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How to Unlock A Safe Without A Key | 4 Helpful Tips That Work

By Maria Paiz October 23, 2023

Blue background with white text that reads How to Unlock A Safe Without A Key in large font The USA Safe and Vault logo is centered at the bottom of the image. A photo of a person unlocking a safe is on the right side.


*This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, but it never influences our product selection process.


Table of Contents:

Welcome to the world of gaining access to a safe! While breaking into a safe might seem like something straight out of a spy movie, the reality is that there are plenty of situations where you might need to open a safe without a key. Maybe you've lost/misplaced the key, forgotten the combination, or inherited a safe nobody seems to have the key for (or bought a house that came with one!).

Whatever your reason, learning how to crack a safe can be a valuable skill to have in your back pocket 🫡. In this article, we'll share 4 Helpful Tips for unlocking a safe without a key so that let's get to it!

Unlock a safe with a magnet

Nowadays, most rare earth magnets are made of neodymium. However, there still may be some from the '70s kicking around, which were made out of a samarium-cobalt alloy. These magnets can now be found on Amazon for under $20. Just watch your fingers, though, because these small but powerful pieces might wreck electronics or even lead to bodily injury if you're not careful!

Many safes are made with a nickel solenoid that locks the door by using electromagnets. So you'll need to find where this is located on your safe and turn it off so that the magnet-sock combination can open up your mouth of gold. There's not much surface area, but if you look for it, then there should be an easily accessible button or knob somewhere near the opening slot!


Pick a lock with a bobby pin

Lock picking is a craft that has been around for centuries. Lock picking aims to mimic the key and push all pins flush with the shear line, allowing us to rotate and disengage locks. To reach their objective, lockpickers have succeeded by implementing various strategies, such as applying torque or using tension tools like rakes, picks, hooks, and diamonds. However, not everyone can become good at this tricky art form because it takes patience and attention to detail. 

Hire a Locksmith for Your Safe and House Keys

High-security safes come in many different sizes and styles. Some have keyhole slots and keypads inside of them, making them more difficult to drill. Some complete deadbolt locks will require a professional local locksmith to open them. If you cannot find locksmith services that will work with your high-security safe locks, replace house keys, car keys, or new replacement keys, you may need to invest in new locks or drill a hole through the wall and take out the old broken lock.


Gain Access to Sentry Safe With Drill

This method for opening a sentry safe without a key is effective but will completely destroy the lock. However, if you are unsuccessful at picking the lock with either a bobby pin, a small knife, or a magnet, this may be your best bet to open your Sentry Safe quickly.

For this method, use an electric cutting tool and power drill, which work in tandem by drilling holes in parts of the casing that can't withstand additional damage, like battery compartments where it's hard to keep them from touching sensitive materials inside while still being able to cut through metal plate holding down locking mechanism on the door side of the case (to avoid smashing fingers). 


Tips and Info You Should Know


Can a locksmith make a safe replacement key?

Locksmith services can make a replacement key for you, but they will need the right tools and the safe's model number, owner's manual, or serial number.

If you do not know the specifics, reach out to your manufacturer and have all this information handy before starting your search for locksmiths. Make sure that the person you hire has experience with commercial safes and key locks because some people have been deceived by dishonest locksmiths. Try to get reviews and make an informed decision before proceeding.


Can a locksmith make an override key without the original?

If you've lost the key to your safe, the locksmith may make an override key. He might have to schedule a visit or request photos in order to provide an estimate of how much this will cost you. If they cannot produce a key replacement or key overrides, then they'll notify you about different ways in which you can proceed.


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In conclusion

Losing access to your safe can be a frustrating experience, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can regain entry without the need for an extra key or override. Whether it's using a simple bobby pin to pick the lock or seeking the assistance of a professional locksmith, there are various ways to open your safe!

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