Combination Locks : How to Open if you Forgot the Code

Combination locks are used on various occasion for varied purposes. It may from school to gym lockers. Combination Locks are capable of securing items within any home or place. But in case you lose or forget the combination to the lock to open it, situation becomes very tense and can be very frustrating at times as no combinations means no access to your possessions.

When you don’t want to push or break open the lock, there are many other ways to try. These steps can be helpful to open a combination lock without a code, but must only be done on the personal lock in case of an emergency. Never open combination locks that do not belong to you.

  • Method 1: Cracking the Code of Combination Locks
  • Method 2: Creating a Shim for Combination Locks
  • Method 3: Using the Serial Number of Combination Locks

Method 1: Cracking the Code of Combination Locks

Know your lock. A combination lock has three main components.

  • Shackle : the U-shaped piece which attaches it to an object.
  • Dial : the portion with numbers that turns.
  • Body : the rest of the lock.

Generally we hold the lock with the shackle on top and dial faces us, and the locking mechanism is on the left side of the shackle.

Practice pressure. To find a lock combination you are required to pull up gently on the shackle. Too much pressure will tighten it to be turned with dial. Too little will spin the dial freely. You have to exert gentle pressure which may take some time to practice.

Find the first number. Gently pull up on the shackle and try to hold it in place. Listening carefully while turning the dial clockwise. Stop when you hear the click of the lock. You must start with a pressure and gently increase to spin it around, until you feel the unique resistance at only one place. If the feeling is not unique for a click and catch, it means you are pulling too hard. If there is no catches at all, it means pulling is not enough. Catch should be unique, making only one click. When click happens between two numbers, take the higher number. Now, add 5 to clicked number and write it down which will be considered is the first number of the combination.

Turn the dial anticlockwise to find the second number. With a gentle pressure on the shackle, turn the dial slowly. You should go around the mechanism once before trying for the second number. The lock will make a bump and click catch as you turn. Gradually the lock will hit a point where it will feel very difficult to turn and now the stopping point will be the second number and get it noted down against the first number.

Try combinations. You may find the third number by simply testing every possible combination with first two numbers set as they have been guessed already. Turn the dial clockwise very slowly, testing for each possible combination. With only forty possible combinations, do not reset the first two numbers for each combination. Simply turn one last number then tug. Repeat the process until the lock unlocks.

Test for the third number. A different method for finding the third number is to test the catch. Spin the dial clockwise a few times to reset the lock and set it at 0. Apply upwards pressure on the shackle and turn the dial clockwise. The lock will catch several times, allowing for slight movement back and forth between two numbers. Write down the number in the middle.

In case of any confusion, complete all the combinations around the dial by writing down all the whole numbers where it catches. You may get four or five numbers. Most of the numbers will fit a pattern. The one number will be “odd on out” and will not fit the pattern and that will be final number of the combination.

Method 2 : Creating a Shim for Combination Locks

Consider the lock. Newly made locks are shim-proof made by the manufacturers, although there is still a possibility to pick the lock but work it generally works better on older locks.

Identify the locking mechanism. To properly use a shim you require to be working at a place where the shackle locks. The working on the hinge will not accomplish anything. Generally the mechanism is on the left side while looking at the lock and the shackle is on the top and the dial faces you.

Cut aluminum can. Make a shim by cutting up a soda can. Use scissors and cut off the can top, till the bottom and then to cut off the bottom. You will get a rectangular single piece of aluminum as a wide strip of metal.

Cut a strip of metal. Turn it horizontal and cut the shorter side of the material to be used to make the shim. The strip should be cut a little over one inch wide. Edges must be trimmed if they are rough or edgy.

Make two curved incisions. Hold the small strip of aluminum horizontally and cut two curves from the bottom, somewhat resembling the letter U.
Center the U in the middle of your strip.
Do not cut all the way to the top.

Make two diagonal incisions. Cutting from the bottom of the metal around a quarter of an inch from the base of the U, cut diagonally upwards to intersect with the top of the U and remove the triangles of material to look like the letter M.

Fold sides to get handle. Turn the top of the metal downward by eighth of an inch. Fold the sides upward around the top to allow you to make a handle on the shim which will not pierce through your hand with a sharp edge.

Gently fold the shim. Get it around the shackle of the lock. The U of the shim should face downward. Wrap the shim carefully around the outside first so that it into molds to the shape of the shaft. While you have achieved the shape you desire, turn the shim for U is on the inner part of the shackle and the handle is on the outer side of it. Remember to perform this activity on the side where locking mechanism of the shackle is present.

Press the shackle up as far as it will go. Hold it in position with your finger. Use the other hand to slowly work the shim into the crack between the shackle and the lock itself. It will take a few minutes and you should not hurry and force it. When you have worked it and it has gone in as far as it could, stop.

Pop open the lock. Pinch the shim with one hand and press the shackle down with the other hand, then pull it up to open the lock.

Method 3 : Using the Serial Number of Combination Locks

Locating the serial number. If the lock has a number punched on it, jot it down. It might happen that some of them might not have a serial number.

Go to a distributor or retailer of the lock brand. Enquire the distributor about the contact details and ask him to contact the manufacturer on your behalf and validate the ownership of the lock. This will help you to get the combination. Retailers might not assist you when the lock is attached to an object sensing some foul play.It is better to carry the receipt of the product in case you have it. Beware that the retailer may charge a fee for their service unless the product is under warranty.

Directly submit a lost combination form to the manufacturers. Visit the manufacturer’s website and find out whether they provide a service. Due to security concerns, manufacturers are most likely not offer the combination over the phone or via email. You might be requested to furnish proof that you own the lock, such as a receipt of the lock to prove your ownership.

Consult the owner. In case the lock is the property of an institution or business, the administrators might have a list of combinations based on serial numbers. Try to get the serial number from the main office. Be prepared to furnish proof for the right to access and the belongings within the locker when the lock is attached to something.