Locksmithing/Locked safe door


I bought a steelmaster cabinet, 3 drawers on one side, a safe & shelf on the other side and a locking door to cover the safe side.  The safe is locked and no combination.  Is there any way to get this open besides a locksmith?  I was thinking of cutting a hole in the back to view the tumblers.  Would I be able to open it from the inside of the cabinet by turning the tumblers?

Hi Gary,

The Tumblers and Clowns are in the circus, not your lock.   The lock has wheels which set the combination.   Dialing the correct numbers and rotations will align the wheels to allow lever engagement to unlock or retract the lock bolt.

While I'm sure that you can possibly cut a hole into the container to get the lock to open, you will cause significant damage.    If you have the tools and/or capabilities to repair the damage, then that would possibly be the least expensive method.   If you can't repair it, then I would recommend against it.

I also do not recommend using locksmiths for the same reason that I don't encourage DIY projects.   Lack of training and knowledge can cause excessive damage and/or ruin a container.

If you still can't get it open, then I would recommend your contacting a local safe company to have their trained safe technician open the container for you.

In answer to your question; if you can get access to the lock and if you can remove the lock cover to gain access to the wheel pack, you may be able to align them correctly to get the lever to engage the drive cam and retract the lock.

Again if you can't get it to work, then you may want to contact a local safe company - not a locksmith shop.

Hope this helps,


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.