Each dial of a 3-digit lock can be changed to one of ten possibilities if each digit contains the numbers 0 through 9. (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9). As a result, there are 1,000 different combinations imaginable. 3-digit padlocks are still widely used today on bike locks, bag locks, and for securing storage sheds.
The greater the number of digits, the greater the number of possible combinations. With 40-digit combination locks, such as those found on lockers, things get a little more tricky. The conventional Master Lock, for example, has 64,000 possible combinations. Let’s look at the chances of breaking each sort of lock.
Combinations for 3-Digit Locks
Despite the fact that three-digit padlocks have 1,000 possible combinations, there are ways to open them without knowing the code. Fortunately, breaking them requires little more than experimenting with hundreds of different number combinations. It’s more a matter of getting used to the minor differences in the feel of the lock as you scroll through the various digits.
boonchai wedmakawand/Getty Images/Bonchai Wedmakawand/Getty Images
To test it out for yourself, get a padlock with a combination you know and follow these steps:
One of the most important aspects in cracking these locks is the ability to consistently apply enough pressure to lift the shackle upwards (the hook-shaped part of the lock). Pull the shackle away from the lock body in the same way that you would if you were trying to unlock it.
Attaching the lock to a strong item and pulling the lock body down is the easiest way to do this.
Begin by scrolling over the bottom row of numbers while maintaining upward pressure on the lock handle.
You should hear a little click when you land on the proper number. With enough repetition, the inner wheel will “fall into place,” making the dial significantly more difficult to spin.
Move up to the second dial and repeat the process when you’ve reached the first proper number.
With the third dial, you’ll repeat the process, but it’ll be a little simpler to determine when you’ve reached the correct number because the lock should open.
How to Decipher a Combination Lock’s Code
While combination locks, such as a conventional 40-digit Master Lock, are a little more difficult to crack without the winning combination, with enough practise, it is doable. Applying the proper amount of upwards pressure to the shackle is crucial to opening a combination lock without the combination.