How to Open a Combination Lock, the Hard Way.
How to open a lock without the combination
Yesterday my husband stood in the doorway with a combination lock. "Do you remember the combination of this lock?" he asked.
I looked at it and said "No, I haven't seen that lock before." He left it on the table in front of me, which I assume he did on purpose. He knows that if a task seems impossible, I will have a go. I wish he had put it back in the drawer.
The lock in question was an ABUS. This was not a brand that I was familiar with, however I was informed by my husband that it was a good quality lock. He also said, it still looked in good condition and he had tried all the easy combinations. Being the frugal woman that I am, I hate to throw away something that may have a use. He knew the seed had been planted and left to get on with things he wanted to do.
**Update** ABUS is a German company :August Bremiciker Söhne KG
I picked up the lock and looked at it. The lock had four wheels, that is a heck of a lot of combinations to try. Having opened a suitcase lock that had three tumblers I knew I had the patience. We weren't in a hurry to have another lock. I could have put it away.
But I didn't.
Would you have the patience for this?
The obvious combinations
When my husband said he'd tried the obvious, I assumed he meant, 0000, 1111,2222 etc.
This is for the lazy person who doesn't like to remember a four digit number. I knew that to start I would have to try 0001, 0002, 0003. This is what I did. I kept turning a number and pulling. Nothing happen. I was beginning to think this was quite therapeutic as how many people would have the patience (or is it stupidity) to do this?
By the time I hit 300 my fingers were beginning to ache. I placed it aside to return to later. I thought if I tried just a couple hundred a day, it would be opened in no time.
Using logic to open a lock
By the time I hit 520, it suddenly dawned on me that if someone had a four digit lock, they would in fact use all the wheels and not leave the first number at zero. I was going to start at 1000. Then I thought no. Let's try date of birth, I started at 1920 and went right through to 2010. Nothing. So back to 1000, 1001, 1002 etc.
Finally I stopped for the evening on 2500. I told myself that was a good place to start tomorrow. Doubt however, did surface when I wondered if I had actually pulled on each of those numbers. I pushed that thought to the back of my mind.
Using the internet for information
I sat down in front of my laptop and suddenly the light bulb above my head went on. Why not Google it. I announced to my husband that there were videos about how to open combination locks. He then took the lock back and went to watch these videos.
In addition to the method below, on some models it is possible to look down the side of the tumblers and see where the correct placement is. A narrow beam of light, such as that from a cellular phone is handy to assist with this.
He opened the lock!
Well he was only out of the room a short time when he announced,"I've done it".
He had opened the combination lock that a few hours ago was destined to be thrown away due to not remembering the correct series of numbers.
So did he watch the videos? No.
He turned the tumblers. If you recall, I stopped at 2500. The code was 2507. I felt let down, as though all that work was in vain. It was akin to someone putting the last piece of a jigsaw in and claiming they finished it.
Lock picking kits
My husband was then on the internet the rest of the evening and was astounded to find how many different types of lock picking kits there were. He was watching videos and looking on Ebay. Apparently it is possible, to open every lock on the planet if you believe the advertisements on the internet. Cars, homes, and even safes. We were amazed.