Unlocking Deadbolts: Tips and Techniques for Emergency Access Without a Key

Unlocking a deadbolt without a key may come in handy in certain situations. For instance, if you find yourself locked out of your home and have lost your keys, you might need to unlock the deadbolt without causing damage. Let’s explore some methods on how to unlock deadbolt without key, including a last resort, for unlocking a deadbolt.

Using Bobby Pins

Unlocking a deadbolt with bobby pins is a method often seen in movies. While it requires patience and skill, it can be effective. You’ll need at least three bobby pins – two for the task and one as a spare. Follow these steps:

  • Insert the looped end of the first pin into the bottom side of the lock.
  • Straighten the second pin and insert it into the top side of the lock.
  • Rotate the first pin and push and pull the second pin upward.

This method involves manipulating the locking mechanism inside the cylinder, and success may depend on your skill and a bit of luck.

How to remove dead bolt?

Simply Using a Plastic Card

Using a plastic card to unlock a deadbolt is a common method in movies. While it doesn’t always work with deadlocks, it has a higher chance with ordinary doorknob locks. Slide the card between the door frame and the door to push the bolt and unlock the door.

Remember, this method works best with doorknob locks due to the shape of the latch bolt.

Brute Forcing Using a Drill or Grinder

Brute force methods involving a drill or grinder should be a last resort. These methods can be noisy and attract attention.

  • Using a Drill: Drill through the lock cylinder and tumblers, destroying the deadlock. Insert a stick or bit to rotate the spindle and unlock the door.
  • Using a Grinder: Cut the bolt or the rosette to access the internal mechanism, allowing you to turn the spindle and unlock the door.

These methods should only be considered when other options fail, and you must inform neighbours due to the noise.

Preventing Key Loss

Losing keys can be a hassle. Consider preventive measures such as using Custom Keychains to keep your keys visible and less likely to be forgotten. You can also customize GPS design accessories to make finding your keys easier if lost.

Legal Considerations

If you’re a tenant, discuss lock replacement with your landlord. Landlords are typically responsible for replacing and updating locks. If you decide to replace the locks, provide your landlord with a duplicate key to avoid any issues.


While these methods can help in emergencies, it’s essential to keep things legal and use them responsibly. Only employ these techniques when necessary and during genuine emergencies.

Remember, losing keys is a common issue, but taking steps to prevent it can save you from the hassle of unlocking a deadbolt without a key.