How To Open A Padlock Without A Key: 8 Easy Methods

Have you ever been stuck staring at a simple padlock? Maybe you forgot your key or misplaced it somewhere and can’t remember where. And now you are stuck with that security padlock to your basement door, garage door, or just a simple box and can’t figure out a way of opening it.

You might only think of breaking it at first, but that might do unnecessary damage to your property. Then comes the idea of calling a locksmith, which might take a while. But if you are in a hurry or want to do it yourself, you’ve come to the right place. Today I am here to show you some of the best ways to unlock a padlock yourself. Let’s dive right in.

1. The Shim Method

To start us off, we have the shim method. First things first, to explain what a shim is. It is a small piece of metal that is shaped so that it can be maneuvered into the top part of the lock, where the shackle meets the body. To start you off, insert the thicker shim part into the padlock’s body. Next, you will wiggle it back and forth until you hear the latch click. At this point, the lock should spring open, and voilà, you have an open padlock.

Check the video below;

2. Hammering Away

Next up is the hammer technique. You start by putting two fingers inside the shackle loop and try to force the shackle away. This will eventually force the locking pins into the right position, making it easier for you to finish the job. After this, use the hammer to tap the padlock’s site again and again, targeting the shackle’s fixed side because that’s where the pins are. After a while, the pins will disengage, and the lock will open easily.

Make sure not to use excessive force so the padlock can be reused after this. Also, if you don’t have a hammer handy, you can use the handle of a screwdriver or any similar blunt tool. 

3. Cutting it with a Bolt Cutter

bolt cutter

Maybe the easiest method on the list, but it will require you to have bolt cutters nearby. And not everyone has a pair of those lying around their house. But, if you are of the rare few who do have them at home, then it’s simple. Just position the shears on either side of the shackle and squeeze. When it’s finally severed, you can remove the padlock completely. It is not a great method, though, because it will destroy the padlock. But, still, a good option if you were planning on replacing it anyway.

4. Picking the Lock

picking lock set

This would be the most popular way of opening a lock from what you see in the media, but this takes some getting used to. Not everyone is an expert at picking locks. Plus, you will need a lock-picking tool to get this done. If you don’t own a lock pick, you could try it with a hairpin or a paperclip. Even if you use one of these alternatives, know that you will still need something extra to place tension on the lock.

The process begins with inserting a tension wrench straight into the bottom of the keyhole. This causes the plug to rotate slightly and catch the first pin when you push it above the shear line with the lock pick. You will need to repeat this step for every pin the lock consists of. You might have to repeat it several times to catch the pins simultaneously. Not an easy feat and will require some practice beforehand.

5. Using a Master Key

masterkey 1

A master key is a key that is specifically made to open multiple locks inside your home. This type of key can be made by a locksmith but comes at a price. Nevertheless, this is a good second option if you tend to lose your primary key.

To open any lock with your master key, slide it inside and turn. Nothing more complicated than using your regular key. But you should be aware that a lock change might be needed in your home so that the master key can be used on most of your locks.

6. The Wrench Method

wrenched method

To crack a padlock with this method, you will need two wrenches, Place one on both ends of the shackles and bring their handles as close together as you can. This will, in turn, get their heads butting after placing them on the shackle’s vertical shaft area and, keeping them firm and steady, start applying force on the handles. This will require a certain strength, but don’t give up midway. Try your hardest.

Keep doing that until the shackle breaks in two. Then, remove the broken pieces from the lock, and you’re home-free.

7. Cracking the Lock Using Compressed Air

compressed air 1

For this, you will need a can of compressed air, which can be bought at any home improvement store, drugstore, or pharmacy. And also a hammer. (1)

The gas inside the canister is called difluoroethane or cooling gas. You will need to spray this on the side of the lock for about 25 to 40 seconds. You will notice the lock’s color change once you stop. After seeing that, grab the hammer and give it a few good smashes. Thanks to the frost on the metal, the lock will easily break, remove the broken pieces from the latch, and you’re in.

8. Calling a Locksmith

People who have lost their keys often call a locksmith to open their door. The job of the locksmiths is to use various tools to open the lock at the quickest time possible. Many people believe that getting someone else to do a job is easier than doing it yourself, so they hire professionals for tasks like this.

But most importantly, a locksmith uses their knowledge and skillset to find the easiest way into your home to be helpful and save you time and money.

A locksmith will use many tools, including different types of wrenches, screwdrivers, and even drills, to ensure that they can fix your lock efficiently. Using brute force methods, they might also use suction cups or magnets to help them gain access inside the door without breaking any windows or doors.

The Future: Electronic Locks

electronic locks

These newer electronic locks are much more secure than your regular lock. And they come in two variants, one which utilizes magnets and the other which utilizes motors. Both are usually opened digitally with your phone or a simple magnet or a signal in a sort of fob which can be attached to your phone or your wallet. They will provide you with far better safety than your average lock, but you also need to be careful with them. Being an electronic type of lock, it can still be breached nowadays.

Your Security

To finish off, we need to remind every one of our readers that your security should always come first. We covered a couple of different ways to open a padlock when you don’t have a key here (hopefully, you will only be doing this on your locks) to quickly get you access without waiting on a locksmith. Hopefully, we have taught you some methods to open a padlock without a key. Try some of them out next time you are locked out, and let us know how you do.

But still, if this is a door you keep locked with a padlock, maybe consider investing in a better lock. As we mentioned before, your safety is the most important thing.

(1) compressed air –

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