How to Break a Car Window With a Hammer

When your car breaks down, and you’re stranded on the side of the road, time is of the essence. It would help if you got that car started so you can get where you’re going. In the unfortunate event that you find yourself locked out of your vehicle, it’s essential to know how to break a car window with a hammer. Always be sure to wear gloves when breaking a car window, as shards of glass can cause injury.

How to Break a Car Window With a Hammer

Remember that it is essential to take precautions when breaking any window, as the possibility of flying glass exists. This way, you can get back inside and on your way. While there are alternative methods for breaking a car window, using a hammer is the most efficient and easiest way. Keep reading for instructions to break a car window with a hammer.

Summary: If you’re in need of a way to break into a car, and don’t have a key, consider using a hammer. Hammering a window out is relatively easy, and can be done quickly and easily with just a little bit of practice. Here are some tips on how to do it:

1. Find the right spot to hit the window. The best spot to hammer the window is on the bottom corner, near the hinge. This will cause the window to break more easily and without damage to the surrounding frame.

2. Use a light hammer. A heavy hammer can cause more damage to the window, and will also take longer to break the window.

3. Use a consistent strike. Hammering the window too hard will cause it to shatter, rather than break.

4. Keep an eye on the window.

10 Methods on How to Break a Car Window With a Hammer

1. Use the Available Household Tools

If you happen to have a hammer in your household, don’t think you’re going to need to run out and buy a new window breaker. You can use the claw side of a hammer with its rubber or plastic coating for this purpose. Start by holding down the safety button on your car door to don’t lock. Then, take the hammer and place it on top of the window to lie flat.

Be careful not to hit or tap the glass, as this may cause it to break into sharp pieces that will cut you badly. Instead, with one swift motion, strike the end of the claw with all your might, right where you’re holding it. This should be enough force to shatter the window. Just be careful not to hit your hand when doing this.

2. Use a Large Heavy Object

This next method will require you to have something large and heavy- like another hammer, or an unopened soup can break the window with it. Then, take your heavy object and place it on top of the window.

Take your other hammer and hold it above the top of the closed window (Make sure you do not have it too high, or you might hurt yourself). Bring your arm down as hard as you can to hit the head of the first hammer. This should be enough force to shatter almost any car window.

3. Use a Screwdriver or Tire Iron

Use a Flathead Screwdriver

This method will work if you have a flathead screwdriver or tire iron, but it’s easier with the latter. Just place your tool under the metal part of the window, not touching the glass. Then, slam your weight down on top of it so that it creates enough force to shatter the pane. Note that you’ll need to hold it steady in place with either of these tools or use tape to keep it in place.

4. Use the Car Door Lock

This method is suitable for breaking windows when you don’t have anything to break the glass. For example, remove the lock from your car door by twisting it counterclockwise until it comes off.

With a small piece of cloth, place it over the door’s lock and then hit the tip of it with a hammer until the window breaks. However, be careful not to hurt yourself by holding your hand too close when you do this because shards might fly out at you.

5. Use the Spark Plug

If you have a spare spark plug, try using it to break the glass in your car window. Take your spark plug and hold it with some tape. If you can’t find any tape, use anything else that’s not sharp, like a sock or cloth. Aim for one of the corners of the window when doing this. Be careful when doing this because the spark plug might go off in your hand.

6. Use a Coat Hanger

Take a wire coat hanger and straighten it out. Then, take the end of one of the arms and bend it inward to form an “L” shape. Make sure not to make your L too big, or else you’ll risk breaking the glass into tiny shards that can injure you.

Bend Wire Coat Hanger to Form an "L" Shape

Place this L-shaped wire over the top of your window and pull it down as hard as you can. Repeat this motion until the window breaks. Be careful not to hurt yourself by holding your hand too close when you do this because shards might fly out at you.

7. Automatic Steel Center Punch

This method is known as the automatic steel center punch, and the military uses it to shatter windows. But, first, you’ll need to find a screwdriver or any other long and narrow piece of metal (like a nail) and put it on top of your window.

Next, take an automatic center punch and place it right above the screwdriver or nail, and strike it with a full swing of the arm. This is the best method for knocking out windows quickly because it can be done in mere seconds without much effort.

8. Use a Car Jack

Find a car jack and place it right above one of your car windows. Hit the top of the jack as hard as you can with your other hammer, making sure that your hand is not in danger of getting cut by shards when doing so.

If done correctly, this should be enough to shatter any window. Just be careful when doing this because you could get seriously injured if the object falls off. Also, be careful not to place it too low, or else you might break the windshield and ruin your car’s interior.

9. Use a Bolt

Find a bolt or screw that is easy for you to hold onto and put it on top of your windowpane. Hit the top of the bolt firmly with your other hammer, ensuring that you do not hold it too close to yourself. This should be enough for most car windows, although, if needed, try repeating this step until your window shatters completely.

10. Use a Drill

You could also use an electric drill to break your window. Try using the largest drill bit for this purpose and position it right above your windowpane. If you can’t find a drill bit, you might be able to use a nail just to put enough force behind it so that it doesn’t bend and works as well as a drill bit.

Electric Drill to Break the Window

Hold the drill and apply pressure on it to make it break your window’s glass. Be careful when doing this, as bits of glass could fly off and hit you or shatter even further and cause injury to yourself or others.

You Can Check It Out to Hammer Something in a Tight Space

Some Tips and Suggestions

Here are some tips and suggestions on how to break a car window with a hammer.

1. Choose your weapon. The claw hammer is preferred for its sturdy, flat head.

2. Gain entry through the window to the right or left of the car’s door handle. This will prevent you from shimmying across broken glass if you hit a side window accidentally with your hammer.

3. If you are nervous about using force on the window, improvise with any sturdy object that will fit in the space (a long screwdriver, for example).

4. Proceed with force. If you are nervous or unsure about your ability to break through the glass, use a large hammer and hit the outer edge of the window instead of the center.

5. Strike the glass with a swift, deliberate blow. Hit the window as close to its edge as possible.

6. Once you have established a hole in the window, use your fingers or another tool to enlarge it and make it more accessible for entry.

7. Enter through the window slowly and cautiously. If you stand up from your crouched, Keep calm. You may slip or cut yourself with the glass, so take your time and panic.

How Much Force Does It Take to Break a Car Window?

While it can happen by accident, usually, a person plans to break the window. For example, the car might be on fire or someone trapped inside. In these emergency situations, you may want to know how much force is needed. For example, if your car catches on fire and the power windows don’t work, it’s good to have a plan.

Hitting Your Car Window With a Hammer

If there’s a fire in your car, remember that getting out as quickly as possible drastically increases the chances of survival. If the window doesn’t budge, consider a backup plan. In addition to using tools from your toolbox or bringing along a friend with the Jaws of Life, hitting your window with a hammer is one option.

You Can Check It Out to: Start a Car With a Screwdriver and Hammer


To break a car window with a hammer, you will need to use the claw-side of the hammer and strike it against the glass. This method is best for side windows that do not have an airbag near them. Again, make sure to place your foot on top of the door so that there is no danger of injuring yourself or damaging anything else in your vehicle when you strike.

The force from this breaking should be enough to shatter through most types of tempered glass without too much difficulty. If needed, take another swing at any stubborn pieces left over after you’ve broken through the piece. We hope this blog post on how to break a car window with a hammer has been helpful. If you have any questions or want to know more, then feel free to comment below!

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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