Gone Outdoors

How to Pick a Lock With a Screwdriver

by Contributing Writer

Whether you’ve lost the key or purchased a piece that came without a key, there are times you need to bypass a lock to get inside a drawer or room. It wouldn’t often be prudent to dismantle some pieces, so you can use a screwdriver to pick a lock.

Learn how the lock works. Whether it’s a combination lock or a standard keyed lock, the keyhole has tumblers that fit themselves to the shape of the matching key. When the proper key is inserted, the tumblers align, allowing the key to turn.

Pick a screwdriver with a small enough tip to fit inside the keyhole that you can move around a little. There are tiny screwdrivers available that are perfect for picking locks. Think of using the kind you may already have for fixing eyeglasses.

Insert the screwdriver into the lock.

Jiggle the screwdriver carefully. You want to shimmy the blade of the screwdriver in between the tumblers inside the lock. It’s important that you have enough of the blade inside inside the tumblers to make them go up. Having the right amount of leverage is important to successful lockpicking.

Twist the screwdriver and hope the lock opens on the first try. If it doesn’t, try to feel your way around the lock in hopes you get the right line. Twist gently at first, and then gradually increase the pressure you apply to the lock.

Attempt different maneuvers patiently. You have to find the correct, nuanced movement to get the the tumblers to move up and to be able to turn the lock. Try pushing, then turning. Try turning, then pushing. Try different angles until one of them works for you.

Items you will need
  • Screwdriver