A Step-by-Step Guide to Picking a Master Combination Lock with a Paperclip

Key Takeaway

  • To pick a Master Combination Lock with paperclips, modify the clips as a lock pick and tension wrench.
  • Next, insert the tension wrench and the lock pick into the keyhole to displace the pins to twist open the lock.

This was a problem my daughter faced recently when she forgot the combination of Master Lock installed on the changing room locker of her swimming academy. She was in a hurry and didn’t have time to wait for the locker room attendant to come to her rescue. That’s when she remembered a video I watched with her about how to pick a combination lock using paperclips. She quickly gathered a few paperclips from her friend and was able to open her locker within minutes.

Combination locks are a great way to secure your belongings and ensure their safety. However, there may be times when you forget the combination, or the lock simply malfunctions, and you need to open it quickly.

Proud and inspired by her success, I decided to write this blog on how to pick a combination lock using paperclips to help others who may find themselves in similar situations. In this blog, we’ll go through the steps to pick a combination lock using paperclips, along with some tips and tricks to make the process easier.

Internal Mechanism Of A Master Combination Lock

Internal Mechanism Of A Master Combination Lock

A Master Lock combination lock uses a combination of numbers to open. The internal working mechanism of a Master Lock combination lock involves a series of tumblers and springs that are controlled by the combination dial.

When you set the combination on a Master Lock combination lock, you are actually setting the position of the tumblers inside the lock. The lock has a fixed number of tumblers, usually three or four, each of which has a slot that lines up with the combination dial.

Each tumbler in a Master Lock combination lock has a specific height and width that corresponds to a specific number on the combination dial. The tumblers are held in place by small springs, and the combination dial controls the position of the tumblers.

The combination dial on a Master Lock combination lock is connected to a spindle that rotates the tumblers.

When you turn the dial to enter the correct combination, the spindle rotates the tumblers to the correct position. When all the tumblers are in the correct position, the shackle can be released, and the lock will open.

Internal Mechanism Of A Master Combination Lock

Stepwise Instructions For Picking A Master Combination Lock With a Paperclip

Stepwise Instructions For Picking A Master Combination Lock With a Paperclip

Opening a Master combination lock with a paperclip can be a useful skill if you forget the combination or if the lock malfunctions. However, keep in mind that this process can be tricky and may take some practice to master. Additionally, some combination locks may be designed to resist picking or manipulation.

Here are the general steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Straighten out the paperclip as much as possible. This will act as the tension wrench. Tension wrench allows you to put rotational pressure on the core so that when you set the pins, they don’t fall back.
    bend one leg on the pin
  • Step 2: Bend one end of the paperclip into a small “L” shape. This will be the hook that you use to manipulate the lock
    small "L" shape

  • Step 3: Insert the hook end of the paperclip into the lock’s shackle (the U-shaped part of the lock that opens). Be sure to push it all the way in until it stops.
    hook end of the paperclip
  • Step 4: Apply a slight amount of tension to the shackle. This means pulling the shackle towards you or pushing it away from you, depending on the type of lock.
  • Step 5: While maintaining tension on the shackle, use the hook end of the paperclip to try to manipulate the lock’s internal mechanisms. You can try gently pushing or pulling on the internal mechanisms, or you can try to feel for the correct combination by moving the hook back and forth inside the lock.
  • Step 6: If you feel or hear a click, this means that you have successfully manipulated one of the lock’s internal mechanisms. Continue to apply tension to the shackle while manipulating the internal mechanisms until the lock opens.

If the above method does not work for you, you can also pick a 3-digit combination lock and a 4-digit combination lock using a shim.

It’s important to note that attempting to open a lock that you do not have permission to open may be illegal and can result in serious consequences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can a paperclip damage the lock or cause it to malfunction?

Answer – Using a paperclip to open a lock can potentially damage the lock or cause it to malfunction if not done properly. It’s important to follow the steps carefully and avoid using excessive force when manipulating the lock’s internal mechanisms.

Q2. Can a combination lock be opened without the combination or a key?

Answer – Yes, it is possible to open some combination locks without the combination or a key by using a variety of methods, including using a paperclip, a shim, or a bypass tool. However, these methods may not work on all types of locks.

Q3. Are there any safety precautions to take while trying to open a combination lock with a paperclip?

Answer – Yes, there are a few safety precautions that you should take while trying to open a combination lock with a paperclip:

  • Be careful not to poke yourself with the paperclip while attempting to open the lock.
  • Make sure you have good lighting so that you can see what you are doing.
  • If you are attempting to open the lock in a public place, be aware of your surroundings and keep the process as inconspicuous as possible.
  • If the lock is on a valuable item or in a dangerous area, it may be best to seek the help of a professional locksmith or contact the appropriate authorities instead of attempting to open it yourself.
  • If the lock is in a difficult-to-reach location, use a step stool or other safety equipment to avoid falls or injuries.

Conclusion

Opening a combination lock with a paperclip can be a useful skill in certain situations, such as when you forget the combination or the lock malfunctions. However, it’s important to note that attempting to open a lock without permission can be illegal and can result in serious consequences. 

If you have permission to open the lock, follow the steps carefully, as opening a lock with a paperclip can be a tricky process that requires patience and practice. And if you are unable to open the lock, it’s best to seek help from a professional locksmith to avoid damaging the lock or causing other problems.

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Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.