I recently lost the key to the padlock for the door in the garage. This was installed by the previous owner. Don't have a duplicate of the key and could not find the original I've lost.

enter image description here

So I tried padlock picking after watching some videos, it looks like padlock picking requires some minimum training / skills, some feeling, sense of doing it right.

I tried to use wrenches to damage/break the padlock, but I have very small space to operate, after 10 / 15 minutes of trying, I gave up, could not find a proper position for both wrench to get enough force ( like you can see , there is not so much space between the door and the things in the circle in red ).

I tried removing these things attached ( circle in red on the photo ) which keep the padlock, the door, and the wall fixed together. But for some reason they would not totally come out my way ? Like if they were not entirely straight, with some angle that makes them stuck or something. Not sure if I have tried hard enough on both at the same time. But it looked really stuck at some point.

I thought of borrowing or renting a grinder, but I would like to avoid that - would be a last solution.

What could be done ? Could you tell just by looking at the photo ?

Any help / advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  • I would say that whoever installed that did a fine job. The "things" the lock runs through are eye bolts - they're screwed into the wood. You'd have to pull one straight out of the wood to remove it and it's not going to be easy and that's by design. Your "best bet" would probably be to find the key. Barring that, use bolt cutters or an angle grinder with a cutting disk to cut the shackle of the lock. Why do I feel like I'm helping with a breaking and entering?
    – FreeMan
    Oct 30, 2020 at 11:59
  • that lock looks cheap, it can probably be shimmed open.
    – Jasen
    Oct 30, 2020 at 12:11
  • Renting a grinder will be cheaper than tearing up the door. Oct 30, 2020 at 16:23

4 Answers 4


A set of bolt-cutters of an appropriate size should be able to cut that shackle without too much trouble. It appears to be a relatively cheap lock.

Alternatively you could also easily cut either or both of the eyes that the lock is holding. Those are just bent mild steel.

  • 1
    Yes, Cut the BOLT not the LOCK! Far easier, and it's all trash anyway.
    – Trout
    Oct 30, 2020 at 14:28

You could pry open the loop of the screw-eye using vise-grips. The screw-eye above the door handle looks the easiest and most accessible. Just make a strong grip near the cut end, then twist the vise-grip to roll open the loop. With the door open you can dismantle everything. If the garage needs continued security, have your new locking mechanisms ready to install before you release the old lock.


There is a good chance you can shim this padlock open. This required minimal skill. You will need some tin snips (or regular scissors will probably work) and an empty aluminum beverage can.

enter image description here

You cut a shape like this and bend it so the wings can wrap around the shackle, and the extended portion can slip into the hole the shackle goes into in the lock body. Then rotate the setup and it may release the locking mechanism.

A video demonstration will probably be easier to follow.


The loops are the heads of screw eyes - you need to remove the lock to unscrew them unless you want to do a LOT of damage to the door.

So, cut the lock. If you don't want to get a grinder, start cutting with something else, because it will be slow going. Bolt cutters will cost more...

Perhaps a quart of liquid nitrogen? I seem to recall that being popular with bike thieves for a while - freeze the lock, smack with a hammer, sweep up the remains.

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