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Locksmithing/tower safe with yale lock


I aquired a safe and dont know the combination. I want to take the hinge pins out to open it. How would i find out the combination after i open it? Or reset a combination? Thanks

Hi Chris,

"Tower Safes" was simply a brand name for many safes sold through Sears & Roebucks.   It was NOT any particular manufacturer.    Relabeled safes were from several companies, many of them being imported from China.

Generally - unless you have a REALLY cheap safe, pulling the hinge pins is NOT going to result in opening the safe.   Manufacturer's figured this trick out almost 200 years ago, and it hasn't worked since.

If the safe is locked shut, then you basically have two options - other than ruining the safe, trying to open it.    You can test all of the 1,000,000 potential test combinations until you find the correct one to open the lock, or you can have it opened by a safe technician from a local safe company.    cost to open the safe to recover the combination is probably going to cost more than the safe is worth.

My recommendation - as you don't have anything locked up in the safe, AND assuming that you didn't pay anything for it, would be to save your money and buy a more modern safe which is already opened.
If you did pay money for your container, then you are already in the hole, and you know what happens when you are in a hole and keep digging - you only get deeper.

If you decide to start dialing test combinations to try to salvage the safe, set up a spread sheet with all of the possible combinations, so that you can mark them off as you test them.   Testing 500 every day, will only take about 5.5 years to test them all - hopefully you will find the correct combination long before that.

The dialing sequence for a Yale lock is:

4 times right to the first number, _____
3 times left to the second number, _____
2 times right to the third number, _____
1 time left until the dial stops - should be around 10.

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.   Don't count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

Sorry I wish the news was better.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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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