Knowing how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver will save you from getting locked up, especially if you forget your keys.

As you may know, screwdrivers are essential tools you should always have at home. It is versatile and can help you a lot in fixing everything, including that door lock of yours.

In this article, you will learn how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver, regardless of the door lock type you have at home.

Steps On How to Pick A Door Lock With A Screwdriver

In movies, you often see some characters who quickly pick a lock without tools. Some even try to open a locked door without a screwdriver.

You may wonder how you can also do the same. However, if you want to pick the door lock fast and efficiently, a screwdriver and other additional tools will help.

Here’s how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver:

Know the lock type

Knowing the lock type you use at home will help you save time on how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver.

Residential and commercial properties often use different types of door locks, namely, padlocks, overhead locks, and mortise locks.

Padlocks or hinged

Padlocks are the most accessible lock to hack among locksmiths. And fortunately, you can also do it.

The thing about this lock type is that it is easy to fix but also easy to snap. Thus, you will often see this lock not on the front doors or in rooms used to store precious items but only in spaces like sheds and other standard rooms.

Overhead locks

Like padlocks, you should not use overhead locks on front or entrance doors. However, many still use them because of their reliability, and it does not ruin the door leaf, though they can create an unattractive appearance to your door.

Mortise locks

Mortise locks

Mortise locks are appropriate for front or entrance doors, metal doors, and other interior doors. It has a hidden installation, making it more reliable and advantageous than other lock types. Overall, it provides a better locking system, especially when installed in a metal door.

Use the right tools

Using the right tools is crucial if you want to unlock the door. The most common tool used in this matter is the screwdriver. But it would be best if you could use other tools as well alongside it to make the unlocking process more efficient.


If you want to learn how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver, choosing the most suitable one is the best solution since there are many types of it.

You need to pick the one with a flathead or the more popular Phillips screwdriver.

A small and thin flathead screwdriver works best on smaller keyholes, while the Phillips is ideal for removing the screws, so ensure it is also the correct size.

Hammer and nails

Those who removed a locked door knob from outside probably used a hammer and nails. These tools work best for taking off the door’s hinges.

You can use a claw or club hammer, whichever is available. For nails, the best to use are those with larger sizes so they can nudge the pins quickly.

Rake tool

If you do not have a screwdriver, the rake tool is another alternative item you can use. Ensure you will use a metal rake tool, so it will not break or bend once you insert it in the keyhole.

Bobby pins and paper clip

If you are unfamiliar with the rake tool, using more accessible items such as bobby pins and paper clips can come in handy. Like a rake tool, get those made from metal, so they are sturdy enough to use.

Pick the lock with a screwdriver

Pick the lock with a screwdriver

Now that you know the door lock and the tools to prepare, you can now try on how to pick a lock with a screwdriver in general. To do it, you may follow these four steps.

  1. Insert the screwdriver into the bottom of the keyway.
  2. Turn it in a clockwise direction, in which you usually turn the key, using a light force.
  3. Insert the rake tool above the screwdriver.
  4. Push it to the back of the keyway.
  5. Scrub the pins using the rake while maintaining a light turning force.
  6. As you continue to scrub, adjust the pick angle.
  7. Wait until all the pins are set and the lock is open.

Regular lock

As mentioned, there are different types of locks. Thus, they offer unique features. In that sense, the above instructions may not work if you have a different lock installed on your door.

For those with regular locks, here’s what you can do:

  1. Insert the flathead screwdriver at the bottom of the keyhole.
  2. Turn it in a clockwise direction with little pressure.
  3. Use the rake tool and insert it above the screwdriver. A paper clip or a bobby pin is a good alternative if you do not have one.
  4. Check if the rake tool reaches the pins as you insert it into the keyhole.
  5. Start scrubbing the pins and adjust their angle to ensure the rake tool touches each pin inside.
  6. Once you hear something click, you have set all the pins, and the lock is finally open.

Privacy lock

Other locks may include some additional privacy features. If that is what you own, here’s what you can do:

  1. Look for a small hole in the knob.
  2. Insert the flathead screwdriver until you reach the lock end.
  3. Turn the screwdriver until you hear a clicking sound.

Other Ways On How to Pick a Door Lock With A Screwdriver

Other Ways On How to Pick a Door Lock With A Screwdriver

You must understand the features of your door lock and the logistics behind it to make the lock-picking process easier.

However, sometimes it is not enough to pick the door. You also need other methods to unlock it, especially when urgent or emergency scenarios arise and you need to open the door desperately.

Removing the Doorknob

When you already did everything you could to unlock the doorknob, it may still not open in a worst-case scenario. In this situation, you may consider removing the doorknob. You can follow these steps:

  1. Look for the visible screws on the doorknob.
  2. If the screws have a cover plate, check the cut-out and insert the flathead screwdriver to push it.
  3. If there is no cut-out, it might have a tiny hole where you can insert a paper clip or a bobby pin to push it forward and loosen the doorknob. Once it is loose, you will see the screws.
  4. Remove the screws using the screwdriver.
  5. For slotted screws, a flathead screwdriver is the right tool. If you see a cross instead, a Phillips screwdriver is more appropriate.
  6. Keep the screws and ensure not to lose them. You will need to put them back on the doorknob later on.
  7. As you remove the screws, the latch will also be released, and you can finally open the door.

Removing the Hinges

Another way to open the door aside from removing the doorknob is by removing the hinges. It is a bit complicated to do, so you can consider it your last resort if you still cannot open your door.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Place a platform under the door as support or ask someone who can hold the door while you remove the hinges.
  2. Nudge the hinge pin by placing the nail against it and gently tapping it with a hammer.
  3. Once the pin is nudged, remove it from the hinge using a flathead screwdriver.
  4. Do these steps on each pin until you can remove the door.



1. Can You Use a Screwdriver to Pick a Lock?

You cannot use a screwdriver alone to pick a lock. You will need other tools to make it work.

Most screwdrivers are big and do not fit well into the keyways of a doorknob or a padlock. You need to have a lock pick that is small enough to fit into the keyways and use the screwdriver as a turning tool.

To make it work, use a smaller screwdriver with a flathead.

2. What is the Easiest Way to Pick a Door Lock Fast?

The easiest way to pick a door lock fast is by scrubbing. It is the method used to insert the tension wrench into the keyhole. Ensure you only apply minimal pressure to prevent the wrench from bending.

Then, insert the pick at the top of the lock by sliding it entirely to the back. Maintain the pressure on the tension wrench using your left hand and scrub the plug inside using your right hand.

Keep applying the torque and scrubbing the pins with minimal pressure until you pick all the pins.

3. How Do I Open a Locked Door Without a Key?

Opening a door lock without any key fast is the most inconvenient thing, especially if you are in a hurry and do not have other means to open it. If you have a screwdriver, there is a chance you can unlock your door. It is still possible even if you do not know how to pick a door lock with a screwdriver.

Fortunately, you can use several tools or items at hand to open a door if you forget or misplace your key.

You can use the best items and methods a credit card, paperclip, screwdriver for eyeglasses, or wire clothes hanger. You may want to pick a door lock with a knife if you can. You can also try to remove the hinges or break a door lock with a hammer and screwdriver.

4. What Tool Can Help Me Open a Locked Door?

There are many tools you can use to open a locked door. These are trip wire, hex keys, and plastic shims. Many locksmiths depend on these tools to unlock any doors and locks.

5. How Do You Pick a Lock Without Tools?

Not everyone can easily access different tools used to pick a lock. At first, it may not seem very easy to pick a door lock without tools. But the most common one is to pick a lock with a paperclip.

In addition, you can also try some clever ways to pick a lock, such as using a screwdriver, trying out the scrubbing method, or using a pin-by-pin method.

For more urgent or desperate scenarios, try removing the door hinges or destroying the lock to unlock the door.

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