to the plug. 

This torque holds the pins in place while the pick is inserted into the keyway and used to manipulate the pins until they line up with the shear line, at which point the plug can be turned, and the lock opened.

While lock picking can be done without special tools, it is much more complex and time-consuming. However, if you don’t have the right tools at hand, alternative methods will do.

How to Stay Safe While Picking Locks

While picking locks can be a lifesaver in some situations, it is also essential to be aware of the risks involved. Like anything else, there is always a potential danger when learning to pick locks. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Never try to pick a lock that you do not own. This includes public property and private property that does not belong to you.
  • Be sure to have the proper permissions before attempting to pick any locks.
  • If you are ever unsure about a lock, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not attempt to pick it.
  • Use only picking tools that are designed for lock picking. If you use other items and tools, ensure you are knowledgeable and experienced enough.
  • Never use picking tools on locks that are currently in use (such as office doors,
  • When picking a lock, always insert the tool into the keyway at a 90-degree angle. Inserting the tool at any other angle can damage the pins and make the lock unusable.

Why You May Need to Pick a Lock with a Knife

Every homeowner doesn’t want to get locked out of their homes. If you’re a homeowner, then at some point, you’ve probably lost your keys or had them stolen. When this happens, the first thing you should do is call a locksmith. But what if it’s late at night and you can’t find a locksmith? 

What if you’re in a remote area and there’s no one around to help? In these cases, you may need to pick the lock yourself. And the best way to do that is try some lock picking tools like a knife. Although it is not recommended, it would be better than breaking a window. This will save not just your money but prevent you from getting hurt as well.

Types of Locks that You Can Pick With a Knife

There are various types of locks that you can pick with a knife. If you are unsure whether your lock is pickable with a knife, here are some guidelines.

  • Pin tumbler locks are the most common type and can be found on doors, cars, and bicycles. They are also the most accessible type of lock to pick with a knife.
  • Wafer tumbler locks are similar to pin tumbler locks but have fewer pins and are, therefore, easier to pick.
  • Lever tumbler locks are the most challenging type of lock to pick with a knife, but it is possible.

Is your door lock mentioned in the list above? If yes, then you can pick it up with a knife. However, it is important to ensure your safety when performing this method because the knife might slip. If you are certain you can do it correctly, you may proceed with the process. If not, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of a professional locksmith. Ready to get started? Let’s pick your lock!

How to Pick a Lock with a Knife

Before we start, it’s important to consider some things to successfully pick a lock with a knife. Considering these tips will lead to a successful lock-picking process. 

  • The knife you use should be strong but not too thick as you will use it as an actual lock pick. A steak knife or a butter knife is a good option.
  • The blade should be sharpened so it can fit into the lock’s keyway.
  • Make sure the knife handle is comfortable to grip and will not slip.
  • Ask yourself, is this your last resort? If not, please consider other methods or call a professional.

Know your locks. As previously stated, there are many types of locks, and some are easier to pick than others. For instance, the process will be easier if you pick basic padlocks. On the other hand, a deadbolt or any other secure locking mechanism will be more difficult and may require special tools.

Understand how locks work. This is critical to pick a lock with a knife. If you do not understand how the locking mechanism works, you will have difficulty picking the lock.

Jab, Twist, Wiggle Method

In this method, you will simultaneously make your knife work as both the tension wrench and as a lock pick. To perform it:

  • Step 1: Locate the keyhole and insert the knife blade into it till the tip hits the back of the lock.
  • Step 2: Turn the knife to the right, like when opening a lock with a key.
  • Step 3: Apply pressure to the lock pins so you can raise the pins and unlock the door later.
  • Step 3: Wiggle the knife up and down so the pins will be set correctly.
  • Step 4: if you fail, return the knife to the starting position and try again.
Get Somebody to Help

In the first method, we used the knife as a tension wrench and a pick lock at the same time. This is because those tools are tandem in opening a lock. Rather than using a knife as both tools, we will use the knife as a wrench only this time. 

And for the picklock, we will ask somebody to help using a booby pin, paperclip, or a hairpin. This method is easier than the first one, and you can do this with somebody else. The process is the same as the first method; the only difference is you now have somebody to help do the picking while you do the wrenching. This will go faster than if you are doing it alone.

Unlocking Push Button Locks With a Knife

As we all know, not all doors have a keyhole we can use to pick. But that doesn’t mean we can’t open it with a knife. We can still use our trusty friend, the knife, to open these kinds of doors. When you are dealing with push-button locks, do these steps.

Step 1: All you need is to find the right position of the locking mechanism and use your knife to push it.

Step 2: After finding the locking mechanism, insert the blade of your knife in between the door and the frame.

Step 3: Once you find the spot, start prying open the door by twisting the knife. And that’s how you open a push-button lock with a knife.

This method is the same as the credit card method, but with a knife, it will be more durable and can be used more than once.

Alternatives to Picking Locks With Knife

If you don’t have a knife or are looking for an alternative to picking a lock with a knife, there are a few other things you can try.

Paper Clip or Bobby Pin

Aside from a knife, these tools are one of the most common tools you can use. They are also accessible and easy to find as they are common household items. You can also use a hairpin if you don’t have a paperclip or bobby pin.

Credit Card

Another item you can use is a credit card. This method is also common and easy to do. All you need is a credit card that will fit into the space between the door and the frame.

Coat Hanger

A coat hanger can also be an effective tool for picking a lock. This method is a little more complicated than the others, but it can still be done. You will need to straighten out the hanger and make a hook at the end. This hook will catch the pins in the lock and allow you to turn the lock.

With these alternative methods, you should be able to pick a lock without using a knife. Be sure to practice before trying it on a real lock so you don’t damage the lock or get yourself stuck. 

What to Do If All Else Fails

If doing all the methods above did not work for you, then maybe lock picking is not for you. Here are some things you can do instead:

Ask for Help

If you live in an apartment, there’s a possibility that the landlord has a spare set of keys. This is if you hadn’t changed the locks when you first moved in. However, there is no harm in trying, so it’s worth giving them a call.

Get a Locksmith

If you have tried all of the methods and still cannot seem to open the door, then it’s time to bring in the professionals. A locksmith will be able to help you get into your apartment without damaging the lock. They will also be able to give you advice on how to better protect your home in the future.

Perform Desperate Measures

As a last resort, you can try to break the door down. This should only be done as a last resort because it will most likely damage the door.

If you have no other choice, then use your shoulder to bash into the door until it opens. If you are not strong enough to do it, use a hard object such as a hammer or a baseball bat. Aim for the doorknob until it loosens up, and you can turn it.

Tip: Before doing desperate measures, think many times as possible because once you do it, there’s no turning back, and you damage the door frame and will have to spend more than calling a locksmith.

At Legacy Locksmith, we understand that getting locked out of your home can be a frustrating and stressful experience. That’s why we’re here to help! Our team of locksmiths are experts in lock picking and can help you get into your home quickly and without damaging your door. Give us a call today; we’re always here to help!

Should You Pick a Lock With a Knife?

If there are no accessible ways to open the lock, you have to. But, of course, this isn’t the ideal situation. Picking a lock with a knife can damage both the lock and the blade, so it’s not something you want to do regularly. Plus, it’s just not as effective as using a proper pick.

That said, there are some situations where picking a lock with a knife is the best option. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to fiddle with a pick, or if you’re in a situation where making too much noise could be dangerous, then using a knife to pick the lock is probably your best bet.

Tips for Beginners 

If you’re interested in learning how to pick locks, one of the best ways to start is with a knife. Here are some tips on how to get started:

  • Start by finding a lock that you can practice on. An old door knob or padlock is ideal.
  • Practice your patience as well as your technique. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and learning to pick a lock is no different.
  • Experiment with different types of knives until you find one that feels comfortable for you to use.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things or experiment. The more you practice, the better you’ll pick locks with a knife.
The benefits of Learning How to Pick Locks

It is no secret that intruders and criminals widely use picking locks to access properties and belongings that do not belong to them. However, many people do not know that picking locks can also be useful for law-abiding citizens.

Knowing how to pick a lock can save you a lot of time and hassle if you are locked out of your house or car. It can also be a useful skill to have in general, as it allows you to open locks without damaging them (it depends on your skills). By knowing several methods to pick a lock, you will no longer be afraid and panic if you are locked out somewhere.

Things to Avoid When Picking a Lock With a Knife

While it may be tempting to use a knife as a lock pick, as it is a small and easily concealed tool, there are several factors to avoid, as it may hurt your fingers and damage the lock. So before you start picking, keep these things in mind.

  • Don’t use a big knife as it will be difficult to control and more likely to slip, potentially damaging the lock or hurting your fingers.
  • Use a dull knife rather than a sharp one, as you don’t want the blade slipping and puncturing your skin. A butter knife is ideal.
  • Bend the blade slightly in the middle, so it has a more pronounced hook shape. This will help it grip the pins more effectively.
  • Avoid using a knife with a very thin blade, as this is more likely to break.
  • Don’t use too much force when picking the lock, as this could damage both the lock and the blade.
  • Don’t start until you confirm you have the right knife for the task.
FAQs about lock picking

Is lock picking illegal?

In most cases, no. Lock picking is only illegal if you are doing so without the permission of the owner of the lock.

How long does it take to pick a lock?

This depends on the person. Some people may be able to learn how to pick a lock in a matter of minutes, while others may need more practice.

What is the best way to learn how to pick a lock?

You can learn how to pick a lock in many ways. You can find instructional videos and books on the subject, or you can take a class from a professional.


Picking a lock is not as hard as it seems, especially if you have the right tools. And in this case, the right tool is a knife. Just remember to be careful and not to damage the lock so you can still use it next time. And if you are uncertain of your skills, it is always best to ask for help from somebody who knows how to do it. Call locksmith Roswell GA now and stay safe!

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