How to Pick a Kwikset Lock

There are a lot of Kwikset locks on the market, and they all work a little bit differently. If you’re not familiar with picking a Kwikset lock, you might be having some trouble getting into your house. In this article, we’ll show you how to pick a Kwikset lock so that you can get into your home in no time. Stay safe!

How to Pick a Kwikset Lock

Picking a Kwikset lock is a lot easier than you might think. It can be done with just a few simple supplies and very little practice. The Kwikset locks are cylinder-based, which means that you can get in by simply pushing or pulling on the door. There’s no thumb turn to worry about! Picking a Kwikset lock is pretty similar to picking other sorts of locks, but there are some important differences.

What is a Kwikset Lock?:

A Kwikset lock is the most popular brand of deadbolt locks in North America. The name may sound like an exotic tribe from Africa, but it’s just another boring door lock. They come in all sorts of flavors and colors. If you ever wondered whether your apartment had Kwikset locks on it there’s a quick way to tell: Look at the keyhole. If it’s a pin-tumbler lock the keyhole is usually pretty big.

Required Tools

  • A tension wrench and a pick
  • A flat head screwdriver
  • A hammer

A Detailed Guide on How to Pick a Kwikset Lock

Step 1: Determine The Type of Lock

While the majority of locks in use today are pin-tumbler locks, there are several other locking systems. How to pick them depends on what kind you’re trying to open.

Detective work is needed to determine which type of lock you’re dealing with. This can be done by analyzing visual clues or physically testing different parts of the lock. Locks that can be visually identified as one particular system over another include the following:

Use a Pin Tools

Cylinder deadbolts can typically be identified by inspecting for decorative grooves located near the keyhole and checking the bottom portion of the lock for small holes. These indicate an anti-theft system has been installed inside, so this type cannot be picked using conventional techniques.

Cylinders with mushroom-shaped pins in the keyhole are a dead giveaway for a wafer lock. These cannot be picked using conventional techniques, either.

Locks with A-shaped keyholes require a bit more detective work to identify. First, keep an eye out for ridges on the edges of the keyhole and examine the housing for round pin chambers. Wafer locks have multiple pin chambers, but they don’t have any ridges near the keyhole, so it’s not difficult to differentiate between these two types.

There are at least four dimple locks: cylindrical, tubular, disc tumbler, and high-security disc tumbler. These can be identified by looking for a small dimple in the center of the keyhole. The cylindrical type is easily identified because it’s a straight, vertical keyhole without grooves or ridges. To identify the other types, simply look for pin chambers near the edges of the lock case.

Step 2: Determine the position of the lock’s cam

The first step to picking a Kwikset lock is determining the position of its cam. Depending on your skill level, this may not be easy. However, if it is your first time attempting to pick a Kwikset lock, you should attempt to find the position of the cam by listening for whether or not you’ve pushed up against the pins in the right way.

After examining these indentations using your fingers, lightly tap around each pin location with your hammer and screwdriver alternately. This will give you an idea of where these pins are sitting within their chambers.

Use a Screwdriver

Using this trial and error method while looking at different routes out through how you’re pushing up against the pins, you’ll be able to figure out which of these chambers is holding your key pin.

Step 3: Use a Tension Wrench and Pick to Push Up Pins

The next step is to use your tension wrench and pick to push up on the pins. The first pin you should push up will be the key pin, also known as a driver pin. This is because it’s the lowest of all pins and sits right underneath the shear line that separates the plug from its shell. You’ll want to pay particular attention once you’ve pushed this first pin-up, as there’s a small spring holding each additional higher pin in place under pressure.

When turning your pick, do so very slowly as if you turn too fast, even slightly, you run the risk of pushing out all of these different springs and possibly damaging your lock beyond repair! Of course, how quickly or carefully you turn the pick will depend on your skill level.

Step 4: Using Flat Head Screwdriver, Push Up Spacer Tubes

The next step is to use your flat head screwdriver to push up all remaining spacer tubes. You’ll now have completely pushed each pin located in this lock upwards, which leaves you with a full view of the plug’s shell.

Once this has been achieved, slowly move the tension wrench out and gently rotate it until you’ve got a full 360-degree view of what should be a space right beneath where you initially began pushing up these pins from. How fast or slow you turn your tension wrench depends on how quickly or slowly you push up these pins! Likewise, your skill level depends on how carefully or swiftly you remove the tension wrench.

Step 5: Using Hammer, Tap Out the Plug

Before opening up your lock, the last step is to use a hammer to tap out its plug. How quickly or carefully you do so depends on how long you could push up these pins using your pick and tension wrench. You should have no problem tapping this plug out if you’ve successfully pushed each of these pins upwards without damaging them! How precisely you tap out this plug haphazardly depends on your skill level.

Use a Hammer

Once all pieces have been tapped out, twist the knob of the lock’s exterior shell and open it up. Additionally, if it isn’t already obvious enough, which order in which these pieces of this lock are put back together involves reversing the steps you’ve taken to take them apart. How easily or precisely you do so depends on your skill level. These steps will help in how to pick a Kwikset lock.

Additional Tips

It may be helpful to use a bump key as your first step when trying to pick a Kwikset lock. Try it out before picking if you have a bump key for the brand.

When trying different turning methods during lock picking, do it slowly and steadily. You don’t want to ruin your work too much because you quickly picked the wrong way.

Don’t force yourself to pick a lock. Instead, after several minutes of trying, take a break and then come back to it later with fresh eyes if you are not making any progress.

When picking locks, rotate your tension wrench the opposite way you want the lock to turn. So if you’re going to turn right, rotate left. This can help prevent ruining the pins in your lock too early on during the process.

Don’t be discouraged if you are having trouble picking a lock. Instead, use the tips above to help your process and try another day again with some fresh eyes.

Use a Power Drill

Are Kwikset Locks Easy to Break Into?

The Kwikset locking mechanism comprises pins that extend into the cylinder when the correct key is inserted. These pins allow the cylinder to turn and open or close your door. However, if you don’t have a key that perfectly fits your Kwikset lock, these pins will stop at predestined depths within the cylinder, preventing it from turning and opening your door.

These “pins” are metal bars left in an uncut state until cut by a proper key blank. There are five positions where a bar can stop, thus giving us theoretically twenty-one different pinning combinations (5 positions times seven depths). Realistically, however, there are many more possibilities.

The simple answer is that you don’t know until you try it. A skilled locksmith can determine how a lock has been pinched (the process by which the pins within the cylinder are set) through examination and re-pinning of the lock. Unfortunately, this is not an option for those locked out of their homes immediately after the locksmith has closed shop for the evening. The only other option left to those locked out is picking their Kwikset and forcing it open.


Kwikset locks are popular for homeowners looking for security and peace of mind. The company has a wide variety of locks to choose from, each with its unique features. So whether you’re looking for a keyless lock or one that can be opened with a smart device, Kwikset has you covered. We hope this article on how to pick a kwikset lock has helped you narrow down your choices and find the perfect lock for your home.

You can check it out to Install a Lock on a Bedroom Door

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Michael Ortis

Michael has always been interested in security and safety. When he was younger, he loved reading books about espionage and crime. This led him to develop a fascination with surveillance systems and home security systems. He has 8 years of expertise installing, fixing camera problems and door locks. He also gained knowledge by helping homeowners to stay safe and secure in their homes. Over the years, Michael has gained a great deal of experience in this field. He is responsible for the content development on this blog.

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