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How To Drill a Bike Lock When The Key Is Lost

How To Drill a Bike Lock When The Key Is Lost

Introduction- How To Drill a Bike Lock When The Key Is Lost

Drilling of a lock is used as a last resort to gain entry to locks that did not open through other means. This is because drilling a lock will destroy the locking plug but leave the mechanism in working order. Some of the steps that you can follow are stated below.

This video provides a great overview of how to go about drilling a bike lock (Credit to Billshowto):

Examine The Lock

You need to check the lock to help determine if you can open it with drilling methods. There are some tubular locks with a center pin made of hardened steel, while some locks have a ball bearing in the middle pin, which can prevent drilling. It is best to double-check the lock to ensure that you are working with a basic tumbler lock that you can easily knock out.

You also need to examine the lock to check for any alarm before you attempt to drill it.

Use The Proper Equipment

You will not need lots of sensitive tools to drill a lock. Some of the things that you may need are a variable-speed power drill and several sizes of drill bits.

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Attach A 3mm Drill Bit In Your Drill

It is best to drill your lock with a relatively small drill bit that can go through the lock mechanism instead of just drilling out everything completely. This is why a 3mm drill bit will be perfect for this job.

Create a Center Punch At a Point Directly Above The Keyhole Using a Hammer

This is to create a guidance point for the drilling process. It is best for the point to be just below the dividing line between the outer and inner cylinder of the lock to help keep the drill bit on the center plug. If you find it hard to find the right place for the guidance hole, you can buy a lock-drilling template.


You can then drill a hole through the lock cylinder from the guidance point. This will then help to destroy the pins in the lock cylinder to force the lock open. Furthermore, most locks usually come with around five tumbler pins that you will need to drill through, while some can have six or more pins. Some of the steps to follow when drilling are stated below:

  • Feel the drill work and avoid working too quickly or pressing too hard because it may jam or break the drill bit.
  • Keep the drill level while drilling to avoid unnecessary damage to the metal and lock.
  • After drilling through the lock with a smaller bit, switch to a slightly larger bit to help break up the pins and open the lock.
  • Insert the blade of a flat-headed (“-”) screwdriver into the lock head to turn the locking mechanism.
  • If the lock does not turn, you may need to destroy the entire lock cylinder.


Destroying any lock is always a last resort and should only be considered if you’ve exhausted every other means of opening one. Needless to say, you should also take safety precautions such as wearing safety goggles. If you are unsure about doing the drilling yourself, make sure to engage a professional locksmith!


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