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Ways to Open Drawer Lock Without a Key

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Are you locked out of a drawer and have no idea where the key is? This is a problem that most people will experience at some point as it is so easy to lose important keys. Especially if they are small, like keys for drawer locks.

There are several ways to open a drawer lock without a key. You can use a knife or a screwdriver, or you could buy a lock-picking kit for a more professional approach. You have all kinds of lock-picking options to choose from.

Keep reading to find out how to open a drawer lock without a key with different options.

How Do You Open a Closed Drawer Without a Key?

Need to pick a lock to open a locked drawer that you don’t have a key to? There are all kinds of ways that you can do this.

Keep reading to find out the best ways to pick a locked drawer to get it open quickly and easily.

Use a Knife


You can easily use a knife to pick the lock on the drawer without any previous experience in doing this. This is one of the simplest options and will not do much harm to the actual lock mechanisms.

You should get a butter knife that has a thin point and that can be inserted into the lock opening. This will act as the key as you move it around and press it like you would a normal key.

You will know you are in the right place when you can either hear a click or feel it. This means that you have pressed the locking mechanism, and the lock should now open for you.

Use a Screwdriver


Some drawer locks are extremely small, requiring a very small key which can be lost easily. This can also make it hard to pick the lock as the opening is so small.

If a butter knife is too big to do this, you could alternatively use a screwdriver. Screwdrivers have a smaller end, and you can pick the size that will fit into the lock opening.

Do exactly what you did with the butter knife by moving the screwdriver around to feel for the lock mechanism. Once that clicks and gives away, you should be able to open the drawer without any issues.

Try Bobby Pins

Bobby Pins

Bobby pins are a classic lock picking option as they are easy to get and are easily maneuvered in the lock. This is also ideal for very small drawer locks that won’t easily fit a butter knife or screwdriver.

You can use a bobby pin to feel around the inside of the lock for the locking mechanisms. But, it will take a bit more pressure to feel the locking mechanism as bobby pins aren’t incredibly sturdy.

Once you feel or hear it click, that should mean that you have successfully undone the locking mechanism.

Hire a Locksmith

Hire a Locksmith

If you are really struggling to find out how to open a drawer lock without a key, you can always hire a professional. A locksmith will know exactly what to do and will usually take the lock apart entirely.

They have the tools to do this and can remove the lock without damaging it or the drawer. This is ideal if the lock is too complicated to pick or you don’t want a lock on the drawer anymore.

Use a Nail File

Nail File

A nail file is another lock-picking tool that is a good option. This little tool is thin and sturdy— like a butter knife— only smaller so that it can fit into much smaller locks.

You will need to use a metal nail file, not a cheaper option that’s wide and bendy. All you have to do is feel around until you hit the lock mechanism. Apply enough force until the lock gives away and you are able to open the drawer.

Use a Spoon Handle

Spoon Handle

A spoon handle is a handy option that anyone can use if their drawer is locked and they don’t have a key. Many spoons have narrow handles that can be inserted into a larger drawer lock.

This can be a little tricky, but you can move the handle around until you feel the lock mechanism give away. When this happens, you will know that you successfully unlocked the drawer and should be able to open it again.

Buy a Lock Picking Kit

Lock Picking Kit

If you are not having much luck picking the lock on a drawer, you can always buy a lock picking kit online. These are easy to find and generally come in a range of sizes to choose from.

This type of kit will have everything that you need to pick the lock. This will also keep the lock safe so you don’t end up damaging it beyond repair.

Which Methods are Fast vs. Slow?

Most of these lock-picking options provide results in under ten minutes. If you use a knife, screwdriver, nail file, or other picking devices, you should have it unlocked in no time at all.

If you decide to hire a professional or buy a lock-picking kit, this will take longer as you have to wait. A locksmith may need to add you to their schedule, and you will most likely have to wait until shipping time for a lock-picking kit.

Which Methods are Cheap vs. Expensive?

Most of these methods for opening a locked drawer are completely free as they include things that you already have. You already most likely have access to a spoon, butter knife, bobby pin, or nail file.

Hiring a locksmith or buying a kit will be the most expensive option. Hiring a locksmith is going to be significantly more expensive, especially if the lock is complicated to remove.

What Lock Picking Options Cause the Least Amount of Damage?

Most of these lock picking options are going to protect your lock and not damage it too much. 

The best way to avoid damaging your lock is to either buy a lock picking kit that is designed for this purpose, or you could use bobby pins, a screwdriver, or a nail file. All of these options create little to no damage.

The most important thing is to not use anything that is too large. The larger the tool, the more damage you will be causing as you try to pick the lock.


Wondering how to open a drawer lock without a key? You could either use what you have on hand or go the more professional route if you are tired of having a locked drawer.

If you have any questions about how to pick a drawer lock that you no longer have a key to, leave a comment below.

If you have a drawer that is locked, but you don’t have the key, the next best thing is to pick the lock. You can do this with all kinds of household items, like knives, screwdrivers, bobby pins, and spoons.

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