Introduction: A Bit of Safe Cracking...

Picture of A Bit of Safe Cracking...

So my safe is locked, the batteries are dead and the key is somewhere on a beach about 50 miles away....

Sorry for the lack of photos, I documented this after the fact... needed my emergency cigarettes and the staple gun, also I wasn't throwing out twenty quid...

By the way this is entered in the tool tips month, don't know if it counts though, it does use tools in a different way but it's ultimately just busting in to a safe...

DISCLAIMER - I take no repsonsibility for any readers misuse of this information or any readers who hurt themselves attempting this, by reading this instructable you, the reader takes full responsibility for his/her actions.

EDIT: more photos added, I couldn't help but abuse the poor thing some more.

Step 1: Ripping It Open...

Picture of Ripping It Open...

So you'll only need:

Baby flathead screwdriver

A larger flathead flathead screwdriver (about the same width as the keyhole)

A pair of pliers (you can do without)

A set of dextrous fingers... (you can learn how to have these, don't worry no opposable thumbs required...)

This should work on all cheaper safes, this one was a 5 hours fireproof, resistant to brute force and poking at through the bolt holes...

My brother forgot his code and it took me an hour of solid hammering with a 10lb sledghammer, this takes five minutes to half an hour, depending on how skillerd you are at prying...

Step 2: Remove the Faceplate...

Picture of Remove the Faceplate...

So you need to remove the plastic faceplate.

Try kicking it from the side... that may knock it off, I eventually resorted to prying it with a screwdriver simply because mine was a bit low on the profile for kicking...

as a tip save the keypad, that way you can replace the batteries and it will still work afterwards...

Step 3: Getting Rid of the Lock...

Picture of Getting Rid of the Lock...

So My idea was to rip the keylock apart and pull the mechanism with my hands, turns out that won't work but you need to remove the keylock...

So removing the keylock isn't too compicated, safety goggles are probably a good idea but not necessary if you're of a more dangerous mindset...

Take the larger screwdriver, shove it into the key hole and pry sideways, the first bit will take considerable force. Now use the little screwdriver to remove the retainer ring on the outside. Now continue this process to take the lock apart layer by layer, eventually you'll run out of lock to pry apart, at this point you'll want to knock it out, easiest way is to put the screwdriver in on top and hit it with the palm of your hand... It's only a thin retainer reing holding it and it wont matter if the lock mechanism falls inside...

Extra images now added.

Step 4: Now Opening...

Picture of Now Opening...

So now we have a nice hole in the safe...

Take your index finger and put it in the hole pointing towards the lock (the palm of your hand should face towards the handle). Use your free hand to jiggle the lock by the handle and feel along the mechanism until you come to a pin, it should be spring loaded. Nwo push the pin in while turning the lock, if it doesn't come free then you have more pins to pop in, hold the handle to keep the first pin from going back in to place and follow along the mechanism pushing in the pins until the lock turns. Now use the hole for the lock as a handle to open the safe since the door is likely to be heavy.

Step 5: You're In!

Picture of You're In!

So you're in to your safe, if the lock was any bother to undo then you may aswell keep it and replace the batteries and change the cod on the keypad... since the keypad is on the inside...

So after further investigation this safe has a fair amount of salvagable parts:

3x LEDs, red, green, yellow
Large solenoid
handy keyboard circuit and board that I may use to make a door lock...
A nice battery holder hold 4x AA's
A pretty tough lock mechanism
some nice heavyweight hinges
a thin bit of foam from the floor.
A dead lock that makes a nice prop for film projects and the like.


edgargutierrez1 (author)2017-05-10

Last year, one of my friend forgot the code of hotel room safes( ) . Then the hotel staff opens the safe manually using the key. Good to have the manual opening option otherwise they might need to do the same. Thank you for sharing the blog. Your blog is really good.

JerryA22 (author)2016-03-30

I have the exact safe and also lost my keys and was not using the keypad cause it was broke, picked it in less then 5 minutes with a my homeade lockpick set

JerryA22 (author)2016-03-30

I have the exact safe and also lost my keys and was not using the keypad cause it was broke, picked it in less then 5 minutes with a my homeade lockpick set

hintss (author)2015-07-12

That lock looks like it could've been picked in less than a few minutes.

GuyG4 (author)2015-04-07

I like the last part of the first page. It's saying that we can still make it work again after this. I wouldn't imagine we could after you have stated how to get the faceplate off.

jlund (author)2012-03-04

O by the way Mike Tyson would just bite the lock off lol

jlund (author)2012-03-04

K nvr mind a hk91 set up 100 yard down range rite into we're the lock mech is wala your in

jlund (author)2012-03-04

I'd take it out back and empty a 12g in to it lol

zack247 (author)2011-01-14

I was going to get a electronic safe, but i am not so sure about batteries, since if they burn out im screwed, And thers no way i'd remember where i put the key. what is the hinge like? is there any way to fish some wires to the base so it can be hooked up to an external power supply?

killerjackalope (author)zack2472011-01-14

Sure, depending on the batteries it takes, most of them are four D or AA cells, so 6V power supply run the cable in to one of the bolt holes and wire it up. Be warned that if you removed the power supply you'd be locked out.

zack247 (author)killerjackalope2011-01-14

yea but i dont think id ever remove the power supply from something that important...

killerjackalope (author)zack2472011-01-14

Aye, just power outages etc. though a set of rechargeables hooked up to a charger powering the safe would save you the worries.

thermoelectric (author)2008-12-01

A, Maybe easier way could be to but a bit of home-made thermite on it..... Good instructable anyway, 4/5 star rating.

nosut (author)thermoelectric2009-04-30

Thats a fun idea but I do not think it would be a good idea. Think about how hot thermite burns now think about the contents of the safe. Maybe if you could control it and just hit the hinge or something but chances are you might melt or at least partial destroy the contents of the safe if you did that.

thermoelectric (author)nosut2009-05-01

Yeah, but if you loked a safe you didn't want anymore it would be a different story...

lucius108 (author)thermoelectric2009-06-20

spelled "locked" wrong

hydrnium.h2 (author)lucius1082009-07-01

The mythbusters tried something similar to opening a safe with thermite, they used a welding tool instead, and then water to blast open the door, ( look the episode up for more details, it was a relocker safe) point is, the air inside got so hot all the play money and jewels melted and burned to ash.

lucius108 (author)hydrnium.h22009-07-08

ya i have seen that episode the got it from a movie but if it were real diamonds they wouldnt melt but the paper would burn but the paper would prob be in a metal box in the safe

Tim Temple (author)lucius1082010-05-15

diamonds are carbon -- they do burn.

nosut (author)thermoelectric2009-06-20

Right but I am not talking about what would happen to the safe. If you had something in it that you want or even be able to tell what it was the thermite would have destroyed it. Plastic, paper, fabric, maybe some metal any of it in the safe would prob be destroyed while trying to open it with thermite.

Derin (author)thermoelectric2008-12-01

nice idea,I read that the only metal that can survive thermite was titanium

_soapy_ (author)Derin2009-03-30

And sadly, what you read was wrong. It should have said "Tungsten".

thermoelectric (author)_soapy_2009-05-01

Yeah, Tungsten will not melt without a bloody big fight (I hope "bloody" isn't considered as a curse...)

_soapy_ (author)thermoelectric2009-05-05

Nahm use a thermic lance. It'll melt through fire bricks. In moments. That's why good safes have thermal relockers in them - they pick up the heat, melt, and then the door won't open even with the key(s) or code(s). Sure, you can then try and melt the relocker, but you are more likely to weld the door closed.

needs_more_to_do (author)_soapy_2010-01-18

 ...or an oxy-acetylene torch. I'v melted ceramic in minutes with mine and with the cutting head I'm sure you could blast even graphite with enough oxygen to mess it up somehow.

thermoelectric (author)Derin2008-12-01

Yeah, Just change what oxides you are using and you can get a lot of molten stuff.

asanaya (author)2010-02-05

this is a great Instructable by the way but i notice that there are two panels before in the safe and it shows the circuit board i would have cut half way down the red and black cables going in the safe, rig some batteries and wa-la the keypad works :) then after open tie the wires back tape over them and replace the batteries lol :)

MaXoR (author)2009-10-15

That Mythbusters episode used a "Thermal Lance" to burn a holeinto the top of the safe.... the thermal lance is a controlled versionof thermite in HOW it cuts. It's HIGH heat. It also liquified themetal as it made it's way through the top. It proves that point someoneelse was trying to make about using heat to get into a safe simply isn'ta good idea. I'm sure the burn holes in all the $100's will give you away.

As well, best method to gain access to a safe is to use your brain,learn how that certain model works, then find it's weak point. Afterthat it's usually only a few hours and a drill to get in.

nosut (author)2009-08-30

Unlikely that would work. Go to a store and look at the build of most safes. They are made so that you can't get to the locking rods even without hinges in most cases. And simply applying thermite to the dial or keypad will not result in the locking rods release.

nosut (author)2009-08-28

Sorry but for a normal safe that would not work evilfrogie. Think about how a normal safe locks. There is normally a metal bolt that locks the safe on three directions. If not three at least two. Since that it the case even if you destroyed the hinges the locking bolts would still keep the door in place with little to no movement after the hinges are gone.

sharlston (author)2009-05-24

i just put a bit of explosive powder or charge in the key hole to shatter the pins

fwjs28 (author)2008-12-17

haha...just take a few M-80 of the black market and blast 'em beside the safe.....

killerjackalope (author)fwjs282008-12-20

Wouldn't bust it... Might fire the safe across the place though, they're tough bits of kit, I took a sledgehammer to one out of boredom, couldn't really do much to it, we also propped a forklift up on one once, they used to end up kicking around the yard a lot for whatever reason...

fwjs28 (author)killerjackalope2008-12-20

true......well, it would still be fun...with explosives and all..

lawrencebillson (author)2008-12-04

There is a much easier way to open these low cost safes. Simply turn the handle, while banging the top of the safe with a rubber mallet or heavy book (e.g. dictionary). It helps if they are on a surface with a little spring, like a carpet or rubber mat. The banging will move the solenoid against its spring. If you turn the handle while the spring is compressed, the door will simply open.

I did try banging the top of it but didn't stick at it for too long... A lot of them are better being hit from the side, since the solenoid is usually flat across the door, though which way matter...

mbudde (author)2008-12-02

Kind of reminds me of the Italian Job, with that girl that cracked safes for a living. I'll remember this if I ever need to break open some safe.

R4Man18 (author)2008-08-05

Lol nice ins, if I ever needed to crack one open it was small enough that I could just drill out the locking mech (when you open a safe you should write down where the locks are incase you ever need to open it forcefully).

killerjackalope (author)R4Man182008-08-05

Well this one was guarded on the inside of the door aswell and it never had problems until then... The hardened steel or whatever it was would wreck my drill bits but it's brittle, by prying it apart that way it tends to snap, hammer blows can work as well but then you'd ruin a nice chisel, the lock mech just chipped away in small bits compared to attacking the tensile strength of it...

Derin (author)killerjackalope2008-12-01

Un-temper it and then drill

Big Bwana (author)2008-06-04

Bolt it down, add some bondo and paint, glue the keypad back on it and you'd have a new safe ... Most thief's won't bother checking it with a magnet for bondo, if it looks like metal it is metal and they will either try taking it or leaving it this is where the bolts holding it down are a fun time waster... Or you could just quit smoking .....

Well I did use it for my valuables and whatnot aswell, Someone threw the safe out after this, otherwise it was going to be the test chamber for my projects that are likely to go wrong...

nature223 (author)2008-06-04

you also could simply use a 10RPM grinder with a cut off wheel and hack off the hinge pins that one doesnt have lock pegs on both sides of the door.
you STILL could salvage it...take it to a welder,have him weld on a heavy duty "theft proof"(nothing truly is theft proof,but time and noise stop most theives)hasp,that is sheilded,THEN obtain a serious padlock that has a sheiled locking pin...that'll still cost less then a new safe,and is ALMOST as good,and you keep your safe.
now that's ANOTHER potential instructable.. =)

The safe got taken to the dump by my mum, I was going to use it as chamber for testing any thing like tesla turbines or centrifuges... The problem with smaller safes is that you can put so much toughness in.... The key locks are almost alway the weak point, they're hard as hell to pick because of the wierd keys but you can destroy them with enough force and use either a finger or a wire hook to pull the mech, any serious duty safe is generally well guarded against this trick...

well one trick you can do...get a key blank that fits the lock,CUT IT OFF so it fits only in the cylindar,before you cut it...grind some "teeth" that will NOT puss the pins enough to unlock. now to REMOVE it,you practice and use a locksmith's "broken key tool" that was how they used to theft proof rooms when I saw them used in a college we sold stuff at...worked well too.

Cool Idea, I like that plan... People like me wouldn't be stopped by that bit though, I have a handy ability to be able to get broken keys back out, mainly because I've done it so often...

nature223 (author)nature2232008-06-04

oops "10,000RPM grinder/cutoff tool" I meant to add 10K..and missed the "K"..oops

Sir-Jackington (author)2008-05-29

This could be very useful in the future but do you have a more discrete way of doing it so a person wouldn't know

Jack feck off...

A good name (author)2008-04-15

lol, I have a safe like dat

About This Instructable




Bio: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.
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