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Locksmithing/how do i open my safe?


I have the combination to it but it wont open for me.

Hi Kyle,

there are ONLY three reasons that a safe lock won't open - in order, they are:

1.  Incorrect dialing sequence, operator errors
2.  Incorrect combination, wrong numbers
3.  mechanical problems

Assuming that you have the correct combination, your problem is either #1 or #3.   Though usually mechanical problems are last.

As you didn't give me any info about your safe or more importantly the lock installed, I'll have to start with some basics.

The largest type of lock installed is the standard S&G 6700 series, three wheel lock.   Even though you may not have this lock, many other manufactures copied the basic operating sequence.   Correct dialing for this type of lock is:

4 times left to your first number,
3 times right to your second number,
2 times left to your third number,
1 time right until the dial stops (usually around 90).

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.   For instance if your first number is 50, simply starting turning the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping when the number 50 ARRIVES at the index mark the fourth time.    There is NO starting point, simply start dialing and count 50 once, 50 twice, 50 three times, stopping on 50 the fourth time it arrives.

If your second number is 25, you would then reverse direction, turning clockwise (right), counting 25 once, 25 twice, stopping on 25 the third time it arrives at the index.

If your combination IS correct, and you are dialing it correctly, the lock should open.

If it still won't, then either you DON'T have the correct combination, or you have a mechanical problem.

Mechanical problems are generally hands on diagnostics and repairs.   If you can't get the safe open, you will need to contact a safe technician at a local safe company to have them check your safe out.  

Note:   Generally I DO NOT recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they usually don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.

Finally,   There are other types of locks on various safes that may have four wheels and even up to five wheels, though these are not common.   Some locks dial reverse of the above directions, so you may have to dial RLRL instead of LRLR.   If you still can't get it open, call your safe company.

If you don't have a local safe company - (check your yellow pages under safes & vaults) - let me know where you and the safe are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know or recommend in your area.

Hope this helps,


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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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