If you have a rusted lock or lost key, worry no more! We are here to tell you all there is to know about cutting a lock. With the help of the methods listed below and a few readily available tools, you can overcome this day to day problem very quickly. So without much further ado, let us see how to cut off a lock!
How To Cut Off A Lock- Step By Step Guide
There is more than one correct way of cutting off a lock. You can find yourself in many situations when you have only limited resources. So to help you out in all those times, we are going to discuss some of the most trusted and verified ways of cutting off a lock.
Method 1: Cutting With Bolt Cutters
Total Time: 30 Minutes
As is clear from the name itself, you need to use bolt cutters in this method. So let us begin!
Take a pair of bolt cutters. Now bolt cutters come in many sizes. You must make sure that you have a proper one. The bolt cutter that you are going to use should be large enough to cover the circumference of the lock. It is advisable to take a 24 inch long bolt cutter. It is better to have large bolt cutters as large bolt cutters give more leverage while cutting the lock.
Since you have the correct bolt cutter, now it is time to put it to proper use. Properly place the shackles of the lock between the blades of the bolt cutters. Now tilt the lock. It will enable you to see the side of the lock’s shackles. This will ultimately help you in cutting it.
It is essential to use the bolt cutters properly. Conveniently hold the bolt cutters. Put in near your waist. Now open the blades by pulling the handles apart. Put the bolt cutters on one side of the lock’s clasp. Keep the blade of the bolt cutters close to the root of the clasp, near the body of the lock.
If you are trying to open a lock that is closed but not attached to anything, then make sure to secure it in locking pliers or a vise. This will help the lock to stay stable, and it will not spin while cutting it.
Now you need to push the handles of the bolt cutters together. Squeeze the handles. You must put an appropriate amount of pressure on the handles of the cutter. You should apply a steady pressure till the blades of the bolt cutter break the shackles of the lock.
It may happen that you are not able to apply the required amount of force on the handles of the cutter, or the pressure applied by you is not enough to cut the lock. Do not worry. Ask for help. Such situations are prevalent. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and exact technique to cut through the lock.
As you know, locks are made up of hardened steel, and so it is difficult to cut these. However, if you are dealing with Padlocks or chained bike locks, then it is going to be easy. Bolt cutters are handy with the padlocks and chained bike locks.
Method 2: Grinding
You might have got an idea about this method from its name. In this method, we will cut off a lock with the help of an angle grinder. First of all, if you do not have an angle grinder, arrange one. Now for those of you who are not familiar with what an angle grinder is, it is a simple device available at any hardware store. It has a disc in place of simple blades. It is used to cut metals as well as solid materials like tiles.
It is vital to know the appropriate size of the tool as per your requirement. In this case, you should choose an angle grinder of about 60 grit disc, which means approximately 3⁄64 inch or 1.2 mm thick.
There are many brands and models of angle grinders available in the market. However, you must choose the one which suits your requirements. For example, if you will work at your own home or somewhere with uninterrupted electricity, buy a corded angle grinder. But, if you are going to work somewhere without an electric outlet, it will be better to buy a cordless angle grinder.
Now before moving forward, you must remember that while working with power tools, safety is of utmost importance. So, do not forget to wear gloves and a face cover. It will protect you from the sparks. If you do not get a proper shield or work suit, wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants.
Also, ensure that you are working in a safe environment. There should not be any flammable items nearby. To be extra sure, keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Now that you are all safe and secure, it is time to start working. Secure the bottom of the lock with vise-grips. You should allow the vise grips to be opened about the same width as the lock. Once the lock is steady and locked on the vise grips, you can move on to the next step.
Now, after securing the lock on the vise grips firmly, it is time to start cutting. So, take the angle grinder and cut through the top of the lock’s shackle. You need to switch on the grinder and press it slowly to Turn on the angle grinder and slowly press the disc on the shackle. You will experience sparks coming out of the lock while cutting. Do not panic. It is normal. Keep cutting the lock and apply a firm pressure overall. Once you are all done, power the grinder off and remove the lock. However, remember that the lock might be hot at the spot where you have cut it. So, you should wear gloves and be careful.
Method 3: Heat And A Hacksaw
In this method, we will need two things: a hacksaw and a propane torch. So, let us start. First of all, secure the lock in a steady position with the help of vise grips. If the lock is attached to any item, make sure to tilt it away from that. Remember that we will use an actual torch and a hacksaw, so it is advisable not to hold the lock with your hands as you might get hurt.
Now, you need a propane torch. Ignite the torch and hold it near the shackle of the lock for about 3 minutes. Be cautious while working with it. It can be pretty dangerous, so it is advisable to keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Now leave the lock and let it cool for 3-5 minutes. Do not use any cooling agent or even water to lower the temperature of the lock.
Once the lock is not very hot, use the saw to cut the area you had heated. You should use a fine-toothed hacksaw for this purpose. The heat has a softening effect on the metal, and it becomes easy to cut the lock with the hacksaw after that.
Things You Need
- Bolt cutters
- Grinding the Lock
- Work gloves
- Face shield
- Angle grinder
- Propane torch
- Protective glasses
Points To Remember
- You should be clear that once you cut a lock, it is permanently damaged. It does not matter which way you use to cut it. So, be ready to replace the lock if you decide to cut it.
- If you are working with a propane torch or angle grinder, it is a wise choice to work in a well ventilated and open space. Always remember to keep a fire extinguisher with you at all times.
- Safety comes first. So, wear a face mask and gloves whenever you are working with power tools.
1. I have a lock with a guarantee that it can not be cut off. Unfortunately, I have lost it’s key. Can I cut it?
Yes, your lock can be cut. It is probably made up of high-quality steel and is comparatively tricky to cut. So, it will take more effort and time. But, you can cut it with the help of the mentioned methods.
2. I already have an 18 inch bolt cutter. I need to cut a padlock. So, can it be cut with my bolt cutter, or do I need to buy another one?
Technically yes, you can cut the padlock with your 18 inch bolt cutter. But it will be a complicated process. It will require a lot of muscle strength.
Getting locked out or getting an old lock stuck is a very common problem. It seems like the end of the world at that very moment. But, no need to fret anymore! With these tricks, you will cut off a lock with minimum effort and no time.