Revolar is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Jam a Door Lock? – 10 Easy Ways You Can Try

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to jam a door lock

If you want to rest easy knowing your door is secure, then learning how to jam a door lock is something you need. Jamming a door is useful, not just at home but also when staying in a motel, hotel, or rental house.

This is not to spook you, but imagine you’re in a cabin in the woods, and you’re not confident sleeping even with the entrance properly locked. Having a door jammer is helpful not just for your security but for peace of mind.

If you’re just staying home, jamming the door can also serve as a secondary lock.

Ways to Jam a Door Lock

from-the-outside

Aside from portable locks, there are many ways to jam a door without a key and using only household items.

1. Wedge

keep-door-shut

The most typical way to jam a door shut is through a wedge. A door stopper is so common it needs no explanation—even a kid can easily use it. It is often seen in bedrooms, interior doors, and even commercial spaces where doors need to remain open.

It has a standard variant – a wedge, of course – but comes in many designs, from regular to fancy ones. It also has various finishes like plastic, wood, and metal. A door stopper is straightforward hardware that’s easily available online and in stores.

It’s easy to use: just put it on the floor and slide it into the door slit, obstructing the door from being opened from the outside.

2. Fork

Here’s a life hack: you can lock a door with a fork. To do this, you will need a spare fork (at least 1 ¾ to 2 inches long), a marker, vise, hammer, and hacksaw.

Instruction

Step 1: Measure the latch hole’s depth

Insert the tip of the fork into the latch hole and mark the part where the tines meet the edge of the hole.

Step 2: Bend the fork

Having a vise is the most efficient way to bend the fork. Put the utensil between the jaws of the vise. The mark on the tines is where you need to bend the utensil. Do so by hammering the fork until it bends 90 degrees.

Step 3: Remove the fork handle

After bending the fork that now looks like a rake, place its handle between the vise’s jaws. Remove the handle using a hacksaw.

Step 4: Use the separated pieces as a lock

You now have the fork split into two: the handle and the bent tines. To use these parts as a lock, you must first insert the bent piece into the latch hole, then close the door.

When the door is closed, a part of the bent piece will be exposed, which will serve as the latch for the handle.

Insert the tip of the handle between the tines. This effectively locks your door.

3. Chair

Yes, you can jam a door with a chair. As seen in films, it’s a trick used during tense situations when someone is attempting to enter a room.

Take note that this trick only works for a door with a knob that opens inward. Knowing how to use a chair as a jammer can give you more time to protect yourself during break-ins.

Instruction

Step 1: Grab a sturdy chair

You can use a metal, plastic, or wooden chair. The tougher it is, the better.

Step 2: Position the chair

The top rail of the chair goes under the doorknob. The point of having a chair as a jammer is to create a wedge. This way, someone outside will have a hard time entering the room – but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

This trick is most effective when the chair’s front legs are not touching the ground. In detail, the chair should be in an angled position that will serve as your wedge.

4. Belt or rope

You can also use a belt, strap, or rope to jam a door from the inside, but it only works on doors with hooks, like those in a storage area.

To use a belt as a jammer, use the buckle to tighten the strap in the hook. Afterward, pull its other end around the lever knob. The point of this trick is to prevent the lever from being pushed down.

If you want to barricade a door that opens outward automatically, do the following:

  • Look for the arm on top of the door.
  • Make one twist to secure the belt to the bolted side of the door arm.
  • Wrap the rest of the belt around the arm and make a knot to tighten.

5. Portable lock

jam-a-door-from-the-inside

If you want a handy door lock that’s not a wedge, you can buy a portable one. There are many portable door locks, but the most common is the one that works with a latching system.

One such example is Addalock. It has claws that go into the strike plate and is fixed in place when you close the door.

Once the claws are in place, take the lock’s red handle and insert its round metal rod into the lock body’s triangular hole. After the pieces are connected, the door is now jammed.

This hardware is best used in hotels, motels, and vacation homes.

6. Portable security bar

Another way to keep door shut at home or anywhere else is by having a portable security bar. Most bars of this type are foldable, so they work fine with any frame and even sliding glass doors.

A security bar has a mouth that goes into the knob, and on its other end is a rubber foot that works with most floor surfaces and resists sliding. It works well with a proper wedge and the right angle, making it a reliable travel companion.

For your home, you can install a security bar on your door that opens inward. It can serve as your secondary lock.

7. Portable jammer

You can also use a portable jammer to block a door from the inside. It’s like a wedge but better, since it’s adjustable. Just like a regular stopper, it is placed on the floor then into the door slit.

Its height can be adjusted, so it will work well with any door frame. What makes this hardware unique is that the harder someone pushes the door, the more the jammer resists, thereby wedging itself firmly into place. Resistance is futile with this one.

8. Barricade

Other than a security bar, you can also install a barricade as your auxiliary lock for an in-swinging door. It has two parts: the base and the brace, which is the movable part.

The base must be drilled into the floor near the door. Make sure that you can still open the door before installing the base.

To prevent the door from opening, you just need to put the brace onto the base. This setup is simple to use yet a reliable partner when you want to jam a door without a lock.

9. Strike plate lock

A strike plate lock does not just jam a door, it also strengthens, as the name suggests, the strike plate. It can be easily installed without drilling new holes as you just need to replace the old plate.

A ring is attached to the strike plate. You need to hook the said ring in the knob or lever when you want to lock a door. Think of having a chain lock but reinforced.

10. Keyless door reinforcement lock

Another door lock hack is installing a keyless door reinforcement lock. This device has a flip component and a surface mount placed in the jamb. For this unit, you need a drill, drill bits, a screwdriver, a pencil, and a chisel.

Instruction

Step 1: Determine and mark the position

It’s recommended to place the mount a couple of inches above the knob – but it can also work on a door without a knob. Mark the position using a pencil.

Step 2: Drill the mount

Drill a screw into the mount’s middle hole so you can check if the door will close and lock. If it does, drill in the remaining screws.

Step 3: Chisel if the door won’t close or lock

If, by any chance, the door won’t close or lock, chisel the area of the door jamb where you will put the mount. Make sure to take the proper measurement because you don’t want the mount positioned too deep.

If everything’s in position, you can now have an extra lock that works with just a flip.

FAQs

jam-a-door-shut

Can a door stopper keep a door closed?

As the name suggests, a stopper can effectively keep a door closed, making it among the most common jammers in homes.

How to wedge a door shut from the inside?

You need to put the wedge on the floor, then insert it into the slit. Make sure to push it tightly so it can effectively resist external force.

How do you temporarily disable a door lock?

You can use a motel key to temporarily disable a lock. It’s a key blank cut in half; you only have to insert its bottom portion into the keyhole.

Doing so disables the lock, and the bottom portion of the key can only be removed when the top part is inserted into the keyhole.

Conclusion

Sure, regular locks work well without a door stop, but having the latter, especially when staying in a place other than your house, gives you peace of mind. It might not be a big deal for some, but jamming a door is more than just security; it offers a sense of privacy.

Knowing how to jam a door lock using portable devices or household items is a trick that can spell the difference between life and death, especially when there’s an intruder, a lockdown, or a break-in.

5/5 - (2 votes)