How to Open Briefcase Locks Without the Code

Written by jennifer moore
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How to Open Briefcase Locks Without the Code
Open an old briefcase whose combination you've forgotten. (briefcase and handcuffs image by Aleksandar Radovanovic from

Briefcases are normally opened with a combination of three digits. If any of the three digits is wrong, the case will not open. In most cases reworking the combination will open the briefcase again, but there are occasions when you forget the combination or lose the number. When this happens you can try to pick the lock to open the case. This way, you don't have to force the briefcase open with a screwdriver or other tool and damage the briefcase.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Place the briefcase on a table so you can easily see and work with the combination locks.

  2. 2

    Check each numbered wheel and identify the tightest of the three wheels. Push the opening latch to its opening position on the left as you check each wheel number for tightening. Release the latch after you have checked a number.

  3. 3

    Move the tightest wheel to "0" and check other wheels again for tightness. Repeat the process by turning the tightest wheel of the two remaining wheels to "0." Turn the third wheel to its "0" position.

  4. 4

    Slowly turn the first wheel you turned to "0" and cycle through the numbers . As you cycle through each number on the first wheel check the other two wheels for tightness. Continue to cycle through the numbers on the first wheel until you feel the other two wheels tighten at the same time. This is the first number in your combination.

  5. 5

    Cycle through the numbers of the second wheel and feel for the tightening of the third and first wheels as you cycle through each number. When that third wheel tightens you have found the second number.

  6. 6

    Cycle through the numbers on the third wheel, and check for tightening on the first and second wheels. When you feel both wheels tighten you have found all three locking digits and can open the briefcase.

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