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How to Pick a Garage Door Lock Using a Paperclip Set?

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to pick a garage door lock

Are you wondering how to pick a garage door lock? If you don’t own a lockpicking kit, this tutorial will guide you on how to make a tension wrench and a pick tool out of paper clips. By exerting enough pressure while pushing all the pins, you can successfully open garage door without key.

If you’ve found yourself locked out of your own garage, don’t panic. The good news is, you can open a locked garage door without spending a dollar. Just look for the right tools and follow the instructions carefully.

What You Need

If you need to unlock a manual garage door, there are specific items that you have to prepare first. If you don’t have them, there are also alternatives that you can try. Borrow them from your neighbor or purchase them at the nearest hardware store.

2 Paper Clips/ Bobby pins

The best tool that you can use for this tutorial is a lockpick set. However, for this article, we will tell you the way to pick a garage door lock with a paperclip set, which you might already have.

The paper clips must be made of metal so that they won’t easily break as you pick the lock. They must also be large enough, but not too large that they cannot fit inside the keyhole.

If you don’t have paper clips, you can also pick a garage door lock with a bobby pin. Thick and sturdy bobby pins are required. You must also remove the rubber tips of the bobby pins first.


A pair of needle-nose pliers will help you bend the paper clips easily. It is used for creating jewelry and other handicrafts. For the size, a six-inch needle-nose plier can do the job. If you want to use your pliers for a long time, choose one that is made of nickel-chromium.

What to Do


Step 1: Make a pick tool and a tension wrench using paper clips

Get one paper clip and create a pick tool out of it. First, you need to bend out the larger portion of the paper clip. The bottom part should look like a handle. After that, bend a quarter-inch from the tip of the paperclip at a 90-degree angle facing upward.

After you are done with the pick tool, proceed in creating the tension tool. Take a paperclip and straighten the middle part. Compress the larger end of the paperclip so that it could fit the keyhole. Now, bend the tip of the compressed part at a 90-degree angle facing upward.

Step 2: Insert the tension wrench on the bottom part of the keyhole and turn it like a key

Insert the bent part of the tension wrench on the bottom part of the keyhole. Once it is positioned inside the keyhole, turn it lightly in the direction you turn a key. You must keep this pressure for the whole process. Too much force may freeze the lock while too little will reset the lock.

Step 3: Place the pick tool on the upper part of the keyhole & the tension tool at the bottom

Put the tension wrench in the bottom of the keyhole and move it counterclockwise.

As you do this, place the pick tool on the upper part of the keyhole. Feel the pins by brushing the pins back and forth. You will feel the pins lifting. If there is a stuck pin, push it little by little until it is in the unlock position. Look for other stuck pins and push them upward while maintaining the pressure in your tension wrench.

Step 4: Push the pins and open the lock

Align the remaining pins by pushing them up using your pick tool. Once all of them are aligned, you will hear a clicking sound. Now, you may need to exert more pressure on the tension wrench to completely open the lock. If you can’t open the lock, try adjusting the pressure on the tension wrench or you can lubricate the lock.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this work for all kinds of garage locks?

Unfortunately, no. This will only work for regular locks such as deadbolts and padlocks. There are sophisticated locks that have small keyholes and unique internal mechanisms which prevent picking. With these types of locks, it is advisable to use lock picking tools rather than paper clips or bobby pins.

Could this damage my lock?

This would depend on how you execute the tutorial. To prevent damaging your lock, don’t be forceful, even if the pins are stuck. Push the pins carefully so that you won’t damage the lock mechanism.


Have you learned how to pick a garage door lock through this tutorial? You can open garage door manually from outside without key. This is useful if you lost your keys or you left them inside your garage. You also don’t have to spend on purchasing lockpick sets or call a locksmith to help you out.

You can help your friends in picking their garage door locks by sharing this post with them. Also, you can suggest other ways to open a garage door without a key by leaving a comment below.

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