How Hard Is It To Kick In A Door?

Sometimes you may just find yourself in a situation when you need to kick down a door.

This could be in the case of an emergency or if a family member gets locked in, or many other possible scenarios.

When your only option is to kick in the door with sheer force, you need to know how to do this safely.

How hard it is to kick in depends on the material of the door, its weakest point, as well as your positioning, angle, and the amount of forward force you apply.

We do not recommend trying to kick in a door, unless it is the last possible option, and be mindful that if you do not own the door, you could be liable to damages.

Kicking In A Door

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What Type Of Doors Are The Hardest To Kick Down?

The amount of force required to kick down a door varies according to the materials used and the way the door has been made. So, it is important to first check the material to determine if it’s even possible.

Doors with a wooden frame and material are usually easier to break down compared to metal ones. If the door is made of wood, there is a higher chance you will be able to kick it in. A hollow core door will also be a lot easier to kick down.

Usually, doors with a metal covering have a softwood material inside with iron sheets. This makes them particularly strong and hard to break. Doors with hardwood cores will also require much more energy.

Similarly, a hollow metal door is also quite heavy and strong. In fact, these are the hardest ones to kick in. If they also have lock mounting areas, then it’s pretty much impossible to break the door open.

Interior doors will generally be easier to kick in, as they are usually made of lighter materials like fiberboard and hollow types of wood. So, these doors are not as secure as exterior doors. Exterior doors have a solid core and are made with shaved wood, which makes them much harder to kick in. 

Position And Angle Of The Kick

You can’t just start kicking a door and expect it to break down. You don’t just need to know where to kick, knowing how to kick is even more important. If you get the method right, kicking in the door will be much easier. 

While directly facing the door, you need to take 2-3 steps back, and then take one step to build momentum. Make sure to plant your non-dominant leg firmly to the floor, and then drive your dominant heel forward and into the door. Your heel should land right next to the door latch, or just above or below it. 

Your knee should be slightly bent, and your feet should be flat on the ground. This is important in producing a powerful kick. The non-dominant leg should be placed firmly throughout the process, so you don’t lose your balance while kicking.

You need to have enough room for your feet to build up a reasonable force when you kick. Make sure you stand according to your leg length. If your leg is too long, you might want to take a couple more steps back.

Timing Of The Kick

Remember, one kick might not be enough most of the time. So, knocking the door down might require two, three or multiple kicks. However, you should make sure to hit again quickly to apply the required force. So, timing is key here.


Never throw your shoulder into the door when you’re applying forward force. This can result in a serious injury and you might even dislocate your shoulder if the angle is wrong.

Tips To Kick In A Door

Here are some useful tips to make it easier to kick in a door:

Aim For The Door’s Weakest Part 

Usually, the lock area of the door is the weakest part. So, always center your kick towards this spot, or around the lock. Other weak parts of the door are the frame and the bolt.

Also, when you’re kicking, do not aim for the lock itself. Instead, the area above or beneath the lock is usually weaker. Kicking the lock directly can even damage or injure your foot.

To deliver multiple hits, keep your foot flat when it meets the door. This is also important for preventing serious injuries. Plus, it makes it easier to kick down the door.

Be Attentive To Sounds When Kicking

One way to understand if your kick will actually kick the door down is by listening to the sound of the impact.

If you first kick the door and hear a dull ‘thud’ sound, this means there is a reinforced substance in the door. However, if you hear the sound of breaking material, it means no reinforced material is present.

The thud noise indicates that the door has a solid construction and it’s going to be difficult or impossible to break it. In case of a breaking sound, you can keep kicking till it falls.


It is definitely not easy to kick in a door in most circumstances. However, with a tactful approach, you can go ahead and do so in the case of emergencies. In fact, kicking in the door can sometimes be smarter and quicker than fiddling with the lock, but is usually a worst-case scenario.

Just remember to keep the right method in mind when you attempt to kick a door down. The key is to maintain a firm stance, build lots of momentum, and kick in the right spot. Always be careful to avoid injuries.