If you've been following the site, you may have seen our feature last week on cracking a padlock without tools. That technique is very simple and effective, but it also makes quite a bit of noise as you tap the lock with a hard object. Additionally, it won't work on recessed door locks—if you're being illegally detained in a building, that's more likely to be what you're dealing with. Fortunately, there's another easy method that anyone can try using a common household item: paperclips.

DISCLAIMER: We’re certainly not advocating you do anything against the law, so only practice this technique on locks you own. Please don’t do anything stupid and/or illegal with this knowledge, and if you do, we are not responsible.

You may have thought picking a lock with a paperclip was too good to be true, since it's often featured in otherwise unrealistic TV shows and spy movies. It may seem far-fetched, but it's actually quite doable. YouTube channel BlackScoutSurvival shows how it's done:

You'll notice the host makes picks using a set of pliers. While a pair of pliers makes the process easier, it's not necessarily a must-have tool. Both the tension wrench and the rake can be made manually, as shown in this video (most relevant from 2:22 to 5:02):


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Admittedly, these videos still make it look easier than it might be for a true beginner. However, even with minimal practice, paperclip lock picks can be an effective method of escaping captivity. Looks like MacGyver wasn't so far off after all.


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