How to Pick a Deadbolt Lock with a Knife? Exploring 4 Astonishing Techniques

Are you learning lock picking as a skill or practicing it as a sport?

If so, then you must be willing to explore new ways to pick a deadbolt lock without lock pick sets. What about exploring 5 astonishing techniques of how to pick a deadbolt lock with a knife?

This article will identify ways to pick to pick a lock with a deadbolt without tools for beginners, and the DIY tool that we will use to pick a deadbolt lock is a Knife.

How to Pick a Deadbolt Lock with a Knife? Exploring 4 Astonishing Techniques- infographics by Emma Marshal

How to Pick a Deadbolt Lock with a Knife?

How to Pick a Deadbolt Lock with a Knife? Exploring 4 Astonishing Techniques

You can pick a deadbolt lock with a knife or, more specifically, with a butter knife, but it requires a deep understanding of implementing some lock-picking techniques with the DIY tool in use. These techniques include Stick and Wiggle, Merger with Bobby Pins, Filling of the Knife Shape, and levering some Bolts. Utilizing these techniques, you can pick a deadbolt lock with a knife.

Techniques to Pick a Deadbolt Lock with a Knife

1. Stick and Wiggle

In this method, we’ll guide you on how to utilize a single knife for two crucial roles: serving as both the tension wrench and the lock pick simultaneously. Here’s how you can master this technique:

  • Select the Right Knife Blade

Before you begin, ensure that you have a knife blade that is smaller than the keyway, allowing it to fit into the lock without significantly shifting the pins out of place. If your knife doesn’t meet these requirements, consider exploring alternative methods described in this article.

  • The Stick and Wiggle Technique

The Stick and Wiggle method aims to manipulate the lock’s pins into the correct position, much like you would with a lock pick rake. Follow these steps:

  • Insert the Knife

Begin by inserting the knife as deeply as possible into the door lock. Stop when you feel the tip of the knife touching the back of the lock.

  • Apply Light Pressure

Apply gentle pressure to the knife, simulating the action of turning a regular key. As the lock’s core undergoes a slight rotation, it exerts the necessary force on the pins, allowing you to elevate them to the shear line. This step ensures that the pins won’t remain at the same height as they would with the correct key.

  • Rock the Knife

Gently rock the knife in an up-and-down motion while simultaneously moving it in and out of the lock. Continue this rocking motion for approximately 10-15 seconds.

  • Be Adaptable

If the lock doesn’t open, release your rotational force briefly to allow any pins you may have set to drop. Then, reapply the force and try again.

  • Vary Your Pressure

Stay flexible and experiment with applying different degrees of force while lifting the pins and rotating the knife. During lock picking with this rocking motion, lighter forces often yield better results.

2. Merger with Bobby Pins

In this method, the knife acts solely as a tension wrench, while an improvised object like a bobby pin or paperclip serves as the pick. Here’s a concise guide:

  • Prepare Your Tools: Gather your knife and improvised pick.
  • Insert Knife for Tension: Place the knife at the bottom of the keyway and apply light rotational force.
  • Use the Improvised Pick: Insert the improvised pick into the lock above the knife.
  • Raise and Zip: Gradually raise the pick to lift the pins, then swiftly pull it out to ‘zip’ across the pins.
  • Retry If Needed: If the lock doesn’t open, release tension briefly, reapply, and continue. Adjust your rotational force as needed.

3. Filling of the Knife Shape

In this method, we’ll transform a regular knife into a lock pick. It’s essential to plan and work carefully to create an effective tool. Here’s a concise guide:

Visualize the Knife-Pick

  • Determine how your knife pick will look and function.

Mark the Desired Shape

  • Use a marker to draw the desired shape of the lock pick on your knife. This ensures precise metal removal.

Remove Redundant Metal

  • Begin by removing excess metal around your template, being cautious not to cut yourself.
  • Gradually work closer to the marked lines, aiming for smooth edges.

Thin Out the Pick

  • Depending on your knife’s thickness, you may need to file down the pick’s sides for optimal performance. A thinner blade, less than a US quarter’s thickness, is ideal for tackling various locks.

Apply a Polishing Finish

  • Consider giving your new knife-pick a polished finish using sandpaper. This reduces friction when inserting it into the lock, enhancing its performance.

By following these steps, you can turn an ordinary knife into an effective lock-picking tool. Remember to exercise caution and prioritize safety during the transformation process.

4. Levering Some Bolts

If your door has its hinges on the outside, you have a security vulnerability that needs addressing. Exterior hinges can make it easier for intruders to gain access. Here’s a simple method to bypass such a door:

    • Assess Your Door: First, check if your door has hinges on the outside (the side with the keyhole). If it does, consider fixing this security issue.
    • Wedge the Knife: Take a knife and wedge it between the top of the bolt and the base of the hinge.
  • Create a Gap: Slowly and carefully wiggle the knife to create a gap beneath the head of the bolt. Once there’s a noticeable gap, you can assume the bolt is loose enough to be maneuvered out of the hinge.
  • Test All Bolts: Before removing any bolts entirely, check if you can move all of them to create gaps. If you can do this successfully, you can proceed to remove them.
  • A Final Tip: Keep in mind that as you remove bolts, more pressure will be exerted on the remaining ones, making them harder to move. Avoid fully removing any bolts until they are all almost out.

By following these steps, you can bypass a door with exterior hinges, but remember that addressing the hinge placement for better security is a wise long-term solution.

How to Pick a Deadbolt Lock for Beginners without Tools

Picture this scenario: you find yourself locked out of your home, perhaps even just a room within your own house, and you’re unable to locate your keys.

Fortunately, there’s a solution at hand – the ability to open a standard door lock or a deadbolt lock using a knife, even an ordinary butter knife. Multiple techniques exist for achieving this skillful feat.

Deadbolt locks can be picked without tools or lock pick sets with the help of kitchen items like a simple knife or a butter knife.

Steps to Follow

1. Understand which deadbolt lock works with a knife

Using a knife to get into a door that is secured with both a lock and a bolt inside the doorknob may not be a practical solution. However, you should be able to access locks using a button lock or a spring-loaded latch mechanism without too much difficulty.

The option with a push-button locking mechanism is the one that is the easiest to operate among these possibilities. Such locks only need a little skill to manipulate the internal parts and push the button to unlock the door.

2. Select Appropriate Knife

Prioritizing safety is crucial while using a knife to unlock a door lock. It can be dangerous to use a knife with an overly sharp blade or a pointed tip since even a small slip could result in harm.

Choose a more appropriate tool first, such as a regular butter knife or a putty knife.

Your choice of knife, however, can be influenced by the size and shape of the keyhole. A narrow knife with a sharp edge, like a pocket knife, might be required for smaller keyholes, like those found in bike locks.

For a safer method, use an alternative such as a paperclip or a hairpin when the outside handle has a tiny round hole rather than a slit. On the other hand, if there’s a slit on the outside handle, a knife should suffice for the task.

3. Put Knife inside the Lock

To successfully open the lock, you might require a small knife blade. The idea is to use the knife as a makeshift torque wrench or to mimic the action of a key.

Begin by inserting the blade into the keyhole, focusing on the lower half for the best results. Apply gentle pressure, initially in one direction and then in the opposite direction. Essentially, you’ll want to maneuver the knife within the keyhole, wiggling it back and forth.

Listen closely; you might hear a faint click. If you do, it indicates progress, and the lock should start to yield. However, it’s important to note that this process may take some time and patience to achieve the desired outcome.

4. Wiggle the Knife with Precautions

Place the knife strategically between the door and the striker plate of the door jamb to gain admission.

Insert it slowly until you feel the knife end make contact with the door latch. Finding the spot where the door locks firmly is the task of this phase, which should be familiar to most people.

The latch should next be carefully pried open by swiping the knife’s tip while pulling the latch inward. Start about three inches above the doorknob with a regular butter knife and place it between the door and the door frame.

Until you find the door’s bolt, move the knife along. As you operate the knife, apply even pressure to slide the bolt out of the door jamb gently.

5. Take Help with Paper Clip

Enhancing your chances of successfully using a knife to unlock a door involves an additional tool, i.e., an unfolded paperclip or a hair clip. To do this, position the paperclip above the knife blade, ensuring the knife remains inside the keyhole.

Apply a twisting pressure with the knife blade while using the paperclip, or if it’s a paperclip you’re using, flatten it first by gently hammering one end. Insert it into the keyhole alongside the knife blade.

The objective is to ‘rake’ the improvised pick across the pins within the keyhole, but exercise caution to avoid damaging the lock or the knife. This may require some patient wiggling of the knife until you hear a distinct click.

Next, insert the tension wrench into the bottom of the lock opening and turn it to the side as if you were using a key to unlock the door. Keep applying tension with the wrench.

Slide the flattened paperclip above the tension wrench, pushing it until you encounter resistance. Gently push up on the pins with the paperclip. This should pick a deadbolt with a knife.


Are you clear on How Do You Unlock A Deadbolt With A Knife? To pick a deadbolt lock with a knife requires practice, and it cannot be done in just one random click. So you should practice it only if you want to learn alternate ways of picking a deadbolt lock. If you get locked suddenly and try picking with a knife on your own, then it might be a little difficult to achieve in one go.


Are there different size deadbolt locks?

Yes, there are different sizes of deadbolt locks available to accommodate various door thicknesses and requirements.

Can deadbolt locks be rekeyed?

Yes, deadbolt locks can usually be rekeyed, allowing you to use a new key while retaining the existing lock.

Do deadbolt locks come with keys?

Yes, deadbolt locks often come with keys when purchased, providing you with the necessary means to operate the lock.


  1. How Do You Unlock A Deadbolt With A Knife?
  3. How to Pick a Lock for Beginners: The Tech and Tools of the Trade
  4. 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
  5. New patterns in residential burglary: The method of deadbolt lock picking

1 thought on “How to Pick a Deadbolt Lock with a Knife? Exploring 4 Astonishing Techniques”

  1. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you need to write more about this
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    To the next! Kind regards!!


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