How to Break a Luggage Lock

by Neal Litherland
Luggage locks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but as a rule they're simple to break.

Luggage locks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but as a rule they're simple to break.

Luggage locks come in a variety of forms, from traditional combination padlocks to heavy duty hasps that require a key to open. Travelers can also use straps and bands to secure their luggage. However, sometimes you lose your key or you can't remember the combination. If you've run out of other options, sometimes all that's left is to break the lock and then replace it when you need to pack up your luggage again.

Cut the lock off of your luggage. For padlocks or hasp locks, take a pair of bolt cutters and place one of the non-turning hasps into the jaws. Grip the bolt cutters and pull the two arms together. The cutters will cut through the hasp, and you can then pull the lock off of your luggage.

Spray lubricant into the lock. If you don't have a hasp you can cut, or if you don't have a pair of bolt cutters, then you need to drill out the lock. To keep your drill bit from breaking you need to lubricate the area within the keyhole first.

Drill out the lock. Use a drill bit that is just big enough to fit into the keyhole along the large section where the spine of the key would go. Drill slowly, lubricating the lock as you go. Continue drilling until you've gone through all of the pins, then put the drill in reverse and drill it back out again.

Use a small, flat bladed screwdriver to turn the lock. The mechanism is completely broken, but you still need a screwdriver to turn the lock to open it.

Items you will need

  • Bolt cutters
  • Drill driver
  • Screwdriver
  • Spray lubricant

About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images