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How to Open a Locked Door With a Screwdriver? – 2 Easy Ways

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to open a locked door with a screwdriver

Are you wondering how to open a locked door with a screwdriver? The surprising news is we can use it to pick the handle of the indoor doors or remove the knob. Aside from that, it also works on taking off the door’s hinges.

If you lost your keys and got locked out of your house, you don’t need to worry. As long as you have a screwdriver in your hands, you can get inside your home. We will provide you with different steps to unlock a door with a screwdriver.

What You Need


Before you break a lock with a screwdriver, select the method you prefer. The items you need will depend on the method that you choose. Aside from a screwdriver, other tools may be required to unlock the door.

  • Screwdriver

You may need a flathead screwdriver or a Philipps screwdriver. For picking a privacy lock, you need a small flathead screwdriver that will fit inside a small hole. For removing mounting screws, you can use a Philipps screwdriver.

The Philipps screwdriver should fit the screw heads. For the flat head screwdriver, you need a small and thin one if you are about to pick a privacy lock.

However, a standard-size flat head screwdriver is required to remove the cover plates. It is also necessary for taking off the door’s hinges.

  • Rake tool

A rake tool is required to pick a regular lock using a screwdriver.

If you don’t have a rake tool, you can also use a paper clip or a bobby pin as an alternative. You have to bend its tip first, making it look like a rake tool. Ensure that the paper clip or the bobby pin is made of metal. Aside from that, it must be sturdy enough so that it won’t break as you move it inside the keyhole.

  • Hammer and nails

If you want to take off the door’s hinges, you need a hammer and nails. The best hammer to use for this tutorial is a club hammer. However, you can also use a claw hammer.

For the nail, make sure that it is large enough to exert enough force to nudge the pins. Please prepare a set of nails of different sizes.

Picking a Regular Lock Using a Screwdriver

Step 1: Insert the flat head screwdriver at the bottom part of the keyhole and turn it clockwise.


To pick a lock with a screwdriver, you need a flat head screwdriver. Insert it at the bottom part of the keyhole. Once it is placed inside the keyhole, turn it clockwise. Apply the right amount of pressure while the screwdriver is in the position. You have to maintain the pressure consistently until the end of the tutorial.

Step 2: Place the rake tool above the screwdriver.


After positioning the screwdriver, you can place the rake tool above the screwdriver. If you don’t have a rake tool, you can bend a bobby pin or a paperclip as an alternative.

Ensure that the rake tool can reach all pins inside the lock. And after you have pushed the rake tool to the keyhole, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Scrub the pins using the rake tool

Now, scrub the pins using the rake. Move the rake tool back and forth. Adjust the angle of the rake tool to push all the lock’s pins.

Keep doing this step until you hear a clicking sound. It is an indication that the pins are all set and you have successfully opened the lock.

Picking a Privacy Lock Using a Screwdriver

Step 1: Look for a small hole in the knob and insert the flat head screwdriver.


When dealing with a privacy lock, look for a small hole in the knob. Insert the flat head screwdriver. It must be small and thin enough to fit inside the hole.

Push it until you reach the end of the lock. Once you have positioned it correctly, do the next step.

Step 2: Push or turn the screwdriver

If it is a push-button lock, you only need to push forward until you hear a clicking sound.

If this doesn’t work, then you have a turn-style lock. To open it, you need to turn the screwdriver. The lock will open if you have successfully placed the screwdriver into the lock’s slot.

Removing the Doorknob

Step 1: Look for the mounting screws of the doorknob.

If picking the lock doesn’t work, then remove the doorknob. First, look for the mounting screws of the doorknob.

You can proceed to the next step if they are visible right away. If it has a cover plate, look for the tiny cut-out. Insert a flathead screwdriver and push out the cover plate.

If you cannot find the cut-out, look for a small hole. Instead of using a flat head screwdriver, insert a paper clip or a thin metal inside the hole. Push it forward until the doorknob loosens, exposing the hidden screws.

Step 2: Remove the mounting screws.

After you have located the mounting screws, remove them.

Check what type of screw heads they have. If they are slotted, use a flat head screwdriver.

If they are in cross-shape, unscrew them using a Philipps screwdriver.

Keep the mounting screws in a secure place because you will still need them.

Step 3: Take off the latch mechanism.

To open the locked door, take off the latch. Do this by removing the screws that secure the latch into place.

Once you have removed all these screws, you can now remove the latch and open the door. Make sure to install the doorknob again by reversing the steps above.

Taking Off the Hinges

Step 1: Place a book under the door as support.

Taking off the door’s hinges is the most complicated way you can open a door with a screwdriver.

First, you have to make the door stable by putting a book underneath it. If you have a friend with you, you can also ask him to hold the door for you.

Step 2: Nudge up the pin of the hinge using a nail and a hammer.


Once the door is stable, nudge up the pin of the hinge. Place the tip of the nail against the pin, then tap it using a hammer. Instead of giving one decisive blow, it is safer to tap the nail with lesser force.

Continue to do this until you successfully nudged up the pin.

Step 3: Move out the pin in the hinge using the screwdriver.

Move the pins out of the hinges using a flat head screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver at the bottom of the hinge and push the pin upwards. Do this on the bottom hinge, then on the top hinge. The middle hinge should be the last one you must remove.

After removing the pins from the hinges, you can take down the door.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I open a deadbolt lock with a screwdriver alone?

Unfortunately, no. Screwdrivers can only function as turning or tension tools because of their sizes.

You cannot use them as lock picks. When picking a regular lock, you need a specific tool that will work as a lock pick.

Is picking my lock using a screwdriver damage it?

It can damage your lock if you exert too much force while picking on it. As much as possible, be careful when picking your lock to prevent any scratches. Take your time when following the tutorial.


Have you enjoyed our tutorial on how to open a locked door with a screwdriver? You don’t have to panic after being locked out of your house. A simple screwdriver can help you get in. Aside from that, there are various methods that you can choose from.

If you have friends who always lose their keys, sharing this post would help immensely. We also want to know what method you prefer to open your locked door. Just leave your comment below.

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