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How to Make a Tubular Lock Pick? – Guide for DIYers

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to make a tubular lock pick

Want to figure out how to make a tubular lock pick? Using a pair of scissors, cut the end of a ballpoint pen. Once done, cut four notches on the sides of the pen. After that, now insert the pen into the lock’s opening.

With the help of a homemade tubular lock pick, you can now open a vending machine or anything with a tubular lock on it. This is very useful in case you lose your key. The tutorial is also easy to follow. Just make sure you have the right tools and execute each step carefully.

What You Need

Before making a tubular lock pick, there are items that you need to have first. You can easily find them right at your home. In case you don’t have them, you can purchase them at the nearest store or you can borrow from your neighbors. Make sure that you have these items so you won’t encounter any problems while doing the tutorial.

Ballpoint Pen


There are two types of ballpoint pen that are available in the market. The first type is the inexpensive one that is purchased at grocery stores and gas stations. The other type is more expensive since it is constructed with precious and rare materials. For this tutorial, I strongly recommend the inexpensive one since we won’t use this item as a writing tool.

In choosing a ballpoint pen, make sure that the diameter of the end of the pen can fit the opening of the lock. Also, it must not crack once you try to cut its end. The plastic must be flexible enough.

A Pair of Scissors


For the scissors, it is recommendable to use a pair of crafting or all-purpose scissors. It is designed to cut straight and long slices on different kinds of materials. It has long blades with sharp and pointed tips that are suitable for cutting through narrow or small areas.

This kind of scissors is also used in sewing, arts and crafts, packaging, and wrapping. Make sure that the blades are sharp enough to cut through the casing of the ballpoint pen and the handles are comfortable for your hands.

Safety Gloves


Since you will be dealing with a sharp tool, it is important to keep your hands safe by wearing a pair of safety gloves. You can use cut-resistant gloves that are designed to resist sharp blades. Some of them are made of kevlar, spectra, Dyneema, and metal mesh.

When you purchase a pair of safety gloves, make sure that they fit your hands perfectly. Aside from that, they must provide you with a good grip to prevent the scissors from slipping out of your hands.

What to Do

Step 1: Using a Pair of Scissors, Cut the End of a Ballpoint Pen

Look for a ballpoint pen that has a smaller or the same diameter as the opening of the tubular lock. Before you cut the end of a ballpoint pen, make sure that you have removed the ink inside it. Once done, cut the end of the ballpoint pen using a pair of scissors. Learn more how to pick a tubular lock with a ballpoint pens in detail here.

Step 2: Cut Four Notches on the Side of the Pen

You need to make the pen flexible so it would be easy for you to slide it in the opening of the lock. To do this, cut four notches on the side of the pen. Make sure that they run up along the sides of the pen. If it is still difficult to slide, try to make longer cuts to the notches until they can provide enough flexibility.

Step 3: Insert the Pen Into the Lock’s Opening

After you are done making the DIY tubular lock pick, insert it to the opening of the lock as far as it can go then shake both the pen and the lock side to side. The lock will automatically open if you successfully hit all the pins inside. If it fails to unlock, try to clean the tubular lock to get rid of the rust inside or make the notches longer.


Are you satisfied with our tutorial on how to make a tubular lock pick? You don’t have to purchase a lock pick. By following each step, you can make your own pick for your tubular lock. The items you need are also easy to find and affordable to purchase. You will save a lot of your money.

If you think that this tutorial is useful, you can share this post with your friends who need to open their tubular lock without a key. You can also share your experiences while you execute the tutorial. Just leave a comment below.

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