How to Drill Out a Lock Yourself

There are some things that everyone experiences once in their lifetime. Locking yourself out of your own house is one of such experiences. At times like these, we can always take the assistance of a locksmith to pick or to drill out a lock.

A locksmith is a professional who not only fixes locks on doors but also picks them. You can also ask your locksmith to make a copy of your key in case you want more. But that is not usually why you call over a locksmith for.

When you are calling a locksmith, it is either because you got locked out of your house or car. You want them to pick the lock and help you gain access to your property again.


Why Drill Out Locks When You Can Pick Them?

Locks are getting really advanced these days but so are the robbers. They can pick out the easier locks, thus, opting for advanced ones is recommended.

But given the time, these advanced ones can also be picked. However, most robbers do not have that much time on their hands. So these are the following reasons why you would want to get a lock drilled out:

1) Open Business on Time

If you lock yourself out of your house or car, you can wait for the locksmith to pick it out. But when waiting is not an option, specifically because you are running late for opening your business, drilling is the fastest way.

While you are waiting out for the lock to get picked, chances are you are losing potential customers. Since customers are sure to find another establishment to find the service they require. But by simply drilling the lock, letting the customers in, and then getting a new lock you can save lots of time and money.

This can be specifically the case in a food-related establishment. Every minute counts in a food-related business after all.

2) Damaged Locks

Sometimes locks can get rusted with time. Oxygen, one of the most essential elements that humans require to live is destructive to most other materials. For instance, iron can overtime rust due to the presence of oxygen. That is why people use grease or oil to create a protective layer outside iron.

When the pins inside a lock gets rusty, they will not move up all the way to open the lock when the key is turned. The lock can also get damaged when someone has tried to opening it forcefully. The biggest example of this would be a failed break-in. In this case, your key to the lock might not work.

Once you prove your ownership of the property, a locksmith can drill out a lock. You can also drill out a lock if you know the proper method on how to do so.

3) Locksmith Unavailable Nearby

If you are someone who lives pretty far away from the closest locksmith, chances are you will have to wait hours before getting access back to your home. But if your neighbours somehow have the power tools you need, drilling a lock is an easy option.

You can just borrow the drill and the bits required for the job from them. Once you get access, call over a locksmith to replace the lock whenever they reach. But till then, you can at least relax in the safety of your home.


How to Drill Out a Lock Yourself

If for some reason a locksmith is not available nearby your house, you can drill out the lock yourself. All you need is a powerful well-maintained drill machine, multiple drill bits, and a flat head screwdriver. Some additional things for perfect drilling would be oil for lubricating the drill and also a hammer.

Step 1) Create a Guiding Point for the Drill

Take a small nail and hammer it right above the keyhole to create an indent. This creates a guiding point for the drill so you know where to start. This area directly above the keyhole contains the pins used for the locking mechanism. These are the same pins that the key fits in to unlock the door.

Step 2) Use the Drill with a 3mm Bit

Use the guiding point you created and drill a hole using a 3mm bit in the lock. If you do not have a 3mm drill bit, you would want something similar to that size. The smaller and closer to the 3mm drill bit it is, the better.

There will be some resistance that will be created by the locking pins. Slowly but firmly press on and push the drill through the pins till you do not feel resistance at all. This means you are all the way through.

Step 3) Widen the Hole with a 6.5mm Drill Bit

Now you need to increase the size of the drill bit and slowly push through the hole you had created earlier. If it gets jammed up or does not drill through, try to use the reverse drill mechanism to pull it out. The cause for the jam is usually metal shavings from the drill causing friction or resistance.

Clean those out and use oil on the drill bit for lubrication. After that keep pushing through till you cannot feel resistance anymore.

Step 4) Use a Flat Head Screw Driver to Turn the Lock

Once you are sure that you have drilled through all the pins, you can use a flat-head screwdriver to rotate the keyhole. If it is rotating without issues, you can just open the lock and open the door. Most locks that can be drilled out will need to follow these steps only.

Step 5) Use a 19mm Drill Bit to Completely Destroy the Lock Mechanism

Most locks will open up after you drill through the pins with a 6.5mm drill bit. But in case if the lock does not open, the last option is to drill out the whole lock mechanism. This will require a 19mm drill bit, make sure to lubricate it if it jams up while drilling.

Once the whole locking mechanism is destroyed, the lock will become loose. Then you can access any places you could not before.


Things to be Careful about before Drilling out a Lock

  • Make sure you know what kind of lock you are dealing with. Some locks come with a mechanism that does not open after drilling. This can be troublesome as when the pins are broken the mechanism locks permanently. The only way to unlock the door then would be to break it open.
  • Make sure to use oil or water for lubrication if your drill is getting jammed while drilling. You can also use a wire or pin to clean out shavings of the iron inside the hole you drilled.
  • Always start from the smallest drill bit possible and take your way up slowly.
  • Do not force the drill too hard inside the lock if it is stuck. Just reverse drill and clean the hole then try again. If you force too hard chances are your drill bit might break inside and get stuck. This will be very problematic.
  • Always try to contact a locksmith for the job if you are uncertain about doing it yourself. If the locksmith cannot pick the lock within 5 minutes, they will probably suggest drilling it out.

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