Combination locks aren’t necessarily the safest thing in the world. We all know this, but we settle for using them because, obviously, they’re better than nothing. Or, well, so we thought. But it turns out that they’re not quite as secure as we thought, as we’ve found out thanks to the research of a lock expert. He’s even come up with an algorithm that will spit out the likely combos.
Here’s how it works, step by step:
Set the dial to 0.
Lift the shackle in the locked position and turn the dial counterclock wise. Between 0 and 15, the dial will “catch” three times. Note the two “catches” that are straddling a number.
Lift the shackle again and turn the dial clockwise until you hit resistance. That’s your third number.
Punch the results into this website, and it gives you up to eight potential combinations.
Sound ridiculous? I grabbed an old Master lock I couldn’t remember the combination to, and it cracked it within three tries. So, while I haven’t tried every Master lock, that rough road test would indicate that the math works.
Needless to say, you really shouldn’t use this for any non-legitimate purposes. But if you’ve got an old lock lying around where you can’t remember the combination and need to get it open, this will help you out. Just don’t try this at the gym.