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How to Rake a Lock? (The Detailed Guide for Every Step)

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to rake a lock

Do you want to know how to rake a lock? Missing your house key causes a lot of inconvenience on your part. Aside from the anxiety it brings, it is also a waste of time. Raking a lock using simple items like paper clips to a sophisticated one like a lock rake is possible. This method is effective in bypassing pin-tumblers and wafer locks.

Suppose you don’t have any experience raking a door lock. In that case, you don’t have to worry because this comprehensive tutorial will guide you. Aside from following the instructions carefully, you also need to prepare the items mentioned below.

What You Need for This Tutorial


Through this tutorial, we will help you with racking locks. The items are easy to use and easy to find. If you have no experience using a power tool, you don’t have to use any when raking your locks. Prepare the needed items so that you can finish the tutorial without inconvenience.

1. Lock rake

Using a lock picking rake is one of the easiest ways to open a lock without a key. Different patterns of lock rakes are available in the market.

  • One of them is the snake rake or S-rake. Because of the shape of its headpiece, it earned the name. It is considered one of the most popular rakes.
  • Another kind is the city rake or L-rake. Its rakes are saw-shaped, but they can damage the locks more than others.
  • The most effective rake is the Bogota rake. It can pick locks that have pins in different heights.

2. Paperclips and needle-nose pliers

If you don’t have a lock rake, you can also use metal paperclips as an alternative.

Since you will have to make your lock rake out of the paperclips, needle-nose pliers are recommended. This kind of plier is used for making jewelry to twist thin wires accurately.

How to Rake Locks Using a Lock Rake


Step 1: Place the tensioner at the bottom of the keyhole

First, put the tensioner at the bottom of the keyhole. The purpose of the tensioner is to apply pressure to the pins, preventing them from pushing back. You need to keep applying pressure to the tensioner until you have successfully set the pins at the shear line, causing the lock to open.

Step 2: Insert the rake tool at the top part of the keyhole and start raking

You can now insert the rake at the top of the keyhole above the tensioner. You will notice the plug moves, separating the key and the driver pins.

Move the rake tool as if you are brushing the pins. They will randomly move down. After the pins have been aligned at the shear line, the lock will automatically open.

How to Rake Locks Using a Paperclip

Step 1: Creating a rake tool


In making a rake tool, open up one side of the paperclip. Next, bend the tip of the paperclip. Bend back the end and the side next to it to look like a rake tool. After creating the rake tool, make a tensioning wrench to another paperclip.

Open up the two sides of the paperclip, leaving the middle part still bent. Then, flatten the central region by squeezing it with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Grasp the top end of the paperclip and make a 90-degree bend. Twist the remaining portion of the paperclip.

Step 2: Insert the tension wrench at the bottom of the keyhole, then insert the rake tool


Insert the tension wrench the bottom of the keyhole. Ensure that you apply the right amount of torque to the tension wrench. Too much or too little pressure will prevent you from opening the lock.

After positioning the tension wrench, insert the rake tool above the tension wrench. Proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Rake the lock


Start raking the lock by brushing the pins with the rake tool. Once you have aligned the pins, the lock will open. Remove the tension wrench and rake tool from the lock.

If it doesn’t work after several tries, check if you put the right amount of pressure on the tension wrench. Watch this video to see how it’s done.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is raking?

Raking is a technique used to pick locks using rake tools. Compared to lock picking, the pins are engaged simultaneously when raking. Also, you don’t have to look for a binding pin when using this method.

2. What are the benefits of raking?

One of the benefits of raking is that you can pick the lock faster. It may take seconds, depending on your experience.

Aside from that, it is easier to learn, and it is more effective than other lock picking techniques. Also, you don’t need to have a specific rake to open a lock since one rake can pick even different kinds of locks.

3. What will I do if the rake seizes while picking the lock?

Instead of removing the rake tool out of the lock, keep on raking the lock. When the rake seizes, it means that you only have to pick one to two pins. It will be easier for you to open the lock.


Have you learned how to rake a lock? It is easy to rake a lock, whether using a lock pick rake or paperclips. This method is one of the most effective methods when locked out from your house because of a missing key. You don’t have to look for the binding pin to open the lock.

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