How To Pick A Diary Lock Without A Key: A Simple Tutorial

Key Takeaway

  • You can pick a diary lock using bobby pins, paper clips, or a screwdriver.
  • The lock is unlocked by pushing the lock pins in the lock cylinder using the chosen tool and slowly turning the barrel.

Diaries with locks are a great way to protect your secrets, but what do you do when you need to get into a diary for which you don’t have the key? Imagine you found an old, locked journal with the key gone while sorting through your possessions. This journal may include items you wrote as a youngster, or it may have formerly belonged to your great-grandparents.

You may believe that the only method to access the journal is to cut the lock; however, the majority of diary locks have fairly straightforward construction and need little effort to unlock. If you’re trying to pick a diary lock, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this blog post, we’ll go over the steps you need to take to pick a diary lock in no time. From choosing the right tools to learning the basics of lock picking, this ultimate guide will have you unlock those diaries. So, read on to learn the tricks and techniques of picking a diary lock.

How To Unlock a Diary Lock Without A Key

In this section of the article, we shall discuss a few ways how you can unlock your diary lock without a key. When picking locks, it’s important to remember to be careful and not force any of the tools into the lock. Forcing a tool into a lock can cause serious damage and make it even more difficult to open.

Picking A Diary Lock With A Paperclip

Picking A Diary Lock With A Paperclip

If you have a diary that has a lock and no key, don’t worry – it is still possible to open it. You can use a paperclip as an improvised tool to pick the lock.

  • Step 1: Straighten Out The Paperclip
    straightening out the paper clip
    Start by straightening out the paperclip. Bend the paperclip until it is completely straight. This will create a thin wire-like shape.
  • Step 2: Insert The Paperclip Into The Lock
    Next, insert the straightened paperclip into the lock. Push the paperclip into the hole of the lock as far as you can. Wiggle it around until you feel it catch on something inside the lock. 
  • Step 3: Push The Paperclip Downward 
    Once the paper clip is inserted, you will need to push it downwards. Push the paperclip down while keeping the pressure against the inner workings of the lock. As you push down, wiggle the paperclip around gently. Keep applying pressure and wiggling until you hear a click or feel the paperclip move. 
  • Step 4: Pull The Paperclip Out
    When you hear a click or feel the paperclip move, pull it out quickly. If done correctly, the lock should be open. If it does not work, repeat steps 1-3 until you are able to open the lock. 

That’s it! You can now open your diary without having to use a key. With some practice, picking a diary lock with a paperclip becomes quite easy.

Picking A Diary Lock With A Bobby Pin

Picking A Diary Lock With A Bobby Pin

If you find yourself without a key, it is possible to open a diary lock with a bobby pin. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Step 1:  Begin by straightening out the bobby pin until it is flat.
  • Step 2:  Insert the bobby pin into the keyhole of the diary lock, making sure that the sharpened end is facing downwards.
  • Step 3: While inserting the bobby pin, use your other hand to jiggle and rotate the bobby pin around in order to catch onto any obstructions inside the keyhole.
  • Step 4: Once the bobby pin has caught onto an obstruction, pull gently upwards until you hear a ‘click’ sound. This indicates that the obstruction has been released, and the diary lock should be opened.
  • Step 5: If the lock does not open after following this method, try inserting the bobby pin from different angles or apply more pressure while jiggling and rotating.

Using a bobby pin to pick a diary lock is an effective way of opening a lock without a key. However, due to the fragile nature of the diary lock, it may break if not used correctly, and too much force is applied. 

Picking A Diary Lock Using Shim

Picking A Diary Lock Using Shim

Shim is a thin piece of metal that can be used to pick a lock. It is widely used in both professional and amateur locksmithing and can be an effective tool for unlocking a diary lock without a key. Here are the steps you should take to successfully use a shim to pick a diary lock:

  • Step 1: Begin by making sure you have the proper tools for the job. You will need a pair of tweezers, a small flat-head screwdriver, and a shim. If you do not have all of these tools, you can purchase them from most hardware stores.
  • Step 2: Insert the tweezers into the gap between the tumbler and the keyhole. Gently move them around to get a better idea of how the mechanism works.
  • Step 3: Insert the shim into the same gap, pushing it in until it reaches the tumbler.
  • Step 4: Carefully use the flat-head screwdriver to press against the shim and turn it clockwise until you feel it catch on something. This should unlock the diary lock.
  • Step 5: If the lock does not open after several attempts, stop and reassess the situation. Make sure you are using the right tools and correctly inserting the shim into the lock. 

By following these simple steps, you can easily unlock a diary lock without a key using a shim. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon become adept at picking locks!

Picking A Diary Lock Using A Screwdriver

Picking A Diary Lock Using A Screwdriver

Picking a diary lock with a screwdriver is one of the most straightforward methods, although it does require some skill. To begin, you will need a small Phillips or flathead screwdriver. Start by gently inserting the screwdriver tip into the keyhole and turn it clockwise. If you feel resistance, don’t force it, as this can cause damage to the lock mechanism.

Once the screwdriver is in place, turn it counterclockwise. The tumblers inside the lock should move, and you should feel the lock open. If this doesn’t work, try repeating the process multiple times until you get the desired results.

Once you have successfully opened the diary lock with a screwdriver, make sure to replace it with a new lock so that you can prevent others from trying to pick it open.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Do diaries from the same manufacturers open with the same key?

Answer – Some manufacturers have a single or set of keys that open their diary locks while some high secured diaries have a specific key for each diary. 


Having lost the key to your executive or personal diary may leave you hopeless about accessing it without breaking the lock. However, a few hacks let you unlock your diaries without a key, as discussed in the article.

If you were able to open your diary using any of the methods shared in the article, leave your experiences in the comment section.

Leave a Comment

Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.