Q:

How do I unlock a deadbolt without a key?

A:

Quick Answer

If the lock is a single-cylinder deadbolt and the knob inside the door is accessible turning the knob opens the lock. If the lock is a double-cylinder lock or the inside of the door is not accessible, special lock picking tools are necessary. If the deadbolt is not fully locked into position, pressing a credit card or other flat tool into the space left by the partially opened deadbolt allows it to open. Completely locked deadbolts require special lock picking tools to open.

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How do I unlock a deadbolt without a key?
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Full Answer

Common lock picking tools include metal picks and a tension wrench. While picks are specialized tools, a flathead screwdriver can be used as a tension wrench because they are readily available. Common metal objects such as paper clips can be bent into picks for a specific type of lock. Some locksmiths use electric pick guns instead of a traditional pick and tension wrench. A pick gun has several different pick-shaped tips, which vibrate to push the pins of the deadbolt lock up.

While there are many legitimate reasons to pick a lock, possessing or using lock-picking tools without a license is illegal in some jurisdictions. In California, for example, it is a misdemeanor to possess a lock pick without a locksmith's license. Always check local laws, and call a licensed and bonded locksmith if there is any doubt.


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