Master Lock 0, Bolt Cutters 1

What I learned today:

  • Bolt cutters need about 100x more force than you might expect to cut through hardened steel. Even though you've got leverage, you need to put your whole body into it, and shove REALLY hard.
  • Online combination lock guides for breaking don't necessarily always work (I tried both the "find the sticking points" method and using a beer can shim; looks like my lock was shim proof).
  • The "Burn Notice" method doesn't work on Master Lock Rotary Combination Locks. (That's where you use canned air to freeze the lock and then smash it off with a hammer... all I managed to do was jam the lock case to the dial).
  • Don't lose your combination lock combination. It's a PITA to get it off.
About the author

Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.

The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).

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db wrote on Monday, October 27, 2008:

Use an angle grinder.

I needed to cut a bike lock once (hit by car, bike was locked up by helpful passer by, keys lost somewhere in hospital).

Hired a 12 inch disk cutter with a 2 stroke engine. It took about 15 seconds to go through the bar.

If that isn’t good enough then if you get bored you can spend the rest of the day cutting peoples cars in half.

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