Many digital safes have a key that allows you to manually unlock them if you forget your passcode. However, what happens if you forget your passcode and lose the key to your safe? If this describes your current situation, you’ve come to the right place. There’s no need to worry, as this is a very common issue and you have several solutions to choose from in order to get your safe open.
There are a number of different types of safes on the market, and while many of these methods will work for most of them, some have very particular unlocking techniques. If you’ve locked yourself out of your safe and cannot access it with a key or code, you can try picking the lock using a couple of different tools. However, if this option is unsuccessful, there are plenty of other techniques to try.
Let’s examine all the various ways that you can open a safe without a key or code. By implementing the tools and tips outlined below, you will have your safe successfully unlocked in no time.
Table of Contents
- Method #1: Opening Your Safe with a Paper Clip
- Method #2: Opening Your Safe with a Nail File
- Method #3: Opening Your Safe with a Rare Earth Magnet
- Method #4: Opening Your Safe By Bouncing or Dropping It
- How to Open a Sentry Safe Without Combination
- How to Open a Stack-On Safe Without Key
- How to Open a Winchester Safe Without Combination
Method #1: Opening Your Safe with a Paper Clip
As I’m sure you’ve seen displayed in many movies, locks can be picked by simply using a paper clip. If the keyhole is not located on the front, you may find a manual override keyhole on the back of the safe. This is especially true if the safe that you own is primarily digital. If you’ve forgotten your passcode and do not have your manual override keys, you can try using a paper clip.
In order to use a paper clip to open your safe, straighten it and place it into the keyhole. Use either a second paper clip or a small screwdriver underneath the first one to anchor and help turn the lock. Using the first paper clip, pick and search the lock mechanism slowly.
What you’re trying to achieve is a clicking sound that indicates you are successful. You should then be able to turn the lock and open the safe. While this option is achievable, it does take a considerable amount of time and patience.
Method #2: Opening Your Safe with a Nail File
Similar to the paper clip technique, you can also use a nail file to pick the lock on your safe. In this case, you’ll want to insert the pointy end of your nail file into the keyhole. Wiggle the file around in the keyhole, pressing the pins, and ultimately searching for that ‘click’ sound.
Once you hear the clicking noise, turn the file clockwise to turn the lock and open your safe. Just like the paper clip method, this option will also take quite a bit of time and patience to achieve.
Method #3: Opening Your Safe with a Rare Earth Magnet
Most electronic safes, especially those that are designed to hold firearms, are equipped with solenoid. Solenoid is a material that controls the safe’s locking mechanism. You can reset this material by using a strong rare earth magnet, or Neodymium Magnet. These types of magnets can generally be purchased from a hardware store or simply off of online retailers such as Amazon.
Rare earth magnets are incredibly powerful and should be used with care. You should never carry it close to electronic devices or household utensils, and you should not operate one if you are wearing a pacemaker. Also, avoid putting your finger between the magnet and the safe, as you will likely injure yourself.
To use the rare earth magnet to open your safe, place it inside of a sock and attach it to the top left corner of the safe. Move slowly to the right side of the safe and continue moving until you’ve located the solenoid. This method does take patience but once the magnet contacts the solenoid, the safe will unlock. Using a rare earth magnet is a nearly foolproof hack when you’ve forgotten the combination to your safe.
Method #4: Opening Your Safe By Bouncing or Dropping It
While this may sound strange, many safe owners assert that dropping it from a secure distance can reset the lock and open the safe. Try performing this hack if you’ve forgot your safe’s combination and misplaced the key. Follow these steps:
- First, protect the surface that you intend to drop the safe on with a cloth.
- Hold the safe approximately two feet from the surface with your left hand on the backside and right hand on the front. In this position, the goal is for it to fall and release the door.
- Drop the safe several times until the door opens.
- Avoid dropping the safe from too high, as this could permanently destroy it or render it unstable.
If dropping the safe is unsuccessful, you can try smacking a hammer carefully above where the solenoid is to release the door. If neither option works, examine some of the other methods outlined above or below.
How to Open a Sentry Safe Without Combination
Sentry Safe is a very popular brand of safe. Most of these types of safes use a combination to unlock and keys are used as a manual override. If you’ve forgotten your code, you can start by requesting a replacement combo from the manufacturer. All you have to do is provide them with the model number, serial number, a $30 payment, and an email address that they can reach you at. Your replacement combination will then be emailed to you with 7-10 business days.
Your other option is to try the manual override key. However, if you’ve misplaced the key, you can place a similar key replacement request with SentrySafe. In this case, after you provide them with the necessary details, they will ship your replacement keys to your mailing address. If either of these options don’t appeal to you, or you want a quicker solution, your best bet is to try using a rare earth magnet to trigger the solenoid and open the safe.
While it does take some patience, you can also attempt to pick the lock with a paper clip or nail file to free the locking mechanism and enable you to open the safe. However, using a magnet does not pose any potential damage to the locking mechanism, as many people are inexperienced with picking locks and can cause permanent loss.
How to Open a Stack-On Safe Without Key
If you’ve forgotten the combo and lost the key to your stack-on safe, first check to see if you have a backup key. Unlike most combination lock safes, all stack-on electronic safes will come with a backup key that allows you to open the safe via a slot beneath the electronic keypad. However, if you are unable to locate a backup key, you can request a key replacement through the manufacturer.
However, requesting new keys costs money, takes several businesses, and there is often a limited availability of keys depending on the model of the safe. To open your stack-on safe, you can also try the following methods:
- Prying it open. These types of safes are not airtight, meaning there should be some prying space to insert a strong rod into the locking area. However, once you’ve pried it open, you will have broken the locking mechanism and the safe can no longer be used for its intended purpose.
- Hammering it. You can also try opening you safe by hammering the locking mechanism repeatedly. This may loosen and release the anchor holding the locking bar in place. Like the above method, this will also potentially cause permanent damage to your stack-on safe.
- Drill through the lock. This option, although effective, also means permanent damage to your safe. Simply drill through the lock to break it and release the door. If you want to continue using your safe, you can replace the lock after it has been broken.
- Attempt to pick the lock. You can attempt to pick the lock using either a nail file, paper clip, or some other picking tool. If you’re inexperienced with picking locks, this can also cause damage to your safe.
How to Open a Winchester Safe Without Combination
The locking system on a Winchester safe is electronic and requires a combination to access it. If you’ve forgotten your combination or have been locked out of the safe for whatever reason, there are a few things you can do to get it unlocked. Unfortunately, these types of safes are built for maximum security and cannot be easily broken into or cracked open.
Instead, start by using the override key, as all Winchester safes come with them in case of emergencies. Using the key will override the lock and open the safe for you, allowing you to reprogram the code. If you’ve lost both the combination and the key, you could consider spending some money and requesting a replacement online through the manufacturer. However, for a short time after buying, Winchester does provide replacement keys free of charge. Contact them and provide them with your safe’s model and serial number to check if you are eligible.