PICKING UPSIDE DOWN LOCKS
UPSIDE DOWN LOCKS
If a lock has been mounted upside down, it is automatically harder to pick. If more people knew that, more people would intentionally install their locks upside down. Although the only people they'd be driving crazy would be the locksmiths they call to get 'em back in their home, because I'd be willing to bet that there are no lockpicking burglars left in the world. If you're lucky, the lock will be a Kwikset, which is quite easy to pick anyway. If it's upside down, you can trick it into dumping all its tumblers! Try picking first -- it looks a whole lot more professional!
If it just won't pick, the curse words are having no effect, it's time to get out the hammer. But you're not really going to damage the lock if you're careful. Find a slim punch or nail set in your tools, one that will slip into the keyway without distorting it. Place the tip of the punch right on the front tumbler, angling the tool as much to a vertical position as you can. The object is to tap the tumbler firmly downward (which would be upward if the lock had been installed correctly). The retainer that holds the five sets of tumblers in the lock housing is a snap-on affair that will pop right off if you do this right, causing all the pin tumblers to vacate the housing -- at least enough to clear the shear line and allow you to easily turn the lock plug with a Kwikset key, or even a small screwdriver.