How to Drill a Filing Cabinet Lock When You Have Lost the Key

Written by cleveland van cecil
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How to Drill a Filing Cabinet Lock When You Have Lost the Key
Filing cabinet locks are low security and easy to drill. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Most filing cabinets have a small lock located at the top which is turned with a key. Cabinet locks are usually tumbler locks. Tumbler locks have a set of pins that are raised and lowered to engage the lock, using a set of keys. If you have lost the keys for the cabinet, you may need to drill the pins that engage the lock to open the cabinet.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Drill
  • 1/8-inch bit
  • Vacuum

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  1. 1

    Place the drill bit inside the drill. Press the drill bit into the top portion of the keyhole in the lock.

  2. 2

    Press the trigger of the drill and begin drilling into the keyhole. Apply a bit of pressure on the back of the drill to get through the metal of the keyhole.

  3. 3

    Press steadily as you get through the keyhole with the drill. You will feel a moment of no resistance before you reach the first set of pins. Continue pressing until you feel the drill give way with less pressure five times.

  4. 4

    Reverse the drill and pull out the bit. Try opening the drawer. Clean out any of the metal shavings from the lock using a vacuum cleaner. Drill again using a larger bit to break the pins if the drawer does not move.

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