7 Sneaky Methods of How to Open a Deadbolt Lock Without a Key

Getting locked out of your home can be incredibly frustrating, but don’t despair. You can learn how to open a deadbolt lock without a key with the proper techniques.

Deadbolt locks are known for their security, but they aren’t invincible. There are methods you can use to regain access from the outside.

In this guide, we’ll explore these methods for unlocking pin tumbler deadbolt locks, including lock picking, lock bumping, using a drill to manipulate the lock, etc.

how to open a deadbolt lock without a key - infographics by Emma Marshal hackyourlock.com

With some patience and practice, you can develop the skills needed to unlock most high-quality deadbolts, even when you don’t have a key. So, the next time you’re locked out, remember these tips, and you’ll soon be back inside your home.

Let’s get started on learning how to open a deadbolt lock without a key.

How to Open a Deadbolt Lock without a Key?

how to open a deadbolt lock without a key

To open a deadbolt lock without a key involves several techniques. Lock picking is a common method requiring specialized tools to manipulate the lock’s pins.

Lock bumping uses a bump key to force the pins into place. Drilling involves creating a hole to disable the lock, but it damages it.

Using a credit card or a screwdriver to manipulate the bolt is also possible but may not work on all deadbolts.

It’s important to note that attempting these methods on locks you don’t own or without permission may be illegal. Always consider ethical and legal implications when trying to open a deadbolt without a key.

The potential methods to open a deadbolt door lock without a key are discussed below:

1. Lock Picking

lock picking a deadbolt lock

Lock picking stands as the primary and most effective method for opening a locked deadbolt lock without a key. It is a favored choice for those aiming to avoid any harm to their door or lock.

Learning lock picking is surprisingly accessible, with the basics for a standard pin tumbler deadbolt graspable in just around 15 minutes. You only need to understand the fundamental workings of locks and a few techniques for picking them.

In your toolkit, two essential items are required: a lock pick and a tension wrench. However, it’s necessary to recognize that high-security deadbolts or locks equipped with anti-pick features may pose a challenge and demand more practice.

Additionally, bear in mind that internal lock components can be delicate, so there’s a slight risk of damage, such as breaking a spring. Therefore, only opt for lock picking if you own the lock, as there’s a slight chance of potential harm. Despite its downsides, lock picking remains a potent method for opening a deadbolt lock without a key. Having knowledge of Lock and Key Systems is very important in this regard.

How to open a deadbolt lock without a key? Lock picking is the very basic answer. It’s a practical skill that, when done carefully and responsibly, can save you from being locked out.

2. Lock Bumping

Are you aware of New patterns in residential burglary: The method of deadbolt lock pickingIs it lock bumping?

Lock bumping entails striking a key with a hammer to mimic the locking mechanism. However, it necessitates specialized tools, including a bump hammer, bump keys, and tension wrenches, for success.

When executed correctly, this method can swiftly unlock many deadbolts without causing harm.

Lock bumping involves using a specially crafted “bump key” that matches your deadbolt’s keyway.

lock bumping display with a key and a lock from inside

To create one, you’ll need another key of the same type and a tool for grinding it down.

  1. Once you have your bump key, insert it fully into the lock and pull it back slightly to drop the rearmost pin.
  2. Apply slight turning pressure to the key and forcefully strike its back with a rubber mallet or your palm.
  3. This action causes the key’s teeth to interact with the pins, pushing them upward and potentially open a deadbolt lock without a key.

However, note that high-quality deadbolts with anti-bump features may not be vulnerable to this method.

3. Drilling the Deadbolt Lock

Drilling a lock can be an effective method to open a locked deadbolt door lock without a key, but it requires careful consideration of the lock’s components and anti-drill measures.

To successfully drill a lock, follow these steps:

drilling the deadbolt lock steps

  1. Choose the drilling location, which can include the shear line, bottom stack of key pins, top stack of driver pins, springs, or screws holding the deadbolt to the door.
  2. Start with a small drill bit to create a short starting hole for guidance.
  3. Begin drilling with a 1/8th inch drill bit until you penetrate through five pins.
  4. Switch to a 1/4th inch drill bit and repeat the drilling process.
  5. Insert a flathead screwdriver into the keyway and attempt to turn the lock.
  6. If the lock doesn’t open, check the hole for a potential sixth pin. If found, drill a bit deeper to eliminate this pin, then try opening the deadbolt lock without a key again.
  7. If there is no additional pin and the lock remains locked, consider using a slightly larger drill bit to cause further damage.

It is important to note that drilling a lock should be a last resort, and it may damage the lock irreparably.

Additionally, this method may not work on locks with anti-drill features, which use harder materials to protect against drilling attempts. Introduction to Locks and Keys for the person drilling the locks plays a vital role in successfully opening a deadbolt lock.

4. Magnetic Pick Gun

A magnetic pick gun, a tool often used by locksmiths, helps when you’re locked out.

magnetic pick gun pouch with two lock pick guns

It uses a strong magnet to move the pins inside the lock and open it without damage. It’s like a locksmith’s handy helper, ensuring you can get back inside without trouble.

5. How to Open a Deadbolt Lock with a Bobby Pin

open a deadbolt lock with a bobby pin

How to Open Locks with Improvised Tools Practical, Non-Destructive Ways of Getting Back Into Just about Everything When You Lose Your Keys By Hans Conkel · 2001 explains alternate ways of How to unlock a deadbolt without a key.

To open a deadbolt lock without a key using bobby pins is a safe and straightforward method. Here are eight easy steps to do it:

  1. Get two bobby pins, each about 2cm long. Make sure there are no rubber balls at the ends, and clean them.
  2. Keep one pin straight and bend the other into an “L” shape to easily reach the lock’s clip.
  3. Insert the “L” shaped pin into the keyhole, targeting the bottom part.
  4. Now, insert the straight pin into the upper part of the keyhole.
  5. Apply sideway pressure using the bent pin and do the same with the straight pin, moving them up, down, and around.
  6. Keep moving the pins until you notice the inside clip moving. Remove the straight pin when this happens.
  7. Continue using the “L” shaped pin until the door lock unlocks.
  8. Finally, remove the “L” shaped pin after successfully opening the deadbolt lock.

This method allows you to open a deadbolt lock safely and without causing damage, making it a handy solution when you find yourself locked inside a room.

6. How to Open a Deadbolt Lock with a Screwdriver?

Opening a deadbolt lock with a screwdriver is generally not recommended, and attempting it can cause damage to the lock.

open a deadbolt lock with a screwdriver

However, if it’s an emergency and you have legal access to the property, you can try the following steps:

  1. Insert the screwdriver into the keyhole of the deadbolt lock.
  2. Apply gentle turning pressure in the same direction you would turn a key to unlock the deadbolt.
  3. Simultaneously, turn the screwdriver slowly while maintaining the pressure.
  4. If done correctly, the deadbolt may unlock.

Please note that using a screwdriver to open a deadbolt lock is a last resort and can potentially damage the lock beyond repair.

It should only be attempted in situations where there are no other options and you have the legal right to access the property. You can find out more detailed information here.

7. Call Locksmiths

Locksmith busy working

If you find yourself unable to open a deadbolt lock without a key or the right tools or methods mentioned above, then consider calling a locksmith as your final option.

Locksmiths possess the expertise and specialized tools needed to unlock various types of doors without causing damage to the lock.

Calling a locksmith is often more cost-effective than dealing with the expenses associated with replacing a damaged lock, door, or window.

The average cost for locksmith services when locked out is approximately $150, although this can vary based on your location and the specific locksmith you contact.

When you’re in a situation where you’re stuck and lack the necessary tools or knowledge, reaching out to a locksmith is a prudent choice to gain access to your property without causing further complications.

Great! Here’s an expanded section on “Additional Tips and Considerations” for your article on opening a deadbolt lock without a key:

Additional Tips and Considerations

Additional tips for opening a deadbolt lock without key

Opening a deadbolt lock without a key is a valuable skill to have, but it’s essential to consider additional tips and factors to enhance your knowledge and security further:

A. Explore Innovative Tools

While we’ve discussed traditional methods, consider exploring innovative tools like electric lock pick guns. These devices can save time and effort, making lock opening more efficient. However, they require proper training and responsibility to use them effectively.

B. Lock Lubrication and Maintenance

Regularly lubricating your locks can extend their lifespan and ensure smoother operation. Using graphite or specialized lock lubricants can prevent lockouts caused by sticky or jammed mechanisms. Proper maintenance reduces the likelihood of needing to open a deadbolt without a key.

C. Spare Keys and Smart Locks

Prevention is often the best solution. Keep spare keys in secure locations, such as with trusted neighbors or in a key lockbox. Consider upgrading to smart locks, which offer convenient keyless entry options, remote access control, and increased security features.

D. Stay Informed About Lock Security

The world of lock technology is continually evolving. Stay informed about the latest developments in lock security, including anti-pick features, bump-resistant locks, and electronic access control systems. Understanding these advancements can help you choose the right locks for your home.

Remember that while knowing how to open a deadbolt lock without a key is useful in emergencies, it’s equally important to prioritize security and responsible use of this knowledge.

Always follow legal and ethical guidelines when attempting to open locks, and consider seeking professional locksmith services for complex situations or advanced lock technologies.

Safety Precautions

1. Protective Gear is a Must

Always wear appropriate protective gear suitable for your task, such as a high-visibility vest, steel-toed boots, safety glasses, gloves, or a hard hat. The gear you need depends on the specific job at hand.

2. Stay Aware of Your Environment

Maintain awareness of your surroundings, including potential hazards. Watch out for moving vehicles and machinery, and be cautious around pinch points and falling objects. Being alert is crucial for safety.

3. Adhere to Proper Procedures

Follow all safety protocols and refer to equipment manuals for correct usage. These procedures are designed to prevent accidents and ensure tasks are completed safely. If you need more clarification about using a tool or machine, seek training.

4. Take Regular Breaks

If your work involves physically demanding or repetitive actions, take regular breaks. Overexertion and fatigue can lead to reduced concentration and accidents. Stay hydrated and ensure you get adequate rest to remain alert.

5. Report Safety Concerns

If you encounter unsafe conditions or discover faulty equipment, immediately report these issues to the relevant authorities. Never continue working with damaged or malfunctioning machinery that could jeopardize safety.

By adhering to these safety guidelines and maintaining a vigilant attitude, you contribute to preventing injuries and accidents in any work environment. Your top priority should be your safety as well as of others around you.


Learning how to open a deadbolt lock without a key can be a valuable skill in certain situations. We’ve explored various methods, including lock picking, lock bumping, using bobby pins, drilling, and even seeking professional locksmith assistance.

Each method comes with its own set of advantages and considerations, and the choice of method depends on factors like the type of lock and your level of expertise.

Remember that attempting to open a deadbolt lock without a key should only be done on locks you own, as there is a risk of damaging the lock. It’s essential to use these techniques responsibly and ethically.

Whether you choose to develop your lock-picking skills or opt for professional locksmith services, knowing how to open a deadbolt lock without a key can provide peace of mind in situations where access to your property is urgently needed.


Is it legal to open a deadbolt lock without a key if I’m locked out of my own home?

In most cases, it is legal to open a deadbolt lock without a key if you are the owner or authorized occupant of the property. However, it’s essential to be aware of local and state laws regarding lock picking or bypassing locks. It’s always advisable to contact a professional locksmith if you need more clarification or are uncomfortable with the process.

Can I use household items like bobby pins or paper clips to unlock a deadbolt without a key?

Yes, it’s possible to use everyday items like bobby pins, paperclips, or even credit cards to attempt to unlock a deadbolt. However, these methods require some skill and may only work on some types of locks. Additionally, attempting to unlock a deadbolt without proper authorization may lead to damage or even legal consequences.

What should I do if I’ve successfully unlocked my deadbolt without a key?

If you’ve successfully unlocked your deadbolt using unconventional methods, it’s crucial to replace or rekey the lock promptly. Using such methods can compromise the security of your home. Contact a locksmith or hardware store to explore your options for securing your property effectively.


  1. New patterns in residential burglary: The method of deadbolt lock picking
  2. Lock and Key Systems
  3. The Four Types of Lock by Deviant Ollam
  4. Introduction to Locks and Keys
  5. How to Open Locks with Improvised Tools Practical, Non-Destructive Ways of Getting Back Into Just about Everything When You Lose Your Keys By Hans Conkel · 2001

Leave a Comment