How to Open a Master Lock With a Letter Combination

Updated February 21, 2017

Master Lock is one of the lockmaking giants of America. Seen in schools, on gates, luggage and millions of other applications, Master brand locks are hard to miss. Master brand combination locks have long had the same look, with their shiny metal exteriors and round black combination dial. In recent years, however, Master has begun distributing locks with a letter and number combination and locks with only letters. Opening this type of Master Locks is similar to the original Master branded locks, changed only by the addition of letters.

Turn the combination dial on the Master Lock 3 full turns clockwise to remove any previous combination attempts. This completely resets the combination entry sequence.

Turn the combination dial clockwise past your first combination letter twice, then stop on the first letter of the combination on the third turn.

Turn the dial counterclockwise once past your combination's second letter, then stop on your second letter on the second turn.

Turn the dial clockwise right to the third letter of your combination, then pull downward on the lock body to disconnect the shank. Your lock is now open.

Turn the first rotator key to line up the first letter or number of your combination with the horizontal combination line. For alpha-only locks, this and all other combination entries will only be a letter. For some alpha numeric Master-type locks, the only number in the combination is the final character in the combination. Check with Master Lock to verify your lock's operation.

Turn the second rotator key to line up your second combination character with the horizontal combination line. Repeat this step on the third and, if applicable, the fourth character. Do this until the entire combination of your Master Lock is visible and lined up with the horizontal combination line on the lock.

Hold the lock body in one hand, the lock shank in the other and firmly pull them apart. Your Master Lock is now open.


Master-brand locks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and are made for numerous applications. This guide may not be appropriate for specialised or custom types of Master Locks. Contact Master directly for any special advice or instructions for opening locks not mentioned here.

Things You'll Need

  • Master Lock with an alpha numeric combination or only an alpha combination
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About the Author

Jesse Futch began writing professionally in 2008. He writes for various websites, including eHow, specializing in topics such as family, technology, travel, history and science. Futch is self-taught in the field of writing. He studied U.S. history, software engineering and missile and space systems at U.S. Air Force Technical College.