How to Lock a Door With Pennies

Locking a door with pennies may seem unusual, but it is effective. Whether you are looking for a simple way to secure your home or want to add an extra layer of protection, using pennies to lock your door can be a clever solution.

How to Lock a Door With Pennies

In this guide, we will discuss the steps on how to lock a door with pennies and the benefits of doing so. We will also provide alternative methods for locking your door with household items.

Why Use Pennies to Lock a Door?

There are several reasons why using pennies to lock a door may be beneficial. Firstly, it is cost-effective as you only need a few pennies to secure your door. This can be especially useful if you are on a budget or cannot access traditional locks.

Additionally, using pennies can be a discreet way of locking your door. Some individuals may prefer a less obvious method of securing their home, and using pennies can provide that sense of privacy.

Moreover, this technique is relatively easy and quick to implement. You do not need special tools or skills, making it accessible to anyone. Plus, pennies are readily available in most households, making it a convenient option for locking your door.

Understanding the Principle of Door With Pennies

The concept behind locking a door with pennies is simple. When inserted into the space between a door and its frame, pennies act as a wedge to prevent the door from opening. This creates an additional barrier that makes it challenging for intruders to enter your home.

However, it is essential to note that this method may not be as secure as traditional locks. It is best used as a temporary solution or in conjunction with other security measures. For instance, you can use pennies to secure a door while you are away on vacation or as an extra layer of protection while you are at home.

Use Pennies to Secure a Door

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Lock a Door With Pennies

  1. A handful of pennies (around 10-15)
  2. Masking tape or duct tape
  3. Optional: a ruler or measuring tape

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Lock a Door With Pennies

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

First, gather all the materials you need to lock your door with pennies. Ensure you have enough pennies to fill the space between the door and frame. Gathering all your materials beforehand will make the process smoother and faster.

If you need a ruler or a measuring tape, now is the time to grab one. Ensure the tape is strong enough to hold the weight of the pennies. This is where duct tape or masking tape comes in handy.

Step 2: Measure the Gap Between the Door and the Frame

Using a ruler or measuring tape, measure the gap between your door and frame. This will help you determine how many pennies you need to fill the space adequately. Remember that some doors may have larger gaps than others, so it is best to measure each door separately. If you have multiple doors, label the pennies accordingly to avoid confusion. This step is essential as it ensures your door is adequately secured.

Step 3: Tape the Pennies Together

Using a tape, stick the pennies together in a stack. You can use duct tape or masking tape for this step. Ensure the stack of pennies is secure and will not fall apart easily. This taped stack will act as a wedge to keep your door locked. Make as many stacks of pennies as needed to fill the space between the door and frame. This will depend on the measurement you took in the previous step.

Step 4: Insert the Stacks of Pennies

Insert the stacks of pennies into the gap between your door and frame. Start from the bottom and work your way up, filling any gaps or spaces as you go. The pennies should fit snugly and create a wedge that prevents the door from opening. If you notice any loose pennies, use tape to secure them in place. If the gap is too large, you may need to use more pennies or double up the stacks.

Step 5: Test the Door

Once you have inserted all the stacks of pennies, test your door by trying to open it. The door should not budge and should remain locked in place. If it opens easily, you may need to add more pennies or adjust the stacks.

Testing the door before leaving it unattended is essential to ensure it is locked securely. If the door is still easily opened, try using thicker stacks of pennies or tape them together more securely.

Successfully Lock Your Door Using Pennies

Following these steps should help you successfully lock your door using pennies. Remember to test the door before leaving it unattended and make any necessary adjustments. This method may not be as effective as traditional locks, so it is best used as a temporary solution or combined with other security measures.

Additional Tips and Tricks to Lock a Door With Pennies

1. If you don’t have access to a drill, you can use a hammer and nail to create the hole for the penny. Place the penny on the door frame where you want it to go and gently tap it with the hammer until it creates a small indent. Then, use the nail to further puncture and widen the hole until it is big enough for the penny to fit snugly.

2. If you have a door with weak or easily breakable hinges, you can reinforce them by adding extra screws or using longer screws. This will make it more difficult for someone to kick the door in and gain entry.

3. Another method of securing a door with pennies is placing them in a plastic bag and attaching them to the doorknob. This will make it harder for someone to turn the knob and open the door.

4. If you have a sliding door, use a wooden or metal dowel to place in the track to prevent it from being slid open from the outside. You can also reinforce the locking mechanism by adding an extra latch or lock.

5. Consider installing a deadbolt lock on your door for added security and peace of mind. This separate lock requires a key to open from the inside and outside, making it much harder for someone to enter without permission.

6. Remember to secure your windows as well! You can use the same penny method on window frames or add extra locks or reinforcements. You can also install motion-activated lights outside to deter potential intruders.

7. Regularly inspect your door and its locks for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any issues, make sure to repair or replace them as soon as possible to maintain the security of your home.

Keeping a Spare Key

8. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan if the penny method fails or someone discovers the trick. Consider investing in a home security system or keeping a spare key with a trusted neighbor or family member.

9. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and use common sense regarding home security. Even with all these precautions, it’s important to stay vigilant and take necessary measures to keep you and your loved ones safe.

10. Stay informed about any potential security risks in your area and take necessary precautions to protect your home. This could include installing motion-activated cameras, using timers for lights when you’re away, or even getting a guard dog.

Following these additional tips and tricks can help provide added security to your home. Remember, no method is foolproof, so make sure to regularly update and reinforce your home’s security measures to stay one step ahead of potential intruders. Stay safe!

Things You Should Consider to Lock a Door With Pennies

1. The first thing to consider when locking a door with pennies is the type of door you are trying to secure. Different types of doors may require different methods for locking with pennies, so it’s important to know what kind of door you are dealing with before proceeding.

2. You must also gather the necessary materials before attempting to lock a door with pennies. This includes a pile of pennies, a strong adhesive (such as super glue), and any other tools you may need.

3. Next, you must clean the surface area where you plan to place the pennies. This is important because any dirt or debris on the surface can prevent the adhesive from properly sticking.

4. Once the surface is clean, it’s time to place the pennies on the door. Begin by evenly spacing out the pennies along the edge of the door where the latch meets the frame. The pennies should be placed in a straight line, touching each other so there are no gaps.

Using a Strong Adhesive

5. After all the pennies have been placed, glue them in place with a strong adhesive. Using a strong adhesive is important to ensure the pennies don’t fall off or get knocked out of place.

6. Test the door once the adhesive has dried to ensure it is secure. If done correctly, the pennies should prevent the latch from fully retracting, effectively locking the door. You may need to adjust or add more pennies if there are gaps or if the latch can still easily retract.

7. It’s important to note that locking a door with pennies is not foolproof and should not be used as the only form of security for your home or property. It is best used as an additional layer of protection.

8. Additionally, make sure to inform others in your household about this method of securing a door with pennies. Everyone must know how to properly lock and unlock the door in an emergency.

9. Finally, always have a backup plan in case the pennies fail to secure the door or if they need to be removed quickly. This could include having spare keys hidden outside or having a phone nearby to call for help.

Following these considerations can help you successfully lock a door with pennies. However, always prioritize your safety and security by investing in quality locks and other security measures for your home or property. It’s also important to regularly check and maintain all locks to ensure they function properly. Stay safe!  

Common Mistakes to Avoid for Locking a Door With Pennies

1. Not Using the Right Size and Type of Penny:

When using pennies to lock a door, it is important to use the right size and type of penny. A small or lightweight penny may not be heavy enough to effectively keep the door locked, while a large or heavy penny may cause damage to the door or its lock.

Using Pennies to Lock a Door

Additionally, using a foreign coin or a penny made of a material different from copper may not work as intended. Using standard US pennies made of copper is important for the best results.

2. Placing Pennies in the Wrong Location on the Door:

Another common mistake when using pennies to lock a door is placing them in the wrong location. The correct placement of the pennies is crucial for them to effectively keep the door locked. The pennies should be placed between the latch and strike plate, not on top or below. Placing pennies in the wrong location may result in the door not being securely locked.

3. Using Too Many or Too Few Pennies:

Using just the right amount of pennies when locking a door is important. Using too many pennies may make it difficult to open or close the door, while using too few may not provide enough weight to keep the door securely locked.

Using 3-4 pennies for standard doors and 5-6 pennies for heavier or commercial doors is recommended. If the door is still not locking properly, it may be a sign that the pennies are not placed correctly or that more or less are needed.

4. Not Testing the Door After Locking It:

After placing the pennies and locking the door, it is crucial to test the door to ensure that it is securely locked. Many people often forget this step and assume the door is locked without checking it.

It is important to test the door by opening it from the outside and inside to ensure that it stays locked with the pennies in place. If the door can be opened easily, it may be a sign that the pennies were not placed correctly or more are needed.

5. Not Using Additional Security Measures:

While using pennies to lock a door can provide an extra layer of security, it should not be relied on as the sole method of keeping a door locked. Other security measures, such as deadbolts, door chains, and window locks, are also important to ensure maximum protection.

Using pennies in addition to these security measures can further enhance the overall safety of a home or building. Using multiple locking mechanisms reduces the likelihood of burglaries or break-ins.

6. Not Replacing Pennies Regularly:

Pennies for locking doors can become worn out over time and lose effectiveness. It is important to regularly check and replace the pennies used for this purpose to ensure that they are able to keep the door securely locked. Replacing the pennies periodically can also help prevent damage to the door or its lock.

Damage to the Door or Its Lock

7. Not Seeking Professional Help:

If you are unsure about using pennies to lock your door or if you have encountered any issues with this method, it is important to seek professional help. A locksmith or security expert can provide guidance on the proper placement and number of pennies needed for your specific door and lock. They can also suggest alternative methods or additional security measures for better protection.

By avoiding these common mistakes and taking proper precautions, using pennies to lock a door can be an effective and affordable method for added security. Remember to always use standard US pennies made of copper, place them correctly, test the door after locking it, and regularly check and replace the pennies for optimal results.

And remember, never rely on this method as the sole means of security – always use multiple locking mechanisms for maximum protection.  So, the next time you find yourself in a pinch and need to lock a door with pennies, remember these tips for a safe and secure solution.  Happy penny-locking! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Did the Idea of Locking a Door With Pennies Come From?

The idea of using pennies to lock a door is believed to have originated from prison inmates who needed an inexpensive and effective way to secure their cells. Over time, this trick has become popularized in movies and TV shows, making it a go-to solution for those needing a quick lock.

Is This Method Really Effective?

While using pennies to lock a door may seem simple and easy, it is not completely foolproof. It can provide some level of security for short periods of time, but determined intruders may be able to break through the makeshift lock if given enough time and force. Therefore, it is important to have proper locks for long-term security.

Can This Method Damage the Door or Lock?

Scratch or Dent the Door

Using pennies to lock a door can damage it, especially if done repeatedly. The extra weight and pressure on the lock may cause it to malfunction or break over time. If the pennies are not properly placed, they may also scratch or dent the door. This method is recommended to be used temporarily, and professional help should be sought for any permanent lock issues.


Now, you know how to lock a door with pennies and better understand its effectiveness and potential risks. It is important to remember that this method should only be used in emergency situations or as a temporary solution, and proper locks should always be installed for long-term security. If you choose to use this trick, handle the pennies carefully and place them securely in the lock for the best results. Stay safe! 

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