How to open a deadbolt lock

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how to open a deadbolt lock

Last updated on August 19th, 2023 at 06:51 am

Deadbolt locks are a popular choice for securing homes and businesses, and for good reason. They provide an extra layer of security beyond a standard doorknob lock.

However, if you’ve lost your deadbolt key, it can be frustrating to be locked out of your property.

Here, I will guide you on how to open a deadbolt lock without a key. We also take these below keys:

  • How to open a locked door lock from the outside?
  • How to open a locked door knob?
  • How to open a deadbolt lock without the key?
  • How to open a door lock with a hole?
  • How to open a deadbolt lock with a credit card, screwdriver, or knife.

So, let’s dive in to pick these key terms.

How to open a locked door lock from the outside?

Did you get locked out from the outside of your home? If you haven’t the key, then what can you do to unlock the door from the outside?

Don’t worry, you can do it by drilling the deadbolt from the outside. The process is easy and we will teach you the way in detail. Let’s see.

How to open a deadbolt lock with a drill?

Opening your deadbolt lock with a drill will be a quick process. You can try it from outside if you get locked out.

If you have the key, you can easily open the door with it. But if the key is unavailable to you, you need to take this alternative method to try.

To start this process, gather some tools:

  • A power drill
  • Drill bit(⅛, ¼, ¾ inch in size)
  • A flathead screwdriver,
  • Prying bar or hammer.

Step 1: 

Select the location you want to drill. It may be the shear line, the springs, the key pins( bottom stack of pins), the top pile of pins (driver pins), or even the secured screws that hold your lock in place.

Mark the place you want.


Step 2:

Place a ⅛ inch drill bit into the drill machine. Now start by pressing the trigger into the selected area.


Do it until the 5 pins are punctured.

Step 3:

Now change the drill bit and insert a ¼  inch bit into the drill machine to apply more pressure. 

drill another bit

Repeat this process until all the pins are shattered and the drill bit appears in the back part of the door lock.

dril bit appears back side

Step 4:

Now it’s time to place a flathead screwdriver into the lock’s keyway and try to turn the lock in a similar direction to turn a key.

insert screwdriver

Check if the door is in the locked position. If yes, there might have a 6th pin. Check it and take a longer bit. 

Then repeat the drilling and make it deeper. Thus all the pins will slip out to open the door.

Step 5:

Finally, try to unlock the door. if fail, use a hammer or prying bar to remove the deadbolt.

How to open a jammed door lock from the outside

open jammed door lock

If your deadbolt door lock is jammed and you’re trying to open it from the outside, try these below steps:

  • Look for any visible obstructions, debris, or objects that may be preventing the door from opening.
  • Sometimes a jammed door can be caused by a sticky lock or hinges. Use a lubricant such as WD-40 to spray the lock mechanism and the hinges. This will help to loosen up any stuck parts.
lubricate the lock
  • Stand close to the door and push gently but firmly against it. Sometimes doors get stuck due to pressure changes or slight misalignment.
  • While pushing, turn the doorknob or handle. This combination of pressure and turning may help release the jam.
  • Wiggle the doorknob while continuing to push. Sometimes a small movement can free the door.
  • If the door is jammed against the frame, you can gently tap the door near the latch area with a rubber mallet. This can sometimes dislodge the latch and allow the door to open.
  • The door may also be jammed due to misalignment with the door frame. If this is the case, gently push or pull the door while trying to turn the handle. This can sometimes help the latch to disengage from the strike plate.

How to open a locked door lock from the outside with a bobby pin

 open a deadbolt lock with bobby pins

In your emergency case, you can also use your bobby pins to unlock your door. In that case, you just need two bobby pins.

Then use one to create a tension wrench and another one to make a pick tool.

How to do it?

  1. Take a bobby pin and open it up. Then bend it at 90 degrees at the center which looks like a L shape.
bend bobby pin 90 degree

2. Cut out the rubber tip from the end of the bobby pin.

cut off rubber tip

3. Now attach the pin’s flat end to this lock and bend it to create a small hook. It works like a pick tool.

  1. To make a tension lever, take another bobby pin and bend its tip.
tension lever by bobby pin

2. Now it’s time to pick the lock. Here is what to do now:

3. Insert the tension lever into your lock and push it counterclockwise. This action will apply tension to the lock mechanism. Keep a little force on the lock to lift the individual pins.

insert bend pin end

4. Now insert the pick tool into the keyhole and feel for pins. Push it until you listen a clicking sound.

insert pick tool

5. Now continue to feel the pins and lift them one by one pin by pressing down on the pick’s handle.

  1. When all pin will get upward of the barrel, the door lock will be opened.
  2. Now turn the tension wrench counterclockwise. It will allow you to open the door.

How to open a lock door knob

open locked door knob

If you’re trying to open a locked door knob, here are the steps you can take:

Check if the Door is Locked: Ensure the door is actually locked before attempting to open it. Sometimes a door might be difficult to open due to a different issue.

Use the Correct Key: If the door is locked with a key, use the correct key to unlock it. Insert the key into the keyhole and turn it counter-clockwise.

Turn the Knob: Some lock door knobs can be unlocked by simply turning the knob from the inside, even if it’s locked. Try turning the knob while applying gentle pressure on the door to see if it opens.

Use a Paperclip (For Simple Locks): If you have a simple spring-loaded lock, you can try using a straightened paperclip as a makeshift tool.

Insert the paperclip into the keyhole. Then wiggle it around while turning the knob simultaneously. This might help to push the locking mechanism and open the door.

Note: It’s important to avoid using excessive force to open a locked door. This can lead to damage to the lock or the door frame.

How to open a deadbolt lock without the key

When you have lost your keys or suddenly get unlocked from outside, you can open the door without a key with some simple tricks. 

Though it is difficult to open a deadbolt without a key, it’s possible fortunately. 

You may use a screwdriver, paperclip, bobby pin, credit card, drill, or knife to open a door.

The best process to open your deadbolt lock is using screwdriver.

Anyway, here is some process you can follow to unlock your pin-tumbler locks:

Lock-picking process

You can safely open your locked deadbolt with the lock-picking method. We have already described the above. 

For this, use a rake tool or a bobby pin and paperclip to its alternative and a screwdriver. 

In that case, put the screwdriver at the bottom of the keyhole and turn it clockwise. Now insert the tool over the screwdriver.

Turn the tool to pick the pins up. Keep doing this process until you hear a click sound. The door will open now.

For details, please see the above section.

Bump the lock

Another effective way may be the lock bumping method. In this method, you will need a bump key. You can collect it from any hardware shop.

You will notice the upper part is cut to this key at a maximum depth. So you can use this key to force the lock’s shear line so it can fit with the curves and rotate the key to open the door.

  1. First, collect a bump key.
  1. Place it into the keyhole of the lock.
  1. Take a hammer, screwdriver, or any hard thighs to force the tool so it can enter into the lock mechanism. 
  1. When you force the tool, the shear line will fit into the uppercuts of the key.
  1. At that moment, quickly rotate the key and open the door.

Drill the lock

If it is an emergency to enter your home, your lock is old, or you can’t care if the door is damaged, you can drill it. 

It can damage your lock entirely, but you can do it in an emergency.

  1. For protection, wear safety gloves or glasses.
  1. Take an adjustable drill machine to drill the door lock.
  1. Place the drill machine in which place you wish to break.
  1. You can begin to drill the lock with a bit of ⅛th-inch.
  1. Drill the place for a few minutes.
  1. Now put a flathead screwdriver and turn the lock to open the door.

However, you can also try with a credit card or take the hinges off to unlock the deadbolt without a key. You can follow the process above to perform this method.

How to open a deadbolt lock with a credit card

You can use your credit card in your emergency moment to enter your home with a credit card. Yes, it is possible to do. 

But note that you can’t open a deadbolt lock with a credit card. A deadbolt contains a rod, so you only retract it through a key or lock pick. 

Yet, if you have spring locks with handles, use a credit card to open the door.

 Let’s see the process below:

  1. Push the card between the door lock and the strike plate.
Push the card between the door lock
  1. Bend the card and push it smoothly to slide.

Read this helpful blog post if your Kwikset deadbolt not turning smoothly

  1. Press on the door and keep bending and wiggling the card between your door and yourself. The credit card will slide enough and retract the latch. Thus the lock will unlock.

How to open a deadbolt lock with a knife

open a deadbolt lock with a knife

You can also pick your deadbolt lock with a knife. Is it possible? Of course. It is possible and we will teach you the way to open a door lock with a knife. 

If your lock is spring loaded system or if it has a button keypad, you can open it with a knife.

Gather a putty knife or butter knife according to the size of your lock keyhole.

Insert the putty knife into the keyhole. It will work as a torque wrench. Now wiggle it around the keyway like a key. Do it for 10 to 15 seconds.

wiggle knife

In this step, you will listen to a clicking sound. Now the door will open.

how to open a door lock with a hole

small door hole

Do you want to know how to open a door lock with a small hole? Actually, if you’re referring to a situation where there’s a small hole in the door, it may be related to the type of lock or latch mechanism on the door.

Some locks have an emergency unlocking feature that can be accessed through a small hole.

Here’s what you can try to unlock such type of door:

Use a Release Tool (For Privacy Locks):

Privacy locks, commonly found on bathroom or bedroom doors, often have a small hole in the outside knob. This hole is meant for unlocking the door from the outside in case someone gets locked in.

You can use a tool called a “privacy release tool” or a straightened paperclip to insert into the hole.

  • Push the tool or paperclip in until you feel resistance.
  • Then gently turns it to unlock the door.

Unlocking Deadbolts (Rarely):

Some deadbolts might have a small hole. It may be used to manually unlock the deadbolt from the outside. This is rare and not common for standard residential deadbolts.

You can also use a small screwdriver to unlock such type of door lock. See the above explanations.

Note: Don’t use excessive force to manipulate the lock. It could damage the door.

Final thought

So, if you get locked out and misplaced your access key, don’t be frustrated. We’ve covered some best ways to unlock your door in your emergency.

Now, the question ”how to open a deadbolt lock” can’t bother you. Just try out the above process before calling a repairman.

Yet, you will be always suggested to hire a professional if any of the above steps can’t help you open your deadbolt lock.

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