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Locksmithing/Identify a 'Cole' safe that doesn't look like Cole Steel?


Hello.  I see a lot of posts here about Cole Steel Equipment, but this safe we have with a "COLE" label doesn't look like any of the others I've seen images of.  Any idea if this was made by the same company, or another? It belonged to our mother who has died, and we can't find the combo.  So we're hoping to track down the company if still in business.  Not sure what plan B is yet.
Thank you!


I'm not sure how to answer your question concerning it NOT looking like any other COLE cabinet???    The answer is almost self explanatory - Over the years a manufacture is in business, models constantly change, and this doesn't even include special order items.

As far as your's being a "Cole" product - based on the limited photo you have provided for me to look at - YES it would be a Cole product.

As for Cole still being in business - to my knowledge they did not continue past the 1960's.   I don't have an "end of business date", but I also don't have any information concerning their continuing into the 1970's.

Cole Steel Equipment company never actually made any "SAFES", what you have is simply a steel cabinet, with a combination lock.

As far as plan "B", if you want it opened and not destroyed, then I would recommend that you contact a safe technician from a local safe company to open it for you.    I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes without causing excessive damage.

Sorry the answer probably isn't what you hoped for, but your "plan A" was basically just a "fingers crossed, hope type" idea.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I know in your area.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service Area is Northern California (Fresno to Oregon and Western Nevada)

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