Introduction: How to Freeze a Lock Off!

Picture of How to Freeze a Lock Off!

***Disclaimer*** The following is for informational purposes only, i take no responsibility for what you do with this knowledge. i can not be held responsible for any property or medical damages caused by using this technique.
Freeze a lock off with compressed air cans used for computer dusting. Watch the lock crack in half.
Watch the video for an overview.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

the supplies you'll need

- 1 standard padlock

-2 cans of compressed air
the kind used to blow the dust out of you computer

-1 hammer

Step 2: Attach You Lock to a Secure Latch

Picture of Attach You Lock to a Secure Latch

Insure that your lock is attached to a secure latch as we'll be striking it with a hammer.

Step 3: Spray the Lock With the Compressed Air

Picture of Spray the Lock With the Compressed Air

First, turn the air canister upside down and begin to spray the lock. By turning it upside down you're actually spraying 1,1,1-Trifluoroethane which cools the metal lock to -67 degrees fahrenheit! Frost will immediately begin to from on and around the lock.

Step 4: Strike the Lock With a Hammer

Picture of Strike the Lock With a Hammer

When the compressed air cans are empty, very carefully and very forcefully strike the lock with a hammer. The lock should either shatter off the post completely , or fracture around the post!

Congratulations! You've smashed off a frozen lock!


Kiteman (author)2007-09-26

The bpt for 1,1,1,TCE is -47C, not -67C, and that temperature wouldn't be maintained for more than a few moments after cooling. What temperature does steel become brittle below, anyway?

_soapy_ (author)Kiteman2007-09-26

Very much depends on the steel. Cheap and crap steel, as seen in this padlock, will probably not be much below -30 C. A good Boron steel maintains strength well enough even down at -173 C, where the air itself becomes liquid. Bit pointless on a padlock this rubbish. It would be easier to shim it, or pick it. And a good whack with that hammer would have taken it off anyway!

John Smith (author)_soapy_2007-09-26

but thats not fun...well,not AS fun.

_soapy_ (author)John Smith2007-09-26

You could try chewing through the padlock, as over several months the steel would rust away. Though that's not fun either... What's my point? I don't know. But chewing through it would be less fake than this Instructable. (Is there a name for a faked Instructable? An Unstructable? CONstructable?)

John Smith (author)_soapy_2007-09-26

you should do the chewing one. include how it boosts your iron in your body, too. i think its a constructable.

John Smith (author)John Smith2007-09-26

WAIT- if you spell constructable, you get construct-able, which isn't really what you want.

_soapy_ (author)John Smith2007-09-30


John Smith (author)_soapy_2007-09-30


I love this website but you guys suck at flaming. go to and learn how to properly flame.

Flaming also required a low IQ which explains why they're bad at it and why you're good at it. How's that for a barb?


_soapy_ (author)masterochicken2008-04-10

Short for Barbara. Or perhaps he meant the pointy bits on thorns and barbed wire. You decide.

larry.hunt.77 (author)_soapy_2017-02-28

Don't get a barb confused with a Barbie.. euther the doll or the Australian BBQ...

Kiteman (author)masterochicken2007-10-07

Hang on, you're criticising us for being bad at making other people's online life unpleasant? How twisted are those values?

jimmydean (author)Kiteman2008-08-08

Very. But it makes sense. Some how. It's like having a crappy comeback in a burn(blaze, roast, yo mama) round.

duck-lemon (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

Hey they are as straight as Elton John!

yay i lov teh duck-lemon

John Smith (author)duck-lemon2008-04-08


masterochicken (author)Kiteman2007-10-09

straight from the q'ran (no that's bad I'm sorry) words that should never be used together.

GutterClown (author)_soapy_2008-04-16

key words are: "very forcefully strike the lock with a hammer." The locking tooth in such a small padlock wouldn't need much more than a hammer strike to bust it. Rapidly cooling the lockbody would increase the possibility for shattering it. Fake, no. Edited out parts where the lockbody was hit on the concrete to break it in half, yes.

RockInBlack (author)John Smith2007-11-21

An amateur lockpicker couldve picked it faster than you could freeze that lock off. I'm sure that would be more fun :)

John Smith (author)RockInBlack2007-11-21

You have a point...

themasterpyro (author)_soapy_2007-10-23

theres an easier way.a shotgun or thermite.

fingerflip456 (author)Kiteman2007-11-24

im confused no offense if any but is that a fact or a complaint

Kiteman (author)fingerflip4562007-11-25

It's a correction of the claims made in the Instructable. Basically, I'm saying it won't work because the cans don't make the lock cold enough to turn brittle.

GutterClown (author)Kiteman2008-04-16

it's not steel. the lockbody is brass, the shackle is the only steel piece. brass becomes very brittle when rapidly cooled.

Kiteman (author)GutterClown2008-04-16

Speed of cooling is irrelevant. Brass is used for the fittings in liquid-hydrogen systems - do you really think that a duster-can will cool it enough to render it brittle?

GutterClown (author)Kiteman2008-05-30

Are liquid nitrogen fittings are subjected to brute force and sudden impact? Go spend $5 and try it. Personally, with my background in locksmithing I know that it's easy enough to just flog these until the pop open, but rapid cooling would increase your chances.

nafango22 (author)Kiteman2008-05-29

brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, changing the percentages of the metals changes the properties of the brass. brass used for liquid-hydrogen fittings are more than likely a different type of brass than that used in this cheaply-forged $2 padlock.

brobeaker (author)Kiteman2008-02-17

it works. try it

drfred48 (author)2016-03-27

Come on that lock looks like it came out of a crackerjack box. Seriously. I have snapped cheap master locks with a mini spring bolt cutter. But a decent lock gl. I was just curious because I have a storage unit with a decent 10.00 lock lost the keys and was hoping that would work for a decent lock. My bolt cutters couldn't do it and before I pay 65 bucks for the storage to take a metal saw to it I was hoping for a real solution that won't get me in trouble.

Doc Penguin (author)2014-09-11

wouls a deodrant do the job???

i was making compressed air bombs once and i used deodrant and my hands were FREEZİNG off

Doc Penguin (author)2014-09-11

wouls a deodrant do the job???

i was making compressed air bombs once and i used deodrant and my hands were FREEZİNG off

Cheswick32 (author)2011-08-08

Does anyone know if this would work if instead of using a hammer, you simply put a blow torch to it immediately? I think that it would crack but I'm not sure.

DragonX777 (author)Cheswick322013-02-16

Use a rock to hit the frozen lock, because it is small and easy to carry.

Doc Penguin (author)DragonX7772014-09-11

dont look at it being easy to carry..... its dirt cheap and you can find it anywhere!!!!

johnny108 (author)DragonX7772013-08-27

A rock? Isn't there a waiting period for those now?
(You might have to carry the rock concealed, and that means you have to register your rock!)

smiley G.I JOE (author)2012-11-18

wont it melt to fast for you to strike effectively.

smiley G.I JOE (author)2012-11-18

true but you will have to deal with the poisonous air that comes from spraying it upside down.

hellstudios (author)2009-03-28

Perfect for getting into news paper machines and getting the change to buy more compressed air. xD

h8864 (author)hellstudios2012-04-07

so u can be=reak into more machines right

h8864 (author)2012-04-07

cant you just hit it with a bigger hammer
instead of this -=o
use thid o=o


blank123456 (author)2011-08-30

You broke the lock in half after removing it from the tool box? But this scene is cut? Am I paying too much attention?

eulaliaaaa! (author)2011-05-29

Macgyver! Oh yeah!

extremegtafan (author)2011-01-09

I really hope this works! My non-custodial parent rammed my car in traffic, then chased me out of it and stole it. He has it chained up at his house, and for some reason the police won't help me, Hopefully I can freeze the lock and get my car back!

Briguy9 (author)2010-08-16

-67 Fahrenheit = pwned

chillen (author)2009-02-26

I would just do a barrel roll by pressing Z

sk8erman541 (author)chillen2010-06-01


Epic winage.

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