How To Open A Sentry Safe Without A Key (4 Ways To Do It!)

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone
Don’t have a key for your Sentry safe? Not a problem. We’ve got four different, easy methods to get that safe open. To make it easier, we also added a YouTube video that shows you the process step-by-step.

Owning a Sentry Safe is essential to safeguard your important and irreplaceable items. Whether it’s your firearm, expensive jewelry, crucial family documents, or any other highly valuable or prized possession, these safes provide people with peace of mind knowing that their belongings are protected. Sentry Safes boast that they can endure a number of adverse conditions such as theft, fire, and flood.

The manufacturers of these types of safes make sure that they are ultra-rigid and sturdy enough to withstand any penetrating impact. However, what happens if you’ve lost your key to your Sentry Safe and your valuable items are locked inside? Despite these safes being highly secure, losing the key, or even forgetting the combination, is a common occurrence. There are ways to open a Sentry Safe without a key.

Unfortunately, not all Sentry Safes have the same unlocking keys, except in extremely rare instances. All of these safes are assigned with an individual key that has a unique code imprinted or engraved onto it. If you’re incredibly lucky enough to find two sentry safe keys with the same number code, you can try this method. However, this is extremely rare and not a foolproof solution.

You essentially have four methods for opening up your sentry safe when you’ve misplaced your key: request a key replacement from SentrySafe, or use a nail cutter, paper clip, or drill. Let’s explore each of these approaches in detail to help you resolve your locked safe in no time at all.

Do you have a digital safe? Learn how to open a safe without a key OR code.

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Method #1: Request a Key Replacement from SentrySafe

While this option isn’t the quickest way to open your sentry safe without a key, it ensures that no damage occurs to the lock or the device itself. To order a replacement key, you first need to know your safe’s model and serial number. You can do this by consulting your owner’s manual or simply locating the two numbers on the safe itself. SentrySafe provides a very useful guide on their website about how to locate and read both your model and serial number.

Once you know your safe’s model number and serial number, you can begin the key recovery process. Head to SentrySafe’s website and fill out their key recovery request form. To submit this form, you’ll need to provide the model number, serial number, and the key(lock) number. If you are unable to identify the key number for simply looking at the lock, you can call their customer service line at 1-800-828-1438 to proceed.

The form asks you to select how many replacement keys you want to receive. For two, they charge $30 (USD) plus tax and for four, you’ll be required to pay $60 (USD) plus tax. After you’ve submitted your request to SentrySafe, it can take up to 7-10 business days for them to process it and ship out your new keys.

If you require a more expedited key recovery process, you can call their customer service line (listed above) and ask for either same-day or next-day delivery. However, this premium service does come at a premium price. You can expect to pay $50 per set, plus tax, if you want your sentry safe replacement keys expedited.

If you’d rather not wait or pay for a replacement key to come in the mail, continue reading to learn about some faster methods for opening a sentry safe without the use of a key.

Video: Unlock Sentry Safe Without A Key

Method #2: Open a Sentry Safe With a Paper Clip

Regardless of the type of lock, paper clips tend to be the most popular lock-picking tool out there. For this method, all you’ll need is two paper clips, and a pair of needle-nose pliers are optional. Follow the steps outlined below to pick your sentry safe’s lock with a paper clip if you’ve lost the actual keys.

  • Grab your first paper clip and, by using a pair of pliers or your fingers, start by bending the larger leg so that it is at a 90-degree angle.
  • Then, bend the paper clip’s other leg tip so that the paper clip resembles a wrench.
  • Taking your second paper clip, bend one leg to a 180-degree angle and the other to a 45-degree angle. This paper clip should look like a feeler pick and will serve as a handle to twist the lock.
  • Insert your first paper clip, the one that looks like a wrench, into the lower section of your safe’s lock.
  • Then, take your second paper clip, the feeler pick one, and place it in the upper section of the lock. This is where the teeth of the locks are located.
  • Twist clockwise with the lower paper clip while simultaneously wiggling the other paper into the lock’s teeth.
  • Continue pressing the pins of the lock until you hear a ‘click’ noise. This means you’re in the right place and that you’re opening the lock.
  • Press the pins three more times and then turn both paper clips clockwise to open the safe.

If you don’t have some paper clips lying around or you simply cannot get a handle on this method, try using a nail file.

Method #3: Open a Sentry Safe With a Nail File

Believe it or not, you can pick a lock using a nail file. For this method, you can either use a nail cutter with an attached nail file or a standalone nail file, as long as it is metal. Once you’ve gathered your materials, follow these steps for opening a sentry safe with a nail file:

  • Grab your set of nail cutters, and open the nail file so that it is completely straight.
  • Hold the cutter as if you would hold a key, with the file protruding out from your hand.
  • You can either use a small screwdriver and the nail file, as you did with the two paper clips, or the nail file may do the job on its own.
  • Place the tip of the nail file into the lock.
  • Wiggle the file and attempt to rotate the lock clockwise. Continue trying this motion until it starts to give.
  • Once you hear a ‘click’ sound, continue jiggling the nail file inside the lock to ensure that you’ve gotten the last ‘click’ noise out of the safe.
  • At this point, your sentry safe should now be open!

If none of the above options appeal to you, you can try a more abrasive method outlined below.

Method #4: Open a Sentry Safe With a Drill

This option 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 paper clip or nail file, this may be your best bet to open your sentry safe quickly. For this method, you can use a power drill or an electric cutting tool. The goal is to physically break the lock to open the safe. Follow these steps:

  • Start by grabbing your power drill and plugging it into a power outlet.
  • In order to avoid ruining the entire safe, make sure that you drill only into the lock and not into any part of the safe body.
  • Apply pressure and drill straight into the lock until it breaks free and your safe can be opened.
  • The lock can then be replaced at a later time, or you could try contacting the manufacturer about receiving a replacement lock for the broken one.

If this method or any of the picking options are unsuccessful, method #1 is the most effective option. As long as you are comfortable with waiting a little bit of time to receive your replacement key, you will avoid any potential damage to your sentry safe, have a new key, and also have up to three spares should you misplace it again.

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Related Questions

Why is the key to my sentry safe not working?

If you have your key but it simply is not working to open your safe, there may be some debris caught in the lock. First, make sure that the engraved letter on your key matches the letter on the key-lock cylinder. If it does not, then you have the wrong key and should look into getting a replacement or choosing another method to open the safe.If the letters do match, spray a 3-in-1 oil into the lock such as Master Lock Lubricant with PTFE or WD-40. Tap the lock lightly with a hammer and attempt to use the key again. The lubricant should’ve cleared out the debris and the key should now work.

Can a locksmith open my sentry safe?

Yes, trained locksmiths can use their tools to open up your sentry safe. However, they will charge you for their services.

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Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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