PDA

View Full Version : How do I remove a padlock?


sethdallob
02-24-2004, 08:27 PM
How do I remove a padlock that I have lost the keys for?

I went to Master Lock's site and they say I'm SOL unless I have the key numbers, which are on the keys which I have lost.

I saw another site that suggested using CO2 and then hitting it hard, but it also says that is for light duty locks only.

I also know that there has to be a way to do it, as the self storage place where the lock in question is located offers a service to open it for $35. Does this requre special tools, a lot of keys, or something else?

Reeder
02-24-2004, 08:36 PM
Bolt cutters do the job nicely.

Extraneous
02-24-2004, 09:13 PM
How large/heavy/expensive a lock is it?

If small and/or cheap, the shackle will be made of low-strengh steel, which cn be done in by bolt cutters (a fairly expensive tool) or a simple hacksaw (it will take time - I'd rather pay the $35).

If it is an expensive lock, the shackle will be hardened steel, requireing a really expensive pair of bolt cutters - which will cost WAY more than $35.

The storage company undoubtly has a pair of bolt cutters (a nice little profit center for them)

micco
02-24-2004, 09:16 PM
The number may be on the lock itself. Some padlocks have their ID number stamped on the lock cylinder where it's visible, above the keyway.

Or just call a locksmith. If you have the key number, they'd use that because it's quick and easy. If not, any qualified locksmith can can either pick the lock or impression a key. Impressioning is a process where they successively file down the key indentations to create a key from a blank. It's a skill much like picking a lock which takes finesse, but it can certainly be done without the key number. It is a time consuming process, so be prepared to pay for the locksmith's labor.

The boltcutter solution may be more expedient. This is probably what the landlord will do for $35. Note that many of these places are poorly designed and it's cheaper and easier to attack the hardware the lock is on rather than the lock itself. In a lot of situations, the lock is too big/hard for normal boltcutters, but you can cut away the clasp and replace it later.

Osip
02-24-2004, 09:23 PM
Most times I prefer a Dremel tool with a cutter wheel on it.

Nice simple and quick. Not near as much fun as a side grinder, yet, more practical.

Very rarely do I ever make keys to padlocks. These days it is easier and cheaper to cut them and replace them.

Many self storage places will, drill out the bolts holding the hasp on the door and replace the part which is very inexpensive.

35 dollars does not sound like such a bad deal truth be told.

Osip

Black Train Song
02-24-2004, 09:39 PM
Two pipewrenches (one on the loop part and the other on the main body) twisting in opposite motions toward eachother.

Celyn
02-24-2004, 09:41 PM
Hmm, well I once did it with a hacksaw, I think, but it took a hell of a time, and I got strange looks from passers-by.

Funny, I could be getting mixed up, but I am sure I used to have an image of sethdallob as the mad inventor/collector person. Tee hee - and now absent-minded too. :)

Still, it's a bummer - the other suggestions sound wiser than mine, I think.

Good luck.

BrotherCadfael
02-24-2004, 10:04 PM
If the lock is on a sturdy hasp, a sharp blow on the body of the lock with a three-pound hammer will snap the shackle right off. If the hasp isn't sturdily mounted, it will remove the hasp. Either way, problem solved.

Don't laugh, I've done this several times... Not cheap locks, either.

spingears
02-24-2004, 10:06 PM
IF the lock has a brass core, i.e. the round piece that rotates with the key it is a simple job with a battery powered drill to drill it out and use a screw drive to turn the mechanism. Start with a 1/6 or 3/16" drill at the bottom of the keyway and then use larger bits to enlarge the hole.

Otherwise the managements $35 fee is to match the cost of having to pay a service call and work done fee by the locksmith.

Name your poison and take your choice. :cool:

Reader99
02-25-2004, 12:24 AM
it sounds entirely too easy break a padlock. any thoughts on what kind to buy if you want to slow down/discourage a thief? obviously, nothing is unbeatable, but if a thief is casing a row of storage lockers what kind of lock would encourage him to go pick on somebody else? (on the other hand, i suspect that if you go too far in the direction of too large/too exotic it might make somebody think you have something really special in your locker.) are the abus-style disc locks harder to break than a standard padlock? do thiefs often try to pick locks, or do they go straight to the hammers and cutters?

nameless
02-25-2004, 01:09 AM
Take it from me--Master® combination locks can be broken open with nothing more than a solid piece of metal pipe. Those commercials showing them impervious to rifle shots are just moronic. Melee weapons are the way to go here.

Starguard
02-25-2004, 01:25 AM
Well, you could use explosives and blow it up :D

Seriously .. Try using a blowtorch.. that should work :cool:

Tripler
02-25-2004, 02:08 AM
Take it from me--Master® combination locks can be broken open with nothing more than a solid piece of metal pipe. Those commercials showing them impervious to rifle shots are just moronic. Melee weapons are the way to go here.

I've only seen Master padlocks being shot at in commercials.

But then again, no Master lock stood up to a 12 gauge steel-powder slug at one foot range. Trust me, I know from experience.

Tripler
There are some things Gunsite doesn't tell you online. :D

Lambo
02-25-2004, 07:00 AM
Ahh, brute force. While useful when a family member is locked in a chest, you will not be able to re-use the lock. A more elegant solution, that will allow you to open the lock correctly AND find the combination at the same time, can be found here. (http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~hillson/master_lock.html)

Lambo
02-25-2004, 07:02 AM
And, once again, I miss the point. Sorry, that link only works for Master brand combination locks, not key padlocks.

Osip
02-25-2004, 08:02 AM
it sounds entirely too easy break a padlock. any thoughts on what kind to buy if you want to slow down/discourage a thief? obviously, nothing is unbeatable, but if a thief is casing a row of storage lockers what kind of lock would encourage him to go pick on somebody else? (on the other hand, i suspect that if you go too far in the direction of too large/too exotic it might make somebody think you have something really special in your locker.) are the abus-style disc locks harder to break than a standard padlock? do thiefs often try to pick locks, or do they go straight to the hammers and cutters?


The best bang for your buck on a padlock would be an Abus Diskus padlock. They are a round looking padlock with most of the shackle concealed. There are many knock off brands of the same design as well. They take much more time to remove than other types of the same price.

pcroughn
02-25-2004, 08:13 AM
Please don't steal anything with this info:

How to pick a lock (http://www.lysator.liu.se/mit-guide/mit-guide.html)