Door Hinge Pin Remover – How To
We look at doors differently in Tactical Lock Picking – To pick or rake or bump the keyway etc? To shim the latch? Knife the latch? Under Door Tool? Today we don’t go over, under around or through, we hit the sides, the hinges.
Below is an example of how and why I do and don’t attack hinges in the field. Including a case study at the end.
In the video you’ll see me replace my door handle. First off, beating a dead horse “Only practice Lock Picking (etc) on locks that you own and/or have been given explicit permission to pick”. Also, what goes along with that is that it’s not a great idea to practice on locks and doors that you rely on for your security, making things like bedroom doors and interior doors in your home a great way to practice.
When replacing doorknobs it is good practice to wedge your door in the OPEN position as seen in the video above. …so you don’t lock yourself out.
Link is below for the “BANG-IT” tool. You can do this with a screwdriver and a hammer, or other improvised tools but this one makes it MUCH LESS LIKELY that you’re gonna slam your fingers with your hammer. Up to you though 🙂 Also, this will only work on a door with visible hinges, meaning mostly a door that opens outward towards you; aka “Pull Door”.
Step One: Ensure you have the proper permission and make sure you don’t fucking lock yourself into or out of whatever room you are working within. And double check.
Step Two: In the field you wouldn’t do this with the door open. Practicing at home make sure you do this with the door closed as well, it also takes some of the weight off of the hinges which helps.
Step Three: If the door is closed (Which it would be in the field) it’s usually pretty sturdy so I Quickly bang each pin up and completely out of the hinges. And in the field I let the pins fall to the floor.
Step Four: Since the door is now only held up by the bones of the hinges and by whatever latches are protruding into the door jam it may tilt a little bit towards one side. Depending on my urgency and my reasonableness (is someone dying inside or is this a slow administrative entry) I can either shove a crowbar or similar tool underneath or on the side of the door where there is a little gap, or use my hands, and yank the door open.
Guys, gals, really this doesn’t require you to memorize these little steps but it helps me to explain parts of the process. It’s pretty self explanatory: Knock the pins out and rip the door open.
Things to consider
- Sometimes the door frame will be fit really tight to the door meaning that you won’t have a lot of excess room to pull the hinges apart, as seen in the first attempt in the video above and in the photo above too.
- Above, a photo of hinges that are installed with a large gap in them. This door was able to be pried open easily.
- Tactically, for something like a domestic disturbance or an active shooter, or serving a search warrant etc. this technique is going to be REALLY loud and it’s gonna let the people in side know you’re coming.
- Like in the video, be aware that sometimes if the pins are sticky it is a TWO step process
- Sometimes the door will pull right open and sometimes there’s no WAY it’s opening via the hinges and sometimes you’ve got to yank it. Be aware that you have to be accountable for your actions and the possibility that it may damage something and require repair.
- If you are practicing at home and don’t want to dent your pretty rounded pin tops this tool has a pretty cool install feature, above.
I was sitting in my patrol car and I heard the dispatcher say over the radio “Does any officer in zone 2 have a lock pick set?” Which, obviously folks, I do so I responded and headed towards the call. I arrived on scene and there were about 8 other police cars on scene and a bunch of officers were surrounding a house. The house had the lights off inside and the garage door was up and open. An officer saw me walking up with my entry bag and said “This door over here” as he pointed from inside the garage to the interior door (the ones that usually lead to a kitchen or laundry room).
Now the problems start. Leadership 101 – Know your people. Let’s throw in “Communicate with your people” too. It’s also right up there in importance. They asked for me to get them inside the house. I have specialized training and specialized tools and this is NOT my first rodeo. I was the lowest ranking of officers, just “patrol officer”. I was talking to someone technically 2-3 ranks higher than me. I was initially put into a little box with “That door over there”. I tried to politely reply and convey that I would assess the scene to help everyone by making the best possible entry so after I asked what was going on (a warrant being served) and how much time we had (debatable but basically all the time in the world) I was again put in a little box and told “Just grab a screwdriver and a hammer for this door over here.”
Ok. Now I’m really confused and very uncomfortable in this environment. This was NOT a violent crime. We had ALL the time in the world. Turns out the warrant was only for a traffic offense. These are indicators that you might want to slow down your operational pace so that someone (officer, offender, suspect, victim, innocent bystander) doesn’t get killed or hurt for no reason. I had specialized training and tools. The Sergeant did not. That’s WHY they asked for me. Multiple times I tried to assess the scene and make entry recommendations and I also tried to explain to the Sergeant that standing in front of a door with a large number of angry people behind it and hammering away loudly at the door was a bad tactical decision.
“I have a hammer and a screw driver but I’m telling you, instead of banging out the pins I can pick into that lock quietly in less than 60 seconds…” -it fell on deaf ears.
At that point I was literally slinging my entry pack back over my shoulder to walk away from the scene and let all 8 other officers, including supervisors, to figure it out for them fucking selves. And the interior garage door swings open and I can see 5-6 people are starting to walk out and cops near me start screaming and taking their guns out. It’s just a fucking mess.
I calmly directed the people in the house out of the house and towards other officers since well I was thrust right in the middle of the commotion, right at the point of exit, the door.
Long story short I got the fuck out of there and put another tick mark in my personal column for “Rank and Titles Don’t Mean Shit!”. Check out our podcast episodes if you would like to hear more ranting about that topic.
Train hard. Bring your humor. And protect yourself. Because no one else is going to do it for you.