How to Open a Combination Lock

How to Open a Combination Lock

A combination lock does not require a key. It comes in either a cylinder or mortise layout. Combination locks use a numeric keypad as its operating mechanism. You need to press the numbers in a particular order to release the latch. A combination lock is useful for your safe, vehicle, gym or office locker, or anything else you need to secure.

It is easy to open these locks when you know the combination. It takes a few right turns to open your combination lock. Here are the instructions to open the lock.

  1. Know the Combination – The first thing to do when you buy a combination lock is to look for the combination. It might be on a sticker on the back of the lock or on a separate sheet of paper that comes with the lock. The combination, in most cases, consists of three numbers. Be careful to enter the numbers given in the same order as on the combination tag.
  2. Enter the Combination – Follow these steps:
  • Turn the dial three times to the right. Then stop when the first number lines up with the indicator.
  • Turn the dial one full turn to the left, passing the first number. Stop when the second number lines up with the indicator.
  • Turn the dial to the right and stop when the third number lines up with the indicator.
  1. Open the Lock – After entering the combination correctly, either pull up on the shackle or pull the lock down to open the door.
  2. Secure Your Combination – A combination lock does not open unless you enter the right combination. Therefore, it is important not to forget it. You can keep your combination in a safe place so that you can access it whenever you need but don’t store it anywhere near the lock. Forgetting your combination can be a headache, so better safe than sorry!

Are Combination Locks Safe?

The answer to that question depends entirely on the quality of the lock. For a determined thief, a combination lock isn’t going to offer up much resistance. Mainly they keep honest people honest. When using a combination lock, try not to store extreme valuables with them. And, always be discreet about what you are securing.

A1 Locksmith of Palm Beaches has been providing security related services and equipment in West Palm Beach for over 30 years. If you have other security-related questions, please call us at 561 964-6114 or visit us on


Accessed September 28, 2016.

Locks, Visual Guide to. Visual Guide to Locks. n.p.:, 2011.

Valdes, Robert. “How Combination Locks Work.” August 4, 2004. Accessed September 28, 2016.

Reid, Robert N. Facility Manager’s Guide to Security: Protecting Your Assets. n.p.: The Fairmont Press, 2005.

Advameg. “How Combination Lock Is Made – Material, Making, History, Used, Parts, Components, Machine, Raw Materials.” 1991. Accessed September 28, 2016.

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