There are so many hacks online on how deadbolts can be unlocked using magnets. The last thing you'd want is someone pulling a James Bond stunt of unlocking your deadbolt. You might be asking yourself the same question again and again. Can magnets really unlock deadbolts? We've done our research and here's what experts say.
A magnet cannot entirely unlock a deadbolt. There are some factors to be considered. It'll depend on the types of deadbolt lock, the door and doorframe, and how you turn your lock. Magnets work with friction. Powerful magnets could open your deadbolt lock when these factors align. Deadbolts could be opened with a magnet by someone who actually understands how to go about it.
Continue reading to understand in depth what happens when you try opening your deadbolt with a magnet. Plus, there's more relevant information in this post on how to unlock your deadbolt if it's stuck.
How To Possibly Open A Deadbolt With A Magnet
The probability of opening a deadbolt with a magnet is very minimal. It can only be done when you have a complete grasp of the following:
1. Types of Deadbolts
There are 3 different types of deadbolt locks. They are single cylinder, double cylinder, and type C. Single cylinders are activated by a key on the outside and a thumb turn on the inside.
Double cylinders are activated using keys inside and outside. Type C, which is considered the most secure, activates with a key outside and inside. It also has a thumb-turn.
To attempt to open the deadbolt, you'll need to be on the key side. Remember, a magnet will move only loose parts of the lock. But if the lock is attached too tight, the magnet won't move it.
2. Door and Doorframe
Having a metal door with a metal frame will pose more difficulties to use a magnet. The magnet doesn't make the lock move. You'll be struggling to detach the magnet from the door rather than opening the deadbolt.
Wooden doors and frames may seem easier to apply the magnet attempt method. Surprisingly, if your deadbolt nests very well in the edge bore, it won't budge. Thus, you will be left stranded if you were attempting to open the deadbolt with a magnet.
A magnet could be used to open a deadbolt lock if the doorframe is short. Short wooden or metal doorframes are risky.
3. Turning your lock well
Deadbolts locks have a bolt that should sit well in the edge bore. As you lock your door, you should hear a click sound. This means that the deadbolt has completely turned and sat in the edge hole.
Magnets could open deadbolts if they don't sit well in the edge bore. Little friction will open the deadbolt. You could also use a knife to walk your deadbolt back in to unlock it.
Are deadbolts the most secure?
Yes, they are. Type C deadbolts are the best. They have a very unique locking system in the bolt. Generally, deadbolts are secure because they don’t have a spring lock that can be easily picked.
When the bolt is engaged, it can’t be pushed back into the door easily. Deadbolts make it difficult to just kick in the door.
What makes a secure deadbolt lock?
For you to have confidence in your lock, let's have a look at what/how your deadbolt should be.
1. Good quality
Purchase a deadbolt that you have confidence in. Hardware stores have shop assistants that could walk you through the options. Have a locksmith install a quality deadbolt. Ensure that you purchase a good door with an excellent doorframe.
Some doors come ready with deadbolt locks. You might want to consider this option. You'll save yourself some cash, time, and your nerves.
2. Properly Installed
Unless you are an expert locksmith, don't attempt a DIY on such an installation. Hire experts to install a deadbolt in the door and doorframe. Precision is a must. There should be no room for experiments when it concerns your safety.
Doors are the 'eyes' or 'ears' of homes. It doesn't matter whether it's an apartment, bungalow, or villa. Doors tell us a lot about our neighbors. So, don't settle for a shoddy job with your deadbolt.
3. Bolt fully extends
It is vital that a deadbolt extends fully. To be certain that your deadbolt is in place, turn it till you hear a click. The click indicates that the lock is in place.
What if it doesn't extend fully? Does the deadbolt leave a gap in the doorframe when locked? These questions should be answered during purchase. See how a deadbolt sits in the edge bore in a demo door.
Note: You may have seen online locks being opened with a strong magnet. Yes, it is possible but, in these experiments, the locks are in a different setting. These are free-standing locks with no doorframes.
How do you unlock a deadbolt without a key?
Deadbolts can be opened using a bump key if you’ve lost the original. It’s a good idea to have one in your pocket in case you lose your keys.
A drilling machine is another alternative. Once you get hold of one, you can successfully drill the lock open. Drilling will destroy the lock. Once the lock is destroyed, the bolt will slide open.
Another option is a plug spinner. This is a handy tool to have in the car, at home, or in your pocket. Pick the lock, and then put the plug spinner to open the deadbolt lock completely.
Can you unlock a deadbolt with a credit card?
Nope! If you need your credit cards whole, don’t bother trying them on a deadbolt. You can't open a deadbolt with a plastic card.
Spring-bolt locks can be opened using credit cards. Spring locks are standard and come with most doors. If your lock can be opened using a plastic card, then it's crappy.
How do you unlock a deadbolt with a paperclip?
Simply mold the paper clips into a wrench and rake. Mold one of the paper clips into an L-shape. This will be the tension wrench. Put the wrench into the keyhole.
The second pin acts as a rake or pick. It should be straight like a key. Put this pick in at the top of the keyhole. Hold the tension wrench down. Apply some elbow grease.
Use the pick or rake to push at the pins in the lock to move them out of the way. Like a key does. The wrench stops the pins from dropping back in place. Keep pushing the pins out of the way till the last one. Then turn the wrench to open the lock.
How do you unlock a deadbolt with a knife?
This is a much easier way to let yourself in. Take any sturdy knife and put it in between the door and the doorframe. Slide it down till it sits on the bolt. Start working the knife on the bolt to slide it out of the edge bore.
It sounds easy, but you may break a sweat trying to pry the bolt out of the doorjamb. Ensure that you use knives that don't have sharp tips.
How do you drill out a deadbolt?
Drilling out a deadbolt usually takes less than 2 minutes. Make some pilot holes on the lock. These holes are where the screws are located. Use drill bits that aren't too big. Drill through the screws holes. Make sure you drill until the screws come loose. Once the lock comes off, retract the bolt. Voila! That's it.
Here, deadbolts have shown that they aren't such easy targets for magnets. You'll need some level of expertise and tools to unlock a deadbolt. If your door, doorframe, and deadbolt lock have been installed properly, then you're secure.
Beware that most break-ins happen during the day when doors are unlocked. This is just easier for burglars. They don't really have the patience to drill, spin, or pick your deadbolt if it's too complicated. Now you have an idea of how to let yourself in next time you misplace or lose your key.