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

How to Pick a Lock with a Bobby Pin? – 5 Steps (w/ Photos)

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to pick a lock with a bobby pin

Want to figure out how to pick a lock with a bobby pin? Create a lever and a pick using bobby pins. Place the lever on the bottom part of the keyhole. Turn it like turning a key. Insert the pick with a bent end. Look for the jammed pins and push them. Turn the lever and open the door.

Picking a lock with a bobby pin isn’t a tough job if you know the right steps. You don’t need to pay someone to help you get inside your house. Instead, a hair pin lock pick can help you get in. Learn more of the top-rated lock pick sets for beginers here

What You Need


To pick a lock with hairpin, there are specific items that you need to have first. These items are not difficult to find. They can be easily found inside your toolbox. In case you don’t have these items, you can purchase them online or go to the nearest local store.

1. Bobby pins

The bobby pins will serve as a pick and a lever so you can successfully open the door. In choosing the bobby pins, make that they are sturdy so that they won’t break once you start picking the lock. The size of the bobby pins will also depend on the size of your lock. Make sure that they would perfectly fit inside.

If the bobby pins have rubber knobs on the end, take them off using a wire cutter or your teeth. This will prevent the pick and the lever from being stuck inside the lock, and at the same time, it will help you to move the pick freely.

In case you don’t have bobby pins, you can also use two paper clips as alternatives. Those that are made of metal are most preferred so you will prevent them from breaking as you are picking the lock. Also, they must be flexible so you can bend them.

Another option is a metal wire. However, they must be thick enough so that they can give the pins a push and won’t break and get stuck inside the lock. Just be careful in handling them to prevent cuts.

2. Pliers

To easily bend the bobby pins, you will need a pair of pliers. The best pliers for bending metal wires is a pair of needle-nose pliers. It is commonly used in bending jewelry and other handicrafts. In choosing needle-nose pliers, it must have a comfortable handle so that it could provide you with a good grip.

If you don’t have pliers, you can also use your hands to bend the bobby pins. However, this could take a little time and effort. Also, be careful in bending them to prevent acquiring any cuts.

3. Wire Cutter

You will need a wire cutter to remove the rubber knobs from the bobby pins. There are different kinds of wire cutters that you can choose from. One of them is a pair of shear cutters. It can make the smoothest cuts on metal wires. However, don’t press too hard since it may dull the blades of the cutter.

Aside from shear cutters, you can also use a pair of side cutters. It is typically used for cutting copper and aluminum. Its only downside is that it can leave a sharp spike once the metal has been cut.

4. Gloves (optional)

Wearing a pair of gloves can provide you with a good grip, especially if your hands are wet or sweaty. It can also protect you from any cuts in case the pick slid out of your hands. However, you must choose the right kind of gloves to prevent encountering any hassle while doing the tutorial.

If you are allergic to latex, you can use non-latex gloves. Leather gloves are also fine since they are light to wear and you can have a good grip while wearing them. Also, the gloves must perfectly fit your hands–not be too tight since it would be very uncomfortable and not too loose since it would cause distraction.

What to Do

Step 1: Create a lever and a pick using bobby pins


Create a pick by bending a pin back so it looks like a long metal wire. Insert one centimeter of the pick inside the lock. The flat side must be facing upwards. Slightly bend the end of the pin and push the rest of it to the left. Make a loop out of the other side of the pick.

For the lever, use a pair of pliers to bend one half of the other pin at a right angle. Its purpose is to be like a key that will make it easier for the pick to push the pins at the same height.

Step 2: Place the lever in the bottom part of the keyhole then turn it like a key


Place the bent end of the lever on the bottom part of the keyhole. Place it as low and as deep as possible. Turn the lever lightly as if you are turning a key. If you are not sure where to turn, try both directions. If the lever is in the wrong position, it will make a clicking sound.

You also need the lever in this position for the whole process. The pressure that you must exert must not be too heavy. Straining the lever against the lock will make it difficult for you to push the pins upward.

Step 3: Insert the pick with a bent end and feel the pins


Now, insert your pick with a bent end and feel for the pins by moving them upwards and downwards. Make sure that you have felt all of them so that you can determine which pins are jammed and which are not. If the pins have no movement at all, it means that you are exerting too much pressure on your lever. Try to lighten up the pressure.

Step 4: Look for the jammed pin and push it up


After you have determined the pins that are moving, look for the pin that is jammed. You must exert consistent pressure on the lever while trying to push the seized pin upward. You will hear a clicking sound once the pin’s split part lines up with the barrel and is now out of the way.

Step 5: Repeat the process for other jammed pins

After one pin gets out of the way, some of the other pins may seize up. This will help you determine the next pin that you should push up. Repeat the process like you have done to the first pin until your lever can turn the lock completely and successfully open the door.


Did you enjoy our tutorial on how to pick a lock with a bobby pin? By following the steps carefully, you can open the door of your house if you are locked out. Also, this tutorial can guide you to pick a file cabinet lock with bobby pin. Just prepare the items needed. Also, if you are looking for quality locks for your home. You can refer to the detailed guides on the top-rated interior door locks and the most popular bedroom door lock.

If you think that this article is useful, please share it with your friends and loved ones. Also, you can share with us your experiences while you are doing the tutorial. Just leave a comment below.

5/5 - (4 votes)