Open Pad Locks and Combination Locks With a Soda Can





Introduction: Open Pad Locks and Combination Locks With a Soda Can

Outdoor Workshop Contest

Runner Up in the
Outdoor Workshop Contest

Use an aluminum soda can to open your padlocks or combination locks in the event that you have forgotten the combination or lost the key.

When you're done here be sure to check out my youtube channel and website for more fun tutorials!

The Best Hobbies Blog- Youtube channel

Step 1: Watch This Video!

Watch this video to see me open a combination lock with a soda can!

Step 2: What You Will Need

Just a can, and some scissors or a box cutter. Here I'll demonstrate with a combination lock, but this technique applies to several other kinds of locks, including padlocks that need a key to be opened.

Step 3: Cutting the Can

First cut off the top and bottom of the can. Next cut a strip of metal (for this lock I cut a strip slightly wider than an inch). Then cut the strip into the "M"-like shape shown in the picture. It's important to make sure you round the bottom of the middle section (the part circled in red). This will make it much more effective than if it's flat.

Step 4: Folding Into a Shim

Now take your "M"-shaped piece of aluminum and fold down the top. Once you've folded down the top, fold both sides upwards. You will probably need to wrap them around several times.

The tool you have just created is known as a shim.

Step 5: Shaping Your Shim

To achieve the proper shape for your shim, simply place it on the shackle and gently press so that it forms to the same circular shape.

Step 6: Opening the Lock

Once your shim is properly rounded you can slide it to the inside of the shackle's arch (make sure you are on the side with the locking mechanism, usually the left side). Press the shackle upwards and hold it there. While holding the shackle up, work the shim down into the locking mechanism. Once the shim is as far down as it can go, pinch it and continue to press it downward towards the mechanism as you push down the shackle. After this motion is finished, the shackle should simply lift and open, just as if you had entered the combination.

Opening a lock in this way will not damage the lock, but as you can see from the picture it will chew up your shim a fair bit. (Shims are usually only good for one use.)

Step 7: Shimming Other Kinds of Locks and Anti Shim Locks

Recently, Master Lock has been advertising anti-shim or shim-proof locks. These locks can actually still be shimmed, however they are a bit more difficult. Many padlocks that need a key to be opened have locking mechanisms on both sides of the shackle. For that type of lock you'll have to use two shims.

I hope this instructable will come in handy for you. Enjoy!

If you'd like to see more of my how to's and tutorials check out the links in the intro to this instructable!

2 People Made This Project!


  • Paper Contest 2018

    Paper Contest 2018
  • Science of Cooking

    Science of Cooking
  • Pro Tips Challenge

    Pro Tips Challenge

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




Why mine just didn't work...


i could bang byonce but id rather use my hand....damn

There are tools called "fingernails" available to locksmiths that are made from thin very flexible and strong stainless steel that will do this. Not sure if the general public can buy them because they are considered "lockpicking tools" and may be unlawful if you are not a licenced locksmith.

Looks like fun, I'll have to try it. Thanks.

It seems like burglars also use the same technique to unlock the padlocks requiring a key. This shows there is no any security of a padlock with a key. Its better to use a padlock called Tapplock as mentioned here > which doesn't even require a key to open it. Simply unlock it via your unique fingerprint which is registered with your smartphone app. No other fingerprints will work to unlock it. This should give more security and piece of mind.

now fingerprints can be copied dude!

Yup. fingerprint scanners can't detect 3D. They unlock for for decent photo copies of the finger print.

What? My soda-cans are NOT locked, they just have this "thing" there you put your finger in, and then pull it up till it says "phfiuu...", then you pull it towards you, and then it kind'a "pops" and then you "push back the thing you did put your finger in",and voi'la...your done ...:) humor

This is pretty cool, I'm going to have to try this sometime. And to all the people who say you have showed a criminal how to do a crime,the criminal doesn't care if he/she brakes the lock or door to get in, they most likely won't waste the time to pick or shim the lock. Locks are simply to keep honest people honest.