How To Pick A Combination Lock

You Can Pick Combination Locks: Here’s How

If you are looking for some practical and quick ways to break through your combination lock, then congratulations! You are already at the right place.

In situations where you’re locked out, the few hacks that you think of are; to either cut the lock, break the door, or try every possible combination you can. But, these hacks consume time, energy and require special tools, and at times, a great memory.

But no worries, as here we are to help you through the process. In this blog, you will get to know how to pick a combination lock yourself without fail. So, let’s dig into it!

How Does A Combination Lock Work?

To unlock a combination lock, you first need to know how they lock and also how they work.

how does a combination lock work

All the combination locks are based on the exact mechanism. No matter what size, shape, or manufacturer, these locks have some essential parts in common such as; shackles, springs, cam discs, and hooks.

When the U-shaped shackle is locked, it is stopped by a hook. That hook is further connected to a spring and spin wheels. Each wheel has an internal and external disc that locks and unlocks with a digit in combination. So, the number of wheels/cams depends upon the number of digits in the codes.

Each cam or wheel has a minor groove responsible for the restriction of movement of spring or hook.

When you enter the right code, all the cams’ grooves align, the spring is free to release, and the shackle opens. 

So, to open the lock, you need to tighten the shackle, slowly move the wheel and see where the restriction to movement reduces.

LockPickingLawyer opens these locks in seconds with a simple shim attack and also how to decode another lock very quickly and easily.

How To Open A Briefcase Lock Without The Combination?

If your briefcase with something crucial is locked by a combination lock and you are unable to break through, then no problem. Here’s how to pick a combination lock at home without a locksmith.

How To Open A Briefcase Lock Without The Combination

Lucky for you, briefcases are the easiest to crack. This is because most briefcases have the spin wheel 3-digit locking system with a small pullable lock at each side. So, to open up these locks, you just need to find the cam groove of each wheel.

If yours have the same lock, follow the steps below to know how to open a briefcase lock without the combination.

Cracking The 3-Digit Code

To crack the three-digit code, get yourself a torchlight and a sharp object. The object can be a pin or even paper because it just has to be extremely thin.

  • To open the lock, slightly pull the left most spin wheel to the left with your index finger. And look closely to find the circular cam inside.
  • Put the pin or paper on the side of the left most spin-wheel and make sure it touches the cam.
  • Now, slowly start moving the dial digit by digit and keep the pin on to the circular cam.
  • Keep spinning the pin until the pin touches an indentation (cam’s groove). This number is the first number of the combination.
  • Stop there, pull the pin out, and put it onto the side of the second spin wheel.
  • Spin until you find the groove and stop there.
  • Once you find the third cam groove, stop on that digit and open the briefcase.

How To Open A Lockbox Without The Combination?

A lockbox is a small and handy box locker used to secure keys, cards, and other valuable possessions. These safe boxes usually have a three-digit spinlock or a 9-digit master lock. If you want to know how to open a lockbox without the combination, you first need to check the type of lock your lockbox has. 

pick a lockbox

The three-wheel lock is easier to open and can be unlocked using the above-mentioned 3-digit cracking method. But if you have the 9-digit master lock, follow the process below to crack its code in less than a minute.

Cracking The 9-Digit Lockbox Code

To crack the 9-digit master lock code, you just need to be sharp with the sense of touch.

  • To open the lock, push the lock open button (at the top) downward.
  • Now start pushing the buttons one by one in the first row from 1-3.
  • As you push the buttons, notice the buttons that are relatively free and easier to press. Note down the number of the free buttons and ignore the button that is hard to press.
  • Go on to the next row and repeat it for the rest of the two rows.
  • Then, press the “C” button to clear the combination.
  • Now, enter the combination to open the lock. If the easy to press buttons in the keypad were 1,3,5, and 7, then press your code “1357” one by one, and the lock will unlock instantly.

How To Open Bike Lock Without The Combination?

Bike locks are small circular tube-shaped locks. It would be terrible if you forget your bike lock code and get stuck. Well, circular bike locks are pretty easy to unlock. They are usually 4-digit spin locks that just require a few spins to open.

how to pick a bike combination lock

To know how to open a bike lock without a combination, follow the procedure below.

Spin To Find The Code

Before we learn how to open a bike lock without the combination, we must understand how it works. A bike lock is quite similar to a regular padlock with a key. The only difference is that the key in bike locks has grooves locked by cams/discs of the digit wheel. So, when the correct code is entered, the key groove passes through the cam groove, and it becomes free to come out.

So to unlock it :

  • Pull each end of the lock outwards firmly, and rotate all the dials to the number 0.
  • Keep the lock pulled and rotate each dial to find the harder one to spin than the other.
  • Rotate the resisting dial to the point where the groove inside seems to “click” and get into a hollow.
  • Then, rotate all the other three dials again to find the resistant dial.
  • Rotate the second resistant dial to the point where it clicks.
  • Repeat it for the other two dials, and as the fourth dial clicks, the key will come out on its own.

How To Pick A Combination Lock Without Combination?

Apart from the built-in lock-in bags, briefcases, and lockboxes, there are several other combination padlocks.

These combination locks come in different sizes, types, and complexities. However, each works on the exact mechanism, from simple three-digit padlocks to complex rotary-dial locks with over a thousand combinations.

So, if you want to know how to open a combination lock without combination, keep reading!

Unlock Combination Padlock With Shims

To unlock a combination padlock, you can either use a shim (thin plastic stick) or a paper clip.

  • If you’re using a paper clip, unbend one side of the hook and make it L-shaped.
  • Now, take the shim or the L-shaped paper clip and put it on the downside of the first dial, and push it slightly downward with your index finger. 
  • Start rotating the first dial slowly until you feel a slight change in the position of the clip.
  • Keep the first dial on that number, take and pin it out in the next dial, and rotate until you see the pin’s change in angle or position.
  • Repeat it for the third dial and open the lock.

Unlock Combination Dial Lock With Simple Rotations

pick combination Lock

Follow these steps if the lock is rotary and has a dial with 0-100 numbers.

  • First, take the lock and rotate the dial thrice in the clockwise direction.
  • Now, pull the U-shaped shackle up, and start spinning the dial slowly.
  • At first, the dial will be easy to rotate until the first number comes, and then it will show resistance on that number.
  • Let’s assume that number is 24. Then you will stop rotating at 24 and turn anti-clockwise till you feel hindrance in rotation at a number.
  • You’ll stop again at that number and will rotate clockwise again to find your third number.
  • Once you feel resistance at a number, rotate to that number, and the lock will open. 


Combination locks are by far the easiest to pick, so when you feel like you’ve forgotten the passwords, just get yourself a picking tool and get on it. It obviously takes practice to get it right the first time, but you can decode your lock in seconds once you know the drill.

Hope we helped you in picking yours!

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I want a padlock to safeguard our expensive boat from cutting with an angle grinder or a sawmill. Picking makes any lock useless, even the Squire SS100CS if I am correct. So what do we do now? We cannot store it inside a building.