How to Cut Bike Lock Cable

How to Cut Bike Lock Cable with 4 Different Tools

This guide on how to cut a bike lock cable is for people who have misplaced or broken their keys or discovered that their lock is broken or inoperable. You will also find it helpful if you have been pranked with a cheap cable lock. In this manual, we’ll go over the various tools you’ll need, the kinds of cables each tool can cut, and other relevant details. This is because some high-end bike locks can only be cut with specialized equipment.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you would need to cut a bike lock cable, we have provided step-by-step instructions on how to do it. Additionally, we’ve provided safety guidance to keep both you and your bike safe.

How to Cut Bike Lock Cable

Situations to Cut Bike Lock Cable

The Lock Has Tampered

A tampered lock? What do you mean by that? Consider the following scenario: Your 4-year-old niece becomes interested in your bike lock out of the blue and tampers or compromises it by sticking a small stick in the keyhole. You will have a lot of difficulty using your keys to open the bike as a result. The biker may have to make the difficult decision to cut the bike lock cable in order to solve the problem, depending on the extent of the lock’s damage.

Bolt Lock Failure

There may be a problem with the lock’s internal mechanism if your lock won’t open despite using the keys or the secret combination of numbers or letters. A bolt lock failure occurs when the system inside the lock malfunctions and the lock cannot be opened. The age of the lock itself is the primary cause of bolt lock failure. Once it is already aging, there is a big chance that it might fail from opening.

You Lost the Keys

This is the most obvious reason and probably the usual cause of a biker failing to open his bike lock. Accidentally misplacing the keys can occasionally put you in an uncomfortable situation, especially if your bike is locked up safely in a specific location. It will be impossible for you to search for it if you happen to drop it during the ride, so the best option may be to cut the cable of the bike lock.

How to Cut Bike Lock Cable

How to Cut Bike Lock Cable With Different Tools

If you can’t open the bike lock, you can cut the lock cable using the following assortment of tools. We have explained how to cut the cycle lock cable with these tools, and also indicated the type of materials they are capable of cutting.

Bolt Cutters

Bolt cutters come in a variety of sizes, including compact models like the WORKPRO W017004A that measure 12 to 14 inches and fit conveniently in your bag. Bolt cutters may be the solution if you’ve ever wondered how to cut a bike U-lock. Bike chains and U-locks up to 11mm in thickness for medium-hard materials and 9.5mm in thickness for hard materials can be torn with those of medium size, 18 to 24 inches. A more expensive bike lock can also be cut with large bolt cutters that measure between 30 and 48 inches. They can cut materials as tough as alloy steel chain, steel rod, and copper cable up to an 11mm diameter.

The quality and strength of the bolt cutters, especially the jaws, will determine how well they can cut. To avoid giving the bolt cutters dents and buckled jaws when cutting a bike lock cable, take into account the strength and thickness of the material you intend to cut when making your selection. Verify the manufacturer’s specifications on the maximum hardness of a bicycle lock material that the bolt cutters can rip on the product packaging.

Angle Grinder

Angle grinders that are battery-operated and portable are what we mean when we say that they can be used to cut bike lock cables. For cutting any type of lock cable, they are typically the quickest and most efficient tools. To cut a thick and strong lock, it might take longer, so you might need an extra battery. The main inconveniences of using an angle grinder are that it is noisy and generates a lot of sparks during operation.

Bottle Jack

A bottle jack could be the solution if you’ve been wondering how to cut a bike cable lock without using bolt cutters. A hydraulic bottle jack works well for chopping through thin, flimsy bike lock cables, though it is less common. It can still be inserted into a U-lock and opened with enough force, though. A smaller U-lock does not have enough space to accommodate a bottle jack, thus it is safer. There shouldn’t be much room for a bottle jack in your U-lock if your locking system is effective.


You can cut a bike lock cable that are made of thin and soft materials with a hacksaw like LENOX Tools High-Tension Hacksaw. Their small size will fit in your bag.

How to Cut Bike Lock Cable

Safety Advice When Cut Bike Lock Cable

The tools that we have mentioned above can successfully cut the majority of locks on bikes that cost less than $500 as well as some of the more expensive models if given enough time. Think about a strong lock like the Schwinn Anti Theft Bike Lock, which a typical bike thief can’t easily pick. Additionally, confirm that the tool you select is compatible with the cable’s manufacturing material.


Nobody looks forward to the day when they might have to cut the cable because their bike lock won’t open. However, it’s a good idea to know how to cut bike lock cables because there are numerous ways you could find yourself in this situation. The type of cable material must be taken into account first. Next, choose a tool that will be capable of cutting the cable without harming yourself or damaging the tool with excessive force or inappropriate use. We have provided good options that can cut most or all types of bike lock cables. To open the lock, some tools will need more time than others.


Is There Any Way to Break a Bike Lock Cable Without Bolt Cutters Or Any Other Tool?

Unfortunately, without the aid of bolt cutters or another tool, it is impossible to successfully rip a bike lock cable. If you don’t have access to such tools, your best bet could be to get in touch with a locksmith who does, since they will have the tools required to get the lock broken without harming your bike.

Can Cable Locks Be Cut?

However, compared to U-locks, cable locks typically offer less theft deterrence. The majority of cable locks can be cut with a bolt cutter.

What Bike Lock Cannot Be Cut?

There must be a bike lock that cannot be cut, right? The three toughest bike locks available are the Hiplok D1000, LITELOK X1, and Altor SAF. All of these locks have anti-grinder and anti-cut components that enable them to resist power tools.

Are Steel Cable Locks Easy to Cut?

However, those frail strands are also what give these locks their inherent insecurity. Because they can be cut very easily with cable cutters of bolt croppers. Simply put, each cable is chewed through by these tools. A bit like cutting hair with scissors!

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