How To Break A lock? With 7 Effective Methods
You will have learned seven simple techniques to break a lock at the conclusion of this article, including methods that work on padlocks, door locks, or both. Many of these solutions may be accomplished using items found about the house or simply obtained at a local hardware shop.
Not only will the information on this page come in helpful in an emergency, but locks will quiver at the first sight of your shadow!
The methods described in this tutorial are considered destructive entry tactics, and they may result in the lock being destroyed. If you want to keep the lock, see my article on how to unlock a lock when you don’t have the key for several strategies to try before my last-ditch attempt advice!
Why Should You Know How to Pick a Lock?
There is a good reason for understanding how to break locks, believe it or not.
The first and most significant reason is that it educates you about basic lock weaknesses.
With this knowledge comes genuine comprehension and power. Understanding how locks can be broken gives you the power to make smarter decisions about the sorts of locks you use, where you use them, and how much you trust them.
Drilling a lock, for example, is a typical technique that can readily defeat many different locks. Without this understanding, one could believe that their pricey front door lock will protect them from all of the world’s ills.
However, with this newfound information and awareness, you will not only know better, but you will also most likely discover strategies to better protect yourself against such attacks. Consider replacing your lock’s pins with harder steel replacements or upgrading to drill-resistant locks.
When it comes to security, the more you understand how to breach it, the more you can prevent others from breaching it.
The second reason to learn how to pick a lock is for emergencies. You never know when breaking through a locked door might be the difference between life and death for a stranger, a neighbor, or even a loved one.
How To Break A Lock
Method 1: Drill the Lock
Drilling is used to demolish or remove a portion of the lock that prohibits you from unlocking it otherwise.
There are several methods for effectively drilling a lock, as well as numerous regions that may be targeted with your drill.
As an example:
- You can use a screwdriver to operate the locking mechanism after removing the screws that hold the lock body to the door.
- You may aim at the screws in a padlock that keep the plug in place.
- You may disrupt the shear line of the lock by targeting the top of the pin stack. This prevents the lock’s plug from spinning without the right key. On euro-profile locks, you may target the springs that drive the pins into the plug.
Lock drilling is an art, and understanding how a lock works and the basic anti-drill countermeasures often used—such as drill-resistant pins made of hardened steel—is the best way to determine which approach to employ in whatever case.
Lock drilling is a topic too broad to address in this book; nonetheless, some excellent drilling guidelines are:
- Spend some time learning about locks and what each component performs. Locks are simple animals, and you can learn everything you need to know in just 10-15 minutes. To get a head start, read my guide on how locks work!
- Spend some time inspecting the lock for anti-drill countermeasures. Is the front pin, for example, composed of steel or brass, or is there an anti-drill faceplate that will spin or catch if the keyway is drilled?
- Larger drill bits will damage more components while making the work easier in most circumstances.
- To create a location to drill, use excellent quality drill bits and a beginning punch.
- Never drill a padlock while still holding it. Any lapse might result in “not-so-fun” time.
- Drilling the keyway of euro-profile cylinders should be done with caution. If you drill too deep, you will ruin the cam and the lock will not open.
Method 2: Make Use of a Hammer
There are two methods for opening a lock with a hammer, and which method you choose depends on the type of lock you are attempting to open.
The Door Locking System
If you’re trying to get past a door lock (such as a deadbolt or doorknob lock), the best strategy is full and utter damage. Please keep in mind that this procedure will almost certainly destroy your door and maybe your door frame.
Begin smashing the lock at a downward angle until it eventually falls off the door or there is enough room to operate the locking mechanism with a screwdriver.
Padlock Rapping Technique
The goal of this procedure is to knock the locking bar out of place, so unlocking the shackle from the lock.
Pull on the shackle and begin hammering your hammer on the side of the lock to employ this approach. If the lock does not open, try striking it from the opposite side.
This approach, however, does not work on all locks. Many higher-quality padlocks employ a separate locking bar mechanism that protects against this sort of attack. But it’s always worth a shot as a last-ditch effort.
Finally, if you don’t have a hammer, you may always go the caveman route and smash the lock with a rock. It’s been done before and will most certainly be done again!
Method 3: Ramset
A Ramset cannon is a handy gadget that uses.22 caliber blanks to activate a piston capable of driving nails into hard surfaces such as concrete or steel.
However, it didn’t take long for people to understand that by strategically placing these weapons on the lock, they could simply blast it open!
Ramset guns are available online and at most Home Depots!
Method 4: Make Use of a Screwdriver
A screwdriver driver can be used to open a lock in a variety of ways.
You may be able to twist the keyway and break the internal components if you have a heavy-duty flat-head screwdriver (the pins). Most locks will take a large amount of turning power and may necessitate the use of another instrument to provide leverage to spin the screwdriver.
Additionally, if you have a can of pressurized air, you may spray it into the keyhole of the lock by turning the can upside down. This may appear to be movie magic, but compressed air can freeze metal sufficiently to make it brittle and easy to shatter.
If this approach fails, you may be able to unlock a lock in other methods, such as prying the door away from the doorframe and sliding the latch. Alternatively, if the hinges are on your side of the door, you may be able to remove them.
Method 5: Fire the Lock
It’s vital to note that the guides at Art of Lock Picking are strictly for educational and occasionally entertaining purposes. We are in no way liable for your or anyone else’s activities.
For obvious reasons, using weapons to unlock locks should be done with utmost caution. If you can’t think of a single reason why firing a lock is a terrible idea, it’s generally better for everyone to avoid it.
Furthermore, this procedure should only be used with padlocks. Nobody wants gunshots shooting through a door or into the home of a neighbor.
Method 6: Remove the Lock
Most people envision a bicycle thief racing about with bolt cutters smashing locks and riding away into the sunset when they think of destructively circumventing padlocks.
Cutting the shackles of padlocks is a tried and tested approach, but it has its own set of challenges. There are several methods for cutting locks, but the four most prevalent are bolt cutters, hacksaws, angle grinders, and cutting torches.
When utilizing any of the methods listed here, use necessary safety precautions such as glasses, gloves, and common sense! Whatever’s on the other side of the lock is probably not worth sacrificing a finger for.
Bolt Cutter Use
Using bolt cutters is more difficult than you would believe. You must examine the shackle’s longevity as well as the leverage provided by the cutters. You may not even create a dent in the shackle if the bolt cutter’s handles are too short. Most locks can be opened using a set of 30-inch bolt cutters.
Making Use of an Angle Grinder
Angle grinders with the appropriate grit and material disc may quickly remove locks—both shackles and lock bodies. You should ideally use a 1.2 mm 60-grit disc.
When using an angle grinder to cut a lock, cut carefully and perpendicular to the shackle. To keep your hands away from the lock and prevent it from sliding, consider using a vise or pliers. Allow some time for the lock to cool down.
Making Use of a Cutting Torch
A cutting torch or plasma cutter is your huckleberry if you want to go overboard. These hellhounds will slash through most restraints like butter.
Making Use of a Hacksaw
Hacksaws work great on cheap padlocks, but higher-quality hardened-steel shackles will put up a good fight, and you may finish up wearing down your blade before you even make a dent. If you’re working with tougher steel, you may use heat to soften it, such as a propane torch!
Heat the shackle until it glows red before using this approach. Allow it to cool for a minute before you begin hacking!
Method 7: Melt it
If you have a blowtorch and don’t mind melting your lock into a foamy puddle, you might try using fire!
This procedure is not recommended since it is risky, but it is a fantastic last-ditch attempt alternative if nothing else works or there is an emergency.
Furthermore, if you use a blowtorch, only use it on loose locks such as padlocks or chains, never on house locks or locks implanted in material that might catch fire.
Is it illegal to use a hammer to break a lock?
You may be wondering whether it is legal to shatter a lock with a hammer. The response is dependent on the circumstances. If you possess the locked property, you can certainly smash a lock with a hammer. However, if you are not the owner of a certain property, you are not permitted to break a lock.
Never attempt to pick a lock that you do not own. Attempting to meddle with a lock in order to steal. or gaining access to someone else’s property is prohibited. You may suffer legal ramifications.
Lock-breaking equipment is widely accessible in various nations. It is legal to posses these instruments as long as they are not used for unlawful purposes. While the norm is different in a few Asian nations, such as Japan. The majority of the populace is not permitted to own lock-breaking tools. If a person was discovered with lock-breaking tools. They will impose a 500,000 yen fine and a one-year prison sentence.
Locks constructed of plastic rather than metal are more easily broken. Take the time to grasp the fundamental design and operation of various types of locks. The more you learn about the problem, the more probable it is that you will find a solution.
Can a hammer cause damage to a lock while breaking it?
One of two things may happen. The hinges and screws are pulled out of the wood, breaking them off and allowing the door or gate to close. The third type of attack is a hammer hit on some combination locks. These given for use in school lockers have the potential to open them.
To smash the lock with a hammer, safety devices are necessary. While undertaking a dangerous work, one should constantly keep their safety in mind. We have hammers and other sharp items to contend with. It is always possible that we will inadvertently injure our hands or eyes. As a result, we must understand how to keep safe while on the work.
1. FX Gloves
Wear hammer-proof gloves to protect yourself. Because of its design, it is impervious to hammer blows. The outer layer may be damaged. However, a thermoplastic layer beneath it protects the hands. Only your fingers can be safeguarded.
There are two types of gloves available: leather gloves and carbon fiber gloves. Leather gloves have the benefit of providing an excellent grip. Kevlar blades are thick enough to withstand cuts and abrasions.
Choose the proper glove size. Check if they are a good fit for your hands. Gloves that are too big or too little might make you feel unpleasant while doing the task.
2. Safety Goggles
You must shield your eyes from any flying objects. A little particle may cause damage to your eyes and temporarily impair your vision. Depending on your circumstances and personal preferences. You may select from a number of goggles.
You may use a pair of power tool goggles since they feature thick, large lenses that are difficult to damage. The bridge of the nose also has an indentation. It also has a comfy headband. You may tighten and fasten the bandage over your head.
The goggles also include anti-fog technology. If you don’t have any power tool goggles, you can utilize a set of welding goggles. It is designed to keep particles out of your eyes.
Unlike power tool goggles, welding goggles have separate lenses with sturdy edges. You won’t have to worry about fogging because the goggles include air vents. The final option is a face shield. However, be certain that it has a thick cover and is a perfect fit for your head. Aside from that, the cover should be clear enough to prevent your hands from being struck.
Is there any way to open the lock that doesn’t involve breaking it?
Some locks cannot be opened without being destroyed. That is the purpose of a high-security lock. Others, depending on the type of lock and the individual’s ability and competence, are fairly simple to bypass.
You may, however, remove a padlock with anything other than a hammer. A screwdriver or a cordless wrench, for example, can be beneficial. Examine how to remove a padlock using a screwdriver.
Whether you’ve misplaced your sole key or you need to get through a closed door in an emergency, learning how to break a lock is a useful ability to have that might one day save a life.
I hope you found this information useful. However, if it did not address all of your questions or you believe there is any way I might improve this essay, please send me an email using my contact form. I always enjoy hearing from my readers!
Thank you for reading, and good luck with your selection!