How to Pick a Locked Door Knob

picking a lock
  • 0.5-1
  • Intermediate
  • 20
What You'll Need
Credit card
Flathead and Philips screwdrivers
What You'll Need
Credit card
Flathead and Philips screwdrivers

A locked door knob and a lost key are the makings of a frustrating day. Since picking a locked door knob is a skill that even a common thief can master, there’s no reason you can’t break in to your own home as well. The most important factors to consider are the type and age of the knob. Check out the following varieties of door knobs and methods for picking locks.

Push Button Door Knob

push button door lock

This type of door knob is common and is usually found on interior doors, especially bathroom doors. The interior door knob will have a push button that will lock the door. The exterior door knob will either be completely smooth or have a small round hole in its center.

If the door knob has a small hole, you can pick it by sliding the hairpin into the hole. Maneuver the hairpin around until you feel it catch a recess and then push. This will unlock the door knob.

The type of door knob without a visible hole in the center opens just as easily, you just have to know where the hole is hidden. Look closely at the stem of the door knob. On either side will be a tiny hole. Push the hairpin into this hole, and push down to unlock the door knob.

Turning Door Knob Lock

turning lock

A turning knob lock is also common for interior doors. It works along the same lines as the push button door knob lock. There will still be a hole in the center of the door knob. Very rarely are these holes hidden, as doors of this kind are meant to be unlocked with a key. However, it’s possible to open this locked door without a key.

Insert the hairpin into the door knob hole and you will feel resistance. At this point you need to turn the hairpin in the same direction as the key is turned to unlock the door knob.

Traditional Door Knob Lock

traditional door lock

A door knob that has a traditional threaded lock is much harder to bypass. The first way to get through this locked door is to use a credit card. You slide the credit card between the door frame and the latch at a 45-degree angle. It will take some work on your part to properly insert it but when you do the latch will slide over allowing you to open the door.

The other way to break through a threaded lock is to just remove the door knob. Obviously this isn’t convenient if you urgently need to get through a door, but if you have the tools and the time, it’s fairly simple. Just remove the screws in the plate and pull the door knob off the spindle. Older doors will have screws on the stem, not just the plate, of the door knob that you must remove. Other door knobs will have a small push plate on the stem. Use a flathead screwdriver to push it down and while pressing down you can remove the door knob. Once you have access, unlocking is easy.

The biggest downside to this option is, while it guarantees you access, you do have to then take the time to reassemble to the knob and put it back in place once you’ve made it inside.