How To Pick a Lock With a Pocket Knife

How To Pick a Lock With a Pocket Knife

If you are in a situation where you need to rescue someone or escape from captivity, then knowing how to pick a lock with a pocket knife is an essential skill. This technique was popularized by the TV show MacGyver and has been used for decades to escape from prison cells. In this blog post, we will discuss what tools you will need and the process of picking a lock with your rescue knives or a pocket knife.

How Do You Pick a Door Lock With a Pocket Knife?

Lock picking is the art of manipulating a lock's small internal components through a tiny keyhole. It's a chore that needs precision and agility. But, unfortunately, two attributes that a knife lacks.

Knives struggle to provide the precise lifting movement required to pick locks because they are bulky items with only one point of precision at the tip of their shank. That is if they can even fit through the keyhole.

Knives, on the other hand, aren't useless when it comes to picking locks. There are various unusual methods for opening a locked door with a survival knife that we can use!

So let's get started and look at five different ways to pick a lock with a rescue knife!

Stick and Wiggle

A tension wrench, which delivers rotating force to the lock, and the actual lock pick, which manipulates the pins, are the two tools used in classical lock picking.

We're going to try to utilize the survival folding knife as both a tension wrench and a pick in this initial way! To utilize this approach, the knife blade must be narrower than the keyway and fit through the lock without elevating the pins much. If this isn't the case, you might want to try another option from this list.

Stick and Wiggle's purpose is to wiggle the pins up into position, similar to how a rake lock pick works.

The Step-by-Step Procedure

To pick a lock with a survival pocket knife, start by pushing your knife as far as you can into the lock until you feel the blade pointed against the back of the lock.

Next, turn the knife with a light turning force, as if you were trying to turn a key. This tiny spin on the core of the lock will impart a binding force to the pins, allowing us to raise and set them at the shear line – in other words, the pins will sit and stay at the height that the correct key would raise them to.

It's time to wriggle now!

Start gently rocking your knife up and down while moving it in and out of the lock. Do this for another 10 to 15 seconds.

If the lock does not open, repeat the process by removing the rotating tension on the lock and letting any of the pins you set to fall. Reapply the rotational force and give it another shot.

When lifting the pins and turning the knife, be sure to experiment with varying degrees of force. When picking a lock with a rocking motion, lighter pressures are usually more successful.

So, please be gentle, and good luck!

Getting a Little Help

We're going to ask for some assistance in the next way. Rather of trying to use the knife as both a turning tool and a pick, we'll only use it as a turning tool this time.

We'll then ask for another object to use as a pick, such as a lock pick, a bobby pin, a paperclip, or any other stiff and thin object that fits in the keyhole.

This does, however, mean that we'll need enough space above the knife to move our homemade lock pick!

Just make sure you don't cut yourself!

The Step-by-Step Procedure

Start by placing your knife into the bottom of the keyway – as illustrated above – and rotating it very slowly.

Next, thoroughly put your lock pick – or whatever improvised tool you're using – inside the lock.

Raise your pick until it lifts the pins slightly, then swiftly rip it out of the lock so that it pulls across all of the pins. The goal of this method of picking is to strike the pins with enough force to throw them up into the lock, which is known as zipping.

If the lock doesn't open after 4 or 5 zips, repeat the operation by relaxing the rotating force on the lock to drop any pins you may have set. Reapply the force and give it another shot.

When turning the knife, use varying degrees of force, just as you did before.

Put Your Knife on a Diet

Okay, so this method takes a little more forethought and is probably not something you want to try with that $100 steak knife set.

Why don't we turn our knife into a lock pick instead of trying to pick a lock with a big bulky knife and dealing with all the complications that comes with it?

With a little elbow grease, a couple of decent metal files like these, and some quality time, you can make a masterpiece that will absolutely slaughter locks — while also looking very great!

The Step-by-Step Procedure

Planning, like most things, usually yields the best results.

Begin by deciding how you want your knife-pick to appear, and if you need some ideas, see our guide on the many varieties of lock picks!

Then, using a marker, sketch the shape of your pick on the knife so you know exactly how much metal you want to remove.

While freehanding is acceptable, sketching some guidelines is always a good method to ensure that you don't grind away too much. You can always shave off more metal in the future, but you won't be able to put it back on!

It's time to get physical. 

Begin by filing away the excess metal from surrounding the template, taking care not to cut yourself while working on the blade. As you approach closer to your specified lines, you should be a little gentler and more cautious with how much you file away. Make sure your pick's edges are as smooth as possible!

You may need to thin out your pick by filing down the serrated edge as well, depending on the thickness of the knife. You'll be in good shape to tackle most locks if you can get the blade of your new lock pick thinner than a US quarter!

If you wish to take it a step further, a gorgeous finish can be applied to your new pick using various grits of sandpaper! Polishing your pick will help it function better by reducing friction while it is in the lock.

Shimmy Me Timbers

This way of bypassing is the same as when we use a credit card to bypass a lock, and it will only work on slanted-latch style locks, which are common on most doors.

Furthermore, the slant of the latch must face you so that you can use your knife to push it into the door!

There are three ways to tell if this strategy will work just by glancing at the door.

  • Deadbolts function by inserting a metal rod into the door frame that can only be disengaged through the locking mechanism. This method will not work if the door has a deadbolt.
  • The latch's slant must be facing you: We must use our knife to press the lock in with this way. This is only possible if the slant is in our direction. If the door's hinges are on the opposite side of the door, this is the best way to tell. If they are, the slant is in your direction. If the hinges are on your side of the door, however, the next option will be more useful!
  • Nothing stands in your way of getting to the slant: Last but not least, your knife must be able to reach the clasp. This method is useless if you have a lot of molding or metal plates between the door and the frame that prevent you from squeezing your blade between them.

However, if you match all three of these criteria, this strategy is likely to work for you!

The Step-by-Step Procedure

Shimming the latch is pretty easy, and it won't take you long to figure out if it'll work! Insert your knife between the crack of the door and the doorframe at the exact height of the doorknob.

Examine the door until you find a lump of metal protruding from it—this is the latch, and it should be springy!

Using your knife as leverage, press the lock into the door. The door will swing open if there is no other lock present! It's as simple as that!

Jimmy Some Bolts

To begin with, if your door's hinges are on the outside – the side that you use a key to open – you've got larger problems than being shut out.

While accidents happen, keeping your hinges on the outside of your door invites many criminals and low-lives. Who is searching for a quick and easy entry into your property! If this is one of your doors, I strongly advise you to have it repaired!

Regardless, this way of bypassing is very simple, although it does demand some physical effort.

The Step-by-Step Procedure

Start wedging your survival knife between the top of the bolt and the base of the hinge.

Wiggle the knife slowly and gently until you see a space appear beneath the bolt's head. You may fairly presume the bolt is loose enough to jimmy the rest of the way out of the hinge if you can get it this far and produce a significant gap.

However, before you waste time completely removing the first bolt, see if the other bolts can be moved. If you can successfully shift all three to create a gap, you're probably good to go and can start eliminating them!

One last piece of advice! As you remove bolts, greater pressure is applied to the remaining ones, making them more difficult to move. So please don't remove any of the bolts completely until they're practically all out!

How Do You Pick a Lock With a Knife And Bobby Pin?

The three ways to tell if this strategy will work are the slant of the latch must face you, nothing stands in your way of getting to the slant, and the slant is in your direction.

Insert your knife or bobby pin between the crack of the door and doorframe. At the exact height of the doorknob.

Wiggle the knife slowly and gently until you see a space appear beneath the bolt's head. You may fairly presume the bolt is loose enough to jimmy the rest of the way out of the hinge if you can get it this far and produce a significant gap. However, before you waste time completely removing the first bolt, see if the other bolts can be moved.

As you remove bolts, greater pressure is applied to the remaining ones, making them more difficult to move. So please don't remove any of the bolts completely until they're practically all out!

Start wedging your knife between the top of the bolt and the base of the hinge. If you can successfully shift all three to create a gap, you're probably good to go and can start eliminating them!

The rescue knife must reach the clasp, and there should not be too much molding or metal plates between it and the doorframe for this method to work. This method is most effective if the door has a clear path to latch.

What is a Door Latch Guard?

Door latch guards assist in reducing break-ins and prevent repairs by preventing unauthorized access to the latch bolt on a lockset. They're typically employed with mortise and cylindrical locksets, and they work in both left- and right-facing applications.

Thoughts

That concludes the discussion: How to pick a lock with a knife in a variety of methods! While a knife isn't the ideal tool for the job, it's far from the worst, and it just goes to show that if you hammer your head against a problem long enough, a solution will eventually appear! A good set of lock picking tools, on the other hand, will always be far superior at getting the job done! That said, take care not to cut yourself and have a good time! A rescue knife will be very helpful for any emergency situation! If you're looking for best budget survival knife, here at Evatac team we offer the best rescue knife for any situation!


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