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If you’ve ever tried picking a lock, you’ll know it’s nowhere near as easy as TV shows and movies make it look. There’s a lot of technique and practice that goes into opening a lock with picks, and it can be extremely frustrating for a beginner. You can’t just jam a paperclip or bobby pin in a lock and twist. However, with some locks, it’s much easier than you might imagine. In fact, many of the padlocks in use today can easily be cracked with nothing more than a mallet, knife handle, or even a rock.
Disclaimer: We’re certainly not advocating you do anything against the law, so only practice this technique on locks you own. Please don’t do anything stupid and/or illegal with this knowledge, and if you do, we are not responsible.
The YouTuber known as BosnianBill has hundreds of lock-related videos, including lock disassembly, rare lock analysis, and how-to videos for a wide array of lockpicking techniques. However, this video might be our favorite yet. In under a minute, he shows how to open a very common Masterlock padlock with no picks or fancy tools, just a small mallet. This technique works with many similar padlock designs—just apply a little pressure with your fingers, and tap rapidly with a hard object.
If you don’t believe it’s this easy, here’s another video of the same technique being performed by some construction workers. Unlike BosnianBill, the guys in this video are clearly not lockpicking experts, but they still manage to open the padlock after only a few minutes.
So, if you ever lose the key to one of your locks, or you’re being illegally detained behind a padlocked door or gate, remember this technique. It won’t work on some higher-end padlocks, but it’s at least worth a try if you have no other options.