So you shut the door and didn’t grab your keys. It happens. In fact, it happens so much that there is an entire profession built around solving this problem. There is no shame in calling for help, and here’s what to expect when you call a locksmith. Chances are they are going to do one of three things, and once you know them you can try them all for yourself:
Wait. Before we go over the methods it is important to know what you are trying to accomplish. These will work on your standard pin tumbler locks, which is pretty much the style of your everyday lock. This lock has two main parts: the bible and the plug. The bible has the driver pins. Most often, five pins with a uniform length that all rest on a spring. The plug has the key pins which are not a uniform height.
How a pin and tumbler lock works is that the key will lift the lock’s key pins. This compresses the springs and moves the driver pins up into the bible. The key pins resting in the plug and the driver pins being in the bible means that the pins have reached the shear line.
The shear line is the gap between the plug and bible that when unencumbered allows the plug to turn, opening the door. So to get back in your house, all you need to do is move those pins.
There are only two tools necessary for this process, a tension wrench, and a rake (this technique will work on most home doors with security pins). These lockpicking tools are not available in many stores but can be purchased online. If you want to invest in a full lock pick set these tools are staples of the
Now maybe you can’t find your lock pick set or you can’t pick it (maybe you just want to compare before you try or buy), in any case the next method is bumping. For this, we need a bump key. You can buy a bump key, but make sure that it is the same brand (and model if possible) of
To begin you will need a key blank, a file, and the key of the lock you want to bump.
This is a destructive entry method and will ruin your lock because the process is based around breaking the locking mechanisms. This process requires a drill and several drill bits increasing in size. The bit size will need to be increased until the pin and tumbler system is destroyed. There are no real steps beside:
1. Place the drill bit on the side of the lock where the teeth of the key would go (this is the side that will have the pins) and drill.
2. Turn the lock with a flat head screwdriver, and if it does not open increase the size of the drill bit.
In the End
These are the methods that your locksmith is going to use 98% of the time. If you do end up calling a locksmith, you may also notice that they can do these things in a matter of seconds. Always remember that locksmithing is an art more than it is an exact science and that success will be dependent on practice. So pick it or bump it, but if you drill it make sure that you replace the lock. Now you know the top three ways that an expert locksmith would use to open your door, you might find that some of these methods don’t work on your particular locks. You may need to find another way to gain entry.