Losing your mailbox key can be frustrating, especially when you have an important mail you need to get to. Luckily, how to open mailbox lock can be possible using a couple of simple tools. There are tools designed specifically for lock-picking that will give you the best chance of success, but if you don’t own a lock-picking kit, you can create a DIY lock-pick and lever out of hairpins or paper clips.
Preparing your Tools
- Use a lock-picking kit.
Using a lock-picking kit is more convenient and will save you time and on how to open mailbox lock. Lock-picking kits come with various lock-picks and levers to choose from, so you have different choices in case one won’t fit in your mailbox lock. If you don’t have a lock-picking kit, you can order one online or check your local hardware store.
- DIY lock-pick and lever.
You’ll need two hairpins to create a DIY lock-pick. Bend one of the hairpins, to make the ends 90-degrees apart, and remove the rubber tops. Then, slightly bend one of the ends upward, so the end of the hairpin is no longer straight. To make the lever, bend the second hairpin at about .5 inches (1.3 cm) away from the curved part. Once you’ve made a 90-degree angle, stop turning the hairpin and use a pair of needle-nose pliers to better bend the hairpins.
- Use two paper clips if you don’t have hairpins.
Make the lock-pick by straightening out half of the paper clip, leaving the other half as is. Next, bend the end of the straightened half slightly. To make the lever, straighten out the second paper clip nearly all the way so that one end of the paper clip is left with the bent curves. Bend down the curve until it’s at a 90-degree angle.
Picking the Lock
Here are the ways on how to open mailbox lock:
- Insert the shorter side of the lever into the lock.
Hold the long end of the lever within your fingers. Press the long end of the lever where you would turn the key to unlock your mailbox once it is inside the lock. When you’re picking the lock, press the lever in the same direction to pressure the lock’s barrel. Without any pressure on the barrel, picking the lock open won’t be possible.
- Insert the bent end of the lock-pick into the lock.
Inside the lock, five pins need to be raised to the same height so that barrel of the lock can turn and unlock the lock. Use the bent part of the lock-pick to elevate the pins to the correct height. When inserting the lock-pick into the lock, keep it close to the opening of the lock as much as possible. That’s the location of the first pin you’ll need to lift.
- Push the first pin in the lock to see if it’s enclosed.
Seized pins prevent the barrel of the lock from rotating and unlocking. Push the first pin using the end of the lock-pick to find out if the first pin is seized. When you feel something is pushing up, that’s your first pin. If the pin lifts without any resistance, then it’s not seized. If not seized, push it up and continue to the second pin. If seized, wiggle the lock-pick up and down to force the pin-up above the barrel. When the pin is raised all the way up, you’ll hear a click.
- Continue raising the pins until all five have been lifted.
Each time you raise a pin with the lock-pick, push it into the lock a bit further to get to the next pin. If you find a seized pin, force it upward using your lock-pick. Ensure that you hear a click after you raise a seized pin before moving on.
- Use the lever to rotate the barrel to unlock.
Once you’ve raised all five pins, the lock’s barrel would automatically rotate since you’re applying pressure using the lever. Finish turning the barrel with the lever until the lock is unlocked. Take off the lever and the lock-pick from the lock and open the door to your mailbox.
- Many professional services are available to help you with how to open mailbox lock. If you have skeleton keys available, you can open it without any trouble.
- If your mailbox is expensive and comes with a good lock, and you can’t open it using a lock-picking tool, then take help from the delivery men, or professional lock breaker to unlock your mailbox.
- For a standard mailbox that is similar to your neighbor’s, try to ask them for help. You may borrow their keys, and try to open the lock with their keys. Most of the time, it works.
When purchasing a new mailbox, it usually comes with several keys. To avoid losing them, put one of your keys together with your household keys, and keep the other in a convenient place you can easily remember. Duplicating your existing key is also a good option. Making a duplicate is cheaper than installing a new one.
However, we can’t really avoid not having access to any keys. Knowing how to open a mailbox lock is an important skill you should learn to avoid any hassles when you need an essential document in your mailbox, and you do not have your key handy. Here’s how to learn more about Mailbox Locks.