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Related: How do I quickly open or close a jammed zipper?:

In an emergency situation, what would be the fastest way to open a zipper, provided that the use of the pull tab is disabled, and access to the top stop and box pin are inaccessible?

Zipper Terminology

Neglecting issues of damage to what lies behind the zipper, is there a specific method by which to easily separate the teeth with an instrument such as a knife from the middle? Where easily is defined as factor of minimal applied force and accessibility of said tool.

  • Note: not sure this actually fits under lifehacks, but it does seem to be the best fit. Asking purely out of curiousity upon reading the related question. – CrystalFire Sep 16 '15 at 5:38
  • Hmm, in my limited experience with this issue, I've just pulled the two sides away from the zipper in opposite directions and usually just unzips itself pretty easily. The times I've had real trouble is when the zipper is stuck on both sides of the teeth, then it's like very hard to pull it apart. – CRABOLO Sep 16 '15 at 9:53
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Use a paper clip - If the zipper is not stuck and the issue is just with a pull tab missing or not being functional.

Insert it into the area where the pull tab attaches with the zipper slider and it will perform just like the pull tab. For zippers that need a lot of force, use proportionately stronger paper clips.

I have used this successfully for opening suitcases that have missing pull tabs.

  • "insert [] where the pull tab attaches []" - maybe it was poorly phrased, but my question was asking what to do if the only accessible part was the teeth itself. That said though, this answer does work even by inserting paper clip with force into the teeth... Don't think the zipper I tested it on will ever work properly again though. – CrystalFire Sep 16 '15 at 14:37
  • You can also use a pen, or something else with a pointy tip. And done correctly you can actually use zipper again, possibly with a new pull tab. – holroy Sep 16 '15 at 16:57
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I've had success doing this by jamming a very skinny nail or needle into the teeth.

  • Could you give a more detailed explanation of how you opened the zipper using a nail? – Adam Zuckerman Sep 16 '15 at 23:37
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use your nails, place it at the beginning of the zipper and slide to the end worked in 5 seconds.

  • Hi anymous, Welcome to Lifehacks. Your answer was downvoted due to it's lacking enough detail for a novice to do successfully. Are the nails your fingernails? What is "it?" Where is the beginning of the zipper? Does "slide" mean the zipper "slide" or is it something you do (slide - the verb)? Which end do you mean—the open position or the closed position? A picture or diagram would be helpful. – Stan Sep 25 '18 at 16:40

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