Learn How To Break Down A Door (Without Hurting Yourself)

Learn How To Break Down A Door (Without Hurting Yourself)

Perhaps you’re saving a child from a burning building, or perhaps you’re up to more nefarious schemes — but one way or another, you have to break down a door. Weblog The Art of Manliness shows us how to do it effectively and safely.

You’ve probably seen people do it in the movies, but Art of Manliness notes that there are a few things you’ll want to make sure of before you go kicking down every door in your path:

Check to see which way the door opens by checking the hinges. If the door opens towards you, kicking it down is going to be next to impossible. Kicking a door down is best employed on a door that swings away from you.

Kick to the side of where the lock is mounted (near the keyhole). This is typically the weakest part of the door.

The above infographic explains most of the things you need to know, but for a more detailed description of the process, hit the link below.

How To Break Down A Door


  • Speaking from experience, attempting to break down a door without a purpose build ram, would be very difficult and likely to result in injury if attempted by “kicking” the door with ones leg. Emergency services will always use a purpose built device. I would suggest obtaining a stick or metal bar and smashing a window instead, being sure to remove shards around the edge to avoid injury.

  • It depends on the door.. If it is a re-inforced security door you have no chance.. but any internal door or most front doors made of wood will flex enough when you kick them hard to open.

  • Also speaking from experience (allegedly) the door I kicked was a wooden door with horizontal reinforcement. Ive done a lot of Muay Thai & backed my rear foot push kick, prob was I connected just under the horizontal bar & split the door in half. My foot went through & i was stuck there thigh deep in a door! Once I got it I had to reach through & unlock the door from the inside! Looked like a stall door for a horse!

  • It helps if you have boots on. It doesn’t beat an axe or a sledge but much faster than any hydraulic tools. Kicking down the door isn’t done often by fire and rescue as they would have some tool on hand.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!